These festive Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are made with actual hot cocoa and filled with marshmallowy peppermint buttercream, they're a perfect Christmas cookie! Crispy, gooey, soft, and fresh, these are the ultimate cookie that tastes just like drinking a Peppermint Hot Cocoa.
If you are a fan of a Peppermint Mocha or a lover of peppermint and chocolate AT ALL...you will LOVE this cookie recipe. It has so much flavor packed into every bite!
Below I am listing two sets of ingredients, one for the cookies and one for the filling. They are equally great stand-alone recipes but they work perfectly together to form what I affectionately refer to as Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies with Peppermint Marshmallow Cream Filling.
In this list, for the cookies, I call for powdered peppermint hot cocoa mix in the recipe but wanted to share that you could also use plain cocoa powder if needed. I just like to use the hot cocoa mix to make it a try hot cocoa cookie, but just add a little extra peppermint extract if you use cocoa powder.
The Peppermint Marshmallow Cream filling requires a second set of ingredients and a little technique. But more on that ahead. This is a great opportunity to use up some broken candy canes and impart the cookies with a little more flavor.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
To make the cookies, first beat the butter and melted chocolate together. This is an important step and keeps the chocolate from seizing and getting chunky. It will stay smooth when beat into the butter.
Then add the sugars and continue beating until fluffy. Finish by adding the dry ingredients and portion them onto a parchment-lined tray, and chill before baking.
While the cookies are chilling and baking prepare the filling. This recipe is for a swiss meringue buttercream. You start but mixing the egg whites, sugar, and salt into a metal mixing bowl and stirring and cooking it over simmering water on the stove. When it reaches 160 degrees, put the bowl on the mixer and whip till glossy and holds soft peaks.
Then add the butter in a tablespoon at a time. The mixture should become thick and glossy. If it is at all runny, place the mixture in the fridge or somewhere cold until it stiffens up, then place it back on the mixer and beat until stiff but light and fluffy.
Fill the cookies with the mixture and sandwich them together. If you like, drizzle some white chocolate over the sandwiched cookies and sprinkle them with some mashed candy cane pieces.
You could alternately press the filling to the edges of the cookies and press some candy cane pieces into the sides. Either works great!
Notes & Tips
The step of creaming the butter and melted chocolate together is very important. It helps carry the flavor of the chocolate through the cookie and also ensures that the chocolate doesn't seize up.
The chilling of the cookie dough before baking is absolutely crucial. Do not skip this step. They can even be chilled overnight if need be.
Be sure to spread the cookies at least 3 inches apart, they spread A LOT! If they do touch, use a LARGE round cookie cutter to bring them back together inside it and make them perfectly round again. Do this QUICKLY when they come out of the oven or they will harden and it won't work.
When the cookies come out of the oven, they will be fairly puffy, give the pan a couple of taps on the oven or counter to flatten them out. This creates a crisp outer edge to the cookies and leaves the centers soft.
When making the filling, cook the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler, I do this with a small pot of water and the metal bowl of my stand mixer. Then when the eggs have been cooked you can pop the bowl on the mixer and whip them up.
The filling should end up thick and fluffy. If it is soft and runny it is too warm. But don't worry, it can be saved. Place the mixture in the fridge or cold place for about 15 minutes, then place the bowl back on the mixer and fluff it up. It should come right to life. If still soft and runny, chill longer till stiff and become cloud-like when mixed.
If you do not have molasses, use dark brown sugar and it will offer the flavor that the addition it brings.
I like to use actual peppermint hot cocoa in the cookie mix. You can also just use cocoa powder if needed. Add an extra half teaspoon of peppermint extract to the mix to boost the flavor.