Taking an old family recipe for classic chocolate butter cookies, and adding a fun holiday twist… hello chocolate peppermint thumbprint cookies! These are the perfect bite-sized balance of rich chocolate, and refreshing peppermint.
With very few ingredients and minimal decorating required to produce a polished look, these are the ideal cookies to make around the holidays – when you’re super busy but still want a quick treat, or want to add one more cookie to those cookie boxes you’re sending out, or want to personalize a gift with a little edible piece of love.
Although they are called “thumbprint cookies”, I like to use a teaspoon measuring spoon to press the divots into the cookies to create a more uniform shape.
These cookies hold their shape very well when they bake, so you can place them fairly close together on the cookie sheet. The recipe makes 24 cookies, and 12 per sheet is manageable. The photo above is the cookies before baking, and the photo below is them after baking. Same size, same shape!
Unlike many other holiday cookies, these ones don’t require much skill to decorate. They lean heavily on the beautiful shine of the chocolate ganache, and the vibrant colours of the crushed candy cane. Adding the candy canes to the pooled ganache while it is still warm allows them to stick to it, holding them in place. Once decorated, it’s important to let the cookies sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the ganache to set before packing them up, otherwise that sticky ganache will slide around and cause a mess.
Here’s a quick video showing the steps of prepping, baking, and decorating the cookies.
Important note: I cannot stand mint and chocolate. I think it’s a terrible flavour combo that reminds me of brushing my teeth and then going back for a midnight snack of a scoop of Nutella. So, I had other people taste test these ones for me and they approve. But if you are like me, I have a little secret… you can swap out the peppermint emulsion for almond emulsion, and swap the crushed candy canes for toasted almonds. Not quite as festive, but exceptionally delicious.
Either way you make ’em, these cookies are sure to become a favourite. Happy baking!
Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
- ¾ cup butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 t peppermint emulsion
- 1½ cups flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ t salt
- 100 g dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 50 g heavy cream (35%)
- 3 T crushed candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining them with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add egg yolk and peppermint emulsion. Beat until smooth.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix until combined. The dough will start out looking quite dry, but then clump up as it mixes.
- Form 1” balls, lightly pressing each one onto the cookie sheets. The cookies will not spread, so don’t worry about spacing them apart too much.
- Using a small spoon (or your thumb), press an indent into the centre of each cookie.
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- Set cookies aside to cool while preparing the topping.
- Microwave heavy cream for 1 minute, until steaming.
- Add chocolate chips to the cream and let stand a few minutes, to let the chocolate start to melt.
- Whisk until all of the chocolate is melted and no lumps remain. If required, you can pop it back in the microwave for 30 second increments.
- Once cookies have cooled, spoon approximately 1 teaspoon of ganache into the well at the centre of each cookie, then top with crushed candy canes.
- Allow the cookies to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature to let the ganache set before packaging in an air-tight container to store.
Swap the peppermint emulsion for almond emulsion, and swap the crushed candy canes for toasted almonds.