Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe

It’s cookie season! I’ve actually never been to a cookie exchange, but I know many people participate in that tradition. Cookies are fun to decorate and to gift to others. At this time of year, just give me chocolate and peppermint all day. Unless it’s something gingerbread, and I would be just as happy. These crinkle cookies are easy, dairy-free (they call for oil and not butter) and they are the perfect Christmas cookie!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • great for the holidays and cookie exchange parties;
  • they are diary-free which is not always easy to find in cookie recipes;
  • they stay fresh for several days;
  • easy to add some festive touches like a Hershey’s kiss or a piece of peppermint bark!

Ingredients

  • Cocoa powder – The difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder is the temperature used to process them. Cocoa powder is roasted at a high temperature and goes through a process to reduce its bitterness, which is why it’s mainly used in baked goods. Cacao powder on the other hand is made from raw cacao beans, so I prefer to use this in raw preparations, like a smoothie, but you can use it here if that’s what you have on hand. 
  • Sugar – I use organic unbleached cane sugar, but you can use coconut sugar if you’d like since the cocoa powder will make them dark. 
  • Olive oil – I love using olive oil in baked goods. Trust me, it won’t taste like a vinaigrette. 
  • Eggs – I use large eggs. 
  • Vanilla extract – use pure vanilla extract with no artificial flavors or additives for best flavor. You can also make your own. See this recipe
  • Peppermint extract – is really strong. A little goes a long way. I remember adding too much to a smoothie once and it was inedible!
  • Flour – I recommend using all-purpose, spelt flour, or a gluten-free flour blend. 
  • Baking powder – I prefer an aluminum-free baking powder. 
  • Powdered sugar – is pulverized white sugar. Also known as confectioner’s sugar, which give these cookies a nice powdery white coat. 

How to make it? 

  1. Whisk together the cocoa powder and cane sugar. Add the olive oil and whisk until it forms a thick paste. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and peppermint extract.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the wet cocoa-sugar mixture until just combined and no dry flour is visible. Try not to overmix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough until chilled, 4 hours to overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Line a half sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper (use two sheet pans if you plan to make smaller cookies). Scoop 1 Tablespoon size balls of dough for small cookies or 2 Tablespoon size balls of dough for larger cookies. The dough will be slightly sticky. I recommend using a swing arm ice cream scoop for this. You can place the cookie dough balls on the sheet pan in the meantime. Be careful as they may stick to the parchment.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Take a ball of dough and roll it in the sugar, one at a time, coating well all sides and place back on the prepared baking sheet(s). Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls.
  5. Bake small cookies for 10-12 minutes and larger cookies for 12-14 minutes, until the center of each cookie is just starting to set. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies will firm up slightly as they cool.

Tips

  • Make sure you plan for the extra time to chill the dough.
  • Cook them a little extra if you like a crisp cookie.
  • You can add a candy cane Hershey kiss pressed in the center of each cookie after they come out of the oven. 
  • Measure the mint extract over the counter and not the bowl in case you spill some.
  • Might be fun to mix in crushed freeze-dried strawberries with the powdered sugar for a more festive look. 

Substitutions

  • Cocoa powder – cacao powder. I haven’t tried it with carob powder, but it might work.
  • Cane sugar – coconut sugar or maple sugar
  • Flour – all-purpose, spelt flour, or gluten-free flour blend

 

Other chocolate desserts you may like:

*Peppermint Bark Shortbread

*Molten Chocolate Cakes

*Mini Flourless Chocolate Cakes

*Nut-free Flourless Fallen Chocolate Cake

*Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

*Whole Grain Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache (I love adding peppermint to the ganache!)

*Fudgy Black Bean Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

 

 

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag @pamelasalzman so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Subscribe for free to my site for the latest recipes,  updates and things I’m loving lately.  If you enjoy this recipe, I taught it last year in my online class!  Give me an hour a month, and I’ll make you a better, healthier cook!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Serves: 1 DOZEN 2½ INCH COOKIES OR 18 SMALLER COOKIES
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • ¾ cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spelt flour or gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar), sifted if clumpy
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and cane sugar. Add the olive oil and whisk until it forms a thick paste. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and peppermint extract.
  2. In another medium-large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the flour mix into the wet cocoa-sugar mixture until just combined and no dry flour is visible. Try not to overmix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough until chilled, 4 hours to overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper (use two sheet pans if you plan to make smaller cookies). Scoop 1 Tablespoon size balls of dough for small cookies or 2 Tablespoon size balls of dough for larger cookies. The dough will be slightly sticky. I recommend using a swing arm ice cream scoop for this. You can place the cookie dough balls on the sheet pan in the meantime. Be careful as they may stick to the parchment.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Take a ball of dough and roll it in the sugar, one at a time, coating well all sides and place back on the prepared baking sheet(s). Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls.
  5. Bake small cookies for 10-12 minutes and larger cookies for 12-14 minutes, until the center of each cookie is just starting to set. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies will firm up slightly as they cool.
Notes
You can add a candy cane Hershey kiss pressed in the center of each cookie after they come out of the oven.
Might be fun to mix crushed freeze-dried strawberries with the powdered sugar for a more festive look.

