Frosted Peppermint Brownie Cookies
It's no secret that made-from-scratch brownie recipes are some of my favorite desserts. My ultimate fudge brownies are consistently one of the top recipes every month, and I've even written an entire brownie cookbook, so you can trust me when I say I know a thing or two about brownies and that these frosted peppermint brownie cookies are life-changing and about to become one of your staple holiday cookie recipes.
You might recognize the brownie cookie base as it’s actually a twist on my popular fudgy brownie crinkle cookies. The process of making the cookies is identical; however, a few slight ingredient changes gives us a thicker, slightly fudgier cookie. (And who doesn’t like that?!)
To turn the festive dial up a notch, I add two special ingredients to the brownie cookie: peppermint extract and espresso powder. These are what give the cookies their intense chocolate & peppermint flavor. Always be careful using peppermint extract; that stuff is scary potent. (I learned the hard way). A little goes a long way. And make sure you are using peppermint extract, not mint extract. The latter tastes like spearmint toothpaste (and trust me, it’s not good.)
For the espresso powder— if you can’t find this stuff in stores, you can use instant coffee instead (which is found in nearly all major grocery stores). You’d need a little more instant coffee since it isn’t as strong or rich as espresso powder, which is why I recommend just picking up a little jar of espresso powder. You can find espresso powder in some grocery stores if you’re lucky, or do what I do & order it on Amazon. Whatever you do, don’t use ground coffee…
If you’re looking for a cookie to take to your holiday potluck party or a cookie to give to your friends and family this Christmas season, I highly recommend these Frosted Peppermint Brownie Cookies.
I mean… what’s better (and more festive) than a fudgy brownie cookie with a hint of peppermint, fluffy, rich, minty frosting, and crushed candy canes on top?! Not much, guys. Not much.
*Originally posted December 16, 2018*
Frosted Peppermint Brownie Cookies
For the Brownie Cookies:
- 170 g 70% cacao dark chocolate chopped
- 127 g unsalted butter
- 125 g granulated sugar
- 110 g dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs (≈ 100g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 125 g all-purpose flour
- 15 g unsweetened natural or Dutch process cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 113 g cream cheese softened
- 28 g unsalted butter softened
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 240 g powdered sugar
- Garnish: crushed peppermint candy
To Make the Brownie Cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then set them aside.
- Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water to create a double boiler. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is fully melted. Then remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, whisk together the granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract for 5-6 minutes on medium-high speed; the mixture should resemble an extremely thick, pale yellow pancake batter.
- With the mixer on, pour in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until just combined.
- Using a large (3-tablespoon) spring-loaded cookie scoop, drop 6 cookies on each prepared pan. Make sure to leave plenty of space between each cookie as they will spread when they bake.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes. The cookies will be soft so allow them to cool on the baking trays for at least 10 minutes before carefully removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are cool, place the Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip (Wilton 1M). Frost with each cookie, then sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy. Cover and store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To Make the Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and peppermint extract together on medium-high speed until fluffy and combined, about 2 minutes.
- Turn the speed down to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar about ½ cup (60 grams) at a time, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue mixing at low speed until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated.