Peppermint Bark Cookies

JUMP TO RECIPE PIN RECIPE
5 from 10 votes

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.

Soft and chewy chocolate cookies filled with chocolate chunks and topped with peppermint white chocolate frosting and crushed candy canes.

Peppermint bark cookies on a baking sheet.

EVERYTHING YOU LOVE ABOUT PEPPERMINT BARK IN A COOKIE

Every winter holiday season, without fail, my homemade peppermint bark and homemade peppermint mocha coffee creamer posts get a giant boost in traffic. There’s no denying that peppermint flavor reigns supreme around Christmas, showing up in pies, cakes, cookies, and snacks, and I have to say, I’m a sucker for a batch of peppermint bark myself (I even have a version made with pretzels)!

Everything about peppermint bark is perfect. The chocolate is dark and decadent, and the peppermint brightens it up and adds extra sweetness, keeping it from becoming overly rich. When I decided that my monthly recipe series for 2023 was frosted cookies, I knew that chocolate peppermint cookies had to make an appearance and double as an installment in my annual 12 Days of Cookies series

In order to turn this beloved Christmas treat into an easy-to-make and absolutely stunning peppermint bark cookie, I was very specific about what I wanted to happen. I wanted it to be a cookie, but I wanted it to have major “bark” vibes, with lots of chunks and no shortage of flavor. 

This cookie recipe starts with a simple yet rich chocolate chunk cookie (you’ve seen this tender chocolate cookie base in my mint chocolate chip cookies as well as my chocolate white chocolate chip cookies), and the chunks were a must to mimic the texture of peppermint bark. 

Save This Recipe form

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

I also took the white chocolate frosting that I used on my frosted fresh cranberry cookies and added a bit of peppermint extract alongside chopped white chocolate to bring all the flavor and texture I was looking for. Of course, a generous topping of crushed candy canes (or other peppermint candies) on top seals the deal.

Peppermint bark cookies on a plate.

One bite of these peppermint bark cookies and I think you’ll agree… We nailed it. The result is a decadent and gorgeous Christmas cookie that has all the flavors you love about peppermint bark. You’re going to love it!


INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BARK COOKIES

These perfectly chewy chocolate cookies alongside a white chocolate peppermint frosting are actually simple to make with ingredients you probably already have on hand. If you don’t have peppermint extract at home yet, it is a worthy investment for so many delicious desserts, and here are all of my recipes that contain peppermint extract so you have more ways to use it!

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

Dutch processed cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chunks make these cookies seriously packed with chocolate flavor. You can use a chopped semi-sweet chocolate bar, or opt for semisweet chocolate chunks or semisweet chocolate chips instead. 

Aerial photo of ingredients for peppermint bark cookies with text overlay.

For the chocolate cookie base, you will need:
• all-purpose flour
• Dutch processed cocoa
• baking soda
• salt
• unsalted butter
• granulated sugar
• egg
• vanilla extract
• semi-sweet chocolate

PEPPERMINT WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

Keep in mind that a little peppermint extract can go a long way. Just add ¼ teaspoon to start. You can add a drip or two more after mixing completely and tasting if you decide you need a little more minty flavor!

Aerial photo of ingredients for peppermint white chocolate frosting with text overlay.

For the white chocolate peppermint frosting, you will need:
• white chocolate
• unsalted butter
• powdered sugar
• vanilla extract
• peppermint extract
• salt
• heavy cream
• chopped white chocolate

PEPPERMINT CANDY TOPPING 

You can buy pre-crushed candy canes, or get the little candy canes from the store and place them in a ziplock bag, then crush them with a rolling pin or a spoon. They make the perfect decorative topping that takes very little effort.

HOW TO MAKE THESE HOLIDAY COOKIES

Before making your peppermint bark cookies, make sure that your ingredients are all brought to room temperature. This will ensure your cookie dough comes together perfectly. 

You will need to be sure you build in time to chill the cookie dough to be sure the cookies don’t spread out too much in the oven. While the cookie dough chills is when I like to make my frosting!

After baking, these cookies will look slightly underdone. It is hard to tell when chocolate cookies are done since they are already so dark. Just be sure to take them out when the edges are just looking set and the center of the cookie is no longer shiny.

MAKE THE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

STEP #1

Start by whisking together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, then set this mixture aside.

STEP #2

Next, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, reduce the mixer speed to medium, add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until combined.

STEP #3

With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture and beat until just combined. Add the chopped semi-sweet chocolate and continue mixing until evenly dispersed, then cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

STEP #4

When you are ready to bake the cookies, roll the dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet and bake. Allow to cool completely before adding any frosting.

MAKE THE PEPPERMINT WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

STEP #5

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler, on the stove, or in the microwave. My preferred method is in a small saucepan on the stove. Set melted white chocolate aside to cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

STEP #6

Beat the butter on medium speed for 1 minute, then reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar and allow it to start to come together.