 

Pear Frangipane Tart Recipe

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Pumpkin Crumble Bars Recipe

Just when I think I can’t come up with another awesome pumpkin dessert recipe, I do!  This is a pumpkin pie meets a crumble meets a gingersnap cookie!  What’s not to love? And it’s so easy, has make-ahead written all over it and can be adaptable.  There are many twists on this recipe including a graham cracker crust or a chocolate cookie crust and you can omit the crumble topping if you want to keep this simple.Continue reading

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars Recipe

I forgot how much I love a NO BAKE recipe!  No heating up the kitchen and practically instant gratification! The only problem with these chocolate-peanut butter-oat bars is that they are so tasty and satisfying, I kind of can’t resist them.  So after I made this batch, I gave them all to my sister-in-law and she and her family flipped for them!!Continue reading

Olive Oil Apple Spice Cake Recipe

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(A more healthful) chocolate chip cookie recipe

(a more healthful) chocolate chip cookie by Pamela Salzman

One of my students asked me the other day if I had a good chocolate chip cookie recipe and I instinctively said, “Sure, just check my website.”  To which she replied, “I did.  But all you have on there is your Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.”  And then it hit me.  I have neither taught in a class nor posted my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Gasp!  Coincidentally, Mr. Picky had been asking if we could make homemade ice cream sandwiches, so I got to work lickety split!

beat butter and sugars until smooth, then add eggs, baking soda and vanilla

In my defense, there are good reasons I haven’t posted my chocolate chip cookie recipe.  First of all, I do use refined white sugar because it just makes the best cookie.  But it isn’t exactly clean and healthful and I want this site to be your destination for high quality recipes.  However, even with the white and brown sugars, I use whole grain flours and everything is organic so these will be waaaaaaay better for you than bakery cookies or packaged (really now?) ones.  It’s all about balance and moderation!

next add the flours, baking powder and salt

The other issue is that I keep changing my recipe when I learn something new to make them even better than the last time.  And this has happened often.  Many of you are so in the know about food trends that you might think my ah-ha chocolate chip moments are sooooo 2005, but I never said I was an early adopter.  Let me first make it clear what kind of chocolate chip cookie I love, because that’s what you’re getting here — my favorite.  If you love the thin and crispy kind, hmmmm, today’s not your day.  Cakey?  Yeah, not me.  Milk chocolate?  Don’t waste my time!  Friends, I like a cookie with some heft and substance, something that you can sink your teeth into.  But I also don’t want a greasy cookie which makes me feel like I’m sucking on butter.  Slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with chunks of semisweet or dark chocolate is the way I roll.  Sometimes I’m feeling fancy and I’ll add a pinch of flaky sea salt on on the tops and that is just heaven.

chop chocolate from a bar for nice chunky pieces

Something I learned to achieve my perfect cookie is to use cold butter instead of room temperature, which is a trick I learned from Mrs. Fields (not that I met her, but that’s how she makes her cookies.)  The combination of cold butter and  a low oven temperature help to keep the cookie from spreading out too thin and too fast.  I also started adding a little oat flour after I saw this Neiman Marcus cookie recipe which I found out later was not the official recipe but the oat flour stayed in mine.  The oat flour makes the cookie a little nuttier and dense.  Ina Garten taught me (via television, of course) that a chocolate bar cut into pieces is much more satisfying than chocolate chips, although I do use those often.  And every fancy restaurant in the last several years has added a pinch of flaky sea salt to the tops of their cookies — a smart and delicious move.

using an ice cream scooper gives you uniform, round cookies

add a pinch of flaky sea salt for a grown-up twist

I grated some of the chocolate into the batter
I grated some of the chocolate into the batter

It may have taken me a while to bring it to you, but I’m sure with certain special occasions coming up, like Father’s Day or end-of-the-year parties, it’s never too late to try a great chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Of course, if you have the latest and greatest twist on chocolate chip cookies, I’m always open to improvement!

