Happy National Cookie Day! I thought I’d remind just you in case you needed an excuse to enjoy a cookie today.
These bite-size sugar cookies are super fun and pretty easy to make and decorate. But I think the best part about them is how they are packaged to look like peppermint candy.
I have so many small treat bags on hand for wrapping cake pops and I was looking at them the other day and thought to myself that they could make cute little wrappers for some peppermint candy decorated cookies.
They had to be small cookies though… to fit in the bags after being baked and decorated. But small is good. Bite-size is even better. Cuter. More fun! So off I went to make some cookies … so I could turn around and make them look like candy.
Totally makes sense.
I love this sugar cookie dough. It is so easy to work with. The basic recipe I worked from is by my friend Bridget at Bake at 350.
I especially love it because it uses cold butter. No waiting for it to get to room temperature. I am terrible about remembering to set out my butter ahead of time anyway. Plus there’s no waiting for the dough to chill before you roll. Just mix and go.
I like that. A lot.
Just get to mixing and you’ll be ready in no time to start cutting out cookie shapes. The fun part.
Just look at that dough. So smooth and thick. Dough like this makes me giddy inside.
I used a 1.5 inch round cutter for my circles. It needs to be small so when the cookies bake, they are still small enough to fit inside the treat bag with enough room to tie off the ends.
If you bake right away, the dough will probably spread some, but that’s perfectly okay. While the cookies are still warm, just use the same cutter to recut your shapes and trim off the excess so they stay the size you need them.
If you freeze the sugar cookie shapes for a few minutes, they won’t spread as much during baking. Just place the cutter on top and compare… if they look a lot larger than the cutter, then trim them down. If they are just a little larger than the cutter, you can leave them with their nice and pretty edges.
When cool, whip up some royal icing and start piping.
I used white for the base and pink for the swirls, but you can also do green and red to make even more festive peppermints.
First pipe the border of all the cookies in white royal icing for the outline.
I also tinted my white icing with white gel color to make them brighter and more opaque.
Then add a tiny bit of water to the icing to make a flood icing for the centers. Fill the center of a cookie with the white icing and while the icing is wet, add five drops of pink royal icing with the same flood consistency as the white to the perimeter of the cookies, pulling in towards the center slightly. Then just use a toothpick to gently guide the pink icing toward the center while also creating curving shapes. Nice clean edges, too.
But I also trimmed down quite a few. Still cute. For thicker swirls, pipe more of a triangular shape with the pink icing stopping short of the center. Use the toothpick to smooth and curve the pink icing in the same curving direction for each triangle shape, directing it towards the center. When you get close to the center, gently make a tiny swirl in the middle while touching the five points of the pink icing.
Or just pipe pretty swirls. Much quicker, and just as cute.
Maybe even cuter.
When they are completely dry (wait 24 hours to make sure), then it’s time to wrap them up.
You’ll need some treat bags and twine. I used these 3X4 treat bags to go with the 1.5 inch cutter I used.
But you can certainly use bigger bags and a larger cutter. Just make sure whatever round cutter you use that it will give you enough room to tie the ends of the treat bags around your cookies. To test beforehand, cut out a piece of cardboard or something thick to the size of your cutter and place inside the bag to see if you have enough room to tie each end.
The little bags can be slippery, so I used a twist tie to clamp the bag together so I could easily tie the string. A big help.
And of course if you have enough twist ties, you could just use those by themselves. Try cutting them in half or thirds so you can get more out and so you won’t have long ends sticking out around your cookies.
When both ends are secure, then snip off the bottom of the bag if you like so you can open it and fan it out like the other side.
And that’s all there is to it for these sweet little peppermint candy cookies.
Perfect for giving out during the holidays. Individually or by the handful. : )
Peppermint Candy Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1.5 inch round cutter
- 1/2 cup meringue powder
- 1 scant cup (almost full) water
- 2 pounds (32 ounces) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (if desired)
- Super white gel icing color
- Pink, red or green icing color
- Small squeeze bottles
- 3X4 Treat bags
- Twine or Twist ties
- FOR THE COOKIES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and extracts mixing until combined. Add the flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing on low until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. After the last addition, the mixture will look thick and crumbly.
