These peppermint chocolate thumbprint cookies are soft, fudgy, and topped with a delicious peppermint kiss! They’re made with just four ingredients and going to be your new favorite Christmas cookie!
Back before I started blogging I worked as a project manager and one of my colleagues would always do a big Christmas cookie day for the entire office every year.
One year I volunteered to help her bake the cookies and she was an absolute machine. Every recipe planned out, multiple mixers going, and every little thing organized – down to the colored saran wrap to top the cookies.
I learned a lot from her about baking Christmas cookies but one of the most important things I took away from that day was to keep the cookies simple.
And since then, when I’m baking Christmas cookie trays for neighbors and friends, I always try to keep the recipes as easy as possible. Things like these 4-ingredient Andes mint cookies, these Oreo truffles, and these sugar cookie bars pretty much always make my list.
These chocolate thumbprint cookies are my new favorite to add to the easy Christmas cookie list.
Four ingredients plus some sugar to roll the cookies in and that’s it.
You toss it all in a mixer, mix it up, and bake. There’s no chilling, frosting, or anything complicated involved.
Plus, they’re delicious! The combination of the chocolate and peppermint on top is winter magic.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple – I already talked about this but these don’t get much simpler, especially since they start with a store-bought sugar cookie dough!
- Moist and fudgy – these cookies have the texture of homemade brownies, they’re thick and fudgy inside. Combine that with the melted peppermint kiss on the top for a super moist and soft chocolate peppermint cookie!
- Pretty – I’ve included a tip with these cookies for giving the peppermint kiss on top a fun swirl look that makes them look like they’re topped with an actual peppermint!
- Cream cheese – regular cream cheese is best (not the reduced fat kind), make sure it’s softened. I like to take it out of the fridge about an hour before making these cookies.
- Sugar cookie dough – I used Pillsbury sugar cookie dough shown in the photo above. You can use other store-bought sugar cookie dough, just make sure you’re only using 16 oz.
- Candy Cane Hershey Kisses – these are typically only found during the holidays so if you want to make these past Christmas, I recommend buying some and stocking up!
How to Make Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
I’m calling these chocolate thumbprint cookies but really they could just be called regular chocolate peppermint cookies or even chocolate blossoms (just like peanut butter blossoms but with chocolate and peppermint instead).
The basic idea is that you’re going to make your dough, bake your cookies, and then top them with a Hershey Kiss. In this case it’s a candy cane peppermint kiss that’s swirled to look more like a peppermint candy than a kiss!
Make sure your cream cheese is soft before you get started. Also, place the sugar in a bowl. You’ll be rolling the cookie balls in sugar before baking, so you want it to be large enough that you can roll the balls.
To make the cookies, start by preheating the oven to 350°F and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the cookie dough, cream cheese, and cocoa powder until smooth and well incorporated. The dough will be slightly sticky so just be prepared for that.
I recommend using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment but you could also just do this with a hand mixer.
Once the dough is done a two tablespoon medium cookie scoop to measure out the dough then roll dough into a smooth ball with your hands.
Place a cookie dough ball in the bowl of sugar and roll it around until the ball is well coated (it’ll be less sticky). Reshape into a ball as needed then place the cookies on baking sheet two inches apart.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges should be set (the center might still be a little soft).
Remove from oven and then press a peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie. Press it down gently but firmly so it makes a little indentation into the cookie – this is where you get the chocolate thumbprint from.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Let the kisses soften for 2-3 minutes before swirling if you’re going to swirl. Or you can just leave the kisses as they are and let the cookies cool completely.
I found that the best way to swirl the kisses was to gently grab the tip of the kiss and turn that in circles to get a really good swirl look. Then gently tuck the top of the kiss into the swirl or if there’s still a lot, you can just pull the top off the kiss and discard.
The other option is to use a toothpick if you’d like to do this without touching the kisses. I found for this method it was the easiest to remove the tip of the kiss then swirl the remaining chocolate with a toothpick.
Let the cookies cool on the wire rack for a few more minutes then you’re done! The cookies are ready to eat right away or you can store them for later.
Store in an airtight container. These cookies will stay good for up to 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature. After two days, they are still good to eat, they will be just more crumbly than chewy.
Change it up. Any flavor Hershey’s kiss can be used instead of peppermint if you want something for other occasions.
I do not recommend freezing these cookies as they will lose their chewy texture when frozen and rethawed. They’re so easy that I just recommend making a new batch!
More Easy Christmas Cookies
If you like these peppermint chocolate thumbprint cookies, you need to try these other Christmas recipes too!
- Peppermint sugar cookies – these soft peppermint cookies are topped with frosting, peppermint sprinkles, and chocolate shavings!
- Christmas tree cookies – simple sugar cookies topped with Christmas tree frosting and ornament sprinkles!
- Melted snowman cookies – a soft sugar cookie topped with royal icing and a melted snowman marshmallow!
- Grinch sugar cookies – the cutest cookies inspired by the Grinch movie! Snow topped trees with hearts!
- White chocolate cranberry macadamia nut cookies – a holiday version of a classic cookie, these are chewy and delicious!
Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 16 ounce package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 24 Hershey's peppermint kisses (unwrapped)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the sugar in a bowl.1/2 cup granulated sugar
- In a large bowl, cream together the cookie dough, cream cheese, and cocoa powder until smooth and well incorporated.1 16 ounce package refrigerated sugar cookie dough, 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Use a medium cookie scoop to measure out the dough then roll into a smooth ball with your hands.
- Roll the balls in granulated sugar until well coated then place the cookies on baking sheet 2" apart.
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, edges should be set. Remove from oven and then press a peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie.24 Hershey's peppermint kisses
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Let the kisses soften for 2-3 minutes then you can use your finger or a toothpick to gently swirl the kiss on top of the cookie or you can leave them whole and let them cool completely.