These easy Peppermint Meltaways are going to be your new favorite Christmas Cookie! Melt in your mouth peppermint shortbread dough with only 5 ingredients!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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VARIATIONS ON PEPPERMINT MELTAWAYS
- 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!
MORE PEPPERMINT DESSERT RECIPES:
HOW TO STORE PEPPERMINT MELTAWAYS
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.