Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

I hadn’t planned on sharing a cookie recipe for the month of December, but after seeing how festive these peppermint shortbread cookies turned out, I just had to squeeze them in! While pepperminy is probably overdone when it comes to Christmas desserts (and this will be my forth peppermint-flavored recipe in the last month), these bite sized balls of delicousness are what the holidays are all about.

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

Light and fluffy, these peppermint shortbread cookies are the BEST!

The month of December has been just as hectic as I anticipated it being. As of Wednesday, I am on vacation for the next three weeks, which means the previous two and a half weeks were absolutely insane. It seemed like every day my do to list became longer and longer, and I found less and less time to do the things that I wanted to do: such as baking. Baking is such a relief for me, especially when life and work are absolutely overwhelming.

Light and fluffy, these peppermint shortbread cookies are the BEST!

Earlier this month, I stumbled across a rosemary shortbread recipe in my great grandmother’s recipe collection, and while it sounded interesting, I wanted to do my own thing and swap a few things here and there and make something that just screamed Christmas. It doesn’t get anymore Christmasy than peppermint.

Light and fluffy, these peppermint shortbread cookies are the BEST!

These are the kind of cookie that I would have absolutely loved as a kid, especially in place of the weird (but now delicous) German Christmas cookies my great grandmother made every year. As they’re baking, the entire kitchen smells of shortbread and peppermint, which personally makes me feel all warm and cozy. Add all of the bright festive Christmas decor and classic Christmas movies such as Christmas Vacation and the old animated movies from the 1950’s and my cup runneth over.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Light and fluffy, these peppermint shortbread cookies are the BEST!

These peppermint shortbread cookies are extremely light and airy, and that’s because of the cornstarch within the recipe. There’s no eggs, and the cup of butter that is in these cookies is whipped up with confectioners’ sugar to be very light and airy. I did attempt to put some crushed candy canes into the cookie batter, but the candy weighed too much and simply caused the shortbread to collapse, so all of the peppermint flavor comes from high quality extract and the peppermint buttercream frosting piped on top of each cookie.

Can’t you easily picture these cookies on a dessert platter on a plate left out for Santa while he’s doing his deliveries on December 24th? :) 🎅  

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by Rae Goldman

Light and fluffy peppermint shortbread cookies are just what you need this holiday season.

Prep time: 20

Cook time: 12

Total time: 40

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • For Peppermint Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream, or more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons high quality peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Red food coloring, optional
  • Crushed candies or other decorative sprinkles

Cooking Directions

  1. TO MAKE PEPPERMINT SHORTBREAD COOKIES: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the butter and confectioners' sugar until light in color and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the extract. In another bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch; gradually into butter mixture. Refrigerate dough, covered until firm enough to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-in. Balls and place about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from cookie sheets to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. TO MAKE PEPPERMINT BUTTERCREAM: In a small bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in heavy cream, extract and, if desired, food coloring. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Pipe frosting over cookies and immediately sprinkle with crushed candies or sprinkles.
Light and fluffy, these peppermint shortbread cookies are the BEST!