Peppermint Meltaways

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 41 minutes

These easy Peppermint Meltaways are going to be your new favorite Christmas Cookie! Melt in your mouth peppermint shortbread dough with only 5 ingredients!

Melt in your mouth Peppermint Bark meets classic Butter Cookies to make the ultimate Christmas Cookie Recipe. Perfect for gift giving, cookie exchanges, or Santa – if they last that long!

Peppermint Meltaway cookies served in a Christmas tin.

Is there a more signature Christmas flavor than peppermint? Sure, there are other holiday flavors like pumpkin, apple cinnamon, eggnog, and gingerbread. But when it comes to pure jingle bells, wrapped presents, or old Saint Nick Christmas flavor, nothing comes close to candy canes and peppermints.

Collage of ingredients and steps to make Peppermint Meltaways.

You may have had peppermint Christmas cookies in the past but one bite of these Peppermint Meltaways will have you convinced they’re the one peppermint cookie to rule them all. We should call these triple Peppermint Meltaways – there is peppermint in the dough and peppermint in the frosting and even more peppermint candy as a topping.

Collage of steps to make Peppermint Meltaway cookies.

Some of you may not be as committed to loving peppermint, so feel free to hold back a little on the peppermint extract or substitute half the amount with vanilla extract. When making these as a holiday gift, you can leave out the peppermint in the frosting, so they are little more subtle.

Collage of steps to make frosting for Peppermint Meltaways.

What makes Peppermint Meltaways so special is that melt in your mouth, buttery texture and flavor. This comes from using cornstarch, and yes a lot more cornstarch than you’ve probably ever used before. The half cup of cornstarch is not a typo, just trust me and make the recipe how it is and prepare to have your mind blown!

Peppermint Meltaway cookies spread out on parchment paper.

These holiday peppermint shortbread cookies taste delicious with a cup of Hot Chocolate. If you are going to dip them, be quick about it so they melt in your mouth and not in your cocoa.

Peppermint Meltaways are great to bake for cookie exchanges or holiday gifts. Tuck some printed copies of this recipe under your cookie platter so friends or coworkers can recreate them later.


Peppermint Meltaways stacked on a holiday table.


  • Lemon Meltaways: To make a summery Lemon Meltaway, leave out the peppermint and use 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon lemon zest in your dough.
  • Almond Meltaways: Make Almond Meltaways by substituting almond extract for the peppermint and adding crushed toasted almonds into the dough and as a topping.
  • Vanilla Meltaways: Instead of peppermint, use vanilla extract in both the dough and the frosting to make Vanilla Meltaways.
  • Chocolate Peppermint Meltaways: Add a ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder and increase the powdered sugar to 2/3 cup to make Peppermint Chocolate Meltaways. Mix chocolate shavings with crushed candy canes for the frosting topping.
  • Frosting: Use my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe with peppermint extract and red food coloring added for a richer, more decadent bite.
  • Toppings: The toppings are almost endless for these Peppermint Meltaways. You can roll them in sprinkles before baking, top frosting with nuts, dip in white chocolate, or drizzle with Chocolate Ganache.

Tips for making Peppermint Meltaways

  • These cookies don’t have any baking soda or eggs. To make them vegan, simply replace the butter with a vegan baking butter substitute.
  • Just because there are no eggs, doesn’t mean you can eat the cookie dough raw. Toast flour for 5 minutes at 350 degrees for safe to edible cookie dough.
  • Cornstarch is essential for these cookies. It makes them tender and melt in your mouth. Make sure your cornstarch is fresh and again, use the full amount in the recipe!



  • Serve: Peppermint Meltaways can be kept at room temperature for about a week in a sealed container.
  • Store: These can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an airtight bag or container. Leave them out on the counter to soften for about 15 minutes.
  • Freeze: You can freeze Peppermint Meltaways for up to 3 months in a sealed container. Freeze without frosting for best results.

Peppermint Meltaway cookies stacked on a festive holiday table.

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Peppermint Meltaways

These easy Peppermint Meltaways are going to be your new favorite Christmas Cookie! Melt in your mouth peppermint shortbread dough with only 5 ingredients!
Yield 30
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 41 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Peppermint Frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup peppermint candies , crushed


  • To your stand mixer add the butter, powdered sugar and peppermint extract, starting on low speed and moving up to medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Sift together the flour and cornstarch and add it to the stand mixer on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the dough is no longer soft and easily pliable.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough into 1" balls and bake 2" apart on the baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.

Peppermint Frosting:

  • To a cleaned stand mixer, add the butter, powdered sugar, milk and peppermint extract, starting on low speed and moving up to medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Evenly spread over cooled cookies and garnish with crushed peppermint candies.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Peppermint Meltaways Pinterest Collage
Buttery melt in your mouth peppermint cookies!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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