Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies

It seems like every year, I get a ridiculously slow start on my holiday baking. I think it has something to do with the fact that Christmas seems to sneak up on my so quickly. One minute, I’m minding my own business eating pumpkin and the next minute Santa Claus is coming down the chimney. And let me tell you, Santa Claus does not enjoy pumpkin parfaits. Oh no, pumpkin is far too healthy for him. He’d much prefer sugary, buttery cookies. Like these ones.

I spotted this recipe on one of my favorite dessert blogs, With Sprinkles on Top, and the photo was just too stunning for me to resist. I changed up the recipe a bit (like adding some more mint extract for an extra holiday kick!), but was overall, totally happy with the results. And I think Santa would be, too. Not that he needs any more sugar in his system.

Sparkling Peppermint Sugar Cookies (makes about 24):

• 3/4 C sugar
• 1/2 C butter (1 stick), softened
• 1 egg
• 1/2 t vanilla extract
• 1/4 t mint extract
• 1 2/3 C all-purpose flour
• 1 t cream of tartar
• 1/2 t baking soda
• 1/2 t salt
• 1/2 C crushed candy canes or peppermint candies (about 7 candy canes)
• 1/4 C sugar, for coating

(pre-heat oven to 350 degrees)


Though they’re just regular old candy canes, I have to say, I was quite surprised a 10-pack was only $1. I mean, after inflation and all, I would have figured CVS would try to get at least $2.99 out of me for this box. And you know, I am so trained to pay that that I actually said, “these are only $1? Ew, they must be generic” as I searched for the non-generic ones. Then I realized a) they’re candy canes. Is there a non-generic? and b) each one of these probably costs $.00001 to make. So, I gladly grabbed a few boxes and went on my way, before there was a markup on aisle 5.


First, you’ll want to crush your candy canes or peppermints.

I crushed mine in my little Cuisinart mini chopper. You know, next time I’ll probably just put them in a bag and throw some books on top of them or something. Because instead of crushed, these were more pulverized (I’m telling you, this little machine has A LOT of power).


See? This was after only a few presses of the button. Like powder. They worked fine, but bigger pieces may have been a bit prettier in the final product.


Combine 3/4 C sugar, and butter in a mixer (or bowl with hand mixer) and blend at medium speed until creamy. Then add egg, vanilla, and mint extract and blend to combine.


In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.


Slowly combine that to the butter/sugar mixture and blend on low speed, until fully mixed.


Then, stir in 1/4 C of your crushed candy canes.


And mix it up.


Take the other 1/4 C of crushed candy cane and mix it in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 C sugar.


Now, shape the dough into 3/4 inch balls and roll in the sugar/candy mixture.

Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.


I managed to get some larger pieces of candy cane on the dough; and not just powder.


Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes (I would try to stick to 8 for softer cookies) at 350 degreees. And then let them cool on cookie sheet for about 1 minute before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.


I absolutely loved these! It’s like taking a sugar cookie and kicking them up some major holiday notches. And I feel like the “chewiness” of this cookie is very easy to control. If you want a crunchy cookie, bake for 10 or 11 minutes. But if you want a chewy, soft cookie stick to 8.


These are totally the kind of cookies Santa will go crazy for. I mean, they’re buttery, sugary, and super pepperminty. Plus, I think they’re kinda pretty. I think the reindeers would even eat these.


And since I can’t remember the last time I ate a candy cane for enjoyment, this is the perfect thing to do with those little inexpensive treats.


Which begs the question: why is it so hard to find peppermint candy canes these days? After a quick trip to Target’s candy aisle last year, I realized they had almost every single possible flavor candy cane in the world (soda flavors?!), except for peppermint. And all those other flavors? Yup, they’re more than $1 a box! Peppermint totally gets the shaft.

Oh and by the way, if you’re looking for another awesome holiday cookie recipe, try these Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies I made last year. And please, let’s embrace the peppermint candy cane (but not so much that prices are driven up).

Happy holidays! Now let’s get sugared up!

