Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cookies

Holiday cookie season is in high gear with another one of guest author Garrett McCord‘s delicious cookies. We ate these right after the photo was taken, super chocolate-y! ~Elise

If this cookie doesn’t capture the seasonal taste of Christmas, then I don’t know what does. These cookies are chocolatey and oh so fudgy; studded with bright colorful chunks of peppermint bark, they provide a cool cocoa sensation. This cookie matches perfectly with a tall glass of milk next to a well tinseled tree.

These peppermint bark chocolate cookies will be the first to be eaten at any cookie swap, and are bound to become a holiday staple after you take your first bite. Perfect for in-laws, holiday parties, or leaving on a plate for Santa, it’s a cookie made to impress.

You can buy peppermint bark at any candy store or specialty food store, or you can simply make the peppermint bark yourself. If you want to make life even easier just add some white chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candies in lieu of peppermint bark.

Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cookies Recipe

  • Yield: Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of peppermint bark, broken into little chip size pieces

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2 Cream the butter and sugars together for about two minutes at medium speed or until well incorporated and light in color.

3 Add the egg and the vanilla extract until well incorporated, about a minute. Be sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl halfway through.

4 Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture slowly, and beating at medium speed, stopping once all of it is incorporated (do not overmix).

5 Fold in the peppermint bark chips.

6 Take small spoonfuls of the dough and roll into one inch sized balls and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for -12 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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39 Comments

  1. Elise

    These cookies really are outrageously good. Garrett worked hard to perfect the recipe and we are all quite delighted with the results. If there is anything I might add it would be a half teaspoon of peppermint extract, if you wanted more peppermint flavor in the cookies. If not, just enjoy the chocolate-y-ness with the bursts of peppermint from the peppermint bark.

  2. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    OMG, those look really good. I love candy canes (which I can’t find here) but mixed with a chocolate cookie…I think even better than bark!! Yum.

  3. Anne

    I feel like the emperor has no clothes…I don’t see butter or sugars listed in the ingredients. I hope you’ll correct and repost, because these look great!

  4. Garrett

    I got everyone’s comments about the missing butter and sugar in the recipe. Sorry about that! Just a little flub when this was posted very early in the morning.

    Ahem, (that was my fault) sorry about that! ~Elise

  5. Rose

    I am enjoying Garrett’s posts, especially during this time of year. The photo of the cookies is to die for. But I guess I am the only one who dislikes the combination of chocolate and peppermint together. I must be crazy, I know!

  6. Stacy

    As Garrett promised, these flew right off the plate. Really tasty —- thanks!

  7. Kate

    If you are taking the short cut and using white chocolate chips and candy pieces, how much of each would you recommend using? Thanks!

    Maybe around a half cup of each, though I would lean more towards more white chocolate. Candy bits sometimes have a habit of getting melty as well, so it may hurt the appearance, but not the taste (I ate one where a large chunk of candy melted and browned a bit and it tasted just fine). You can follow Elise’s idea and use peppermint extract with or in lieu of candy pieces as well. ~Garrett

  8. David Daniels

    Mmmm, these sound really tasty! Perfect for the holidays. I’m thinking of doubling the recipe. Do you think that the bake time will be different if I were to put the mix in a baking dish and bake them like brownies? I’m guessing about half an hour or so. Maybe mix some candy cane pieces into a chocolate frosting and spreading it over the top. Uh oh, my sweet tooth is on overload.

    Honestly, this is a cookie recipe and to develop into brownies is something else entirely. I suggrest just using the brownie recipe on this site or some other you enjoy and adding the peppermint bark to it. If the recipe does work well as a brownie, give it a try and let us know how it goes! ~Garrett

  9. Erin

    These cookies are fantastic! I made a batch of the semi-sweet chocolate bark last night, and promptly used it to make cookies. Outrageous! They were so good that I got up this morning, and made a batch of white chocolate bark just so I could make more cookies! They are both amazingly good, and a hit with all my friends!

  10. Betsy

    I made these for a cookie swap this weekend–they turned out beautifully! I used Trader Joe’s peppermint bark (5 bars=~2 cups, enough for a double batch), and used 1/2 vanilla extract, and 1/2 peppermint extract. I nearly killed my Kitchenaid mixer trying to do 2 batches at once, but it was worth it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. stacy

    These are my new favorite cookie! Thanks!

