These white chocolate peppermint cookies are a must-make for Christmas - but also a perfect dessert for anytime during the winter season! They're big, soft, and chewy, with a double dose of cool peppermint flavor thanks to crushed candy canes and peppermint extract. This is also an incredibly easy cookie recipe - the dough comes together in just 15 minutes!
I've said it before and I'll say it again - white chocolate and peppermint are a match made in heaven. It's the combination that makes my favorite white mocha recipe so irresistible, and it's just as magical in this holiday cookie recipe.
What you'll love about these white chocolate peppermint cookies
Trust me when I say that if I'm advocating for any type of cookie that's not of the classic chocolate chip variety, it must be worth making. Here's why these cookies make the cut:
- Flavor: The combination of sweet, creamy white chocolate chips and cool, crisp peppermint just WORKS, especially when you add it to a buttery cookie base. It's especially perfect for the holiday season, with crushed candy canes adding to the flavor of these cookies and their festive appearance. They'd make a great addition to a Christmas cookie box!
- Texture: I love a soft and chewy cookie, and these peppermint cookies definitely fit the bill. They come out of the oven with warm, gooey centers, and as they cool they turn perfectly soft and bendable.
- Size: These are BIG cookies - not so big that they need to be shared, but big enough to have that giant cookie appeal.
- Simplicity: Like many of my favorite cookie recipes, this one is easy! The dough takes about 15 minutes to throw together.
- Adaptability: I've made these crushed candy cane cookies with regular flour and gluten-free flour; both work perfectly.
Peppermint cookie ingredients
Here's a quick look at the ingredients you'll need to make these white chocolate peppermint cookies, along with a few helpful details (below).
- Flour: You can use regular all-purpose flour for these cookies, or a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum.
- Corn Starch: Don't skip this! A small amount of corn starch helps keep these cookies thick and chewy.
- Butter: I'm a big fan of using salted butter in cookies - I really think it contributes to the flavor of the dough. That said, if you want to use unsalted butter, just increase the salt in this recipe to a half teaspoon. Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature before you start baking.
- Cream cheese: Adding cream cheese to cookie dough is another one of my favorite tips for ensuring cookies turn out thick, soft, and chewy. It doesn't affect the flavor at all! The cream cheese should also be softened to room temperature for this recipe.
- Brown sugar: I prefer light brown sugar in these cookies. It will help add moisture to the dough without contributing an overwhelming amount of molasses flavor.
- Eggs: You'll need one large egg and one egg yolk, both at room temperature. The extra yolk contributes flavor to the cookie dough while helping the cookies stay soft and chewy. You can use the leftover egg white to glaze galette crust or even make homemade marshmallow cream!
- Chocolate chips: Although I exclusively used white chocolate chips in these cookies, I do think they'd be great with regular chocolate chips, or even a mix of the two. Do not use white chocolate melts or white confectionery - they're not the same thing.
- Peppermint candy: You'll need some form of crushed peppermint candy for this recipe. It's easiest to simply buy crushed candy canes, but you can also crush them yourself. Just double-bag them in a ziplock and crush them with a rolling pin! Andes peppermint crunch baking chips, chopped up peppermint bark, or even candy cane Kisses would also work well.
How to make white chocolate peppermint cookies
Step one - Mix the dry ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt.
Step two - Beat the wet ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a large mixing bowl and handheld electric mixer), beat together softened butter and cream cheese with brown sugar and granulated sugar. The mixture should be light and creamy.
Then, beat in the egg and egg yolk one at a time, mixing each addition in until fully incorporated. Mix in the peppermint and vanilla extracts.
Step three - Add the dry ingredients: Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix them in on the mixer's lowest speed just until mostly incorporated. Then, add the crushed candy canes and white chocolate chips, mixing them in with a rubber spatula until they're evenly dispersed into the dough. Don't overmix!
Step four - Chill and portion dough: Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour prior to baking - more is fine. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF, and scoop the dough into 2 ¼ ounce (by weight) or ¼ cup (by volume) portions, rolling each portion into a ball. Place portioned dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats, no more than 6 cookie dough balls to a sheet.
Optionally, you can roll the top and sides of the dough into extra crushed candy canes prior to baking.
Step five - Bake: Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes, until the tops are puffy and no longer look wet. If you're baking more than one cookie sheet at a time, bake them on the top and bottom third racks, switching and rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.