What’s your favorite flavor candy cane? Does it bother you that peppermint candy canes seem to be neglected?



  • Annie said:

    Yay! I’m so glad you liked these :)

    December 10, 2010 12:07 am
  • Roberta said:

    Those cookies are beautiful. They look so good. And I don’t even like peppermint.LOL

    December 10, 2010 12:38 am
  • Karen said:

    These cookies look delicious! I’m definitely adding them to my Christmas baking list. Oh, and I just made those exact same peppermint bark cookies from Bon Appetit last night! :)

    December 10, 2010 1:30 am
  • Brilliant! I love how candy canes make everything look so festive.

    December 10, 2010 1:57 am
  • your right, these cookies are so pretty!

    December 10, 2010 7:30 am
  • These are beautiful cookies!

    December 10, 2010 7:42 am
  • Erica said:

    These are adorable! So festive. I honestly don’t think I’ve eaten a candy cane in years. I guess wintergreen would be my fav flavor though

    December 10, 2010 9:19 am
  • Shannon said:

    ooh, classic :) i’m with you on peppermint candy canes!

    December 10, 2010 9:37 am
  • These look so pretty! I love taking a candy cane and putting it in a mug of hot cocoa. Yum!

    December 10, 2010 10:32 am
  • Maria said:

    So pretty!

    December 10, 2010 11:01 am
  • Tabia said:

    OMG I want to leave work right now and go home to make these. Wow.

    December 10, 2010 11:03 am
  • Monique said:

    How awesome! I havent started my holiday baking. I keep meaning to bake and gift but i keep bringing them in for people i work for… lol. ugh.
    Can you freeze cookies??
    and hold the phone… i have to go back in your posts… do i see HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT??? no effing way! i need to get on that ASAP

    December 10, 2010 11:07 am
  • Julie Q said:

    these look so delicious!!! I’ve been on a peppermint kick lately, will whip these up for xmas eve fo sho :)

    December 10, 2010 11:33 am
  • Victoria said:

    These are so festive and they look delicious! I love peppermint (one of my favorite holiday-time flavors!)

    December 10, 2010 11:50 am
  • Nicole said:

    I love the pretty candy cane dust! Soda flavored candy canes? Peppermint all the way.

    December 10, 2010 12:05 pm
  • Great job- look awesome!

    December 10, 2010 4:08 pm
  • i like peppermint okay – i LOVE it with cookies and chocolate though!

    December 10, 2010 8:48 pm
  • Sharlene said:

    These cookies are gorgeous! I love the adaptation of simple sugar cookies into something more festive.

    December 10, 2010 10:58 pm
  • Rhonda said:

    Something about candy canes that illicit the holiday spirit. I am traditionaly all the way…must red and white stripped peppermint.

    December 11, 2010 12:09 am
  • Pam said:

    What a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to try these tasty treats.

    December 11, 2010 12:52 am
  • Kerstin said:

    Sugar cookies are my favorites and these are so pretty and perfect for the holidays! I

    December 11, 2010 12:54 am
  • These look so pretty! I love the classic peppermint candy cane for sure!

    December 11, 2010 8:13 am
  • Kelly said:

    Gorgeous. I too, made cookies with peppermint the other day. So yummy. Must. Post.

    December 11, 2010 1:35 pm
  • beautiful cookies! can’t wait to try them :)

    December 11, 2010 9:29 pm
  • These look and sound tasty. I’m totally going to try your peppermint cookies sometime soon.

    December 11, 2010 10:03 pm
  • emily said:

    your cookies look so festive and delish! i made a giant batch of cookie bark tonight, and i’m definitely on some kind of sugar high. :)

    December 11, 2010 10:18 pm
  • Velva said:

    Christmas has a way of sneaking up on me too. This year, I decided (first year) I am going to bake (scary thought), and these cookies might just be on my list. My kids would love them.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!