STEP #7

Stir the cooled white chocolate so that it is smooth, and then add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes until creamy and well-combined.

STEP #8

Reduce the mixer speed one more time to low, then add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and salt. Slowly add the cream and stop when you have reached the consistency you prefer. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir or blend again until evenly dispersed.

​ASSEMBLE THE COOKIES

Assemble the peppermint bark cookies only after they have had a chance to cool to room temperature!

STEP #9

Use a small offset spatula to spread frosting onto each cookie, then garnish with crushed candy canes before the frosting sets.

VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES: you can chop a semi-sweet chocolate bar, use semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks, or switch up the chocolate completely. For sweeter cookies, use milk chocolate chips or even white chocolate chips which would pair well with the frosting here! If you are a fan of bitter chocolate, add dark chocolate instead.

WHITE CHOCOLATE: for the white chocolate peppermint frosting, you can use a white chocolate bar or chocolate chips. The bar will melt more seamlessly, making a smoother frosting. For the white chocolate chunks that are added to the frosting, you can chop the white chocolate bar or add the chips in as they are.

Aerial photo of peppermint bark cookies on a plate.

PEPPERMINT TOPPING: you can use crushed candy canes, pre-crushed peppermint candy canes, crushed starlight mints, or any kind or chocolate or peppermint topping that you prefer! Candy canes or crushed peppermint will result in a cookie that tastes more like peppermint bark.

A DIFFERENT FROSTING: if you’re interested in changing up the frosting, you can use my basic vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting (HALVE each of these recipes if using) and add ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract to bring the peppermint flavor in a different frosting. I highly recommend still adding white chocolate chunks to bring the white chocolate flavor.

Peppermint bark cookies on a plate. The one on the top has a bite taken out of it.

MORE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT RECIPES

If you love peppermint + chocolate together, try any of these recipes from my collection: chocolate peppermint blossoms, peppermint pie, and peppermint mocha coffee creamer.

Peppermint Bark Cookies Recipe

Soft and chewy chocolate cookies filled with chocolate chunks and topped with peppermint white chocolate frosting and crushed candy canes.
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Bake Time10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 20 cookies

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

  • 1 and ¼ cups (150g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons (36g) Dutch processed cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (113g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped

PEPPERMINT WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • 4 ounces (113g) white chocolate1 coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 and ½ cups (180g) powdered sugar
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons (30-45mL) heavy cream
  • 2 ounces (57g) white chocolate finely chopped
  • 5 candy canes3 crushed

Instructions

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes). Turn the mixer speed down to medium, add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until combined.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture and beat until just combined. Add the chopped semi-sweet chocolate and continue mixing until evenly dispersed. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
  • When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  • Using a cookie scoop (I use this #50 cookie scoop for all of my standard size cookies), roll the dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are set and center is no longer shiny. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

PEPPERMINT WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler, on the stove, or in the microwave2. My preferred method is a small saucepan on the stove. Set melted white chocolate aside to cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
  • In a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar and allow it to start to come together.
  • Stir the cooled white chocolate so that it is smooth, and then add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes until creamy and well-combined.
  • Reduce the mixer speed one more time to low, then add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and salt. Slowly add the cream and stop when you have reached the consistency you prefer. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir or blend again until evenly dispersed.
  • Use a small offset spatula to spread frosting onto each cookie. Garnish with crushed candy canes. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature up to 3 days. Baked cookies can be frozen, up to 2 months. Rolled cookie dough can be frozen, up to 3 months. Place on baking sheet and add 1-2 minutes to baking time.

Notes

  1. White chocolate: you can use bar chocolate (chopped) or white chocolate chips (do not chop). Your frosting with be the smoothest with bar chocolate.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave: place chopped white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl (I usually use a glass liquid measuring cup), and microwave in 20-second increments, stirring after every 20 seconds until completely smooth.
  3. Candy canes: while I like to use candy canes for the topping, you could use pre-crushed peppermint candy canes, crushed starlight mints, or any kind of chocolate and/or peppermint topping you prefer. Candy canes or crushed peppermints will lend the most authentic taste and feel to traditional peppermint bark we’re going for.
 
Cookie base adapted from mint chocolate chip cookies, frosting adapted from frosted cranberry cookies
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 323IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Such a HUGE hit! We cut up pieces of peppermint bark and topped the cookies instead of candy canes (I didn’t have any candy canes on hand) and it was delicious! Great cookies!

  2. 5 stars
    These cookies are PHENOMENAL. The chocolate cookies were just right – soft and chewy – and the frosting melts in your mouth and had just the right amount of peppermint flavor. Made them for the elementary school sunshine cart for teachers and staff and they were a hit. These cookies will definitely be in the holiday rotation for years to come!

  3. 5 stars
    These cookies are SO good. I didn’t have heavy cream for the icing so I swapped for milk. Didn’t miss a beat. All the flavor of peppermint bark you need!