These Icing Thumbprint Cookies are soft, buttery sugar cookies topped with peppermint buttercream frosting and sprinkles of crushed candy canes. Tender and delicious, these peppermint icing thumbprint cookies are guaranteed to be a holiday hit!
Each year at my annual Christmas cookie exchange, I try out a new recipe to share with friends. This year I picked this icing thumbprint cookie recipe from one of my Gooseberry Patch Christmas recipe cookbooks.
These delicate cookies have a great mix of textures. The mildly sweet butter cookie is a wonderful contrast to the sweet peppermint buttercream icing and the candy canes add a nice crunch. This cookie is definitely a keeper!
Ingredients you'll need
For the cookie:
- Butter- softened to room temperature
- Egg-lightly beaten
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Candy canes- finely crushed for topping cookies
For the filling:
- Peppermint extract
- Powdered sugar
- Whole milk or half & half
How to make icing thumbprint cookies
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2. With an electric mixer on low speed, blend softened butter, sugar, and salt. Mix in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much flour as possible; stir in the remaining flour. Cover and chill for one hour.
Step 3. Shape dough into one-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Step 4. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges (very lightly golden…these should be soft when cooled.)
Step 5. Make the frosting for thumbprint cookies- Blend the butter and extract. Gradually add powdered sugar and half & half to a piping consistency.
Step 6. Make a thumbprint on each cookie with thumb. Cool. Pipe filling into centers with a star tip. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes immediately after piping so that they stick before the icing firms up a bit.
A few pictures from my cookie exchange this year.
That's a whole lot of deliciousness!
I have some really crafty and talented friends. The spread was fabulous!
Our beautiful cookie spread...
If you don't currently take part in a holiday cookie exchange, then why not start one of your own?! It's a whole lot of fun! Don't worry if you don't want to go into a sugar coma, there are places where you can donate trays of cookies that would be incredibly grateful to receive them. Nursing homes, homeless shelters, churches, and local families in need are great places to contact about cookie donations.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours! xo~
How to freeze thumbprint cookies
These cookies freeze beautifully. If you want to bake and freeze them ahead of time, just wait to add the crushed candy cane topping until right before serving. To freeze, store in a sealed container lined with wax paper for up to three months.
More cookie exchange recipes
Crescent Cookies- a family favorite
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Peppermint Icing Thumbprint Cookies
For the cookie
- ⅔ cup butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Garnish: finely crushed candy canes
For the filling
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoon whole milk or half and half-I used half & half
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchement paper.
- With an electric mixer on low speed, blend softened butter, sugar, and salt.
- Mix in egg and vanilla.
- Beat in as much flour as possible; stir in remaining flour.
- Cover and chill for one hour.
- Shape dough into one-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden around edges (very lightly golden…these should be soft when cooled.)
- Remove from oven; make a thumbprint in each cookie with thumb. Allow cookies to cool completely.
- While the cookies cool, make the icing: blend butter and extract. Gradually add powdered sugar and half & half to a piping consistency.
- Pipe filling into centers with a star tip. Sprinkle immediately with crushed candy canes so they will stick before the icing starts to set.
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