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Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chunk Sugar Cookies are sweet, peppermint-flavored sugar cookies loaded with candy cane bits and chunks of dark chocolate.
Festive and delicious Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chunk Sugar Cookies
Let the holiday baking begin with these delicious Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chunk Sugar Cookies!
They have crushed candy canes and chunks of dark chocolate studding the peppermint-flavored sugar cookie. It’s a holiday in every bite – and these easy cookies are perfect for family gatherings, parties, cookie swaps, or leave a plateful for Santa on Christmas Eve!
Why you’ll love Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- They combine two flavors that go perfectly together – peppermint and dark chocolate.
- You can mix up the cookie dough ahead of time, then chill until you are ready to bake and serve. (They are absolutely heavenly enjoyed still warm out of the oven!)
- Change up the color of your candy canes and type of chocolate for a different effect – the choice is yours.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Candy Canes – Any peppermint candy cane can be used in this recipe. We specifically chose candy canes that had a green strip among the red and white, so our cookies had a pretty variety of colors throughout.
- Dark Chocolate – We started with a dark chocolate baking bar (we love Ghirardelli’s brand) and cut it into chunks. You can use bittersweet chocolate as well – it’s actually a dark chocolate with a lower percentage of cacao. Other chocolates – milk, semi-sweet, white – can be used but just keep in mind that the overall taste of the cookies will be much sweeter.
- Butter & Oil – This cookie recipe calls for both butter as well as oil. Butter adds the best flavor, while the oil gives the finished cookie a soft texture after they are baked and cooled. We don’t recommend swapping margarine for the butter – it will make the finished texture of the cookies even softer. Note that we always use unsalted butter in our recipes so you can completely control the amount of salt added.
- Sugar – This recipe includes both granulated sugar as well as powdered (confectioner’s) sugar in the cookie dough. Similar to our whipped shortbread cookie recipe, the combination of both sugars gives the cookies a soft, tender texture.
- Peppermint and Vanilla Extracts – We used a combination of peppermint and vanilla extract to give these cookies a peppermint flavor that isn’t overpowering. Just be sure to buy peppermint extract – not spearmint extract, which is a stronger and more potent flavor.
- Cream of Tartar – Cream of tartar is added to the dough (as well as baking soda) as a levener. But, it also helps prevent the sugars from crystallizing, so the cookies bake up soft rather than crispy.
- Egg – Just one!
- Salt – Just a pinch is added to the cookie dough. Salt actually helps enhance the sweetness of baked goods.
You could buy candy cane bits (like these) and use them in place of the broken candy canes. As noted above, we like the variety of red and green in our cookies and some bagged bits include both colors.
Special Tools Needed
- Small Zipper Seal Bag
- Heavy Rolling Pin or Meat Mallet – Used to break the candy canes into bits
- Sharp Knife & Cutting Board – Used to chop the chocolate into chunks
- Medium bowl
- Mixing bowl and mixer
- Two baking sheets – The cookies are baked on two baking sheets stacked on top of each other. This allows the cookies to bake without scorching or browning too much on the bottom.
- Parchment paper sheets – To line the baking sheets
- Rubber spatula
- Cookie spatula
- Cooling rack
How do I make Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies?
- Break the candy canes into small pieces and chop the chocolate into chunks.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Cream the butter, then mix in oil, egg, and both extracts.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing to combine.
- Add the other half of the dry ingredients, plus the candy cane bits and chopped chocolate and mix again to combine.
- Chill the cookie dough for at least an hour or overnight.
- Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven.
- Double up the baking sheets and line with parchment paper.
- Bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges.
- Cool for two or three minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Tips & Tricks
Use a medium scoop like this to portion out the cookies. Not only will the cookies be nice and round, but they will be a consistent size after they bake.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chunk Sugar Cookies ahead of time? Yes – in fact, this cookie batter should be chilled for at least one hour or overnight before baking.
- Can I freeze these cookies? Yes – they freeze nicely. Lay the cookies flat on a sheet tray and freeze until solid. Then wrap them tightly in plastic to avoid freezer burn and store in the freezer for up to two months.
- How do I store these cookies? We stored our cookies in an air-tight container, unrefrigerated, for several days.
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6 candy canes – we chose red, green and white striped candy canes
4 ounces (4 squares) dark/bittersweet baking chocolate (we used Ghiardelli’s 60% Cacao)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Break the candy canes into four pieces and place in a zipper seal bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Using a rolling pin or heavy meat tenderizer, gently hit the candy canes to break into small pieces, but avoid completely shattering the candy canes if possible. Set aside.
- With a sharp knife, chop the dark chocolate into ½ inch chunks. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Add oil and both sugars and beat to mix well. Scrape sides of the bowl, then add the egg, peppermint and vanilla extracts. Stir on low speed until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, then mix on low speed just until combined. Add the other half of the flour mixture plus the candy cane pieces and chocolate chunks, and on low speed, mix again just until combined. Avoid over mixing.
- Cover and chill the cookie dough for at least an hour, or overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Position the baking rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Place one baking sheet on top of another, then line the top pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop (this one is approximately 1.5 tablespoons) and place six scoops of cookie dough on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes – turning halfway through the baking time – until the edges of the cookies are very lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- Repeat this process until you have baked all 18 cookies (three batches).
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