The holidays are all about family, and nothing brings all the generations together like food! In “Homespun Holidays” we explore recipes perfect for new family traditions, shareable plates for your next holiday get-together, and small-batch desserts and sides for more intimate gatherings. These festive crinkle cookies come from Liz Harris of Floating Kitchen. Using Harry & David candy cane peppermint hot cocoa, this recipe will remind you of sipping your favorite holiday drink on a crisp, snowy day.
Baking cookies is one of my favorite activities to do around the holidays. Tree trimming and gift wrapping? Nah. I’ll gladly leave those activities up to the others. I look forward to spending most of my weekends in November and December with copious amounts of flour, sugar, and butter. It brings me so much joy to make and share cookies with all the people in my life.
Crinkle cookies are a classic holiday cookie that is beloved by all my family and friends. And they’re not shy about putting in their “orders” for these soft, chewy, chocolatey cookies each and every year! These are orders that I’m elated to fill, because crinkle cookies are super simple to make. Plus, they look impressive without the need for any fancy decorating skills, which also makes them a hot item as part of a cookie exchange.
Making the crinkle cookies
These particular crinkle cookies have an extra special ingredient — candy cane cocoa mix — that I put directly into the cookie dough! Mmm…cookie dough. It’s a very quick and simple swap out from the usual cocoa powder that the standard recipe calls for. It’s like your favorite cookie and your favorite cup of hot cocoa joined forces to create one fabulous treat. Not a fan of peppermint? Feel free to use any kind of cocoa mix for this recipe.
The cookie dough comes together quickly, but it does need to be fully chilled before being rolled into balls and baked. The dough has a slightly tacky consistency and won’t form and bake properly if it hasn’t had time to chill. I recommend a minimum of four hours in your refrigerator (but longer or overnight is great too). I guess you can decorate the tree and wrap presents while you wait.
You want the cookie dough balls to be completely covered with the sugar before you place them in the oven. A generous coating of snowy sugar is how they achieve their iconic “crinkly” snow-capped look. So don’t be shy with the sifter.
Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Crinkle Cookies
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup Harry & David Candy Cane Peppermint Cocoa Mix
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- About 1 cup powdered sugar (for coating)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and oil together on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add and beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa mix, baking powder, and salt. With your stand mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating until everything is just combined. The dough will be slightly tacky.
- Cover your mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place it in your refrigerator. Let the cookie dough chill for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Wrap presents, decorate the tree, enjoy a glass of eggnog, and/or watch your favorite Christmas movie.
- Preheat your oven to 350° F.
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl.
- Working with about one tablespoon of dough at a time, roll it into a ball. Place the dough ball in the powdered sugar and turn to coat it completely on all sides.
- Place the coated dough ball on one of your prepared baking sheets. Continue until all the dough has been used up, placing the dough balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on your baking sheets.
- Transfer the baking sheets to your oven and bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheets and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.