These peppermint shortbread cookies are buttery and minty and decorated with sweet peppermint royal icing.
Cookies are an essential part of the holiday season.
These peppermint shortbread cookies come together easily with common baking ingredients (flour, butter, sugar,) and have a minty twist with the addition of peppermint extract. They’re adorably topped with an equally minty and sweet royal icing.
They have the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth, buttery texture, with a fresh burst of peppermint, designed lovingly with smooth and sweet royal icing.
These peppermint shortbread cookies are a great recipe for a cookie design party, or to have little ones help you in the kitchen. The decorating is the best part! Feel free to be as creative as you want to be!
Trust me, these peppermint shortbread cookies will get eaten so fast, that you’ll have to make a double batch!
Table of Contents
Ingredients for peppermint shortbread cookies
- Salted butter – Salted butter is important in these peppermint shortbread cookies because the saltiness will help balance the flavors of the sweetness in the cookies.
- Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar will help maintain the delightfully crumbly texture of the cookies and add sweetness.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract will add a subtle sweet vanilla flavor.
- Peppermint extract – Peppermint extract will give us a fresh minty flavor.
- All-purpose flour – All-purpose flavor is a common baking ingredient that will make up our cookie dough.
For royal icing:
- Sifted powdered sugar – Powdered sugar is important in royal icing because it can dissolve at room temperature.
- Water – Water will be used to help the royal icing reach the perfect consistency.
- Meringue powder – Meringue powder will help the royal icing set up and firm.
- Peppermint extract – peppermint extract will give the royal icing a fresh, minty flavor.
How to make peppermint shortbread cookies
Start by mixing all of your ingredients (except the flour) in the bowl of a stand mixer until thoroughly combined and fluffy, then slowly add your flour until combined.
Shape the dough into a disc, and cover it in plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up a little.
After chilling, take your disc and roll it out onto a floured surface until it’s about ¼” thick.
Use your desired cookie cutters cut out your shortbread shapes, and bake until slightly golden around the edges.
For your frosting, simply add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix with either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, until it is thick but pipable.
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small tip, and pipe onto baked and completely cooled cookies.
Royal icing is traditionally made with egg whites, but sometimes people aren’t completely comfortable with using raw egg whites, or sometimes you don’t have egg whites on hand.
Meringue powder makes things easy and consistent every time!
It’s made from dried egg whites, stabilizers, and sugar.
It is used to help the royal icing hold its shape and set, without running (as long as it’s thick enough).
These peppermint shortbread cookies are perfect for dunking into delicious drinks.
A few of my favorites are my rich and decadent pumpkin spice hot chocolate, something a little indulgent for adults like my spiked hot dulce de leche, or even a holiday-flavored gingerbread white hot chocolate!
Storage and leftovers
Any leftover peppermint shortbread cookie can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This recipe also doubles and triples beautifully and easily, if you need to make a bigger batch!
More cookie recipes
- Love pumpkin flavors? Try my Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
- Craving more peppermint? Try my Peppermint Bark Shortbread Cookies
- Want something tart and tangy? Try my Lemon Shortbread Cookies
- Need something cozy and delicious? Try my Molasses Crinkle Cookies
Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
For shortbread cookies:
For shortbread cookies:
- Add the softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Next add the flour and mix on low speed, just until the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to come together in large clumps. We don’t want to overwork the dough.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a disc. Wrap it tightly with plastic and place it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- When the dough has chilled, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it to ¼ inch thick. This dough may look dry while you are rolling but trust me, it will be a deliciously soft and tender cookie! Just keep rolling and pushing it back together if it cracks.
- Use a cookie cutter to out your desired shapes and transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place the cookies in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. While the cookies chill, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the chilled cookies for 13-15 minutes, or just until they are light brown on the bottom. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan before decorating.
For royal icing:
- Add powdered sugar, water, meringue powder, and peppermint extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated. Then turn the speed to medium-high and beat until the icing is smooth, about 2 minutes.
- The icing should be thick but pipable. If it is too thin, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a teaspoon of water. If needed, continue to adjust the icing until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (I’m using a Wilton #3) and decorate your cookies as desired.
- Allow the icing to set completely, about 15 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to an airtight container.