These Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies take basic sugar cookies and load them with crushed candy cane pieces for a yummy holiday treat fit for Santa and his elves (or just you and your family)!
(This recipe for Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies was originally published in December 2010, but was updated with new photos in 2018).
It seems like every year, I get a ridiculously slow start on my holiday baking. I think it has something to do with the fact that Christmas seems to sneak up on me so quickly.
One minute I'm minding my own business eating all things pumpkin spice and the next minute Santa Claus is coming down the chimney scaring the heck out of me.
And let me tell you, Santa Claus does not enjoy pumpkin parfaits. Oh no, pumpkin is far too healthy for him. He'd much prefer sugary, buttery cookies. Like these Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies.
Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies Recipe
While mint is a totally appropriate flavor to enjoy any time of year, there's definitely something about peppermint that just screams holiday season. Candy canes are obviously to blame.
I originally spotted this peppermint sugar cookie recipe on one of my favorite dessert blogs, With Sprinkles on Top, and the photo was just too stunning for me to resist.
I changed up the recipe a bit (like adding some more mint extract for an extra holiday kick!) and absolutely loved the results. And I think Santa would be, too. Not that he needs any more sugar in his system.
Want to know something funny/sad? Though they're just regular old candy canes, I have to say, I was quite surprised a 10-pack was only $1. I mean, after inflation and all, I would have figured CVS would try to get at least $2.99 out of me for this box.
And you know, I am so trained to pay that that I actually said, "these are only $1? Ew, they must not be good" as I searched for the non-generic ones.
Then I realized a) they're candy canes. Is there a non-generic? and b) each one of these probably costs $.00001 to make. So, I gladly grabbed a few boxes and went on my way, before there was a markup on aisle 5.
These are pretty much basic sugar cookies, but with the addition of mint extract and crushed candy canes! Crushing candy canes is pretty much the bane of my existence, but its so worth it for these cookies! I've crushed them in my mini food processor before, but I think it's easiest to just put them in a bag and whack them with a mallet (or even a heavy book!).
Other than that, just make the simple dough, roll it into balls, and then roll those balls in a candy cane and sugar mixture.
I absolutely loved these sparkling peppermint sugar cookies! It's like taking sugar cookies and kicking them up some major holiday notches. Also, you should know that the "chewiness" of this cookie is very easy to control.
If you want a crunchy cookie, bake for 10 minutes. But if you want a chewy, soft cookie stick to 8. I vote chewy and soft every time.
These are totally the kind of cookies Santa will go crazy for. I mean, they're buttery, sugary, and super pepperminty. Plus, I think they're super pretty thanks to all those crushed candy cane pieces!
It almost makes me wish for a little bit of snow... At least so that we can have a white Christmas!
I honestly can't remember the last time I ate a candy cane for enjoyment, but I'll buy candy canes all season long if I can use them in baking treats like these candy cane sugar cookies.
Which begs the question: why is it so hard to find peppermint candy canes these days? After a quick trip to Target's candy aisle last year, I realized they had almost every single possible flavor candy cane in the world (soda flavors?!), except for peppermint.
And all those other flavors? Yup, they're more than $1 a box! Peppermint totally gets the shaft. Can we work to bring them back in style? These peppermint sugar cookies can be just the first step in our efforts.
Let's embrace the peppermint candy cane (but not so much that prices are driven up).
Happy holidays! Now let's get sugared up!
What's your favorite flavor candy cane? Does it bother you that peppermint candy canes seem to be neglected?
If you're looking for more fun holiday treats, try this Gingerbread Cookie Cake or this Frosted Vanilla Cookie Cranberry Bundt Cake. I also love these Homemade Candy Cane Peppermint Patties from Sprinkles and Sea Salt!
Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted buter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp mint extract
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup crushed candy canes (about 7 candy canes), divided
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ¾ cup sugar and butter in a mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer) and cream together at medium speed until light and fluff, 2-3 minutes.
- Add egg, vanilla, and mint extract and blend to combine.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly combine the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and blend on low speed, until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
- Fold in ¼ cup of the crushed candy canes.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining ¼ cup of crushed candy cane with the remaining ¼ cup sugar.
- Shape the dough into ¾ inch balls and roll each in the sugar/candy mixture. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, until edges are just starting to turn golden. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.