We love a classic Christmas cookie, but lately we’ve been enjoying new versions of old favorites. We have taken your traditional sugar cookie and transformed them into something magical – White Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Royal Icing!

a photo of a stack of four sugar cookies with white frosting and red and green sprinkles with a bite out of the top cookie

The white chocolate makes the cookies so decadent, and the peppermint in the royal icing makes them your quintessential Christmas cookie.  They are soft and pillow-y, just how a sugar cookie should be, and the royal icing is glossy and gorgeous! I guarantee these cookies are going to becoming a new Christmas favorite!

Whenever I make sugar cookies, it immediately takes me back to my childhood.  I remember my mom making sugar cookies while she let me and my siblings make a huge mess of tiny pieces of paper flying everywhere as we cut out snowflakes to hang in our windows. We thought hanging snowflakes in the windows was the sure way to guarantee a white Christmas, or at least snow that year!

a photo of several sugar cookies with white royal icing and green and red sprinkles with one cooking having bites taking out of it

Now I ask myself, why in the world did I want it to snow?! I’m not the biggest fan now.  Maybe that makes me old.  Or just boring.  Or maybe it makes me smart!  I’m going with smart! Snow is cold (and I loathe cold), wet, messy, dangerous for driving, and just bothersome. Before you all go crazy on me, it is pretty!  Freshly fallen snow on the trees and rooftops is gorgeous!  As long as I don’t have to go anywhere and can admire if from the comfort of my warm home, it can snow all it wants!  I just became 95-years-old!

Nailed it!

Okay, now I’ve gotten all side-tracked! These sugar cookies are easy!  Have you ever seen those mesmerizing videos of people doing the most ornate and beautiful cookie decorating ever?  I could watch those all day!  They make it look so easy that anyone could do it!  And then have you ever tried to do it?  Hahaha!  You could put me on an episode of Nailed It with some of my creations!  So I stick with the simple shapes and decorating!

Plus, this way my kids can help, and kids love everything about making sugar cookies! I mean, what is there not to love?!  Making the dough, rolling it out, cutting out shapes, baking the cookies, and then decorating them…it’s like one big party!

A photo of a sugar cookie frosted with white royal icing with red and green sprinkles

Extract Mania

These white chocolate sugar cookies with peppermint royal icing just scream Christmas, but one thing I love about these cookies is that you can swap the extract for any flavor to fit any holiday or season.  Here are some ideas:

  • LEMON for spring or summer, Mother’s Day, a baby or bridal shower
  • COCONUT for summer or Easter
  • MAPLE for fall or Thanksgiving
  • ORANGE for just about an reason or season
  • CAKE BATTER…say what?  Yes, I did see cake batter extract the other day at the store. I bet that would be delish in this recipe!
  • RASPBERRY for Valentine’s Day or a girls night
  • ROOT BEER because, why not?  I bet it would take like a root beer float!
  • ALMOND for any and all occasions because almond extract is so dang good!
A photo of several round sugar cookies with white royal icing and red and green sprinkles

Can Sugar Cookies Be Frozen?

Yes!  We have frozen both the dough for these and the finished cookies (unfrosted).  For freezing the dough, wrap the cookie dough tightly in plastic wrap, and then stick it in the freezer. When you are ready to bake them, be sure to plan ahead because they need to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  They are ready to roll out, cut into shapes, and bake according to the instructions in your recipe.

Here are the steps for freezing these cookies after they have been baked:

  1. After the cookies have cooled completely, place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid.
  2. Place in an airtight container with parchment between each layer. They can also be placed into Ziplock bags.
  3. They be frozen for up to 3 months and still taste great.
  4. When you are ready to eat them, take the cookies out of the containers and thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter.
  5. Make the royal icing and decorate as desired.
a closeup photo of a stack of sugar cookies with white frosting and red and green sprinkles with a bite out of the top cookie

Dough Too Dry or Too Sticky

Sometimes when it comes to rolling out the cookie dough, we can run into some issues.  Is there anything more frustrating when sugar cookie dough is too sticky or too crumbly? Here are some solutions!