freshly baked | Pamela Salzman

(a more healthful) chocolate chip cookie by Pamela Salzman

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Serves: makes 48 2¾-inch cookies (cut the recipe in half to make 24 or refrigerate the dough for up to a week)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter or organic Earth Balance, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar or Muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can take a cup of rolled oats and process them in the food processor to make your own oat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 18 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate bars, chopped coarsely or use chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • flaky sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of stand mixer and blend on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the baking soda, eggs and vanilla to the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt. Add to the butter mixture and blend on low speed until just combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate and nuts.
  6. Scoop the dough with a 1 ¾ -inch ice cream scooper onto the prepared baking sheets or use a tablespoon. Space them evenly apart. I was able to get 12 on each sheet.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until just set. The cookies will be slightly soft in the center. If you like them crispier, bake them for up to 23 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Notes
Raw cookie dough can be frozen, but it’s a great idea to scoop the dough into balls first and freeze those so you can just pull out as many as you want to bake instead of having to defrost the whole batch of dough.  I have even baked cookies in the toaster oven!

 

 

 

Healthful Vegan Mint Chip Smoothie Recipe

I quietly went dairy-free recently which made me a little bummed out because I love yogurt and feta and Pecorino Romano cheese.  My acupuncturist was begging me for years to break up with dairy once and for all so that I might be able to stop complaining about this and that.  Sure enough, without getting too personal, going dairy-free (even sheep and goat) has been a positive move for me and I am pretty motivated to keep it that way.

I still give Mr. Picky raw milk and the girls eat their yogurt and cheese all the same.  But when I make something for all of us to share, I’ve been using lots and lots of almond milk, like in porridges and smoothies.  I haven’t gotten around to making almond milk yogurt yet, but I’d love to try.  In the meantime, I just made this crazy delicious mint chip smoothie that will keep my dairy cravings at bay forever!  Mint chip was always my favorite ice cream flavor and I love fresh mint in salads so how could I go wrong in a smoothie?  I took my Leprauchan Smoothie from last year with a few tweaks and a couple drops of peppermint extract, presto!  It’s so darn good, it tastes like a dessert even though it’s totally healthful enough to eat for breakfast.  Except for the chocolate chips.  Who cares!  It has 4 cups of spinach which you can’t even taste and a couple of dates for sweetness.  Not bad at all.  In fact, so stinkin’ good!

My kids were even freaking out.  This is one of those things you’ll make for St. Patrick’s Day because it’s green and you won’t stop making it.  The only thing I don’t love about it is that it’s cold.  And cold first thing in the morning when the weather is still a bit chilly is a bummer for your digestive system which has to work extra hard to bring up the temperature of your stomach to where it likes to be.  I try not to give the kids cold smoothies first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and definitely not in the winter.  Serving this with warm oatmeal or porridge is a better idea, or after a workout, or when the weather warms up a bit.

But I’d rather see you drink a cold smoothie in the middle of winter than anything with gross green food coloring.  I just cringe when I see cupcakes with artificially-dyed frosting or green bagels.  If you need some convincing, please read this article from Healthy Child Healthy World about why you need to go dye-free.  In the meantime, go get yourself a giant bag of naturally green, chlorophyll-rich, nutrient dense SPINACH and enjoy some delicious St. Patty’s Day pancakes with a mint chip smoothie to wash it all down!  🙂

Healthful Vegan Mint Chip Smoothie
Author: 
Serves: makes 2 medium sized drinks
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice*
  • 4 pitted dates or sweetener of choice to taste
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • ½ ripe avocado, pitted and peeled (optional, but good if you are trying to eat more high quality fats)
  • 1 frozen ripe banana, cut into chunks (this should be peeled before it’s frozen--click here for tips on freezing fruit)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 Tablespoons chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs
  • To garnish (optional): 2 mint sprigs and some shaved chocolate (I used a vegetable peeled on a dark chocolate bar.)
Instructions
  1. If you have a high-powered blender, such as a Vita-Mix, place all the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips into the blender and process until smooth.
  2. If you do not have a high-powered blender, the dates may not get blended completely and may leave tiny little bits of date in the smoothie. If that bothers you, blend the almond milk and dates together and then strain the mixture. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender (EXCEPT the chocolate chips) with the strained almond milk and blend until smooth. Or just use honey or maple syrup to sweeten instead of dates.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and pulse just a couple of times to break them up a bit. Divide between 2 glasses and garnish with a mint sprig and chocolate shavings, if desired.
Notes
*If you want to use a sweetened vanilla almond milk or other sweetened vanilla milk, you can omit the dates and vanilla extract and sweeten to taste.