The week leading up to Christmas has flown! That’s pretty typical this time of year as we’re all bustling and busy preparing for the holiday. Even though it’s Christmas Eve, I couldn’t let the another day go by without sharing these black cocoa peppermint sugar cookies, decorated with royal icing. I know, black cocoa cookies probably aren’t the first cookie that come to mind when holiday baking, but these are definitely worth making! With peppermint infused in the dough and icing, they’ll remind you of an Oreo cookie with a holiday twist!
Peppermint Black Cocoa Sugar Cookies
Soft and delicious black cocoa sugar cookies infused with peppermint extract and decorated with royal icing and crushed peppermint, for Christmas.
Black cocoa sugar cookie taste
The black cocoa in these cookies not only gives them a rich dark color, but a depth of cocoa flavor similar to Oreos. The icing on top makes for a delicious cookie combination, unlike any other! Although the peppermint is not essential, it provides delicious seasonal tatse that couldn’t pair better with the chocolate sugar cookie.
How do you make black cocoa sugar cookies?
Making black cocoa sugar cookies is just as easy as making a batch of regular sugar cookie dough. Replace a portion of the flour with the black cocoa as well and cocoa powder for a rich and chocolatey flavor. I found the black cocoa on Amazon but you can also find it in specialty baking stores. Look for dutch processed and unsweetened.
How to make the Royal Icing
Royal icing is easy to make with meringue powder, icing sugar, extract or flavoring of choice, food coloring and warm water. I like to start by whisking the meringue powder and water together in a stand mixer until it thickens, then whisk in the icing sugar and extract. Once fully combined, the icing becomes thick like toothpaste. This icing consistency is perfect for piping and outlining cookies and for adding decorative designs. Add water to thin out the icing for flood consistency royal icing.
Royal Icing consistency
The consistency I prefer for thin or flood royal icing is 5 second icing. This means that any lines in the stirred icing take 5 seconds to smooth out. This tends to be the perfect texture for evenly covering sugar cookies in royal icing.
Decorating the black cocoa Christmas cookies
To decorate the black cocoa cookies, start by outlining the cookies with the thick outline icing. Then cover each entire cookie in the flood consistency royal icing, starting from the outside in. Use a scribe or toothpick to spread the icing evenly onto each cookie and to pop any air bubbles. Set aside to dry for roughly an hour, then decorate with outline icing. Starting at the top of each tree cookie, pipe the icing to the first tree point, then make a loop and continue piping with this same design, left to right all the the way down to the bottom of each tree cookie. Pipe additional outline icing at the top of the tree to attach the crushed peppermint.Print
Soft and delicious black cocoa sugar cookies infused with peppermint extract and decorated with royal icing and crushed peppermint.
Peppermint black cocoa sugar cookies
- 3/4 cups vegan butter (or regular butter)
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar & 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 1/4 cups flour +
- 2 tbsp Dutch processed all natural black cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Peppermint Royal Icing:
- 2 tbsp meringue powder
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- Additional warm water a few drops at time
- Tipless piping bags
- Edible gold dust
- Crushed peppermint
- Parchment paper
- Seasonal cookie cutters
Peppermint Black Cocoa Sugar Cookies
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a glass bowl, mix together flour, black cocoa powder baking soda and salt until combined. Set aside.
- Using a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined.
- Pour eggs, vanilla extract and peppermint extract into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Mix on med until fully combined.
- Then pour the dry ingredients into egg, sugar and butter mixture.
- Mix together on medium until fully combined.
- You’ll know your cookie mix is ready when the bowl is clean and most of the dough sticks to the paddle.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper onto a solid surface and lightly dust with flour.
- Roll dough out onto the parchment lined surface (about 1/2 inch thick)
- Cut into shapes with cutters of choice.
- Remove extra dough from cutout cookies and transfer the parchment paper with cutout cookies on it, to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 4-6 minutes.
- Cookies should be soft with a nice crumb texture.
- Cool on a cooling rack.
- Repeat steps for remaining cookie dough.
Peppermint Royal Icing:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk meringue powder and half of 1/4 cup warm water together on medium for 2-3 minutes, until thickened and well combined.
- Pour in the peppermint extract and confectioners sugar and switch to a paddle attachment.
- Mix on medium until well incorporated.
- The icing will be very thick. Add a few drops of the remaining warm water a few splashes at a time until the frosting is the consistency of toothpaste. This is for piping.
- Spoon out 1/3 of the toothpaste-like piping icing to a tipless piping bag and tie or seal closed.
- Add the rest of the warm water to the remaining royal icing and mix on medium until combined. The consistency of this icing should be runny.
- The thinned out icing is for flooding the cookies.
- If you run a spatula through the icing it should take around 5-6 seconds for any lines to disappear. That’s when you know it’s ready.
- If the flood icing is still too thick use a few drops of water at a time and mix in between to achieve the desired icing consistency.
- Note that a little bit of water goes a long way!
- Transfer flood icing to a piping bag immediately and seal closed so the icing doesn’t dry out.
Decorating the cookies:
- Place cookies on a piece of parchment or a clean working surface.
- Snip the very tip off the thick icing piping bag.
- Slowly outline the the edges of each cookie with the paste like peppermint piping icing.
- Then snip the tip off the flood icing bag.
- Squeeze the thin flood icing onto each cookie, starting from the edges inward. Use a toothpick or scribe to spread the icing evenly around the surface of the cookie, meeting the lines of thick paste like icing until the cookie is fully covered.
- Quickly poke away any air bubbles you find using a toothpick or scribe.
- Repeat steps so all cookies are fully covered in icing.
- Gently set each flooded cookie aside to fully dry. (Drying takes approximately 60 – 90 minutes.)
- Then details can be added with paste like icing.
- Once cookies have dried, add the decorative details.
- Starting at the top of each tree cookie, pipe the icing to the first tree point, then make a loop and continue piping with this same design, left to right, all the the way down to the bottom of the last tree point. Pipe a little of the outline icing at the top of the tree to attach the crushed peppermint.
- Finish with a dusting of edible glitter.
- Allow two hours to fully dry.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Keywords: black cocoa sugar cookies, cutout cookies, Christmas cookies, peppermint sugar cookies, royal icing, how to decorate cookies with royal icing, royal icing recipe, black cocoa sugar cookies
These peppermint sugar cookies are a traditional cookie that I make each Christmas. We often package them and give them away as homemade gifts. I like to keep decorations fairly simple, but still beautiful with the swirled design that is easy to follow. Topping the cookies with edible gilder and crushed peppermint takes the cookies to the next level, with the tastiest flavor and texture.
I usually make these cookies with regard sugar cookie dough but decided to try something new this season. I love the way the white royal icing pops against the dark sugar cookies resulting in a beautiful Christmas offering for friends and loved ones.
Package them up for the sweetest homemade holiday gifts, or enjoy them alongside a mug full of hot cocoa, tea or coffee!
I hope you enjoy them as much as we have. Merry Christmas Eve! Wishing you all a safe and memorable holiday celebration with good food, sweet cookies cookies and plenty of quality time with loved ones!
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