Deliciously soft and delicate, these meltaway cookies are infused with peppermint flavor. topped with peppermint icing, and sprinkled with crushed peppermints.
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Table of Contents
- About Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
- What is a meltaway cookie?
- What’s in peppermint meltaways?
- Mint vs Peppermint
- What kind of peppermints should you use?
- Do you need to chill the dough?
- Can you make these in advance?
- How long are peppermint meltaways good for?
- Can you freeze meltaway cookies?
- Notes & tips for meltaway cookies
- More delicious cookie recipes
- How to make peppermint meltaways
- Recipe Details
About Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
A refreshing twist on a cookie classic, these light and airy cookies are infused with peppermint, topped with icing, and have a delicate crunch from crushed peppermints.
What is a meltaway cookie?
This cookie can come in a variety of different flavors, but there’s one thing that always links them together:
The soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The consistency is light like a Mexican wedding cookie (or polvorones) with a slight resemblance to shortbread. In short, these cookies are very light and dry (yet still soft) and the combination is what makes these cookies feel like they dissolve when they touch your tongue.
What’s in peppermint meltaways?
In order to whip up a batch of these delicate peppermint cookies, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Salted butter and all-purpose flour – Classic baking ingredients for delicious cookies.
- Powdered sugar – For a little added sweetness and used for creating the peppermint icing.
- Peppermint extract – The star of the show! Used to add a minty flavor to the cookies and the icing.
- Milk – For creating the icing and adjusting the consistency.
- Crushed peppermints – Totally optional but adds more holiday flavor and a delicate crunch.
Mint vs Peppermint
These cookies are infused with peppermint flavor, and use peppermint extract to do this, but what if you only have mint extract? Or spearmint? What’s the difference between all of them?
Well, to keep it short and sweet, mint is the overall name of the mint plant family. There are many different members within this family (ie different types of mint plants) with spearmint and peppermint being the two most popular. Spearmint has a sweeter flavor while peppermint is sharper and more potent. And since mint is meant to encompass the whole flavor profile, it has qualities of both spearmint and peppermint.
As far as baking, you can substitute any mint extract in place of another one, since you’ll still have a minty flavor – it just depends on how intense you want that flavor to be. Peppermint would be the strongest, followed by mint, and spearmint would be the sweetest.
What kind of peppermints should you use?
For the crushed peppermint topping, feel free to use any type of peppermint you can get your hands on, whether that be the round candies or the candy canes. And during the holidays, they typically sell bags of pre-crushed peppermints for desserts just like this, making it even easier to give these cookies their peppermint crunch.
Do you need to chill the dough?
This particular recipe calls for chilling the cookie dough for at least one hour.
I know it can be frustrating to put your baking on hold, but chilling the dough is totally worth the impact it has on your baking when it comes to cookies.
The short explanation for chilling has to do with the butter. The firmer the butter is at the time of baking, the slower it will melt, which makes cookies less likely to spread while baking. So, as a general rule of thumb, chilling the dough will lead to more dense, fluffy cookies while not chilling will lead to flatter, chewier cookies. This is not always the case, though. Whether you need to chill depends largely on the amount of butter used AND the composition of the other ingredients.
If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of chilling dough (with examples!) then check out this article: To Chill or not to Chill.
Can you make these in advance?
Certainly! Most cookies are great for baking ahead and these meltaways are no exception.
To ensure the best presentation, I recommend preparing these cookies no more than 24 hours in advance.
How long are peppermint meltaways good for?
Once prepared, these pecan meltaway cookies can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for up to 3-5 days. If you store them in the refrigerator, they may last up to 2 weeks.
Can you freeze meltaway cookies?
Due to the delicate and light texture of these cookies, I would not recommend freezing the baked cookies.
However, you can freeze the unbaked dough for up to three months. You can either freeze the whole dough ball or shape the cookies so they’re ready to bake. When ready to bake, let the dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then continue preparing the cookies as written in the recipe instructions.
Notes & tips for meltaway cookies
- If you want the cookies infused with crunchiness, mix the crushed peppermints into the cookie dough instead of sprinkling them on top of the icing.
- For a more festive touch, add red or green food coloring to the icing.
- If you’re doing a lot of baking, I highly recommend having some silicone baking mats on hand. Baking cookies takes enough time without having to cut or measure parchment paper. Or if you prefer using parchment paper, you can try using pre-cut parchment paper sheets instead.
- Plus, some quality baking sheets are a must for a cookie-baking extravaganza!
- For this recipe, I highly recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. This recipe would be difficult to make by hand with a whisk.
- If you follow this recipe as it’s written, it says to remove the dough from the mixing bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap. I’ve found this to be the best for chilling dough, and if you’re baking a lot of cookies, it also helps you save valuable space in your refrigerator. However, if you really don’t want to deal with the plastic wrap, you could just cover the mixing bowl and chill it that way.
More delicious cookie recipes
How to make peppermint meltaways
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 2 – With the mixer still running, add flour and cornstarch. Keep mixing until a fluffy dough forms.
Step 3 – Lay out a piece of plastic wrap, roughly form the dough into a ball, then place the dough on the plastic. Pull up the edges of the plastic and wrap the dough nice and tight.
Step 4 – Chill the dough!
Step 5 – When ready to bake, pinch off a small piece of dough, roll it between your hands, and then shape it into either a ball or a half-moon shape. Place the prepared cookie ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this step until all the dough is used.
Step 6 – Bake!
Step 7 – While the cookies bake and cool, prepare the icing by whisking together powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract.
Step 8 – Decorate the cooled cookies with the icing, either drizzling it directly on the cookies or using a pastry bag to make festive patterns. Top the wet icing with crushed peppermints.
Step 9 – Serve and enjoy!
Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
For the Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together butter, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract on medium-high speed until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.1 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Drop mixer speed to low. Working in batches 1/3-1/2 cup at a time, mix in flour and cornstarch. Stop mixing once dough looks smooth and uniform. Be careful not to overmix.1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Remove dough from bowl and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Firmly wrap dough and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Unwrap dough and use your fingers to pinch off 1-2 tablespoons, then roll dough into a ball. You can either bake these cookies as round balls or you can shape dough into little crescent moons. Place formed cookie dough ball on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Repeat this step until all dough is used.
- Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are a light golden color. If baking two cookie sheets at once, rotate baking sheets halfway through cooking time.
- Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Peppermint Icing
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, peppermint extract, and milk until smooth.1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Check the consistency; it should be smooth and solid, not crumbly or watery. If too firm, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. If too liquid, add more powdered sugar, 1-3 tablespoons at a time.
Putting it All Together
- Decorate with peppermint glaze as desired, either drizzling with a spoon or using a pastry bag for decorative patterns.
- While icing is still wet, top with crushed peppermints (optional).crushed peppermints
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.