I was invited to a friend’s cookies exchange a week ago and although I have this huge list of family Christmas cookies I had to choose from, I decided to look for something new to try. (I should say for my second cookie, I also made Holly Wreaths). To me, mint is one of the quintessential flavors of the holidays – perhaps due to its scarcity in prepared treats other times of the year. Maybe that’s why I get so addicted to the Dove Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark candies. So when I was paging through the November 2015 Taste of Home magazine and saw these Peppermint Meltaways, I knew I had to make them.
I think it was a good choice too because they were gone so fast I never even got a chance to try them. I gave away all the ones I brought to the cookies exchange and brought the rest to work. I intended to try the ones at work after lunch but they didn’t make it that long! I did however get a chance to try everything separately. The minty cookies are so delicate that I broke one as I was putting it onto the cooling rack and couldn’t let it go to waste. Let me tell you, they truly to melt in your mouth. And of course, I had to lick the beater after making frosting – show me someone who doesn’t! So even though I didn’t get to try these fully assembled, I still feel confident in passing them on as a winning Christmas cookie!
Here’s what you need:
The dough is really simple and it starts like any other cookie dough by creaming together butter and sugar, although in this case we use powdered sugar. Once the butter/sugar mixture is nice and fluffy, beat in the peppermint extract.
Whisk together flour and cornstarch and gradually beat into the dough. That’s right this dough is only 5 ingredients. The cornstarch is the secret ingredient that keeps the dough so tender and lets it melt in your mouth.
Once the dough is mixed together refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so it will be stiff enough to shape into balls.
Shape the dough into one inch balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets. I used my small cookie scoop for this and leveled off the dough to get a one inch ball. The scoop holds 2 teaspoons.
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until the bottom just begins to turn a light brown.
Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Crush up some peppermint candies while the cookies cool to garnish the frosting. I recommend crushing the extra and saving it to stir into hot chocolate for a warm minty treat.
When the cookies are cool, it’s time to make the frosting. Start by whipping some butter in your mixer until it gets nice and fluffy. Then add some milk and some peppermint extract. Once that is combined beat in the powdered sugar. With frosting, feel free to add a little more milk or powdered sugar as needed to thin it out or thicken it up.
Now you’re ready to frost.
Spread the frosting on each cookie – I probably used about 2 t per cookie, but make it as thick or thin as you like. If you use more than this you might need to make more frosting.
When all the cookies are frosted, sprinkle on crushed peppermint candy.
Gently press with your fingers so the peppermint doesn’t fall off.
When you’re done you’ll have a plentiful batch of peppermint cookies, perfect for sharing at a cookie exchange, with your family, or with your coworkers. I should probably clarify that I doubled the recipe below so you won’t have QUITE this plentiful of a batch unless you double the recipe as well, which I highly recommend if you plan to share.
Store in a covered container.
- 1 c butter, softened
- ½ c powdered sugar
- ½ t peppermint extract
- 1-1/4 c flour
- ½ c cornstarch
- 2 T butter, softened
- 2 T milk
- ¼ t peppermint extract
- 1-1/2 c powdered sugar
- ½ c crushed peppermint candies
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in peppermint extract.
- Mix together flour and cornstarch. Slowly beat into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Refrigerate 30 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to shape into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1 inch balls (about 2 t) and place onto prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the bottoms are beginning to show a light golden brown. Remove from pans and cool completely on cooling racks.
- Prepare the frosting. In a bowl beat the butter until fluffy. Beat in the milk and peppermint. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
- Spread frosting over the cookies and sprinkle with peppermint candy, lightly pressing into the frosting.
- Once the frosting has set, store in a covered container.