Peppermint shortbread cookies are a refreshing tasting buttery shortbread cookie with crushed peppermint candies in every bite. Dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with more candy cane bits, these are the perfect holiday cookies.
Shortbread cookies have a special place in my heart because of how simple and easy they are to make. Just mix, chill, slice and bake. The end result is soft buttery cookies with a delicious peppermint crunch.
There is a wait time for the candy cane shortbread cookie dough to chill, but it's worth it because it makes the dough firm and helps to enhance the peppermint flavor. Yum!
We LOVE peppermint around here (and by that, I mean me, I love it), so winter months are usually filled with peppermint coffee, Peppermint shortbread, Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies, and White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn.
Why This Recipe Works
- Super easy to make. No eggs, no leavening agents, just a few basic ingredients, and you're done.
- White chocolate, need I say more? Adding the white chocolate drizzle or dip to the cookies is optional but helps them to look as incredible as they taste.
- You can make them in advance. Make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the freezer until ready to bake. Perfect for party planning!
Butter- Butter is a very important ingredient when it comes to shortbread because it helps to get the perfect melt-in-your-mouth consistency and keeps them tasting rich.
Powdered sugar- This will be used to sweeten the dough and get it to hold together.
Vanilla- A flavor enhancer.
All-Purpose Flour- This is what provides the structure in these cookies.
Crushed Peppermint Candies- See the note below on what type of peppermint candies work best in cookies and why.
White Chocolate Chips- For melting down and garnishing our cookies with. You can omit them if desired, but I love the way they look!
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make peppermint shortbread cookies with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
Add in the flour and the crushed peppermint candies and mix again.
Press the dough into a log on parchment paper and cover it with plastic wrap.
Place in fridge and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge.
Slice the dough ¼ inch thick. You should have about 12 cookies.
Arrange on the baking sheet leaving space between each.
Bake for 10-12 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Melt your chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each until smooth.
Dip half of the cookies into the white chocolate and then sprinkle with additional crushed peppermint if desired.
Let them set before eating.
🍴 Recipe Tips
DO NOT use actual candy canes for this recipe.
The candy canes are made of sugar and will melt while the cookies are baking, leaving you with hard crunchy sugar bits all over your baking sheet and cookie. They may even leave holes in the cookies if you move them too quickly.
We want to use Bob's Sweet Stripes candy because they will not melt or dissolve, and they will leave you with a great texture that isn't too hard to bite into. They're pretty perfect and still pack a delicious amount of peppermint in every bite.
⏲️ Make Ahead Instructions
You can make the dough and chill it in the fridge up to 3 days in advance.
Chilling the dough is a good way to firm up the soft butter. A soft dough will spread during baking, but chilled shortbread will retain its shape better.
While shortbread cookies can be frozen, peppermint shortbread shouldn't. The peppermint candies will become gooey and chewy, and messy as they thaw.
Store your cooled and set peppermint shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For best results, eat sooner rather than later so that the peppermint candies don't get too stale.
More great holiday recipes to try
- Hot Chocolate Pancakes
- Easy Christmas Pretzels
- Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
- Cranberry Eggnog Streusel Muffins
Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup Butter, softened (two sticks) ($0.75)
- ½ cup Powdered sugar ($0.12)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract ($0.02)
- 2 cups All-purpose flour ($0.16)
- ½ cups Crushed peppermint candies (Sweet Stripes) ($1.12)
- 4 ounces White chocolate chips (about 1 cup) ($0.98)
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add in the flour and the crushed peppermint and mix again.
- Press the dough into a log parchment paper and cover well with plastic wrap before placing in the fridge.
- Chill for at least one hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the dough into ¼ inch slices. Please note that larger candy chunks will make the cuts look wonky. You can adjust this by hand to make them look neater.
- Arrange on baking sheet leaving a decent sized gap between the cookies.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt your chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each until smooth.
- Dip half of each cookie into the white chocolate and place back onto a piece of parchment paper to cool and set.
- Sprinkle some additional crushed peppermint over the top of the chocolate if desired.
- Adding crushed peppermint candies into the batter gives every bite a chewy little burst of peppermint flavor to these white chocolate peppermint shortbread cookies.
- For less chew and more flavor. Grind the peppermint up in a blender or food processor. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING SWEET STRIPES instead of candy canes for these cookies. This is because candy canes will melt, but sweet stripes will not (or at least not to the same extent). You'll need about 16-18 of them.
- You can make the dough and chill it in the fridge up to 3 days in advance. Chilling the dough is a good way to firm up the soft butter. A soft dough will spread during baking, but chilled shortbread will better retain shape.
- While shortbread cookies can be frozen, peppermint shortbread shouldn't. The peppermint candies will become gooey and chewy and messy as they thaw.
- Store your cooled and set peppermint shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For best results, eat sooner rather than later so that the peppermint candies don't get too stale.
Zhen of greedygirlgourmet says
So Christmasy! Can't wait to try this recipe!
Thanks! Hope you enjoy!
Fast, easy and so festive! Thank you!
Kayla DiMaggio says
These peppermint shortbread cookies are so delicious! Sweet, buttery and delicious!
Can't wait to try this recipe, I love shortbread cookies and these are perfect for the season 😀
They totally are! Hope you like them 🙂
Emily Flint says
I love anything peppermint and these cookies were so delicious! Perfect for the holidays!
We're big peppermint fans around here!
Dawn Conklin says
We made these peppermint shortbread cookies this afternoon and they are amazing! They are so easy to make and delicious. Perfect for the holidays.
So glad you liked them!
Gina Abernathy says
I've been on the look out for a shortbread cookie recipe--thank you! Your cookies are so pretty. Hopefully, I can make some today.
Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady says
I love how easy shortbread is to make, yet it tastes magnificent every single time. Adding these to my baking list for next week!