Fill your holiday cookie platter with these Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies. Packed with intense dark chocolate and a hint of refreshing peppermint, they boast a crackled texture for a truffle-like taste that’s a perfect holiday treat.
It’s time to embrace the holiday baking vibe with these simple Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies! They’re a must-have on my Christmas cookie lineup every year.
Made with dark and semisweet chocolate, these cookies bring the flavor and are ideal for parties, neighbor gifts, cookie exchanges, and, of course, Santa. Their crackled look is achieved by rolling the dough in granulated sugar before baking, giving each cookie a visually appealing texture.
Related: Double Ginger Crackle Cookies
Why You’ll Love These Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- These cookies are quick to whip up with simple ingredients.
- They freeze well! Make sure to make an extra batch and enjoy them past the holidays.
- You will appreciate the richer, more complex chocolate flavor from the blend of dark and semi-sweet chocolate used.
- The crackle texture has a satisfying crunch alongside the soft cookie.
- Peppermint and chocolate are one of the best flavor combinations.
- All-purpose flour: Provides the structure and base for the cookie.
- Baking soda: Acts as a leavening agent to help the cookies rise.
- Table salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the cookies.
- Unsalted butter: Adds richness and moisture to the dough.
- Light brown sugar: Contributes sweetness and helps create a soft texture.
- Unsweetened cocoa: Intensifies the chocolate flavor without adding extra sweetness.
- Vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor profile of the cookies.
- Peppermint extract: Infuses a refreshing peppermint flavor into the cookies.
- Eggs: Provide structure and moisture to the dough.
- Dark chocolate: Adds the deep and intense chocolate flavor.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: Enhances sweetness and contributes to the overall chocolatey goodness.
- Granulated sugar: Used for rolling the dough to create the crackled texture.
- Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses: Adds a festive and minty twist to the cookies with a sweet peppermint top.
Possible Ingredient Substitutions
A 1:1 gluten-free flour substitute can be used as an alternative for all-purpose flour.
Baking powder can be substituted for baking soda, but use a smaller amount (about half).
Salted butter can be used instead of unsalted, but remove the added salt in the recipe.
Dark brown sugar can be used to replace light.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder is a suitable alternative for unsweetened cocoa.
Almond extract or other flavored extracts can be used for variation on vanilla extract.
Unsweetened applesauce or mashed ripe bananas can be used for an egg-free option, but the cookie is going to taste very different and not have as a good of a structure.
Experiment with different chocolate varieties, just make sure they are good quality.
Powdered sugar or sanding sugar can be used for rolling the dough.
Use whatever flavor Hershey’s Kisses you prefer or have on hand.
How to Make Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies
- Preheat oven and prepare baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a stand mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and peppermint extract for 4-5 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, then mix in cooled melted dark chocolate for about 1 minute.
- Blend in the flour mixture on low speed, then stir in chopped semisweet chocolate.
- Shape dough into balls, dip tops in sugar, and place on baking sheets.
- Bake one sheet at a time.
- After removing from the oven, gently press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cookie.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on the trays without moving to prevent flattening.
Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies: Substitute peppermint extract with mint extract and use mint chocolate instead of Hershey’s Kisses.
White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: Replace dark chocolate with white chocolate, and use white chocolate chips or chunks. Add crushed candy canes for a festive touch.
Spicy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder for a subtle spicy kick.
Coffee Infused Cookies: Mix in a tablespoon of instant coffee granules to enhance the chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee. So good!
- Roll the dough in sugar: Before baking, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar. This will give the cookies a sweet, crunchy coating and help them crackle as they bake.
- Make your cookies the same size: The size of your cookies can affect the crackle pattern. For best results, try to make them all the same size so they bake evenly.
- Don’t overbake: It’s important to watch your cookies carefully as they bake. You want them to be set, but not overly browned, as this can cause them to lose their crackle pattern.
- Cool on the baking sheet: After removing the cookies from the oven and pressing in a KISS, allow them to completely cool on the baking sheet. This will help them maintain their shape, the integrity of the KISS and crackle pattern.
- Use room temperature butter: Make sure your butter is soft, but not melted, so that it creams well with the sugar. This will help give your cookies the right texture.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I make these cookies ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the cookie dough in advance and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can freeze the cookie dough balls and bake them later.
Can I use different types of chocolate in the recipe? Feel free to experiment with various chocolate combinations, such as using milk chocolate, white chocolate, or different percentages of dark chocolate to customize the flavor.
How should I store the baked cookies? Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze the baked cookies for up to three months.
Can I omit the peppermint extract if I’m not a fan of mint? Yes, you can omit the peppermint extract if you prefer a pure chocolate flavor without the minty twist.
What if I don’t have a stand mixer? You can use a hand mixer or even mix the dough by hand using a sturdy spoon. The key is to ensure thorough mixing of ingredients.
Can I reduce the sugar content in the recipe? While it may slightly alter the texture and sweetness, you can experiment with reducing the sugar. Keep in mind that sugar contributes to the cookie’s texture.
What can I use instead of Hershey’s Kisses for the topping? Substitute with other chocolate candies, chocolate chunks, or even a piece of your favorite chocolate bar. Get creative with toppings that are more suited to your taste.
More Mouthwatering Christmas Dessert Recipes
- Peppermint Patty Brownies
- Cream Cheese Cranberry Bars
- The Easiest Triple Chocolate KISS Cookies
- No-Fail Pistachio and Walnut Fudge
- Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate
- Andes Mint Brownies
- Cherry Tassies
- Zinfandel Port Balls
- Chai Eggnog
- Candy Cane Frappe
- Eggnog Banana Bread Muffins
- Chocolate Peppermint Lush
- Puppy Chow Recipe (Muddy Buddies)
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies
Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookie Ingredients:
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups packed, light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (2 oz) unsweetened cocoa sift to remove the lumps
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 3 large eggs
- 8 oz bittersweet, dark chocolate (good quality), 85% cacao, melted and mostly cooled
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (good quality)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 40 Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
How To Make Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle position. Prepare each baking sheet with silicone mats or parchment paper. (I used two 12 x 18 rimmed baking sheets, 20 cookies on each tray.)
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla and peppermint extract until well combined; 4-5 minutes.2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp table salt, 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 2 cups packed, light brown sugar, 2/3 cup (2 oz) unsweetened cocoa, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating them in before adding another. Add melted (but cooled) dark chocolate and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Stir in the chopped semisweet chocolate (it will take some muscle).3 large eggs, 8 oz bittersweet, dark chocolate, 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Shape dough into balls (2 level Tablespoons or 30 grams each). Dip the tops of each of the balls into granulated sugar and set the balls sugar side up. The dough does not need to be chilled. (Dough does not spread very much, so I was able to get 20 dough balls on each tray. Four balls in a row no more.)1/3 cup granulated sugar
- Bake one sheet at a time for 11 minutes. Remove cookies (let them finish cooking out of the oven) and gently press Hershey's Kiss into the middle of each cookie. (Do not move your trays or your cookies until they are completely cool or your Kisses will fall flat. This might take a couple of hours.)40 Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.