Fresh Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

So, I’ve been diving in to one of Alton Brown’s books, and his take on recipes is interesting. With that, I’m going to try to be more specific with why certain things are important. If they’re not that important or are flexible, then I won’t really put the details there.

Anyways, I’ve been told these cookies are also called cow patties, which sounds a lot more fun than just crinkle cookies. The batter and order of incorporating ingredients is going to feel sort of like a brownie, which makes these cookies soft and moist.

I love these cookies for a couple reasons: they’re fun to make (rolling stuff in powder sugar is as entertaining for me as it is a 5 year old) and they show off some of the fun science going on in baking.

The reason these cookies get their fun shape and texture seems obvious now that I write it, but such a mystery as I’m making it: the dough expands as the baking powder reacts to heat, and the powder sugar is only on the outside. Therefore, as the dough expands, the non-powder sugared areas are exposed. Just a fun little bit of magic for Christmas time.

On to the recipe!


  • Peppermint mixture
    • 6 candy canes and 6-8 leaves of fresh mint
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (I prefer dark chocolate, but to each their own)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


Things get pretty easy from here.

  1. Make your peppermint mixture. Put your candy canes and fresh mint in a food processor and grind until only little chunks of peppermint are left. As a rule of thumb, it’s almost always better to pair something processed with something fresh, and the extra kick of fresh mint really elevates these cookies.IMG_2059
  2. In the bowl of a mixture, beat together the cocoa powder, sugar and butter. Add in the eggs 1 at a time on low speed until fully combined.
  3. Add in the vanilla, peppermint mixture, salt, baking powder, and flour. Mix the together until you can’t see any more traces of the flour.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 2 hours.

2 hours later

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheets with wax paper.
  3. Roll 1/2-1 inch balls of the batter in powdered sugar, then place on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Let rest for 1 minute in their pan, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Try not to make yourself sick eating every one of them in 1 sitting!


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