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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!

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 Brownie 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 without things getting weird or mushy (apologies if you have an aversion to that word), 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! 

Hot Chocolate peppermint Cookies

The Secret to Perfect Chocolate Brownie 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! 

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’d like some quick easy tips on How to Ship Baked Goods I wrote a whole tutorial on it. I have lots of treat-mailing practice.

Other awesome recipes you should try! 

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe Spiked with Bourbon

White Chocolate Cranberry Pound Cake is made with shortening! It’s SO festive and looks gorgeous added to any holiday spread. 

Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate is 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. 

If you are looking for more great cookies to mail, try these Mint Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies from Dorothy at Crazy for Crust.

You might also want to try Chocolate Cookie Dough Cookies from Janet at Food Beautiful.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Yield: 36 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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 13mg Sodium: 50mg Carbohydrates: 15g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 10g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g

 

 

 

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MER

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.

Laura

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.

Leslie

Saturday 7th of December 2019

These cookies came out great. Used Andes Peppermint Crunch pieces, Hersheys Unsweetened baking cocoa and semi sweet chips. Next time I will try the Special dark cocoa and dark chips. Baked for 9 minutes and made them a little smaller so there are more cookies. Will add them to my Christmas cookie list!!!

Heather Tullos

Saturday 7th of December 2019

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such great feedback, Leslie! So glad you enjoyed these!

Khira

Sunday 24th of November 2019

Just made these for a cookie exchange. They are delicious. I used the Andes Peppermint Crunch wrapped candies as that’s all I could find here in Alberta(Canada) and regular cocoa powder as I couldn’t find dark. I also baked for 10 minutes as baking takes longer here(higher altitude). Great recipe! Will be making these every holiday season.

Heather Tullos

Sunday 24th of November 2019

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, Khira!

Nancy Leonard

Sunday 17th of November 2019

The peppermint hot chocolate brownie cookies sound SO good. Is dark cocoa powder Hershey's cocoa or is there a brand that is labeled "dark cocoa powder"? I don't use shortening. Have you made these cookies using butter? Does it alter the texture? Thank you! Nancy