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Peppermint Meltaways are just what the name suggests — delicious minty cookies that melt in your mouth. Sweet, lightly flavored peppermint cookies are topped with a sweet glaze and crushed peppermints. Perfect for your Christmas cookie platters!
If you’re crazy as crazy about peppermint desserts as I am, try these Peppermint Bark Cookies, Homemade Peppermint Patties, and Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies too. But for now, let’s get to these festive peppermint Christmas cookies.
Nothing says the holidays are here like the cool, refreshing flavor of peppermint. Now, you can get the yummy flavor of a candy cane in an even more delicious cookie that literally melts in your mouth. It’s the flavor of Christmas in every bite!
These cookies are easy to make, and you probably have everything in your pantry to whip up a batch right now.
Seriously — simple ingredients like powdered sugar, butter, flour, cornstarch, peppermint extract, and milk are all you need. The powdered sugar and cornstarch are the secret ingredients to making this holiday cookie that’s lighter than air.
This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, but you may want to double it because they disappear SO FAST! You won’t be able to stop at just one, trust me.
They’re sure to become a favorite in your Christmas recipe collection and will look beautiful on your cookie platter.
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Butter — Use unsalted butter at room temperature. Do not melt the butter.
- Confectioners’ Sugar — Also known as powdered sugar, this will sweeten up the cookie dough and give the cookies that melt-in-your-mouth texture. You’ll also need powdered sugar for the glaze.
- Peppermint Extract — This gives the cookies that holiday flavor! You’ll need peppermint extract for the cookie dough and the glaze.
- All-Purpose Flour — I find that all-purpose flour is the best flour all-around for making most cookies.
- Cornstarch — The cornstarch helps provide structure to cookies. In this case, it helps them stay thicker.
- Milk — You’ll need it to get the right consistency for your powdered sugar glaze. I recommend whole milk. However, 2% or the milk of choice is fine here as well– the glaze just won’t be as rich and creamy.
- Crushed Peppermints — Use as much as you like for sprinkling over the glaze. Crush up some candy canes or peppermint candies or buy pre-crushed peppermints in the baking aisle.
Equipment You’ll Need
Gather your kitchen tools to get started on these melt-in-your-mouth peppermint cookies! You’ll need:
- Mixing bowls
- Hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
- Plastic wrap
- Cookie sheets
- Parchment paper
- Small cookie scoop
How to Make Peppermint Meltaways
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Grab a large mixing bowl and your hand mixer. Beat the room-temperature butter, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract together.
Step 2: Slowly mix in the flour and cornstarch, adding a little at a time until it’s all incorporated.
Step 3: Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Step 4: When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350°F. While it’s preheating, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 5: Use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to portion the dough into small balls about 2 teaspoons in size. Then, roll into balls and place 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets.
Step 6: Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Do not overbake them; they’ll continue cooking on the baking sheets once you take them out of the oven.
Step 7: Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Then, carefully move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Be careful when transferring the cookies to the cooling rack. They’re a delicate cookie and can fall apart if not handled carefully while warm.
Step 8: Now, you’ll make the glaze. In a medium sized bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and a quarter teaspoon of peppermint extract. Add more milk as needed to thin the glaze until it is pourable. You don’t want the glaze to be too thin, though. If it’s too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
Step 9: Drizzle the peppermint glaze over the cooled cookies and sprinkle the top of the cookie with the crushed candy canes.
You’re done! Enjoy a couple and store the rest in an airtight container.
Serve these buttery cookies with a tall glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee. If you’re looking for more goodies to add to your holiday platters, check out this list of my best Christmas cookie recipes.
Storage and Freezing
Store these soft peppermint meltaway cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.
To freeze peppermint meltaways, place them in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. However, they may not have the same “melt away” quality after they’ve been frozen and can become crumbly.
Instead of freezing the baked cookies, I’d recommend freezing the dough and making the glaze fresh when you plan to bake them.
Peppermint Meltaway Cookies Recipe Tips and Tricks
- For thicker icing that you can spread over the whole cookie, add extra powdered sugar.
- Add red food coloring to the glaze or to the cookie dough to give them an extra Christmas-y touch.
- Instead of crushed peppermint candies, you can also opt for sprinkles or glittery sugar to make them sparkle.
- Save yourself some time by purchasing pre-crushed peppermints. You can find them in the baking aisle in many stores during the holiday season.
- Do not overmix the dough once the flour is added. Keep the mixer on low, and mix only until the flour is incorporated completely and no longer.
- Don’t skip chilling the dough. It’s important to keep the cookies from spreading during baking.
Additions and Variations
Add peppermint chips or peppermint chunks. Fit even more peppermint flavor into every bite by adding some Andes peppermint chips or Ghirardelli peppermint chunks to the cookie dough.
Lighten up the peppermint flavor. If you enjoy a more subtle peppermint flavor, reduce the peppermint in the cookies to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. You can also halve the peppermint extract in the glaze for 1/8 teaspoon each of vanilla and peppermint.
Make lemon meltaways. Craving a melt-in-your-mouth cookie but it’s not Christmastime? Try the recipe with lemon extract in the cookies and glaze instead, with lemon zest sprinkled over the top.
Try them with almond extract. They’re so yummy with almond extract, and you can simply add some food coloring to make them look fun. Pink ones would be fab for Valentine’s Day.
Substitute eggnog for the milk in the glaze. Add extra festive flavor with some eggnog in the glaze rather than milk!
Try different toppings. Instead of crushed peppermints or candy canes, try sprinkles, chocolate curls, chopped nuts, or sparkling sugar.
Meltaway Cookie Recipe FAQ
Yes, you can. They’re best when they’re fresh, but you can make them a day or two ahead of time if you’d like to get ahead on your holiday baking.
Yes, for these peppermint cookies, chilling the dough is a MUST. Without chilling, the butter will melt too quickly, causing the cookies to spread and flatten. Chilling helps the cookies to stay soft and thick.
You may have added too much cornstarch. Remember to use measuring cups made for dry ingredients, and level them off with a straight edge. However, you can also try adjusting the recipe by reducing the cornstarch to 1/4 cup and increasing the flour to 1 and 1/2 cups for a future batch.
Best Christmas Cookie Recipes
Looking for more holiday goodies to make for friends and family? Try some of our favorite cookies:
- Christmas Cookie Bars
- Soft Frosted Christmas Cookies
- Grinch Cookies
- Christmas Shortbread Cookies
- Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies
For the Cookies
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
For the Glaze
- 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- crushed peppermints for topping
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat to combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, and peppermint extract.
- Slowly mix in the flour and cornstarch.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon to portion dough into 2-teaspoon-sized balls. Roll into balls and place 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
- Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets and then carefully move to a wire rack to cool fully. Be careful transferring, as these cookies are delicate.
- To make the glaze, whisk to combine the confectioners' sugar, milk, and peppermint extract in a medium bowl. Add a bit more milk as needed to thin the glaze to a pourable consistency. You don’t want the glaze too thin, though.
- Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cookies and sprinkle with crushed peppermints.
- Store these peppermint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
- Add red food coloring to the glaze for a festive touch for the holidays.
- Substitute sprinkles instead of crushed peppermint candies, if you prefer.
- You can buy crushed peppermint candies in the baking aisle during the holiday season if you want to save yourself some time!