Immediately after baking, you can top each cookie with a few extra white chocolate chips if desired - this is mostly for presentation. Let them cool on the cookie sheet(s) for 10-15 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for perfecting these peppermint cookies
- Measure your flour accurately. I always suggest using a reliable kitchen scale, but if you don't have one, you can use the spoon and level method.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Your butter (and in this case, cream cheese) should be at cool room temperature for most any cookie recipe. This means soft enough to press a finger into, but not melty. Your eggs should also be at room temperature so that they mix into the butter and cream cheese properly.
- Weigh or measure your cookie dough when portioning it out to ensure each cookie is evenly sized.
- Use silicone baking mats to line your cookie sheets. I find that cookies tend to be thicker and puffier when baked on silicone mats instead of parchment.
- Don't overbake! As soon as the top surface of each cookie no longer looks glossy, they are ready to pull out of the oven. They'll still be soft and gooey on the inside, but since they'll continue to "cook" a bit longer as they cool on the baking sheet, it's important not to bake them past this point.
- For perfectly round cookies, use a large round cookie cutter to "scoot" your cookies and round off the edges immediately after baking. This will also help keep them slightly thicker.
- Cool your cookie sheets between batches. Since you can only bake 6 of these cookies on a single sheet (they will spread!), you'll most likely need to do a few rounds of baking if you plan to bake all of the cookies in one sitting. If you need to re-use your cookie sheets between batches, run them under cold water to make sure they've cooled completely first.
These white chocolate peppermint cookies are best stored in an airtight container or zip top bag at room temperature. They'll stay fresh for about 5 days.
If stored in an airtight container, the dough for these cookies can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. The dough can also be pre-portioned and frozen for up to 3 months.
Yes! Cookie recipes are generally easy to double, and this one is no exception. Use the scaling feature in the recipe card below so you don't have to do the math yourself.
Both ingredients and technique contribute to the soft, chewy texture of these cookies. Cream cheese, corn starch, brown sugar, and an egg yolk all play a significant role, as does ensuring that you don't overbake your cookies.
Absolutely - just swap the flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour. Make sure you use a blend that contains xanthan gum or guar gum for best results.
More holiday cookie recipes
Here are a few other cookie recipes to add to your holiday baking list!
White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
These soft and chewy peppermint cookies feature a mix of creamy white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes for a dessert that both looks and tastes festive. This is an easy recipe that's great to add your Christmas cookie baking list!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Chill Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes (plus chill time)
- Yield: 16 cookies 1x
- Category: cookies
- Method: baking
- 10 ⅝ ounces (2 ½ cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ½ ounces (9 tablespoons) salted butter, room temperature
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 ⅝ ounces (¾ cup, packed) light brown sugar
- 3 ½ ounces (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 4 ¼ ounces (1 cup) crushed peppermint candy/candy canes, plus extra for garnish
- 4 ½ ounces (¾ cup) white chocolate chips, plus extra for garnish
1. Mix the dry ingredients:In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt.
2. Beat the wet ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a large bowl and handheld electric mixer), beat together the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg and yolk one at a time, beating each in until fully incorporated and scraping down the bowl/beater as needed. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix in on lowest speed until mostly incorporated. Add the peppermint candy and white chocolate chips and fold in by hand just until evenly dispersed into the cookie dough.
4. Chill and portion dough: Chill cookie dough in refrigerator for at least one hour before baking. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF with racks in the top and bottom-third positions. Scoop dough into 2 ¼ ounce (or about ¼ cup) portions and roll each into a ball. If desired, roll the tops and sides of each cookie dough ball in extra crushed candy cane pieces. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone liners, spreading well apart with no more than 6 balls of dough per sheet.
5. Bake cookies at 350ºF for 14-16 minutes, until tops no longer look wet and cookies are puffy, flipping and rotating baking sheets halfway through time. Top each cookie with a few extra white chocolate chips, and cool on pan for 10-15 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days, or in the refrigerator for longer storage.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour can be used to make these cookies gluten-free. Make sure the blend you use contains xanthan gum.
- If using unsalted butter, increase the salt in the recipe to ½ teaspoon.
- You can buy crushed peppermint candy, crush your own candy canes, or use peppermint crunch baking chips.
Tips and tricks:
- For perfectly round cookies, use a large round cookie cutter to "scoot" your cookies and round off the edges immediately after baking.
- Be sure to cool your cookie sheet between batches if baking all of these cookies in one sitting.
- Refrigerated cookie dough can be kept for 2-3 weeks. Or, scoop dough into individual cookies and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Once baked, cookies can be kept in an airtight, zip top bag at cool room temperature for up to 5 days.