12 Days of Holiday Treats: Choc Mint Thumbprint Cookies

Close up of a tray of chocolate mint thumbprint cookies topped with candy canes.Welcome to Day 9 of

The Twelve Days of Holiday Treats!

Once again, this year, from December 1st-12th I’ll post a new holiday treat recipe every day – inspiration for your holiday entertaining!

The recipes I’m sharing are small-er batch (perfect for this year when many of us will still be attending/ hosting smaller gatherings) – each recipe makes 1-dozen or a few more smaller-sized treats that are simple to prepare and that use everyday ingredients and equipment so hopefully you’ll be able to whip up any of these on a whim. Check out the treats from 2019 and 2020 at the bottom of this post too for more inspiration!

Chocolate and mint is one of my favourite flavour combinations at any time of year and so when candy canes come on the scene in December, so bright and colourful and also tasty, I’m always looking for ways to use them in my chocolate-themed bakes!

Today’s recipe is a simple thumbprint cookie that comes together in no time and just screams “holidays”.

A tray of chocolate mint thumbprint cookies topped with candy canes.I played with this recipe a little bit – experimenting with adding peppermint essence to both the dough and the chocolate ganache but that felt a little but too “toothpaste-y” so left the essence in the dough only. The candy cane adds a lovely mint flavour as it is (and some good texture!).

Four chocolate mint thumbprint cookies topped with candy canes.

Yield: 12

Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies

Close up of a tray of chocolate mint thumbprint cookies topped with candy canes.

Chocolate and mint - is there a better holiday combination?

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


for the cookies:

  • 3/4 cup (113g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons (54g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

for the chocolate ganache

  • 1/3 cup (approx. 65g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream (35%)

for topping:

  • 2 crushed peppermint candy canes


    Make the cookies:

    1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a small bowl.
    2. In a medium bowl using electric hand beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).
    3. Add the sugar and continue mixing until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes)
    4. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract and beat on medium-high speed until well combined (about 1 minute).
    5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until they are just combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture starts to come together (this might take 3-4 minutes, be patient). This is stiff, solid dough.
    6. Divide the dough into 12 balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and roll them between your palms until smooth and round.
    7. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking tray and use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle of each cookie. They might (will?) crack around the edges but that just adds to their charm, don’t worry about it!
    8. Place the tray of dough balls in the fridge while you pre-heat the oven.
      Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
    9. When the oven is at temperature, bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes at which point the edges will be slightly crispy but the centre might still feel underbaked and be a bit puffy.
    10. Remove the tray from the oven and immediately use the bottom of a wooden spoon handle to re-form the indentations (they will have puffed up during the baking).
    11. Lift the cookies (on the parchment paper) and place them on a wire cooling rack. Allow to come to room temperature.

    Prepare the ganache:

    1. Put the chocolate in a small ceramic or metal bowl.
    2. Heat the cream until it’s just about boiling in a glass jug in the microwave or in a small pot on the stovetop.
    3. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for a couple of minutes before stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

    Fill and decorate the cookies:

    1. Place the ganache in a small jug or a measuring cup with a pouring lip and fill the indentations of the cooled cookies.
    2. Let the cookies sit for a few minutes before you sprinkle over the crushed candy canes.
    3. Let the ganache harden a little (it will never be rock hard) before storing in an airtight container (layer with parchment if you are not storing in a single layer).


Store the cookies at room temperature for 3-4 days. They will get a little softer as they sit but that's not a bad thing - the flavours will intensify also.

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did you make this recipe?

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Aren’t they pretty?

A tray of chocolate mint thumbprint cookies topped with crushed candy canes.What I love about these cookies is how rustic they are – those cracks around the edges are hard to avoid to embrace them ! The holidays, when we are sometimes cooking with kids, is a great time to be all about the rustic!

Baking up a storm? Check out Nuts.com for all your baking and cooking needs!

Buy bulk nuts, snack mixes, dried fruits, candies & sweets by the pound at Nuts.com!

(this is an affiliate link, but I genuinely use Nuts.com products and love them. Highly recommended if you are in the US/ Canada where they currently ship)

Check out 2021’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Speculoos financiers

Day 2: Chocolate Dipped Orange Sugar Cookies

Day 3: Madeleines à la Clémentine

Day 4: Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

Day 5: Sunbutter and Jam Chocolate Cups

Day 6: Hot Chocolate and Marshmallow Cookies

Day 7: Linzer Cookies

Day 8: Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Day 9: Choc-Mint Thumbprint Cookies

Day 10: Pailles (Puff Pastry and Jam Cookies)

Day 11: Strawberry Santa Hats

Day 12: Mulled Wine Jam




Check out 2020’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Rice Krispie Wreaths

Day 2: Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Day 3: Peppermint Bark

Day 4: Orangettes

Day 5: Rocky Road Chocolate Crackle Slice

Day 6: Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Day 7: Orange Pim’s

Day 8: Mendiants

Day 9: Chewy Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies

Day 10: Apricot, Coconut and Cranberry “truffles”

Day 11: Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Brownies

Day 12: Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Check out 2019’s 12 Days of Holiday Cookies:

Day 1: Easy Three Ingredient Shortbread

Day 2: Jam Drops

Day 3: Chocolate Caramel Slice

Day 4: Melting Moments

Day 5: White Christmas

Day 6: Langues de Chat

Day 7: Chocolate Coconut Slice

Day 8: Cornflake Biscuits

Day 9: Rocky Road

Day 10: Honey Joys

Day 11: Rum Ball Truffles

Day 12: Giant Florentine Cookie (to share)


Buy my books! In the French kitchen with kids and French Food for Everyone: le goûter are out now! Click here for details and how to order!

Books by Mardi Michels

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