  12. Karly

    These are sooooo good! I absolutely love chocolate peppermint bark, and think the idea of a chocolate cookie with peppermint bark in it is sheer genius. I made a batch of the white peppermint bark and then the cookies…in fact the last sheet is baking right now…of course I’ve already sampled a couple! They really are great…I think next time I may take Elise’s suggestion and add a bit more peppermint extract, if I feel like having extra minty cookies.

  13. janna

    New favorite, they were a hit at the cookie exchange!

  14. Susan

    These were a big hit! I used crushed candy canes & chocolate chips instead of peppermint bark. Use 1:1 ratio of them to get enough candy cane in each cookie–and be sure to break the canes really small–big chunks of candy cane oozed out and burned while baking.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  15. logan

    Good recipe, my kids loved them. We will be adding those cookies to our favorite cookie recipes. Here is a peppermint cookie recipe I think you will enjoy.

  16. jd sprague

    Hey there, I have been making a very similar cookie for a few years, using Andes mints peppermint baking chips which work Fabulously; seasonally in grocery store; but I can usually find them year round at Walmart! Throw in some chocolate chips/chunks and volia! This recipe looks like it will make a fatter more plump cookie as mine spread into discs; so thank you for your recipe I have wanted to find one that was “rounder!’

  17. jennifer

    Any chance you can make the dough ahead and freeze it? We made these last year to give to friends and family and they were a huge hit. However, it took all day long to make and bake.

    Should be fine and dandy. Just store them in an air tight container. I would say a month or two should be fine, but no longer as the flavor will get a bit stale. ~Garrett

  18. Adrianna

    These are delicious! I had to change some ingredients as I’m lactose intolerant – so with applesauce, lactose free margarine, carob chips – this is fantastic to bring to parties!

  19. Meagan

    These cookies were great! Awesome consistency and just tasted gourmet. Someone in a previous post asked about freezing the dough. I did make the dough ahead and put it in the freezer–when I took it out I let it get to about room temp, and baked for 11 min and they were just as good as the ones I had made fresh.

  20. Irene

    And here I thought I was pretty set with my baking list, poring over my recipe binder and books since November – large batches of 3 types of fudge, 3 types of cookies and 2 candies. Now you have to post this and I absolutely have to add them to my list and find the time to make them (and make the bark as well). They sound so good I may just keep them for myself instead of putting them in my Treat Boxes, though. Post earlier next time! Thanks!

  21. Mery Blilie

    What is peppermint bark?

    A delicious type of candy. ~Garrett

  22. Corey

    These are delicious! I had a hankering for peppermint bark cookies and tried a few recipes. These were the best. They are going to be my contribution to the cookie swap. Thanks for a great recipe! (I used the peppermint bark from Whole Foods.)

  23. Laura

    Oh my gosh!!! These are just amazing… The peppermint is so subtle and builds up as you take each bite!!! I am making the third batch as I type this!!! :) I also used the peppermint bark from Trader Joe’s!! AMAZING in a word! :) Can’t wait to see what my co-workers at the party think! :)

  24. Joe

    I just tried to make the cookies this afternoon. I used chocolate chips and candy canes instead of the bark. I made one inch balls, put them on the tray, and put them in the oven to bake. When they came out they were flat discs. Kind of bummed but they taste good. What could have caused this? Any ideas?

    Sounds like the dough may have been a bit warm or a bit wet. The dough might have been a bit warm. If it gets a bit hot in your kitchen, try placing the dough in the fridge for a half hour, covering the dough with plastic wrap. This will help the balls keep their shape when they bake. Possibly adding a 1/2 tablespoon more flour might help as well, but try a testing a few balls of chilled dough first. ~Garrett

  25. Jacqueline

    These were so great! I added a bit of peppermint extract to the chocolate dough, too, to bolster the peppermint bark flavor. I’m saving this (sans the bark) as my go-to chocolate cookie recipe. They have the perfect drop cookies texture- chewy but substantial.

  26. Tabitha

    I just made these cookies- I think I have a new favorite holiday cookie! I made the peppermint bark-which was super easy, and the cookies turned out a little flatter than in the photo, next time I will try Garrett’s suggestion of chilling the dough first so they keep their shape. Can’t wait to give out my cookie boxes this year-these are SURE to be a favorite (as long as I don’t eat them all first-lol!) Thank you for another fantastic recipe!!!

  27. Kristin

    I added these cookies to my Christmas cookie list this year, and it will be a permanent addition! Everyone has commented that they love the combination of chocolate and mint, but that each flavor stands on its own. Also, I made them using the peppermint bark recipe you have, and they are perfect. Thanks, Garrett and Elise!

