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Cut Out Peppermint Mocha Cookies with Espresso Buttercream

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Christmas season has arguably the best flavors of the year. This sugar cookie recipe is modeled after popular coffee drinks and chocolate bars released in December: the peppermint mocha.

While there are plenty of delicious peppermint mocha drop cookies out there, it was time for a cut out peppermint mocha cookie recipe.

cut out peppermint mocha cookies with espresso buttercream

These cut out peppermint mocha cookies hold their shape yet are still a soft bite. Topping them with the espresso buttercream frosting and some Christmas sprinkles leads to the ultimate festive Christmas cookie.

If you want to decorate the cookies traditionally, with colored buttercream, use my cold brew buttercream that can easily be dyed with gel food colors.

Peppermint mocha cookies are the perfect grown-up cookie treat for Christmas cookie exchanges or parties. Let’s dive into how to make them!

Christmas sugar cookies

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.*

Cut Out Peppermint Mocha Cookie Recipe

To make deliciously soft no-chill peppermint mocha cut out sugar cookies, you’ll need:

Go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and add in 2.5 cups of flour. Remember, when measuring flour, do the spoon & scrape method.

What’s the spoon & scrape method? Simply use a spoon to spoon flour into your measuring cup. Once you have a mound at the top, take a knife and scrape it over the top of the measuring cup. Obviously don’t scrape the excess into your mixing bowl.

Spoon & Scrape Method

Alternatively, use a kitchen scale and measure out 312 grams of flour.

Next, add in 1/2 cup cocoa powder and two teaspoons of baking powder into the mixing bowl. I like to use black cocoa powder in my chocolate sugar cookies because the cookies are darker.

Make sure to use baking powder and not baking soda. The baking soda will cause the cookies to puff up and spread. Likely still delicious but not as pretty.

Stir the dry ingredients together and then set this bowl aside.

peppermint mocha cookies

Grab your stand mixer and attach the paddle attachment.

Sugar and Butter

In the stand mixer, add in one cup (or two sticks) of COLD salted butter. By cold, I mean refrigerated and not at room temperature.

You can chop the butter up into cubes before adding it into the stand if you want to speed up the process and reduce the chance of your mixer kicking the butter out onto the floor.

To the butter, cubed or not, add in one cup of granulated white sugar. You don’t need to do the scoop & scrape method for the sugar.

Now, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed. You will know it’s done when you can’t see any butter lumps. Try not to overmix, as this just adds heat into the butter and increases the chance of spread.

Next up is adding one egg to the mixer.

Before turning on the mixer, go ahead and add in one teaspoon of vanilla extract, two teaspoons of peppermint extract, and one tablespoon of espresso powder.

What is espresso powder? Espresso powder is made by using previously brewed espresso beans, roasting them, and then grinding them into a powder. You can make espresso powder at home yourself or you can purchase espresso powder.

I prefer purchasing espresso powder for this recipe, as the store bought powder is very fine, perfect for the espresso buttercream that will top these peppermint mocha sugar cookies.

Now, go ahead and mix the egg, extracts, and espresso powder in the stand mixer until the egg is just combined. Again, we don’t want to introduce too much heat.

Lastly, spoon in some of the flour, cocoa powder, & baking powder mixture and mix until it’s not a powdery mess. Continue adding in the dry ingredients until it’s all been added.

The dough will pull away from the sides when it is ready. If it is too sticky, add in a tablespoon of flour. It’s better to go with more than less flour here.

peppermint mocha cookie dough

Roll out the cookie dough on a piece of parchment paper to 3/8″ thick. I prefer a thicker cookie because buttercream frosting can be overpowering if the cookie is too thin.

I use this Joseph-Joseph rolling pin to ensure my cookies are even and 3/8″ thick. I highly recommend it! It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Use your favorite Christmas cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. Place no more than 6 cookies on a standard sized cookie sheet. I find this no chill sugar cookie dough recipe to work wonders on this cookie sheet and a silicone mat.

cutting out the peppermint mocha cookie dough

Bake for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the middle of the cookie doesn’t look wet. Sometimes it forms a bit of a bump on the top of the cookie which also means they are done.

I always err on underbaking than overbaking. The cookies will continue to cook a bit as they cool on the baking sheet. The egg & flour should be cooked enough for safe eating, assuming the cookies didn’t look wet in appearance anymore.

cut out peppermint mocha cookies baked

Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes, then use a thin spatula to move them to a piece of parchment paper. Roll out the next set of 6 cookies and repeat this process until all the dough is used.

