These peppermint shortbread cookies are made with cornstarch for an extra tender melt-in-your-mouth texture. Perfect for a cookie exchange! The added crunch and sweetness from the candy canes make this recipe a crowd-pleaser during the holidays.
I made these peppermint shortbread cookies for a holiday party that Matthew and I had at our apartment. They were the perfect bite-sized addition to our cookie platter. This recipe is an adaption of a traditional shortbread recipe. The cookies are much more tender, and I absolutely love them!
Why you'll love these cookies
Taste and Texture: The addition of cornstarch makes for an incredibly delicate and flaky cookie. They genuinely do melt in your mouth! The addition of peppermint in both the dough and frosting makes these little morsels a true delight. I like to create pretty small cookies with the dough so you can just pop one into your mouth!
Level of Difficulty: These cookies are simple to make. The frosting adds an extra step, but you could easily make them without the frosting and they'd be just as delicious. This recipe is safe for a beginner baker!
Key ingredients and why we use them
Cornstarch: This recipe includes cornstarch which gives the shortbread a melt-in-your-mouth feel. This is not a traditional shortbread recipe. It's an adapted recipe which—I think—is much tastier!
Peppermint Extract: Make sure that you use peppermint extract and not mint extract. While they are somewhat similar, mint is simply not the same and will not give you the same holiday peppermint flavor.
Confectioners' Sugar: This recipe only calls for one-half cup of confectioners' sugar, which isn't a lot. The cookies are not overly sweet and this really highlights the buttercream frosting.
These cookies are perfect for your holiday party or cookie exchange. If you'd like to make the dough in advance of your party, read our tips on how long cookie dough lasts in the fridge.
I love serving these cookies with peppermint tea. The warm tea literally makes these cookies melt away in your mouth—it's divine!
Try these other cookie recipes
Try some more delicious cookie recipes below! Prepare for your holiday baking competition with our article on how to create award-winning cookies.
Peppermint Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 drops red food coloring optional
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- ½ cup crushed peppermint candies
- In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. In another bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in milk, extract and, if desired, food coloring. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread or pipe over cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container.
Notes and Tips
Did you make this recipe?! First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try!
Please leave us a rating and any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and didn't — with a recipe!