- Now you're ready to roll. Line rolling surface with wax paper. Dust surface and coat your rolling pin with flour. Roll a portion of the dough on the flour-coated surface and knead it together until smooth. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Dip the round cutter in flour and cut as many circles out of the dough as you can. Remove scraps, re-knead and repeat. Make sure to reflour the work surface too.
- Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet. (You can easily lift them as the dough is sturdy.) You can also roll directly on to parchment paper, remove scraps and transfer the parchment paper to the cookie sheet.
- Place cookies in freezer for about 10 minutes. Then bake for 9-12 minutes. Remove from oven when done and let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking tray. Use the cookie cutter again to trim cookies to size if desired. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- FOR THE ICING: When cool, mix royal icing in the large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix together meringue powder, peppermint extract (optional) and water until foamy and combined.
- Sift in the powdered sugar, add the corn syrup and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat for 5 minutes on medium-low. Increase to medium-high and continue beating just until icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. Tint a small portion of the royal icing pink. If you like add a few drops of white gel color to the remaining white icing.
- With a squeeze bottle, pipe and outline the cookies in white. Then thin the icing to create a flood consistency. Add a few drops of water at a time to the white icing until it is the consistency of thick syrup. Repeat with the pink icing. Use the squeeze bottle to fill the center of the outlined cookie with white flood icing. Pipe dots of pink around the perimeter and use a toothpick to pull the pink toward the center of the cookie to create the peppermint design. (See photos above). Repeat with the remaining cookies and let dry for 24 hours. (Note: If the pink icing sits on the surface of the white without sinking in, then thin the icings a bit more.
Source: Adapted with permission from Decorating Cookies by Bridget Edwards, 2012
Oh yeah – I also placed them on top of some of the twine to see what they would look like as garland.
I hope somebody does this.
Edible decorations are so much more fun.
These look delicious!
Hi I put in the scant 1C of water and it was too much. How do I thicken it? I know I shouldn’t add just powder sugar. Thank you
I LOVE THIS IDEA. WHERE DID YOU GET THE BAGS AND THE RIBBONS?
These are absolutely adorable…I will definitely have to make some for this year!
These cookies are way too cute. :-)
Was kinda disappointed with these, honestly. Followed the recipe instructions and ended up with a crumbly,grainy mixture that I could definitely not make cookies with, so I added another egg to bind it together. It eventually smoothed out a bit after I kneaded it extensively so I went with it, cut them up, baked them and I found what I was observing from the beginning was true : these are closer to shortbread than sugar. They are super soft though!
Love these cookies, such a nice tutorial. thxss
These are AMAZING cookies!! Thank You Bakerella and Bake 350 for the sweet tutorial! ????????????
Your talent knows no bounds — Amazing, I am absolutely in love with your Peppermint Candy Sugar Cookies, Glory!!! I had featured u in the post of Top 7 Creative Cookie Recipes For Your Kids on AllFreshRecipes, except to ur more Eats!
This look delicious thank you for sharing this great recipe.
will freezing the iced cookies speed up the drying time??
Thank you :)
They look great! You’re so creative!
They look gear! You’re so creative!
te felicito, tienes mucha creatividad, estan muy lindas .
Last weekend I did a birthday cake to my husband.
This is such a great idea! The cookies look so cute! :)
This is a very creative recipe, but the cookie recipe didn’t work AT ALL! I don’t if it is due to the climate of where I live, because it is summer time now, but the though was the complete opposite what it should be. It was not sturdy, and kept on sticking to my rolling pin! :((
The cookies recipe is great. The frosting was a disaster. My kitchen aid couldn’t even mix it. There must be a typo because 1/2 c merimgue powder is WAY too much. 2lb of powdered sugar was a rediculous quantity for this small cookie recipe. I had to at least double the water amt. Warning warning!
WOW! This candy is sooooo cool! I am certainly are going to make some this weekend for Xmas, thnx
These are absolutely adorable! I would love to give these as gifts.
I actually made these same cookies this past week for my Dad as a Hanukkah present. Since he’s diabetic, I made a few modifications.
