31 While 31–Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Royal Icing

So readers, I’ve been doing a miserable job with my 30 Things.  I’ve got two months left and 16 more recipes to take care of.  Gulp.  Who knew planning a wedding could interfere with my kitchen time?  It’s okay.  I’ll gladly take the interference.

As soon as I saw these peppermint swirl cookies over on Bake at 350, I knew I’d found a recipe that would help me check off one more item from my list.  Except, in the process of preparing to  conquer sugar cookies with royal icing, I got an idea.  An idea that I liked so much, I couldn’t go back to plain ol’ sugar cookies.  After all, the best way I could think of to make cookies decorated to look like peppermint swirls even better was to actually use peppermint in the cookie.  Chocolate and peppermint, that is.  And then, just to take it all the way, I could add peppermint to the icing.  Forgive me, readers.  

I didn’t feel too bad about making my changes, though.  I’ve already made sugar cookies and I would’ve used the same recipe again.  The reason I included sugar cookies with royal icing on my 30 was to become comfortable with working with royal icing.  I also don’t feel bad because these cookies were so, so good.

I was pretty happy with how my icing job turned out, but I’ve still got plenty of work to doo.  Good thing royal icing is so much fun!  Unfortunately, I was so engrossed in my own decorating, I didn’t take the pictures I’d originally wanted to.  Luckily, Bridget is great with these things.  To see her fantastic tutorial on how to decorate these cookies, click here.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Royal Icing

cookie recipe adapted from www.epicurious.com

printer-friendly recipe


For cookies:

16 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature 

1 3/4 c. sugar 

2 large eggs 

2 tsp. peppermint extract 

2 c. all-purpose flour 

1 c. Dutch process cocoa powder 

1 tsp. baking soda 

1/2 tsp. baking powder 

1/2 tsp. salt

For royal icing:

4 c. (1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
3 TBSP meringue powder
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
4-6 TBSP warm water, depending on humidity of where you live


1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until well blended.  Beat in eggs and peppermint extract. 

3.  Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Beat until well blended. Form dough into two discs.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for one hour.  

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

5.  On a generously floured work surface, roll out the first disc of dough to a half-inch in thickness.  Cut out cookies and place on baking sheets, spaced an inch apart.

6.  Bake cookies until edges begin to firm but center still appears soft, 10-11 minutes.  Cookies will appear underdone, but will firm up as they cool.  Let cookies cool on baking sheets for five minutes, then transfer to racks and cool completely. 

7.  While cookies cool, make royal icing by placing confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, peppermint extract, and four TBSP water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beginning on low speed, mix ingredients. Add additional water, one TBSP at a time, until icing reaches desired consistency.

8.  Turn mixer to medium-low and run for five minutes, until the sheen comes off the icing.  Because royal icing dries very quickly, immediately place any unused icing in a tightly sealed storage container with a layer of plastic wrap directly on the icing. Keep in the refrigerator until use.

9.  Decorate cookies according to Bridget’s directions.  Let dry, uncovered, overnight. 

one year ago: One of my Twelve Treats of Christmas, cranberry bread with cinnamon and walnuts.

two years ago:  My all-time favorite chili recipe, Jamie Deen’s chili.

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  1. Betsy
    December 8, 2010 / 6:35 am

    Kelsey, I saw a post on ThePioneerWoman.com about Bridget as well. Very timely, and very yummy looking!! I'm a bit afraid of royal icing, but with the tutorial, I'm willing to at least try now…

  2. Josie
    December 8, 2010 / 1:47 pm

    Great job, Kelsey!! Your cookies look gorgeous, and I love the chocolate mint flavors you used!

  3. Amy (Sing For Your Supper)
    December 8, 2010 / 3:07 pm

    Wow, Kelsey- I'm so impressed! These look flawless (and so yummy!)! Way to go, girl!!!

  4. Pretend Chef
    December 8, 2010 / 4:23 pm

    I love what you did with the cookies in your presentation to Santa! Our household won't be getting a sleigh-by now that he won't want to leave your cookie plate, haha! You just raised the bar.

  5. Cara
    December 8, 2010 / 5:47 pm

    These are so pretty! Great job!

  6. Maria
    December 9, 2010 / 1:08 am

    Love these!

  7. Anonymous
    December 10, 2010 / 12:21 pm

    You did a great job! Don't let your list stress you out; that takes the fun out of it. Add another item and make it "31 by 31!"

  8. Kelsey
    December 10, 2010 / 3:13 pm

    I like the way you think, Branny. Thanks for the great suggestion!

  9. Peabody
    December 12, 2010 / 1:57 am

    OMG…those are too cute!!!

  10. Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen
    December 12, 2010 / 2:12 pm

    I was JUST looking at these over at Bake @ 350 and thinking how cute they are! Yours look adorable! Now I just need to find a candy cookie cutter! 🙂

  11. Kelsey
    December 13, 2010 / 10:49 pm

    Melissa, mine came in one of the sets at Michael's. I think it was even the cheapo "Celebrate It" brand, which is 50% off right now.

  12. Patty
    December 16, 2010 / 6:11 pm

    Wowee – those look amazing! Chocolate and mint is awesome too – lucky Santa. 😉

  13. Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen}
    December 24, 2011 / 2:13 am

    Thanks for sharing! So so pretty!

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