These peppermint kiss cookies are easy to make and the chocolate and peppermint combination is a holiday classic!
Can we just talk about these kisses for a minute? They are Hershey’s Holiday Candy Cane kisses and they are marvelous. I was skeptical at first, thinking they might be overly sweet. They are sweet but I was totally won over by the little crispy bits of peppermint candy in each bite.
Have you ever had those melt away mints that come in pastel colors with the little white “candies” on the bottoms of them? I’m sure they have a name; they are served at parties and weddings frequently. They’re totally addicting and these kisses taste just like them. I’m hooked. Pair them with a rich chocolate cookie and I’m a happy camper.
About These Cookies
I start with the same cookie base as chocolate cherry thumbprints because really, it is just that good, rich and chocolatey. It doesn’t take any fancy ingredients. It’s a pretty simple cookie which uses basic pantry ingredients.
Paired with the creamy deliciousness of the candy kisses–you’ll want to send these cookies away on gift platters to friends and family, just to get them out of the house.
If you’re a chocolate with mint fan, be sure to try these peppermint chocolate sugar cookies, too.
I’ll run through the recipe here and give you extra tips to help out. As always, you’ll find the printable recipe card near the bottom of the post with measurements, instructions, and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- All-Purpose Flour: I haven’t tested these with whole wheat flour but I’m pretty sure that would work too. It may be a bit heartier in flavor.
- Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder is found in the baking aisle of the grocery store. It is high in antioxidants. If it contains hard lumps, press it through a fine strainer before adding it to the flour mixture.
- Salt: Just a pinch of fine salt keeps the cookies from tasting flat.
- Unsalted Butter: Make sure the butter is softened, or at room temperature. If all you have is salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.
- Sugar: Use regular granulated white sugar that is normally used for baking.
- Egg: You’ll need one large egg.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: To add flavor.
- Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses: Each 10 oz. bag contains 70-75 kisses. Depending on how large you make your cookies, you’ll need 40-45. The remaining kisses are a bonus for you to eat or share!
How To Make This Recipe
Begin by unwrapping the candies. If you have helper elves, this is a good job for little fingers. Expect a few candies to disappear though.
Get the oven preheating and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a larger bowl, combine the butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Save the other half cup to roll the cookie dough balls in.
When the butter and sugar mixture is fluffy and light, add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until combined, then slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until blended together.
Form balls of dough, about one inch in diameter, and roll the balls in the remaining sugar. The sugar will give the cookies a happy little sparkle. Bake the cookies until they look set but not moist, about eight minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and immediately press a candy kiss lightly into the center of each cookie. Don’t press too hard! There should be a cookie base under the candy.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring them to an airtight container.
Make It Your Own
Hershey’s Kisses come in lots of different flavors and all of them are great on this chocolate cookie base.
Note about these Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Cookies
After some feedback that these did not turn out well, I re-tested the recipe a couple of different ways. They turn out perfectly for me the way they are written. They are not mushy and they don’t spread too much (they barely spread at all until you put the kiss in). They are a soft, brownie-like cookie.
The dough should be thick but easy to handle and not overly sticky. Make sure you note that the sugar is divided. One cup goes into the dough, and the remaining half cup is used for rolling.
I’m happy to answer any questions or troubleshoot if you contact me.
I did make one change in the recipe. In the original recipe, I added the kisses 5 minutes into the baking time and returned to the oven for another 3 minutes. Although this does work, the top of the kiss turns a light brown color. I like the appearance of the cookies better when the kisses are added at the end.
Make sure that you have the kisses unwrapped and ready to go so you can put them on top of the cookies immediately after they come out of the oven. Once the cookies have cooled and firmed up, it is difficult to add the candy kiss.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pkg. (10 oz.) package Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses (with foil wrapping removed)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or silicone sheets.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- Using an electric mixer and a large bowl (or a stand mixer), beat butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Turn mixer to low and gradually add flour mixture until combined.
- Put the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Form dough into approximately 1-inch balls and then roll in sugar to coat. Place one inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies are set but still look moist. Remove from the oven and lightly press in candy cane kisses into the center of each cookie.
- Cool completely on the cookie sheets on wire racks before removing to an airtight container to store.
- Make sure that you have the kisses unwrapped and ready to go so you can put them on top of the cookies immediately after they come out of the oven.
- Yield depends on size of cookies.
- If desired, substitute a different type of Hershey’s Kisses.
- Each 10 oz. bag of candy kisses contains 70-75 kisses (so you’ll have extra to eat!).
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.