Who can say no to chocolate cookies filled with creamy homemade peppermint frosting? The candy cane bits around the outer edge add a sweet crunch and make them picture-perfect, too. It’s like a giant Christmas Oreo, except fresh and homemade!
Prep Time – 50 minutes
Cook Time – 6 minutes
Refrigerate – 2 hours
Makes – 24 cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp. vegan butter, softened to room temperature (or use margarine)
3 Tbsp. warm water
5 drops food grade peppermint essential oil or 1/4 tsp. – 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract
2 candy canes
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl and stir with a fork or whisk to combine well.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until whipped and smooth. Add in the sugar and continue whipping for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well combined and fluffy. Add the vanilla and gradually add the non-dairy milk while continuing to whip the mixture together until combined.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Once mostly combined, I find it easiest to combine the dough with my hands until a smooth ball is formed.
- Split the dough into 2 equal portions and place each portion into a piece of plastic wrap. Roll it out with your hands between the plastic to form a log approximately 2 inches wide. Try to flatten the ends as best as you can so you have a cylinder shape. Wrap up the 2 logs in the plastic wrap and tightly secure the ends. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until firm.
- If you used margarine, you will have quite a soft dough in comparison. Split it into 2 portions and wrap it in wax paper or plastic wrap and flatten to a thick disc. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. For this version, you will then roll out the dough with a rolling pin between the wax paper or plastic wrap until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Don’t roll it out onto a floured surface as the excess flour will affect the cookie dough. Then cut out 2-inch to 2 1/2-inch cookies with a round cookie cutter. Place the cut-out cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- For the butter version, remove the logs from the fridge and unwrap them. Using a sharp knife, cut rounds 1/4-inch thick. Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 5 to 6 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 F. Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting.
- For the peppermint frosting, sift half the confectioners’ sugar into a large mixing bowl that contains the butter. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until combined. While continuing to beat with the mixer, gradually add a bit of the warm water and then more sifted confectioners’ sugar until it’s all well incorporated and you have a smooth and spreadable, but still slightly stiff frosting. It shouldn’t be dripping! Then stir in the peppermint oil or extract with a spatula. Depending on the peppermint oil you’re using, just start with 2 drops and add more if necessary.
- You can crush the candy cane a few different ways. In a heavy-duty zipper bag and bash it with a rolling pin, with a mortar and pestle, or I prefer to pulse them in a coffee grinder. You want small pieces, but not completely pulverized to dust. Pour the candy pieces into a small bowl.
- To assemble the sandwich cookies, spread 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of frosting onto the bottom of a cookie with a small icing spatula.
- Place another cookie on top and lightly press so there is some frosting coming out the sides. Then sprinkle crushed candy canes all along the sides of the sandwich, letting the pieces stick to the frosting and the excess fall back into the bowl.
- You may find the frosting starting to dry out once you get through half the cookies. To fix this, just add a couple drops of water and stir it up again to keep it smooth. You could also make the cookies with just one chocolate cookie, spread some frosting on top just out to the edges and sprinkle the entire thing with crushed candy cane.
- Allow the cookies to dry at room temperature before storing between layers of parchment paper in a container. Store at room temperature for a few days. For longer storage, you can freeze these cookies and thaw them at room temperature before serving them at holiday parties and potlucks!
A note about vegan butter vs margarine: I use a vegan butter product that is the same texture as real butter, so when refrigerated it’s cold and solid. You want to let this soften in the mixing bowl on the counter to room temperature. It can have a slight chill in the centre still but it should whip easily with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer without much help. Margarine on the other hand is always soft, even when refrigerated. You can use this instead, but there is a different technique to forming the cookies, as outlined in the instructions above.
Nutrition facts per serving Calories 212; protein 2 g; fat 9 g; carbs 32 g
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