To take these soon-to-be buttercream cookies OUT OF THIS WORLD, put your just-baked-but-cooled cookies into an airtight container and then freeze them.

When the cookies are ready to be frosted, either remove them from the freezer or frost on room temperature cookies.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting Recipe

espresso buttercream frosting

To make our espresso buttercream frosting, you will need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Espresso powder
  • Whole milk

These peppermint mocha sugar cookies should be topped with the espresso buttercream. The espresso powder in the cookie won’t be that noticeable, as it mostly just brings out the chocolate flavor.

The first step to make this espresso buttercream is to set one cup of unsalted butter out on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature. Making buttercream frosting with cold frosting will create a lumpy frosting, not ideal.

Once the unsalted butter is at room temperature, add it to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter on medium to high speed for several minutes. You want the butter to become lighter in color.

Next, add in two teaspoons of espresso powder, three and a half cups of powdered sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one tablespoon of milk. Before mixing on low, cover the stand mixer with a towel to prevent a powdery explosion.

Mix the buttercream frosting on low speed until it is brought together well. If the frosting is too stiff, add in another tablespoon of milk and mix until incorporated.

Add the frosting to a piping bag with a Wilton tip #5 to pipe an easy Christmas tree, or simply use a knife to spread the frosting onto the cookies.

Top the peppermint mocha sugar cookies with fun Christmas sprinkles to further tie in the Christmas theme.

peppermint mocha sugar cookies for Christmas

how to sell cookies online

Cut Out Peppermint Mocha Cookies with Espresso Buttercream

These cut out peppermint mocha cookies with espresso buttercream hold their shape for Christmas cookie decorating yet still have a soft, delicious bite.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cut Out Peppermint Mocha Cookies, Peppermint Mocha Cookie Recipe, Peppermint Mocha Sugar Cookies
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Mixing Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies, depending on the size of the cutter
Author: Leah Buehler

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Medium Sized Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Christmas cookie cutter(s)

Ingredients

Peppermint Mocha Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup cold salted butter cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp. espresso powder

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp. whole milk
  • Christmas sprinkles optional

Instructions

  • Remove one cup of unsalted butter from the refrigerator to allow to come to room temperature. This butter will be used for the frosting recipe but you will make the cookies first.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peppermint Mocha Sugar Cookies

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Set this aside for now.
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the cup of cold, salted butter with the granulated sugar.
  • Add in the egg, teaspoon of vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and tablespoon of espresso powder. Mix until just combined.
  • To the stand mixer bowl, slowly add in the dry ingredients from the medium sized mixing bowl. Mix on low until the dough comes together and forms a ball. It will be dry at first but it will come together.
  • Lay out a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Roll the dough out onto the parchment paper to 3/8" thick. Cut out the cookies and bake on a lined cookie sheet for 7-10 minutes or until the cookies no longer look wet. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least five minutes before removing them.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

  • While the cookies are baking, mix the room temperature unsalted butter using the paddle attachment on medium to high speed for a few minutes. The butter should become lighter in color.
  • To the stand mixer, add in the remaining frosting ingredients. Before turning the mixer on, cover the bowl with a towel to prevent a powdery explosion. Mix the frosting on low speed until smooth.
  • Once the cookies are cooled, frost the cookies with the buttercream using a knife or piping bags and decorating tips. Top the cookies with Christmas sprinkles.

Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t I need to chill the dough before baking?

You can chill the dough if you need to, otherwise the dough does not need to be chilled. The cookies may have a bit of spread due to having less flour in the dough, but I prefer the taste of the cookie with less flour than having a perfectly cut-out cookie shape.

If you want your cookies to be perfectly cut out, consider adding in more flour, up to a half cup, or add in some gelatin.

Can I dye the espresso buttercream?

The espresso buttercream is a dark color due to the addition of the espresso powder. That being said, adding gel food dye will mute the colors. If you want a brighter color, use my cold brew buttercream frosting recipe.

Can I package these cookies?

Yes! You can package buttercream sugar cookies. I have a very detailed post on packaging buttercream sugar cookies for your reference.

Save the Tutorial for These Peppermint Mocha Sugar Cookies with Espresso Buttercream

Use the image below to pin this peppermint mocha sugar cookie recipe to your Christmas or holiday board on Pinterest. Alternatively, use any of the social share icons on the top of the page to share it to your favorite social media site.

peppermint mocha sugar cookies with espresso buttercream

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