  28. Sara

    THESE ARE SO FREAKING GOOD!

    I freaking agree. ;) ~Garrett

  29. Daniella

    Hi Garrett! I’m from Brazil and I love trying the recipes from ‘Simply Recipes’ and I loved this recipe. I have a question for you. As in Brazil we don’t have peppermint bark or candy canes I would like to know if I could make this recipe using melted chocolate and the peppermint extract just… and if so, how much I should add.
    Thanks!

    Daniella, you can use peppermint extract; a teaspoon should do. Then taste and add a bit more if you’d like. ~Garrett

  30. Susan

    I am seeking a replacement for a recipe I got out of an Oklahoma newspaper 5 or 6 years ago. I tried them because they called for cocoa and not chocolate (and that was what I had in the pantry), along with crushed candy canes, which were pouring out of my kids’ backpacks. They were roll cookies and intensely chocolate–not especially sweet, which set them apart on the christmas tray. I am going to try these with Dutch Process cocoa, since I have to admit crushing candy canes is both more difficult and less satisfying than it sounds. Thanks!

  31. Sharon

    My cookies were flat also. They taste good, but I am disappointed. I used Trader Joe’s peppermint bark. Followed all directions. The dough was very thick so I don’t think it needed more flour.

  32. Jessica

    These were great! I used a thick, homemade bark made with white and dark chocolate in half the dough. For the other half, I added cinnamon, chipotle and dark chocolate chips. Both turned out delicious.

  33. Nardhelain

    Just tried to make these and I can’t imagine where I went wrong. The dough never came together – it was like working with dirt. I’m not sure I can serve these cookies to anyone; they’re like hockey pucks. They sounded so good, too!

  34. Krystal

    Ack! Dunno what went wrong… Been in the kitchen baking ALL day and tried this recipe out for the first time (made my own bark and all!!) and they aren’t quite right… On the same sheet some are fine and others are deflated and crunchy!? I’d like to try again but need some guidance on where I’m going wrong. I use silpat sheets and a cookie scoop so all are same size and should be cooking consistently. I tried chilling some of the dough, and some I didn’t. But I can’t get any consistency… HELP!!??

    My guess is your oven may have hot spots or that the batter wasn’t mixed well. Flat and crunchy cookies usually means pockets of butter that weren’t properly mixed. ~Garrett

  35. suki

    FANTASTIC. I asked my blog readers about what to do with all this peppermint bark that I had [Costco sells them in 2-lb containers!], and one linked me to this recipe. It sounded amazing, and I decided to bake these the same night. Of course, finishing at 11pm, we couldn’t really eat too many because of the sugar rush, but what we’ve tasted – SO GOOD.

    I’m going to have to post pictures and a link back to this recipe!

  36. Alex

    I just made these cookies today. Bravo! They are so amazing! You are right Elise. These cookies are definitely made to impress. They are so chocolate and fudgey and cooling and so flavorful!

    I highly recommend these cookies for the holidays. I didn’t have time to make them during the holidays. I would rather minus a sugar cookie or gingerbread cookie for the 2 holiday cookies I usually make. These are too good to not include during the holidays. Thank you for such an amazing recipe!

  37. Read.Austen

    Terrific! I used Trader Joe’s peppermint bark which isn’t too sweet or minty, as I learned making this cookie. I reduced the white sugar by 1/4 cup, which is my habit, but b/c the bark wasn’t too sweet, I could have used all of the sugar. I added 1 t coffee powder and that made them pretty rich. If I were to use coffee powder again, I’d use 1/2 t. If I use the same bark again, I’d add a bit more crushed candy cane. First batch I used a cookie scoop without making balls. Turned out rustic and lovely. Next batch I rolled little balls: smoother and fluffier and lovely. This is a great cookie base… I can imagine various combinations of orange/caramel/butterscotch/coconut/nuts, etc. Thanks!

  38. Kristin G

    I made these again last night, and I have to tell you that they are one of my favorite holiday cookies of the last few years. I did the “cheater” method and used white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes this time, and it was still amazing, and just the perfect amount of mint. I also use this cookie base for all sorts of chocolate cookies, it is wonderful. Thanks!!

  39. Katy

    These are now my all time favorite Christmas cookie – and everyone always asks for the recipe. I use 5 smashed candy canes and a few handfuls of white chocolate chips, along with a bit of mint extract in with the vanilla. My son suggested rolling them in Christmas colored nonpareils, and that makes them even more festive. I’m on year two of using this recipe, and I’m sure it will be a regular for many many more years.

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