During the holiday season I can’t get enough of all of the different kinds of cookies whether I am making them for everyone in my house, taking them to parties, or gifting them. These peppermint shortbread cookies are one of my staples to add to my holiday cookie trays.
Not only are they easy to make, they channel the flavors of the season. The sweet buttery cookies are infused with peppermint flavor and then dotted with more mintiness in the Kisses that are nestled on top.
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If you’re looking to make some simple sweet treats that will impress your guests or gift recipients this holiday season, this recipe should be on your list!
Common Questions about Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
What’s the difference between shortbread and butter cookies?
The temperature at which you bake each of them differs as does the sugar content. Shortbread cookies have less sugar and they bake at a lower temperature.
How do I make the best shortbread cookies?
Refrigerate the dough for a half hour or more to firm it up and get the butter in the dough solid. This helps the cookies to retain their shape and prevent them from spreading.
Should I poke holes in shortbread?
Poking holes in shortbread is a good idea so that the moisture is able to be released during baking. This helps to create the density and crumbliness that shortbread is known for.
Making Peppermint Shortbread Cookies Ahead of Time
You can refrigerate the dough, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 24 hours or freeze it for 3 months.
More Blossom Cookies
Shortbread cookies can be both refrigerated and frozen.
Refrigerator: Keep shortbread cookies in the fridge for up to 10 days. Store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag.
Freezing: Freeze peppermint shortbread cookies for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or freezer bags. It may be helpful to place a piece of wax paper between each cookie if you’re storing multiple cookies in a bag.
Tips For The Best Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
This recipe is fairly easy and straightforward but there are a couple tricks you can use to make these buttery shortbread cookies even better.
- Use cooking spray or neutral oil on your hands. By rubbing either of these on your palms, you’ll be able to more easily form the balls of dough and keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Try refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes prior to forming the cookies and baking. This will help them to retain their shape.
- Make sure to allow the butter at least 30 minutes of time on the counter before preparing the cookies. This will help it to mix more easily.
It doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make a simple shortbread cookie.
- Unsalted butter (room temperature)
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Peppermint extract or mint
- All-purpose flour
- Sanding sugar if desired (holiday colors)
- Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane candies (unwrapped)
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
There aren’t many kitchen supplies that you’ll need to make these easy cookies.
- Large baking sheet
- Large bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Parchment paper or Silicone Baking Mat
- Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer)
- Cookie dough scoop
- Wire rack
How to Make Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
In only a few steps these holiday cookies come together beautifully.
- Place the butter in a large bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or use an electric mixer).
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the softened butter until it is smooth. Use a rubber spatula to continuously scrape the sides of the bowl.
- While continuing to mix, add the sugar to the butter.
- Continue to mix the two ingredients until the mixture is fluffy.
- Add both of the extracts while continuing to mix.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the flour.
- Continue to mix until the flour is just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Using the small cookie scoop, portion out the cookie dough.
- Then, shape the dough into small balls.
- If desired, gently roll the dough balls in the sanding sugar.
- Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, evenly spread apart.
- Bake cookies until they have puffed up and the edges have become a light golden brown.
- Remove the cookies from the oven.
- While the cookies are briefly cooling on the cookie sheet, gently press the Hershey’s Kisses into the center of the cookies.
- Once the Kisses have all been added use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to come to room temperature.
What to Serve With Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
You can snack on these sweet and pretty peppermint cookies without any accompaniments. But if you’re looking for a pairing there are a few treats you can have alongside.
- Frozen sweets – Gelato, sorbet, and ice cream are all perfect pairings for these crumbly cookies. Use the cookies as a garnish for your favorite flavor of frozen goodness.
- Coffee – Whether it’s regular, decaf, or spiked with your preferred spirit, a cup of coffee will go well with these.
- Tea – Whether it’s for a tea party, or just an afternoon snack, shortbread always pairs well with tea.
- Sauce – Serve a caramel or chocolate sauce for dipping on the side.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
There’s no better reason to make this recipe than the fact that it packs in all of the minty flavor. But there are a few other reasons you should add this to your holiday cookie repertoire.
- Seasonal – These cookies are full of wintertime and holiday flavors that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
- Easy – You can whip these up quickly and they take nearly no time in the oven. They’re perfect for your holiday cookie plate at a party or for last minute cookie exchanges.
- Pretty – Who can resist sweet shortbread topped with a kiss?
- Affordable – This shortbread mostly uses ingredients you’ll likely already have around. However, if you don’t, all of the ingredients are fairly inexpensive.
Variations and Add-ins
I love these as they are but you can customize them as you like!
- Peppermint candy – Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies and sprinkle them over top once the cookies come out of the oven or mix the candy cane bits into the dough. Pro-tip: use a rolling pin to crush the candy that’s sealed in a resealable bag.
- Kisses – Use chocolate Kisses instead of the peppermint flavor.
- Andes – Try replacing the Kisses with classic Andes mints.
- Color – Use liquid or gel food coloring to color the dough for a seasonal flair.
- Shapes – Try using a cookie cutter to create seasonal shapes with your shortbread.
- Cocoa powder – Add some of this to the dough to make chocolate peppermint shortbread cookies. Add a bit of espresso or coffee extract, too, for a peppermint mocha version.
More Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
If you love this easy shortbread cookie recipe, you’re going to love these other cookies too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Creative Cookies
Red Velvet Cake Mix Crinkle Cookies
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Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks) unsalted, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract or mint
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sanding sugar if desired (holiday colors)
- 36 Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane candies unwrapped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Beat the butter at a medium speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides.
- Add the sugar and continue beating for 5 to 7 minutes or until fluffy.
- Mix in the extracts until combined.
- Add the flour and beat until just mixed.
- Using a small (1 tablespoon) cookie scoop to portion the cookie dough and shape it into balls. Roll each ball in the sanding sugar if desired.
- Place the rolled dough on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and the edges are set.
- After removing the cookies from the oven, press one Hershey kiss into the center of each cookie.
- Transfer to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool completely.
- The candies will look like they are melting but do not disturb them and they will resolidify in the correct shape.
- To help the kisses hold their shape better, unwrap them and place them in the freezer until you are ready to add them to the baked cookies.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
- Cooled cookies can also be frozen but sudden temperature changes may cause the candy to “bloom” which is harmless but not pretty.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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