Peppermint Butter Cookies
Nothing says ‘Holidays’ quite as much as peppermint. I feel like every time December rolls around everything starts to take on a Peppermint-y theme. Peppermint cookies, peppermint coffees, peppermint cupcakes. It’s like the pumpkin spice of winter.
The only difference is that peppermint looks festive too. Pumpkin spice is great, don’t get me wrong, but you can only do so much with a brown-y orange. Red and white stripes though? Now there’s some real potential! I did my best to capitalize on that potential with these yummy little nuggets. By crushing up peppermint candies not only do you get the bright white and red pop, it also adds just the right amount of texture, plus an extra zing of peppermint flavor when you bite in! That’s a win-win-win! Also very important and on the peppermint topic: don’t go over 1/2 tsp of extract. Please. We all love peppermint, I get it, but too much of a good thing and suddenly you’re eating Listerine. Not fun. I actually did that with my first batch (put in too much peppermint, not ate mouthwash!) and am speaking from experience here. If you need your breath freshened, please chew some gum. You, your guests, and the cookies will all be much happier for it!
When you’re rolling the dough out into logs, make sure that the diameter of the log, and the height that you cut off is the same as what you want the finished cookies to be. These guys barely spread at all if baked straight from the fridge. With my first batch I made the mistake of rolling it smaller and shorter than I wanted, thinking they would spread out and rise in the oven. Nope, I wound up with bite sized, mini-cookies! Once I knew that though, it’s actually pretty convenient. What you put on the tray is exactly what you get. Speaking of that, I bet this dough would make great shaped cookies too! I haven’t tried it yet, but now I want too!
Another tip: make sure you crush the peppermints into rice (or thereabouts) sized pieces. Peppermint candies are hard, and you don’t want anyone breaking their tooth on your cookies! I like to throw the candies in a heavy-duty freezer bag and then take them out onto the garage (concrete) floor, and beat them with a cast iron pan. A little archaic? Maybe, but it gets the job done! If you have a super powerful blender, I bet you could also give them a couple of pulses and get the same effect much quicker!
Take the cookies out just when they start to take on a light blonde appearance. You don’t want them to brown. Technically, they’re done when the bottoms turn light brown, but I have yet to find a convenient way to figure out when that is! I recommend rolling/cutting them at about 1 1/2″ wide x 1/2″ tall. At that size they will take about 8-9 minutes to cook through. If, when you take them out they are a little underdone stick them back in for another minute or so and then adjust the bake time on your consecutive pans accordingly.
- 16 tbsp Butter, 2 Sticks, room temp
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup White Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Whole Milk, room temp
- 2 tbsp Cream Cheese, warmed
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 18 Peppermint Candies, Crushed
In a medium bowl whisk the room temp milk into the powdered sugar. It will be very thick. Add the cream cheese and whisk until there are no lumps remaining. Add more milk if necessary to create a thick but spreadable glaze, cover with plastic and set aside with crushed peppermints until cookies are cooled.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, but do not preheat the oven yet. These cookies will need to chill for at least an hour before they are ready to bake.
Add the sugars and butter to bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and extracts and thoroughly combine.
On low speed stir in the dry ingredients in two batches. Do not over mix.
Turn the dough out onto lightly floured counter and separate it into 3 sections. Roll the sections into logs about 1 1/2" in diameter. Try to flatten the ends to make a perfect cylinder. Wrap the dough logs in plastic wrap tightly, place on one of the lined cookie sheets, and refrigerate for at least one hour or over night.
About 20mn before you are ready to bake preheat the oven to 350.
Working with one log of dough at a time, remove from plastic and slice into 1/4" rounds. Place the rounds on the cookie sheets about 1/4" apart. (They don't spread much!)
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes and then check for done-ness. They should be light blonde but not brown. If they need more time give it to them in 2mn intervals. Once you get a feel for how long it takes it will be easier with the subsequent batches!
Let the cookies cool for 5mn on the pan and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Do additional batches in the same manner until all the dough is used up. Let the cookies cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Set up your toppings station first: put the peppermint crumbles in a wide bowl so that it's easy to dip the cookies in, uncover the white glaze and give it a good stir to break up any crust it may have formed. Add a little milk if necessary to get it back to the right consistency. (Little goes a long ways!)
Using a small spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a bit of glaze onto each cookie. As soon as you are done glazing it, quickly dip it in the peppermint crumbles and set it back on the wire rack. Repeat this with all the cookies. Let the glaze dry for at least an hour before stacking the cookies. Cookies can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator.