These cookies are my boys’ favorite Christmas treat, and the first thing they reach for when they need to make a plate for Santa Claus. We use dye-free candy canes for our cookies, so the color isn’t as bright as it may be if you use conventional, but they’re safe for our whole family to eat and they still look pretty on a holiday table!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup hot water
12 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons milk
5 candy canes, crushed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (this is optional, but I find it makes cookie removal and cleanup easier — and who doesn’t want that?).
Cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy and well-incorporated. Add the eggs and extracts and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the hot water to help the dough incorporate. Mix just until everything is thoroughly combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop the batter onto the prepared sheets by tablespoon (you’ll get about 3 dozen cookies), spacing them at least 1 inch apart.
Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 12 minutes, just until set. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
When the cookies are cool, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and milk until you have a smooth glaze. You can either spoon the glaze over the tops of the cookies, or dip them (spooning tends to be a bit less messy). Sprinkle with the crushed candy canes and allow the glaze to harden and set before storing.
*Note: These cookies can be frozen for up to 1 month in an airtight container. I generally make them a couple of weeks before the holiday, then pop them in the freezer so they’re ready to enjoy when we are!