Peppermint Bark Cookies
Peppermint bark cookies are fun, festive, and delicious! A thin, tender chocolate cookie drizzled with white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candies, this is the traditional peppermint bark you love converted into an adorable cookie.
Peppermint bark is a classic holiday treat, popularized by Williams Sonoma and perfect for casual gifting. And yes, you can make your own peppermint bark at home — it’s essentially layered dark and white chocolate coated with crushed peppermints — but personally, I have to give the nod to this cookie version for at-home baking.
These have it all: tender, thin chocolate cookies. A drizzle of white chocolate. And a beautiful sprinkling of crushed peppermints or candy canes to make them sparkle and satisfy those who love that peppermint flavor.
These will be an absolute show-stopper in any cookie platter or box!
Ingredients & Common Substitutions
Here’s what you’ll need to make the magic. As always, find exact amounts and full instructions in the recipe card below.
- All-purpose flour. Pastry flour works well, too.
- Dutch-process cocoa powder. Dutch-process cocoa is unique from natural cocoa powder, and well worth keeping in your pantry! The distinctions between them are so technical–and interesting!–you’ll find an entire Q&A on it below.
- Butter. I usually use unsalted, but if you keep salted on hand, simply omit or reduce the added salt.
- White granulated sugar.
- One large egg.
- Vanilla extract.
- Baking powder and salt. For the tiniest bit of lift and to offset the sweetness.
- White chocolate wafers or melting/dipping chocolates, for drizzling. I usually buy the Ghirardelli wafers, because they are available across major grocery stores and at Target and are very reliable. You can also use almond bark, or, if you don’t care for the white-on-dark-cookie effect, dark chocolate wafers work, also. I do not recommend using white chocolate chips, because they have stabilizers that prevent them from melting smoothly.
- Peppermint candies, for crushing and sprinkling. Crushed candy canes work well, too.
Can I use natural cocoa powder if that’s all I have?
The short answer: yes. You can substitute natural cocoa for Dutch-process cocoa and still expect these cookies to turn out. They will probably be less dark in color and have slightly less mellow flavor.
The long answer: we use Dutch-process cocoa in this recipe for a smoother, more mellow flavor and deeper chocolate color, so if possible, stick with it to get the intended results.
What’s the difference between cocoas, anyhow? Dutch-process cocoa, unlike “natural” or “regular” cocoa powder, has a neutral pH. This means it is not acidic, and consequently will not react with an alkaline ingredient, such as baking soda, to produce lift. As a result, recipes that call for Dutch-process cocoa — like this one! — usually use baking powder as a leavener.
There truly is science behind the choice of one cocoa vs. another!
How To Make Peppermint Bark Cookies
There are three basic parts to this recipe, and they get progressively simpler:
- Make cookies, bake, and cool. These are cut-out cookies, and the dough does need to chill for one hour.
- Melt white chocolate and drizzle casually over the tops.
- Crush peppermint candies or candy canes and sprinkle on top of the warm white chocolate.
Pro Tip: You can stir 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract into the melted white chocolate to double down on the peppermint flavor!
Does this dough need to chill?
Yes! This cookie dough must be chilled in the refrigerator for approximately one hour. It’s a very soft dough, and because you’ll be rolling it out to get nice thin, even cookies, it’s necessary to chill or else it will be too sticky to roll and cut.
What is the best way to store peppermint bark cookies?
Although these cookies will take up some counter space while you are making them, after you finish sprinkling the peppermint topping and allow them to rest in the open air for about one hour, the topping will be set. After that, the cookies can be easily stacked and stored in any airtight container at room temperature.
How long do peppermint bark cookies keep?
These cookies keep very well for 4-5 days if stored well-covered or in an airtight container at room temperature.
Why is peppermint bark called bark?
This applies primarily to the “original” peppermint bark, and less so to these cookies, but for the madly curious, peppermint bark is thought to be known as such because, when the pieces of candy-coated chocolate are packaged and served, they are typically broken into craggy, irregular pieces, somewhat resembling tree bark. Curious for even more? Allrecipes has some additional theories!
I hope you love these sweet little treats as much as we do! Being a chocolate and peppermint fan, these are always particularly irresistible to me, and I absolutely love how pretty they look on plates and in boxes of cookies for neighbors and friends. They always get the most rave reviews!
More Christmas Cookies You’ll Love
- Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Soft Eggnog Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Toffee Shortbread
- Classic Chocolate Crinkles
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
If you make these Peppermint Bark Cookies, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Peppermint Bark Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- White chocolate wafers or melting/dipping chocolate
- Crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat again to combine.
- Sprinkle the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt over the butter-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed just until an even dough forms. Shape dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, remove dough from the fridge, preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Lightly dust a work surface with extra cocoa powder, to prevent the cookies from sticking as you roll out the dough.
- Roll the dough into a sheet about 1/4” thick, and cut into 2-3” wide circles using a cookie cutter or small glass. Transfer cut cookies to the prepared baking sheets, re-roll extra dough, and keep cutting until you’ve used it all. (You can also cut into squares to save time!)
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes. They’ll be slightly crisp on the edges and appear soft in the centers. Cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt white chocolate according to package directions, and use a spoon to drizzle a small amount over each cookie. Sprinkle immediately with crushed peppermint, and set aside to dry. After about 1 hour, the topping will be set, and the cookies can be easily stacked. They’ll keep well if tightly wrapped at room temperature for 4-5 days.
- Love Peppermint? Stir 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract into the melted white chocolate to double down on the peppermint flavor!