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Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies are soft, fudgy cookies with the rich flavors of hot chocolate, crushed peppermints and brownies! Great for the holidays and especially perfect for cookie swaps!

A tin lined with tissue paper and piled high with peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I am not trying to brag, but have you ever seen such perfectly perfect cookies? The texture, the crackle, the peppermint chips! Brownies are always and forever at the top of my list of favorite desserts, but I have a serious weakness for cookies.

Combining the two things was basically next level dangerous, but in the best way. 

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies were part of a giant cookie sprint wherein I mailed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 dozen cookies to various corners of the country. These cookies are PERFECT for cookie swaps, but they are also really perfect for mailing because the texture holds up really nicely.

They stay moist (? sorry for the trigger word!) without things getting weird or mushy, and when you open the box, a GORGEOUS waft of chocolate and peppermint hits you right away. 

The outside of these cookies stays crisp, while the inside is soft and chewy, like a brownie. There’s a secret to that perfect texture, and it might surprise you! 

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A stack of Hot Chocolate Peppermint Cookies next to a tissue paper lined cookie tin, ready to be packed up and shared

The Secret to Perfect Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies 

The secret to perfect hot chocolate brownie cookies … Is shortening. 

Don’t throw things at me – y’all know how much I love butter. But hear me out. 

Butter has water. Shortening does not. The water in butter increases the gluten production when you are baking anything, because when you heat water, you get STEAM. Shortening is all fat, and so it reduces the chemical reaction and gives you SOFTER COOKIES. 

Shortening also gives you height because it has a higher melting point than butter. That means taller cookies. 

Baking science! 

This White Chocolate Cranberry Pound Cake is also made with shortening if you are looking for other ways to use it up.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookie Recipe

What Kind of Peppermint Chips Can I Use?

I use these Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. As soon as I see them in stores I snatch up all the bags I can carry, because not everywhere has them, and they are usually only sold certain times of the year. 

If you are unable to find those and aren’t interested in waiting on an Amazon Prime box to show up on your porch, you can try crushed candy canes. Lots of readers have had success with that if you poke through the reviews and comments. 

Sometimes it’s easier to find the Peppermint Crunch candies and chop them into bits yourself. I love the red and white in my holiday cookies but if you can’t find them the regular Andes mint baking chips will work well. too. Also — when in doubt, check Big Lots.

Can I use regular cocoa powder instead of dark cocoa powder? 

You can, but I’d say that the results might not be exactly what you are hoping for, OR what you are seeing here in these photos. Since this recipe calls for baking SODA and not baking powder, you CAN safely substitute lighter or “regular” cocoa powder without affecting how the science works. 

If you have any sort of cocoa powder hanging around, you should ABSOLUTELY make this Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate . It’s rich and creamy, made from scratch, and spiked with bourbon to make all your winter days warmer. You can leave the bourbon out and this is also just a really SOLID from scratch hot chocolate recipe. 

Need a few quick and easy tips on How to Ship Baked Goods? I wrote a whole tutorial on it. I have lots of treat-mailing practice.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Yield: 36 cookies

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies are chewy, rich Holiday cookies with the delicious flavors of peppermint and hot chocolate. These have the texture of a brownie in cookie dough form, come together simply, and are so delicious!


  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup peppermint crunch baking chips *See Note*
  • 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl cream the shortening and brown sugar. Mix in the water and vanilla. Then add the eggs. Mix until combined.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add it to the sugar/egg mixture.
  4. Stir in the peppermint crunch baking chips and the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 7 - 9 minutes (8 was exactly perfect for me). Let the cookies cool slightly before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.


1. The Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips can be elusive! Sometimes it's easier to find the Peppermint Crunch candies and chop them into bits yourself. I love the red and white in my holiday cookies but if you can't find them the regular Andes mint baking chips will work well. too. Also -- when in doubt, check Big Lots.
2. I've found that it's important to keep this cookie dough cool. If the dough gets too warm (like if your kitchen gets too warm while you're baking) the cookies spread out and are more crisp than chewy. I like to refrigerate the dough either in the bowl or portioned out onto the cookie sheet until ready to bake.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g


Sunday 11th of December 2022

I have been making these cookies every year for about 4 years. They are one of my favorite holiday cookies and have just the right amount of peppermint. This year, I had a hard time finding the Andes peppermint bark pieces. Luckily, I have a bag still from last year. I probably could always chop up Hersheys candy cane kisses and use those, as well.

Heather Tullos

Thursday 15th of December 2022

I have also used the chopped up peppermint kisses -- it works! So happy to hear you enjoy these, Jennifer! Happy Holidays!


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

These look delicious and so festive! Can you clarify the cocoa you used? Is it alkalized (Dutch processed)? I thought baking soda is not used w Dutch processed cocoa but recipe calls for 1/4 baking soda. Thanks?

Heather Tullos

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Thanks, Nicole! And yes, Dutch processed here is what I used. Hershey's Special dark is Dutch processed and is pretty readily available everywhere.


Tuesday 17th of December 2019

Love these. This time I used shortening and your right , they don’t spread out as much. Also this time I used Andes mint chips instead of the peppermint, fantastic!!!

Heather Tullos

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

So glad to hear it, Leann! This really is one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes!


Saturday 14th of December 2019

I followed your ungreased cookie sheet instructions and now I have stuck cookies. Thanks! Guess I should have used parchment paper and silly me for assuming you'd have mentioned that.

Heather Tullos

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

Silly you for doing something wrong. Everyone else seemed to do just fine here.


Friday 13th of December 2019

I just made these, followed the recipe exactly, and they turned out so well! The dough was good too. Hehe I made the first sheet worth without flattening the dough slightly, baked them for 8 minutes and they were a little smaller than I wanted. For the 2nd and 3rd sheets I flattened them and baked them for 9 minutes. The size was great but once they cooled they weren’t as soft as I would’ve liked. Still delicious though! Now I know for next time to bake them about 7-8 minutes so they stay soft.

Heather Tullos

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

So glad to hear it, Laura! Thanks for leaving helpful tips!

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