Inspired by the classic favorite holiday candy, my Peppermint Bark Cookies are the perfect trifecta of chocolate, white chocolate and festive peppermint. They take just 30 minutes to make, don’t require a mixer, and need NO chilling! Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Unique Christmas Cookie
Peppermint bark is winter’s version of pumpkin spice; it’s the flavor of the season, found in everything from hot chocolate to candles, and today I’m infusing it into cookies. Not just any cookies, though, these are a festive favorite of mine that I first shared a few years ago and that needed a facelift (but no changes to the original recipe, that was just right).
These cookies are soft and chewy, rich without being too decadent, and resplendent in a way that makes them a must-bake for your holiday cookie tray. I made sure to develop this recipe so the end result included all the textures you crave in a peppermint bark bar: smooth white chocolate candy coating, crunchy peppermint bits, and pops of dark chocolate throughout.
As decadent and gorgeous as they appear, these cookies are actually very simple to make. You don’t need a mixer to make the dough AND you don’t have to chill it–just stir everything together and bake. These are a fun and unique (and much easier!) alternative to the classic roll-out sugar cookies or gingerbread men that you’ll find on most Christmas cookie trays.
Why you’ll love my recipe:
- No mixer: the dough can be mixed entirely by hand.
- Fast: just 30 minutes to make with NO chilling!
- Amazing texture: the cookies are soft and chewy with pops of chocolate and peppermint.
- Easy: uses basic ingredients and no fancy tools or techniques.
- Fun and colorful. A festive addition to any Christmas cookie tray.
What You Need
A few of those ingredients up there are worth noting before we start prepping our peppermint bark cookies:
- Natural cocoa powder. Make sure to use natural cocoa powder; I don’t recommend Dutch process cocoa here as the cookies won’t turn out quite the same.
- Cornstarch. The secret ingredient from my chocolate chip cookies makes another guest appearance here. Just a pinch of cornstarch makes these cookies soft and chewy and prevents them from spreading too much in the oven.
- Mini chocolate chips. If you don’t have mini chocolate chips on hand, they can be omitted or you can finely chop a dark chocolate bar. I personally like the chocolatey pops throughout though and think they help create a nice texture!
- Peppermint extract. My recipe only uses a small splash of this extract for a subtle infusion of peppermint flavor, think a bit less than a thin mint cookie. It’s certainly not going to knock you in the face with mint flavor, but if you’re looking for a more potent punch feel free to double the extract. Note that this is not the same as mint extract, which I feel has more of a toothpaste-y flavor. Opt for peppermint!
- White chocolate. Use a high-quality white chocolate, like Ghirardelli. In this instance, chopped premium white chocolate bars will also work if you can’t find white chocolate chips.
- Crushed candy canes. Crush them small enough so they lend a nice subtle crunchy texture on the cookies (large pieces could be a bit jaw-jarring). I used crushed mini candy canes, but you can crush large ones or even use pre-crushed candy cane pieces (Amazon has them).
SAM’S TIP: Adding just a bit of either vegetable shortening or coconut oil to the white chocolate makes it much easier to work with when dipping the cookies. You can omit this if you don’t have any on hand, but just know the chocolate will be thicker and more difficult to dip.
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Melt the chocolate – Melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth, then cool completely.
- Add the wet ingredients – Stir in the sugars, egg, egg yolk, and extracts.
- Combine the dry ingredients – Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the chocolate mixture.
- Bake and cool – Drop cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly before baking for 9 minutes. Let the cookies cool on their sheets for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Prepare the chocolate – Melt the white chocolate and shortening in the microwave until smooth and melted.
- Dip, top, and enjoy! Dip each cookie in chocolate, place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, and top with crushed candy canes.
SAM’S TIP: Wait until your chocolate mixture has completely cooled before adding your remaining wet ingredients! If you add them while the mixture is still warm, you risk melting your sugars, leaving you with a greasy, wet cookie dough. Your cookies will spread all over the baking sheet if this happens, and unfortunately no amount of chilling will save them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Wrap them well and store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months. If you’re looking to freeze the cookies before baking, check out my post on how to freeze cookie dough.
That will work just fine; I find that using the microwave is much easier though. If you have issues with your chocolate seizing in the microwave, check out my post on how to melt chocolate chips in the microwave.
I generally recommend using unsalted butter vs salted butter to better control the salt in my recipes. I know many of you just keep salted butter on hand though. If this applies to you, you can use salted butter and reduce the salt in this recipe to ¼ teaspoon.
I have another peppermint bark dessert recipe coming later this week–stay tuned!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Peppermint Bark Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter cut into Tbsp-sized pieces (113g)
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (340g)
- ¾ cups light brown sugar firmly packed (150g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (208g)
- 2 Tablespoons natural cocoa powder (13g)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips optional (140g)
- 10 oz premium white chocolate chips (about 1 ⅔ cup or 280g)
- 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening or coconut oil
- ½ cup crushed candy canes I used 10 crushed mini canes
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine butter and 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, repeating at 15 second increments until chocolate and butter are completely melted.
- Remove from microwave and allow to cool at least 10 minutes or until mixture no longer feels warm to the touch before proceeding.
- Once butter/chocolate mixture has cooled, stir in sugars, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and peppermint extracts.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until completely combined.
- Stir in mini chocolate chips, if using.
- Drop cookie dough by 1 ½ Tablespoon scoop onto parchment paper, pressing down slightly to flatten.
- Bake 9 minutes, allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cookie rack to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.
- Prepare white chocolate by placing in medium-sized microwave-safe bowl with shortening or coconut oil. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, then continue to microwave in 15-second increments (stirring well in-between) until chocolate is completely melted.
- Dip cookies ⅓-½ of the way in white chocolate and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Allow chocolate to harden before enjoying.
StoringAfter white chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.