Instead of white sugar, I used coconut sugar (it’s low glycemic levels make it much better for him than regular sugar. Plus, I find coconut sugar works MUCH BETTER in recipes than artificial sweeteners like Splenda. CS integrates into the dough and leaves it smooth, whereas AS’s would make it feel grainy). Since it’s not as strongly sweet as regular sugar, I used 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of ground cloves to amp up the flavor.
Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting it, I scooped it out and rolled the balls of dough into sliced almonds (BTW; this dough is VERY nummy, with or without the almonds! But I like the texture and added sweetness the almonds add)
Then I pressed them ‘thumbprint’ style, then filled it with a bit of sugar-free orange marmalade (which my Dad loves!). The bake time was much longer than 12, as the cookies were rolled and therefore thicker. I think I baked them for about 20 minutes or so. At least until the bottoms were a nice, toasty brown.
And SO WORTH THE WAIT! i was SO happy to present these to my Dad. The result!
Me: :D :D :D
This was a great recipe to experiment with and the cookies were delicious!
Thanks for sharing this Bakerella, they turned out so cute today paired with my Hot Chocolate cakes and the royal icing recipe was the most perfect I’ve ever made! A keeper for sure!
Great tip on how to make the swirl.
This is one of the cutest ideas that I have ever laid eyes on!!!
love the swirls. Very cute idea.
Peppermint Sugar Cookies perfect for Christmas and totally unique – love it thank you so much for this recipe!
What cute cookies, they really do look like peppermint candies.
Very creative and tasty idea! I may try this! :) Something fun and time consuming to make with my younger relatives.
Thanks for sharing! I’ll be printing this recipe :D
These are so adorable (as always). I might try making bigger cookies if I can find the right sized bags.
so incredibly cute!! love this idea!
These are the cutest! I love them! So easy too!
Gorgeous!! I have to make some of these, they’re just too cute.
One question though: how much does a stick of butter weigh? In either ounces or grams, I can use either measurement.
wow i thought you actually made peppermints at first! the icing work is amazinggg!
These are amazing! You are such a genius.
Oh my goodness, these are so cute and clever for the holidays!
I use cookie cutters like the ones you’ve pictured to make pretty veggie cut-outs…So I’m also set to follow Bakerella’s splendid idea of holiday cookie gifts!
Bless you, too, for campaigning for kids challenged with cancer. Happy to participate in the Glad’s Mom Made Cookie Exchange.
You were blessed with such a fun talent :)
These are so cute and a great idea for gifting!
So creative and adorable!
Sorry! I’m new at sugar cookies, after I bake the cookies and let it cool then frost it and stuff, where do i store them before they go dry. I want them fresh in 24 hours! Do keep them in a tightly closed lid? Or something like that. I would love to know How to store fresh cookies!!
I would hoard starlight mints from restaurants as a kid, I loved them so much! A 6-year old me would have been so excited by these. Nicely done.
Really great post!
Oh soooooo cute. My kids would like to thank you for your blog… Their treats for school are always the cutest thanks to your ideas, tips and tricks. Thanks for sharing… You’ve brought the fun back into baking.
I don’t even mind that I will be baking decorating, wrapping and twist tying till midnight :)
Oh my gosh these are adorable! So so yummy. Xo.
These are SOOO CUTE! Perfectly adorable!
How adorable is this?! I really really really wish I had thought of it myself!
Tried to pinterest this, but cannot get it to work. But so totally cute! My family is having a cookie decorating contest this weekend!
These are soooooooo cute. I’m going to make these and then try to make the pillow pepperments. Will send photo. Yum!
Wow, how do you come up with all of these ideas?!
A true talent and gift.
These are absolutely adorable…I will definitely have to make some for this year!
Officially on my list of baked treats to give this Christmas. Too cute as usual Bakerella!
Such a cute idea. Love it. Perfect for party treats.
Thank you, Angie!! I tried again and was able to pin :)
I have been trying to pin these to Pinterest all day with no success! I see that 94 of you have been successful. Any tips?
VERY CUTE!!! <3
Good woman, you are giving me way too many ideas at I want to try, but I don’t have the time for them all! :( last year with the gingerbread heads, this year with the peppermint candies… Awesome.
Love these, Angie! You know I want to try making these along with the garland! Imagine that on a white Christmas tree! (Especially Cupcake Julie’s…. ahhh).
