I love peppermint-flavoured baked goods and ice cream in the winter months. Growing up, our Christmas Eve tradition was to eat a bowl of candy cane ice cream while watching Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. These Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies remind me of that tradition.
I wanted to share a list of a few holiday traditions I’m loving this season. Please also share your favourite Christmas or holiday tradition with me in the comments. I’d love to hear how you celebrate the season.
Christmas Traditions I Love
Advent Wreath: We have an Advent wreath similar to this one to help us countdown to Christmas and await the coming of Jesus. We use this book, reading one page a day until Christmas. Every day we light one candle and sing the hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” together. Then my boys open a little tin and get a surprise candy. They ask me a million times a day if it’s time to advent together yet.
Christmas Brunch: Growing up, my mom served a big Christmas morning brunch instead of a big dinner so we could have a relaxed day. We always have a couple of delicious quiches which inspired me to create my Broccoli Goat Cheese Quiche recipe here on the blog. It would be perfect for Christmas brunch. (link quiche recipe)
A New Tradition For Our Family: Geoff came up with a new tradition for our family to adopt this year that I’m really excited about. Since we always give our boys new Lego sets, Geoff wants to set aside an evening near Christmas day to stay up late with our boys and build all their current Lego sets so that when they open their new set, their Lego is all prepared for a new addition.
Frequently Asked Questions About Thumbprint Cookies
Do Thumbprint cookies need to be refrigerated?
No, this recipe does not require refrigeration of the dough before baking. You can choose to put the baked thumbprint cookies in the fridge or leave them in an airtight container on the counter. I love how they taste when they’re cold out of the fridge.
Why do thumbprint cookies spread?
Thumbprint cookies may spread if the recipe doesn’t have enough flour in it.
Do thumbprint cookies freeze well?
Yes, for sure! These are perfect cookies to make ahead of time or to stock up in your freezer. Pull them out when guests are coming over.
Why do thumbprint cookies crack?
White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint cookies can crack as you press to indent them when the dough has dried out a bit or has begun to stiffen. To prevent this, I recommend making the indentation immediately after rolling each ball of dough. Press very gently. If it cracks slightly, I just reroll that ball. As it softens and warms up in my hands, I find it solves the problem.
How to Make White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, mix flour together with cocoa powder and salt until well combined.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, one egg and vanilla extract.
Roll the dough into small 2 teaspoon sized balls and arrange on a prepared cookie sheet. Place about 12 cookies per sheet.
Make a small imprint in the centre of the cookies with your thumb, back of a teaspoon or with the rounded end of a wooden spoon. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
When you have the last tray of cookies in the oven, begin to melt white chocolate over low heat in a small saucepan with the heavy cream. Once melted, stir in peppermint extract.
Once the cookies have cooled slightly, add a small dollop of the white chocolate ganache to the centre indentation made in the thumbprint cookies and sprinkle with a few pieces of crushed candy cane. Allow the ganache to cool and set in the cookie. Enjoy!
Tips for Making White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies
- I begin to make the ganache when the last tray of cookies are in the oven because you want to distribute the ganache between the cookies while it’s still slightly warm. Don’t allow it to set and cool in the saucepan.
- I had trouble with my white chocolate ganache the first time I made these cookies. The white chocolate seized up because I added cold cream to already warm and melted chocolate. Rookie mistake! After a moment of panic, I discovered that I could resolve the problem by adding boiling water 1 teaspoon at a time and stirring until the chocolate became smooth again.
- I discovered you can buy crushed candy canes at bulk stores much cheaper than whole candy canes.
- This recipe calls for baking peppermint extract, not peppermint essential oil.
- When the cookies come out of the oven, sometimes a few of the cookies lose their defined indentation in the centre. I just press the centre gently with the end of a wooden spoon or similar kitchen tool to reinforce the indentation of the cookies while they’re still warm. Press carefully to prevent splitting the side of the cookie.
Kids Love to Help Bake Thumbprint Cookies
Kids love to help make these thumbprint cookies! The perfect time to invite them into your baking endeavour is when it’s time to press the indentations into the cookies and when you are sprinkling the crushed candy canes into the centre.. If you have young children with shorter attention spans, I have found that it works well to invite them to join you for one small part of the baking process. My boys feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a small step and seeing their creations go into the oven. Baking with children always requires a little planning and a lot of patience. It also makes a bigger mess but it really is worth it. This is the perfect recipe to make with your children.
More Holiday Recipes You'll Love
“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it... Don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.”
- Mary Oliver -
White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup Unsalted butter softened
- ⅔ cup Brown sugar tightly packed
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Peppermint extract
- 2 ⅓ cups All-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup Cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
White Chocolate Ganache
- 6 oz White chocolate
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon Peppermint extract
To Top The Cookies
- Crushed candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour together with cocoa powder and salt until well combined.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, one egg and vanilla extract.
- Roll the dough into small 2 teaspoon sized balls and arrange on a prepared cookie sheet. Place about 12 cookies per sheet.
- Make a small imprint in the centre of the cookies with your thumb, back of a teaspoon or with the rounded end of a wooden spoon. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
- When you have the last tray of cookies in the oven, begin to melt white chocolate over low heat in a small saucepan with the heavy cream. Once melted, stir in peppermint extract.
- Once the cookies have cooled slightly, add a small dollop of the white chocolate ganache to the centre indentation made in the thumbprint cookies and sprinkle with a few pieces of crushed candy cane. Allow the ganache to cool and set in the cookie. Enjoy!
‘Til next time,