I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, peppermint just might be my favorite holiday flavor. Okay it is. It absolutely is my favorite and when this time of year rolls around I go a little crazy. I have two missions come November-December:
1) make ALL the peppermint desserts. Cookies, brownies, cake, bark, hot chocolate, all of it.
2) try ALL the new peppermint things. Every year I see peppermint starring in new sweet things like milk shakes at fast food restaurants, or the center of chocolate candies and coating on pretzels. Peppermint gets into everything sooner or later and I love it.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to use quality ingredients when baking holiday treats. I will be the first to admit I have swapped margarine for butter when my favorite butter is not on sale, but extracts? Not okay to downshift in this department. The more I bake, the more I can tell the difference when I am using quality ingredients. Years ago I tried to go cheat with peppermint extract and I deeply regretted it when a whole batch of cookies ended up in the garbage. So for my peppermint sugar cookies, it’s McCormick Peppermint Extract. The flavor is perfect and never gives you that bizarre toothpaste after-taste like some extracts do.
This time of year there is a lot of sharing happening, which means I have more people to impress than just those who live in my household. Family, extended family, neighbors – ohhhh the number of neighbor gifts to be delivered. And we are in a new neighborhood since we just moved last month so I’m feeling the pressure even more this season to impress. These peppermint sugar cookies are the perfect neighbor gift. They’re easy to make, absolutely delicious, and make a pretty big batch – about 30 cookies with frosting.
I love topping these peppermint sugar cookies with a bit of finely crushed candy canes. Besides adding a bit fat exclamation mark to that peppermint theme, it just looks so pretty don’t you think? Definitely brand-new-neighbor-gift worthy.
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar + ¼ cup, divided
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon McCormick Cream of Tartar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
- ½ teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 5⅓ cups powdered sugar
- red food coloring
- 2 tablespoons finely crushed candy canes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and very lightly grease a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, 1¼ cups sugar, powdered sugar, heavy cream, eggs, and peppermint extract.
- In a second large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until dough comes together.
- Roll dough into balls (roughly the size of golf balls) and place on greased baking sheet 2-3 inches apart.
- Place remaining ¼ cup sugar in a shallow dish. Press the bottom of a tall drinking glass into the cookie dough in the bowl (just to moisten the bottom of the glass, no cookie dough should stick to it), then dip into sugar. Press the bottom of the glass into the top of each cookie dough ball to flatten about halfway. (The edge should "break" to create the crinkle edge")
- Bake for 8-11 minutes until cookies look dry but NOT browned at all. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining cookie dough.
- For the frosting, cream butter and cream cheese until very light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Stir in peppermint and vanilla extracts. Mix in powdered sugar until incorporated and smooth. Add 2-3 drops of red food coloring and mix well until every distributed.
- Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature and frosting in airtight container in the fridge. Frost cookies immediately before serving and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Post in partnership with McCormick.