The best peppermint chocolate crinkle cookies, a minty twist on the Christmas cookie platter classic! Packed with dark chocolate, cocoa, brown sugar, vanilla, and peppermint, and rolled in both cane sugar and powdered sugar for extra crinkly tops, these decadent, flavorful chocolate cookies are sure to become a holiday favorite!
Popping in to wish you a very Merry Christmas! However you celebrate, I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday filled with love, laughter and lots of good food.
We’re currently at my parent’s house in Santa Barbara, visiting with family, soaking up the California sunshine, eating our weight in Christmas cookies and the best local Mexican food, and loving being home. My mom and I have been doing some Christmas baking – richly spiced pumpkin bread, powdered sugar-dusted pecan praline cookies, classic chocolate chip cookies, frosted sugar cookies for Santa (decorated by Henry), melty peanut butter blossoms, and these minty chocolate crinkle cookies. To name a few!
I’m sneaking away from the family festivities for a few minutes to share this last decadent holiday recipe with you. Since resolutions, and kale smoothies, and veggie-laden salads stand poised to take over in January. Thank you for your support this year, and I look forward to cooking and baking together again in 2020! Wishing you and your family a cozy, wonderful holiday! xoxo, Laura
why you’ll love these peppermint chocolate crinkle cookies
These chocolate crinkle cookies have become a yearly Christmas tradition since I first found the recipe in Cook’s Illustrated about five years ago. Nearly foolproof and always a hit, I love these craggy black and white cookies for several reasons.
Taking deep caramel and molasses notes from dark brown sugar, they’re more complex and less saccharine than many versions of chocolate crinkle cookies that you’ll find languishing atop a holiday cookie platter. That being said, they’re still rolled in a generous amount of both granulated and powdered sugar, so there’s no worry about lack of indulgence here.
The combination of sugars outside helps to develop deep, and importantly, distinct cracks and fissures, making for a really pretty Christmas cookie.
But looks aren’t everything. While this recipe does produce nicely consistent, round cookies with perfectly crackly tops and soft and fudge centers, they’re also packed with tons of flavor from dark chocolate, rich cocoa, dark brown sugar, and fragrant vanilla and peppermint.
Because they don’t require chilling, you can also whip up a batch fairly quickly and relatively last minute, if the mood strikes or extra guests are arriving.
The original recipe calls for espresso powder – always a friend of chocolate – but I usually opt for a few drops of pure peppermint extract in addition to vanilla, instead. You can always add both (for a peppermint mocha inspired flavor profile).
The results are decadent and delicious and perfect for the holidays (or for any dark chocolate lover!).
what you need to make chocolate crinkle cookies
If you bake often, you probably have all the ingredients you need to make these minty chocolate cookies on hand, right now:
- Dark chocolate: Look for a pure, unsweetened chocolate baking bar (100% cacao). Because these cookies are chocolate-focused, I like to use the good stuff.
- Butter: adds flavor, and makes for super glossy melted chocolate.
- Flour: we’re using traditional all-purpose flour. Be sure to measure by weight or spooning and leveling for the best results!
- Cocoa Powder: we add both melted chocolate and cocoa powder for double the dark chocolate flavor. I’ve always used natural unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s), but Dutch-processed (like Rodelle baking cocoa) will work too.
- Baking Powder and Soda: we combine both for the perfect amount of both lift and spread. This produces consistently round, gently puffed cookies.
- Kosher Salt: intensifies all of the flavors (I always use Diamond Crystal.)
- Eggs: Add moisture, lift, bind the dough together, and gives us chewier cookies.
- Dark Brown Sugar: adds sweetness with a more complex flavor than granulated sugar thanks to its natural molasses content.
- Vanilla: always and forever.
- Peppermint Extract: adds a minty, holiday touch!
- Cane Sugar: helps to develop defined cracks on the outside of the cookies as they bake.
- Powdered Sugar: provides a pretty “snowy” contrast to the chocolate.
how to make the best chocolate crinkle cookies:
We start by melting chocolate and butter together until smooth and glossy. Don’t the best recipes start with good dark chocolate?
The chocolate is whisked together with the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and peppermint. Then we fold in the dry ingredients, and a thick, somewhat sticky dough is formed.
Instead of chilling like many cookies require, this chocolate crinkle cookie dough takes the unusual step of resting for ten minutes at room-temperature, before the cookies can be rolled and baked.
The second surprising step is rolling the cookie dough balls in two kinds of sugar. The first layer, granulated sugar, dries out faster in the oven, producing defined cracks and crevices over the surface of the cookie. It also helps to hold the second layer (confectioners sugar) in place, revealing the chocolate dough beneath. The result – a festive black and white contrast and gorgeous holiday cookie. Thank you, baking science! 😉
Originally published on December 26, 2015. Updated recipe and instructions.