Those are too stinkin’ cute! I’ll have to try this recipe. Love that it doesn’t need softened butter or to be chilled before baking.
TOO FREAKING CUTE. Goodness. I have to make these ASAP!
Wow, I actually thought these were candy looking at the first picture!
These are so cute! I’m in love. Definitely need to try this this year. :)
I love Bakerella! Reading your blog makes me happy. :)
These actually look straight out of Candyland… every week, you just outdo yourself.
Always amazing Angie :) Love these little bite sizes! So fun :D
Wow!!! These cookies are so amazing. I have never used royal icing before but I might have to give it a try for these little beauties :-)
These cookies are amazing! Soooo adorable and I love the pink. These cookies are taken to the next level by wrapping them as if they were peppermint cookies! LOVE!
these are just too cute!! love that you did them pink. :)
these are fab and I will make time to make some for the christmas tree as a suprise for the kids :) xxx
Wow. I had to open the post to realize that these were cookies not candy canes! These are so pretty and I’m utter awe! I have to try these!! I don’t think I’m talented enough with a lil brush to make the swirls but I have to try! Beautiful cookies!!!! =)
Ergo – Blog
These are absolutely adorable, Angie!
oh my goodness i just made peppermint cookies last night for my next post and wrapped them up exactly. like. this. it’s awesome knowing i’m thinking like you!
These are adorable! They would make great teacher gifts :)
I love this idea. You are SO creative. Thanks for sharing your talent!
these are so adorable! i just used royal icing for the first time this weekend with Marian at Mixed and am so excited to try it at home soon!
awww so cute! I love the pink!
Cutie-patooties! I’ve never seen cookies like this. I’ll definitely give them a try when I bake this weekend!
Love it! These would be so cute in jars as gifts!
These are the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Seriously. Cuter than my kids even. Ha! Love ’em.
OMG those look so sweet and yummy-although the chocolate lover in me would have dipped the bottom in dark chocolate :P ;)
Angie!!! I LOVE the pink! And the twine! And the garland!
Can I live at your house?!?
These looks phenomenal! The recipe seems simple enough, bookmarking it! What a great idea for Xmas/new year :)
What a fun way to celebrate National Cookie Day! Would love to try the cookie garland idea – not sure if it would last! (:
Originals and lovely, good idea for the Christmas tree. Thanks.
These are adorable. I would want to use a little bit of peppermint extract instead of almond or maybe even a 1/4 cup or so of very well crushed peppermint cookies in the dough.
These are beautiful, I love them as a hanging garland, and less cleaning up if you can eat the decorations instead! I’m getting lots of cookie inspiration today. Thanks.
These are sooooooo adorable! I would love to make them for Christmas favors this year. To go with the peppermint candy theme, I would aboslutly add the pepperment to the icing! Just the added scent would be so nice for these. :D Great job, Bakerella. I love them!
ohmygoodness…..thanks so much for inspiration, i was trying to figure out what to put (for icing) on my sugar cookies this year! thanks! <3
Oh my, just so adorable! Love how you packaged them as well..
Argh! So cute! I love peppermint anything.
They look amazing! You’re so creative!!!!
Aww so cute! And they would make perfect gifts! :)
Exquisitely magical! Pink is the way to go, red and green just wouldn’t look so fun and festive! I love them! They have been pinned. I will at least make the cookie bit. The icing looks great fun, but I’ve never iced before…might just have to try it because it’s so cute :)
These are absolutely precious.
Everything you make is sparked with magic.
You are adorable!
And I love Bridget’s sugar cookie recipe!
My mouth literally dropped open when I realized what these are. Brilliant. And gorgeous. And I want to make them NOW.
The packaging is simply brilliant!
Peppermint heaven. I absolutely love the packaging. Your blog is a treasure trove of awesome ideas! Thanks Bakerella. :)
Omigoodness, those are absolutely darling! Will have to try them out.
Cute cookies!! I use a cookie dough recipe that does NOT SPREAD at all, which is so important when you are making darling cookies. They taste amazing too! Recipe is on my blog.
Hi Sues – Nice to see you again!
I think I just fixed it if you want to try again.
These are the cutest cookies EVER! Is there a reason we can’t pin any of the images?? I’m obsessed!
so cute! they look delicious too! great job like always :)