My baking goal for December? Give everything a little holiday twist. I think it's safe to say that I exceeded that goal with these tricolor peppermint sugar cookies.
I got the idea for these tricolor cookies from Sarah Keifer's Neopolitan cookies from her cookbook, 100 Cookies. The cookies have three different colors and flavors. They also look amazing and are very eye-catching. I wanted to do something just like that but with a holiday twist.
To make these cookies seasonal, I first thought about the flavors. Peppermint is a staple of the holiday season so it was easy to go in that direction. It is pretty overpowering against another flavor so I kept it just at that. Next were the colors. Since it was a holiday theme, I went with red and green for the additional colors. You could easily make this blue and white too for Hanukkah.
Making the Cookies
The cookies are a basic sugar cookie recipe with peppermint flavoring. Once the cookie dough is ready, I split it into three equal parts to create the colors. I used gel food coloring to get the bright colors. Gel food coloring is much better when it comes to baking. The colors don't fade and stay very bright even after a trip into the oven.
With the three colors ready to go, I took about a teaspoon of each color and combined them into a loose ball. I wanted the colors to stick together but didn't want them to mix and create a blending look. The whole idea was to have distinct sections, so that's where the loose ball comes into play. Make sure the colors are together, but not overlapping and messy.
These cookies could be made with any flavoring or colors you want. As I said, the peppermint is a bit strong, so I wouldn't recommend adding it to other flavors. The only combo that sounds good to me with the peppermint is with chocolate sugar cookies. I'll give it a try soon and let you know how that turns out!
Check out the recipe below and enjoy your holiday bake!
Tricolor Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup, 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 1 and ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tsp peppermint extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Then, add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy and pale in color, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and peppermint extract and beat until combined.
- Add in the flour mixture on a low speed. Mix everything together until fully combined.
- Split the dough into three equal parts. Keep one part plain and add red and green gel food coloring to the remaining two sections. I used about 2-3 drops of the food coloring per each section.
- Take about one teaspoon (small cookie scoops worth) of dough from each section and loosely roll them into a ball. You want them to combine, but not bleed together in color. Do this with gentle hands so they stay separate, but come together nicely.
- Bake 6 or 7 cookies at a time on a sheet pan in the middle rack of the oven. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, until the edges are soft. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway through the bake.
- Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container. They should last about a week. They can be frozen as well and will last in the freezer for 3 months.
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