This chocolate peppermint shortbread is rich, chocolatey, and melt-in-your mouth, full of mini chocolate chips, and topped with melted white chocolate and crushed candy canes. These are the perfect treat for Christmas and make an excellent gift for friends or snack for Santa.
“How much butter is in this?”
“Looks like… 3/4 cups..”
“That’s like a stick and a half.”
“Yes, yes it is. Good math there.”
“That’s a lot of butter.”
“Yes, yes it is.”
“But that’s a good thing right?”
“Yes, yes it most definitely is.”
This was the conversation I had with myself about these shortbread cookies. I often speak with myself these days. I heard that’s what happens to new moms.
They go crazy and talk to themselves.
But that’s alright.
Speaking of moms… I stole this recipe from mine.
Sorry mummy, I love you lots.
My family makes these every Christmas, they’re one of our favorite treats. I sent my sister one of the pictures I took for this post and she sent me back a picture of hers that she had made that same day! Hers were green though, and very pretty. So now, I have given you this recipe so that you can make them too! I’ve even included step-by-step pictures this time!
You begin by beating the butter until it’s light in color, then add the powdered sugar, cocoa, and peppermint. After all those are combined you just add in the flour. If you live at a higher elevation, leave out a couple tablespoons of flour or your shortbread might end up too dry.
The finished dough will be rather crumbly and have a strange soft texture. It will look like this:
Dump in the chocolate chips and get in there with your hands. It will take some work, but form the dough into a ball and push all the chocolate chips into it. Then cover it and stick it in the fridge.
After you let the dough chill for a while, take it out, form it into a circle, and crimp the edges.
This will take some more work as the dough is quite crumbly, but just keep working it. I used a rolling pin at the end to make sure it was even. Prick the dough into pieces with a fork and shove it in the oven for 20-25 minutes. After it’s baked it will look like this:
They will be very soft upon removal from the oven, so let them sit and continue to cook a little on the pan. After ten minutes, carefully cut them with a sharp knife along the fork pricks and move them to a cooling rack. After another ten minutes, decorate them with melted white chocolate and candy canes.
Don’t ever be intimidated by decorating. It literally takes only a few minutes. Just nuke the white chocolate and shortening in the microwave, mix it up, put it into a Ziploc bag, barely snip the corner, then gently squeeze and you move your hand in a zig-zag motion over each cookie piece. Crush your candy canes with a rolling pin, and sprinkle them on top. I like all shapes and sizes of candy cane chunks, but the pieces just slightly larger than the dust are really the best.
And there you have it:
Here’s What You Need:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon shortening
- mini chocolate chips
- candy canes
Here’s What You Do:
- With a stand or handheld mixer, in a large bowl, beat butter until light in color. This will take less than a minute. After butter is light and smooth, mix in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and peppermint extract. Scrape down sides and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add in flour a little bit at a time. If you live at a higher elevation, leave out a couple of tablespoons of flour or your cookies might be too dry. Your mixture will look crumbly.
- Add mini chocolate chips, and mix them in using your hands. Shape mixture into a ball, cover, and put in the refrigerator for an hour. Prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper and cooking spray.
- Once dough has chilled, remove from fridge, and put on your prepared baking sheet. Set oven to 300 F degrees and work mixture into a large circle about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. This will be difficult at first, but the dough will come together the more you work it.
- Crimp the edges and divide into 8 pieces using a fork to make pin pricks (refer to photo above).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The top will look slightly blistered and the dough will slightly puff up.
- The dough will feel soft still, but take them out of the oven and allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 10 more minutes.
- After 10 minutes, cut along the fork pricks with a sharp knife. Carefully move the cut pieces to a cooling rack. Put some parchment paper beneath to catch the melted chocolate you will use to decorate.
- In a small bowl, melt white chocolate chips with shortening in microwave for bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in between until smooth.
- Put melted chocolate into a small Ziploc bag. Snip the corner (as small as possible) with some scissors. Squeeze and move in a zig-zag motion over the cookies.
- In a separate large Ziploc bag, put 2-3 unwrapped candy canes. Using a rolling pin, crush them into small pieces. Dust the pieces over the cookies and add mini chocolate chips on top.