These are the easiest and most delicious chocolate peppermint cookies you’ll make this season! The key is peppermint-flavored baking chips, like those from Trader Joe’s—they impart a strong flavor with just the right contrast between decadent chocolate cookie and bright peppermint white chocolate chips. Put these in a cookie box with chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies and a few pieces of ritzy fudge for a chocolate lover!
With this recipe, you can have chocolate peppermint chip cookies that are crispy on the edges and gooey in the center. And rest assured: There’s just the right amount of peppermint in these chocolate cookies (much like my fudgy peppermint brownies). These don’t even need peppermint extract because the peppermint chips are strong enough to give us a good flavor by themselves!
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Ingredients for Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
With just a handful of pantry staples, you can have these easy chocolate Christmas cookies on the table in about half an hour. Read on for the purpose behind each ingredient, common substitutions, and brand recommendations.
- All-purpose flour. Regular flour gives these cookies structure. I have not tested the recipe with gluten-free flour, but a 1:1 substitute should work well enough.
- Cocoa powder. I have made these with regular cocoa powder and cacao powder, and both were deliciously chocolatey. Dutch-processed cocoa powder will also work.
- Salt. Enhances the flavors and strengthens the gluten in the cookie.
- Baking soda and powder. I use a blend of leavenings to get the best qualities from both: a good rise and extra browning power.
- Salted butter. I recommend using salted butter, as the extra salt in the butter balances out the sweetness, but unsalted works great if that’s what you prefer!
- Granulated sugar. Sugar adds flavor, moistness, and helps the cookies spread nicely.
- Brown sugar. Brown sugar has a richer flavor than white sugar and adds chewiness.
- Vanilla extract. I like to add a splash to enhance the chocolate flavor.
- Egg. The protein in the egg white and the fats in the yolk help the cookie dough hold together perfectly.
- Peppermint baking chips. This is what makes these chocolate cookies pepperminty! I used Trader Joe’s peppermint baking chips, as they have a strong peppermint flavor. You may also use Ande’s peppermint crunch or Lily’s peppermint chips if you can’t find the ones from Trader Joe’s.
- Candy cane (optional). These cookies look like your typical inside out chocolate chip cookies, so I recommend adding crushed candy cane (or a sign) so your loved ones know these are peppermint cookies. Or let be a surprise—it’s up to you!
How to Make Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
The two best parts of this chocolate peppermint chip cookie recipe? They’re easy to make and don’t leave a huge mess for you to clean up after!
Here’s a quick overview of the process to make chocolate cookies with Trader Joe’s peppermint chips:
Prepping the Dry Ingredients
First, we’ll combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. When measuring out your flour, I recommend using a kitchen scale or fluffing the flour in the bag, then spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off. One cup of flour only weighs about 130 grams, and it’s really easy to use too much flour if it gets packed into the cup. (And if you use too much flour, your cookies won’t spread properly.)
Stir the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together until everything looks evenly dispersed. This step sometimes seems unnecessary, but it ensures that you don’t end up with a big clump of baking powder or salt somewhere in your dough.
Creaming the Butter and Sugar
Add the butter and both granulated and brown sugar into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, then beat on medium speed until fluffy. This usually takes about 3 minutes.
Once fluffy, like in the image below, add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for another couple minutes. When properly creamed, the batter will be a light brown with large pockets air.
Adding Dry Ingredients
Once the mixture is light and fluffy, mix in the dry ingredients from earlier (flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda). Beat on low for about a minute until the dough holds together and looks like the image below.
Then, add in the peppermint chips. You can use your mixer to incorporate the peppermint chips, but I find it easier to use my spatula because the dough is pretty stiff.
If you would like, you may chill this dough at this point for up to 72 hours. Bake the cookies when it’s convenient for you and whenever you’d like a warm cookie fresh from the oven!
Scooping the Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Dough
You can bake these cookies immediately, or chill them for up to 72 hours. When you’re ready to bake, scoop the cookies into 2″ (5 cm) balls and place about 3″ (7 cm) apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
I like to add 3-5 more peppermint chips to the tops of each cookie dough ball. It makes it a little easier to tell that they have peppermint chips on the inside.
Baking the Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Bake the chocolate peppermint chip cookies for about 10-12 minutes at 350°F/170°C. The edges will brown slightly, and the centers will have crackled and look set. Darker pans will take a minute or two less than light colored pans, so keep that in mind while baking.
I accidentally left one test batch in the oven for an extra couple minutes, and it got a little burned on the bottom. Surprisingly, I actually really liked the caramelized flavor and extra crispy bottom! So if you overbake these cookies, don’t worry about it—everyone will still love them.
FAQs about Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
No, I didn’t find a significant difference in flavor or texture after chilling these cookies. You may if it is more convenient for you to have the dough ready in advance, but you don’t have to chill the chocolate cookie dough before baking.
I used the peppermint-flavored baking chips from Trader Joe’s. They’re very strongly flavored by themselves, but they are great in baked goods. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can substitute Ande’s peppermint crunch (though they are a little crunchy) or Lily’s vegan peppermint chips.
These chocolate peppermint chip cookies are best eaten within three to five days of baking when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yes, you can! This chocolate cookie recipe tastes the same with cacao powder as it does with cocoa powder, and you don’t have to adjust any other ingredients.
Yep, just keep in mind that they will bake for less time.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
These chocolate Christmas cookies pair beautifully with peppermint brownies, which are made with crushed candy cane in the batter and sprinkled on top after baking.
Another favorite chocolate Christmas cookie, my chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies are always a hit wherever they go—the warm gingerbread spices and chocolate are a match made in heaven!
Looking for another twist on the chocolate chip cookie? Try my lavender chocolate chip cookies with dark, milk, or white chocolate.
Dish Cleanup: Not Too Bad
I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.
These chocolate peppermint cookies have a cleanup rating of a 2. There’s one large mixing bowl, a cookie scoop, and a collection of small bowls, but nothing too crazy. I recommend rinsing the mixing bowl and cookie scoop with warm water right away to make cleanup even easier.
Easy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (170 g)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (20 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (3 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (3 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (2 g)
- ½ cup salted butter, at room temperature (1 stick, 113 g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 g)
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed (95 g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup peppermint chips (95 g), like Trader Joe's, plus extra for topping
- 1 crushed candy cane (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl and mix together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl, if using a hand mixer), cream together the butter and both sugars for 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Beat for another 2 minutes until the mixture is even fluffier. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Add in the flour mixture and beat together until incorporated, about 1 minute. The dough will be thick.
- Add in the peppermint chips and stir together with a spatula until the chips are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.*
- Scoop the cookies into 2" (5 cm) balls and place 3" (7 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a few more peppermint chips into the tops of each cookie if desired.
- Bake in the center rack for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are dark brown and the center looks set, then cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- If desired, sprinkle crushed candy cane on the cookies while still warm for a pop of color.
*If desired, you may chill the dough in the fridge for up to 72 hours.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
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Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 224mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g
The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.
Thanks for trying out my easy chocolate Christmas cookie recipe!
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