    December 11, 2010 10:40 pm
  • joan said:

    Peppermint! The other flavors do not speak “holiday” for me. :)

    December 12, 2010 12:05 pm
  • Lizzy said:

    I bought all these ingredients yesterday.. I cannot wait to make these cookies! They look awesome. I’m a pretty bad baker so I hope I don’t miss them up. Thanks Sues !

    December 12, 2010 12:07 pm
  • Lizzy said:

    I bought all these ingredients yesterday.. I cannot wait to make these cookies! They look awesome. I’m a pretty bad baker so I hope I don’t mess them up. Thanks Sues !

    December 12, 2010 12:07 pm
  • Marie said:

    the peppermint cookies you made last year are my FAVORITE christmas cookie now- I made them last winter and everyone loved them- making them again this weekend! :)

    December 12, 2010 4:54 pm
  • I personally don’t really care for peppermint, but we are having a hot chocolate bar at my work this week and I think my co-workers would love these!

    December 12, 2010 5:43 pm
  • Mary said:

    Peppermint is a flavor that I really love. These cookies look beautiful and I’ll wager that they are delicious. I hope you are both enjoying the weekend. Blessings…Mary

    December 12, 2010 9:28 pm
  • Susan said:

    Those are the prettiest dessert!

    December 12, 2010 10:34 pm
  • These are great! Been trying to think of something to make for Xmas day snacks and this has given me few ideas of my own, thanks!

    December 13, 2010 8:48 am
  • Elle said:

    These look so festive! My 7 yr old son just decided he *does* like candy canes, so these would be fun to make with him. Thanks!

    December 13, 2010 2:43 pm
  • Stephanie said:

    These look great! I haven’t bought candy canes in years but now I want to just to make these cookies.

    December 15, 2010 3:22 pm
  • Denise said:

    I made these tonight to share with my daughter’s ballet class tomorrow after their Nutcracker performance for the parents. We sampled a few and they are delicious. My daughter is so excited to share these with her friends. May even make more for my husband to take to work this week. Thanks for sharing all your recipe finds!

    December 20, 2010 12:44 am
  • Kori said:

    These sound delicious! What a fun way to use candy canes. Thanks for sharing, and a very Merry Christmas to you!

    December 24, 2010 10:05 am
  • Kelsey said:

    Megan made these and they were awesome!

    December 31, 2010 9:18 pm
  • The Nanny said:

    Found you on and baked these cookies tonight as a trial run before making more as christmas presents, they turned out great and so easy to make. I bought 48 candy canes since they’re difficult to find so I stocked up when I saw them, guess I’ll be making loads of these :)
    Thank you from across the pond.

    December 9, 2011 4:51 pm
  • Sues said:

    @The Nanny- Thanks so much for commenting! I’m so happy you found our blog and liked the cookies! I definitely stocked up on candy canes, too :)

    December 9, 2011 9:44 pm
  • Rainy said:

    I made a batch last night and they were PERFECT! Today I’m working on a big batch for church on Christmas morning. Thank you!

    December 22, 2011 10:02 pm
  • Karen said:

    I dipped these on one end in white chocolate and then in crushed peppermint. Very festive!

    December 9, 2012 9:51 pm
  • Liz said:

    Definitely making these at my holiday cookie party Sunday! Can’t wait! Candy canes are my absolute favorite, and these look fabulous.

    December 13, 2012 10:04 am
  • Craig said:

    Made these this past week for a cookie swap. Came out awesome! Highly recommended. No changes needed (and I even doubled the recipe).

    December 17, 2012 12:22 am
  • Emily said:

    Just finished a batch for my cookie boxes I’m giving as gifts…awesome! Super easy, tasty, and pretty! Loved it and will be holding on to this recipe for next year!!

    December 18, 2012 12:55 pm
  • Andrea said:

    Candy canes is perfect for christmas, my children love it! I have made it yesterday from your recipe.

    November 8, 2013 10:41 am
  • snobby pants 101 said:

    i really love these cookies i was just kidding these cookies are actually amazing you did an amazing job! keep up the good work they are awesome,beautiful,gorgeous

    April 2, 2014 8:32 pm

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