To me, nothing says Christmas quite like peppermint. Peppermint creamer in my coffee. Peppermint fudge. Andes mint cheesecake. And, of course, peppermint sugar cookies.
Evolution from Shaped to Round
One of my fondest childhood Christmas memories is eating candy cane cookies. My mom made them every year. As children often do, I took those cookies for granted, not fully appreciating how much work went in to them. That changed when I became an adult and started making them myself. The first two years were complete disasters!
Even with two epic disasters imbedded into my brain, the mouth wants what the mouth wants. It was Christmas and my mouth wanted candy cane cookies. No problem, I’ll just skip tinting half the dough, rolling balls into ropes, and braiding two ropes into canes. I simply started making plain cookies and topping them with crushed candy canes. There was two problems with that method, though. The crushed candy canes fell off and the cookies just weren’t the same even if I was using the same recipe for the dough.
The next step in the evolution from candy cane cookies to peppermint sugar cookies was to top the cookies with the crushed candy canes before baking them. That method allowed the candy to melt slightly and stick to the cookies as they cooled. It worked so well that I made the cookies that way every Christmas for well over a decade. Then, about 5 years ago, inspiration struck one very busy day and I started incorporating the crushed candy canes into the dough. So much easier!
Two years ago, I began what I believe to be the final stage in the evolution from candy cane cookies to peppermint sugar cookies. I stopped using candy canes. Why? Because I discovered peppermint sugar at Savory Spice Shop! Using peppermint sugar is infinitely easier and less messy than crushing candy canes.
To make your own peppermint sugar, use one cup of white sugar and 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract.
The peppermint sugar from Savory Spice Shop has vanilla in it. If making your own peppermint sugar, increase vanilla from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.
If using coconut oil, do not over bake! Over baking will make your cookies will go from melt in your mouth to really hard. Adding an additional 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract will help negate any coconut taste.
Peppermint Sugar Cookies Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup Crisco or coconut oil
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup peppermint sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- sanding sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cream together butter, Crisco or coconut oil, powdered sugar, & peppermint sugar.
- Add extracts and egg. Mix well.
- Stir salt into flour. Add flour to creamed mixture. Mix well.
- Scoop dough by rounded tablespoon full onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with your hand or a glass dipped in sugar.
- Sprinkle cookies with peppermint sugar or sanding sugar.
- Bake for 13 minutes.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.