Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – These fudgy chocolate candy cane cookies have a brownie-like texture, a double dose of chocolate & a few fun finishes. A perfect holiday cookie!
In the last few years, the chocolate-peppermint combo has become for me in the winter what pumpkin is for me in the fall. I’m ALL IN.
I got it in my head that I wanted a holiday cookie LOADED with chocolate peppermint flavor, with a soft, fudgy, brownie-like texture and some candy cane for crunch. Well, after several test batches, we’ve done it!
These gluten-free chocolate peppermint cookies are everything I hoped they’d be, from the brownie-like cookie, to the adorable chocolate decoration, to the candy cane crunch.
So grab your favorite cookie-scooping holiday playlist, and preheat the oven. We’ve got cookies to bake!
Here’s what you need to make this gluten-free holiday cookie recipe…
These Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies, At A Glance:
Here’s What You Need To Make These Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
- Gluten-Free Flour. Keep it simple with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend for these gluten-free cookies. Our go-to is King Arthur Baking Measure-For-Measure gluten-free flour. If you use another brand (like Bob’s Red Mill), make sure it contains xanthan gum.
- Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder. We experimented with Dutch-processed cocoa (dark cocoa) and natural cocoa powder, and the natural cocoa powder won out BIG TIME in the flavor department. Don’t substitute dark cocoa powder here, or they won’t turn out the same.
- Baking Soda. This reacts with the acidity in the cocoa powder to create the perfect rise and spread. (Again, don’t swap with dark cocoa which has already been alkalized and won’t react the same.)
- Kosher Salt. Just enough to bring out the flavor in the chocolate.
- Softened Butter. It should still be cool to the touch (not shiny or greasy looking), and your finger should just make an indent when you press down into the butter.
- Sugar & Brown Sugar. This blend gives great chewiness and spread.
- Room Temperature Eggs. This preserves the structure you create by creaming the butter and sugar. If you use cold eggs, it can cause the butter to firm up and go lumpy, so bring those eggs to room temperature with this trick!
- Vanilla Extract & Peppermint Extract. These two work together to bring out the flavor of the chocolate and add a cool chocolate-mint flavor to the cookies. It’s delightful!
- A Little Milk. Might seem weird to add milk to a cookie recipe, but it’s a GAME CHANGER for creating the fudgy, brownie-like texture of these cookies. Use whatever milk you drink–almond milk, whole milk, cashew milk, whatever!
- Chocolate Chips. Not a *ton* of chocolate chips, since we’re also dipping and decorating the cookies.
- More Chocolate & Candy Cane To Decorate With. Last, but not least, you’ll finish these chocolate peppermint cookies by dipping them in melted chocolate, drizzling with white chocolate, and topping with crushed candy canes/crushed peppermint candy (or sprinkles)
How To Make Gluten-Free Peppermint Cookies, Step By Step:
First, Make The Cookies
- Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pans. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix The Dry Ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine gluten-free flour blend, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until it’s well blended and set aside.
- Cream Butter & Sugars. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), combine softened butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Cream 2-3 minutes, or until smooth, light, and fluffy.
- Add Eggs & Flavoring. Scrape down the edges of the bowl, and add eggs one at a time, beating to combine fully before adding the next one. Add vanilla extract and peppermint extract and stir to combine.
- Slowly Add Dry Ingredients & Milk. Add about dry ingredients a little at a time, and mix until almost fully combined. Add the milk and mix for a few seconds, then add the second half of the dry ingredients and mix until almost fully combined (just a little powder left).
- Mix In Chocolate Chips. Pour in the chocolate chips and mix until just combined. The dough will be sticky, like thick brownie batter.
- Scoop & Bake. Use a large cookie scoop (3 Tablespoon) to scoop 6 cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet. (I like to roll them smooth first for the prettiest presentation.) Bake cookies 9-11 minutes, or until the edges are set and the centers look just underdone. (I bake mine 9.5 minutes)
- Shape & Cool. When the cookies are done baking, use a large round cookie cutter to gently coax them into perfect circles (this is just for looks!) and cool 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the cookies are baked, alternating between cookie sheets each batch.
Then, Decorate Them
- Prep Your Decorating Station. While the cookies bake, set out a few sheets of parchment paper (or re-use the ones from baking the cookies after you’re done baking).
- Melt The Chocolate. When all the cookies are baked and cooled, gently melt the chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl in 20-30 second increments until smooth and glossy. In another small bowl, melt the white chocolate chips and oil together.
- Dip & Sprinkle. Dip the top of the cookies halfway into the chocolate, using the side of the bowl to scrape off some of the excess chocolate on the bottom half, then place on the parchment lined sheets to set. Sprinkle the chocolate dipped half with crushed candy cane.
- Drizzle with melted white chocolate (use a fork to drizzle, or add the melted white chocolate mixture to a piping bag, snip off a tiny corner at the end, and drizzle). Let the cookies set completely. Store the finished cookies in an airtight container at room temperature 2 days, in the refrigerator 3-4 days, or in the freezer up to 2 months.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The BEst Gluten-Free CHocolate Peppermint Cookies:
Are Candy Canes Gluten-Free? Most peppermint candy canes are considered gluten-free, since they’re made without gluten-containing ingredients, though not many are certified gluten-free. A few certified gluten-free brands of candy canes are YumEarth, Thrive Market (top 8 allergen free), and Spangler.
Try Them With Sprinkles Instead? You can also decorate these cookies with sprinkles instead of crushed candy cane. Dip the cookies halfway in the chocolate, drizzle with white chocolate, then add your sprinkles. We love holiday nonpareils for a really festive look. (Check out our Sprinkles 101 post for tips about which sprinkles work best, and our favorite gluten-free sprinkles brands.)
A Trick For Crushing Candy Cane. It can be hard to control exactly how your candy canes crush, but keep in mind that you don’t want them all to be a fine powder, since you want visible pieces of candy cane on your cookies. Err on the side of slightly bigger pieces than all fine powder. I put my candy canes in a bag, then use a rolling pin to gently crush them with small taps.
Do You Use Spearmint Or Peppermint Extract For These Cookies? These two extracts are NOT the same, and you want to be sure to use peppermint extract. It’ll give you the candy cane flavor you’re looking for.
Leave a star review below when you make a batch of these cookies–I’d love to know what you think. Tag us @sweetsandthankyou on Instagram to share your photos, too!Print