  • Too sticky to roll – the dough is not chilled enough or doesn’t have enough flour
    • SOLUTION: Cover and chill dough longer, and worse case scenario, add a little flour a couple tablespoons at a time and incorporate into the dough
  • Too dry or crumbly – the dough has too much flour
    • SOLUTION: Dribble in a little vegetable oil until you reach the desired consistency
  • Dough cracks when you roll it – the dough is too cold
    • SOLUTION: Cover the dough and let it sit at room temperature until it warms up slightly

These cookies are meant to be soft! If you’re looking for a more dense, hard cookies, try our White Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread cookies!

A closeup photo of a sugar cookie frosted with white royal icing with red and green sprinkles

How Thick Should I Roll Out the Dough?

The dough for these sugar cookies should be rolled out to 1/2″ thick.  Any thicker, and the cookies won’t bake through completely.  Any thinner, and the cookies will be hard and crispy.  At 1/2″ thick, they bake perfectly and come out soft and perfect!

Why Do You Chill Sugar Cookie Dough?

When you chill sugar cookie dough, solidifies the fat in the cookies so as the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt. The cookies spread less the longer the fat remains solid which is exactly what we are after with sugar cookies!

A photo of a sugar cookie frosted with white royal icing with red and green sprinkles

Royal Icing 101

If you Google “royal icing”, just about everything you are going to find will say that royal icing is made with powdered sugar, egg whites, and an extract.  That is the recipe for your traditional royal icing.  We have changed things a little here so that you aren’t eating raw egg whites. We have replaced the egg whites with a little corn syrup and room temperature water.  You still get that glossy finish that hardens slightly as it dries.  It tastes delicious!

You can also make royal icing with meringue powder instead of egg whites, but I’ll save that for a different day. Meringue powder isn’t something the most people just have on hand.

What are the Types of Royal Icing Consistency?

Flood Consistency: The thinnest consistency used to fill large areas with icing. It creates a flat base for further decorating. I use the counting method to know when the consistency is right. Scoop up some of the icing and then drip it back onto the rest of the icing. It should disappear back into itself in about 10 seconds.

Piping (or Outline or Medium) Consistency: This is a slightly thinner consistency than the stiff icing that is used to pipe around the outline of the area you want to flood. It will act as a barrier to your flood icing so the flood icing doesn’t run off the edges of your cookie. It can also be used for text. For the counting method, it will disappear back into itself in 15-20 seconds. It’s also a similar consistency to toothpaste.

Stiff Consistency: A very thick consistency used to pipe detailed text or objects that require a lot of detail like leaves, flowers or ruffles. It will hold it’s shape no matter what. If you pipe it straight up, it will stay up and stiff.

For these simple cookies, I only used the piping consistency and the flood consistency, no stiff consistency needed.

So make your way to the kitchen and make a batch of these white chocolate sugar cookies!  We want to see photos of all your beautiful creations!!

Seasonal Cookie RECIPES

White Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Royal Icing

3.96 from 21 votes
Servings: 36
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

Description

We love a classic Christmas cookie, but lately we’ve been enjoying new versions of old favorites. We have taken your traditional sugar cookie and transformed them into something magical – White Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peppermint Royal Icing!

Ingredients 

  • 4 Ounce White Chocolate
  • 2 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter, Room Temp
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg, Large
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Sprinkles for decorating

Peppermint Royal Icing

  • 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Corn Syrup
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Water, Room Temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract

Instructions

  • Chop the white chocolate bar into chunks.
    4 Ounce White Chocolate
  • Place the white chocolate in a small bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals for 2 minutes or until melted.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
    2 3/4 Cups Flour, 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • In a standing mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
    1 Cup Butter, 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix again.
    1 Egg, 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pour the melted and slightly cooled white chocolate and mix
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt mixture and mix a final time until the dough just comes together.
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and put half of the dough on it. Cover the entire ball of dough and gently pat into a disk.
  • Repeat with remaining dough and place in the fridge for 1 hour or up to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap the dough and sprinkle a little powdered sugar on the counter to avoid sticking.
  • Using a rolling pin dusted with powdered sugar, roll the dough out to 1/2″ thick.
  • Using cookie cutters, cut the dough and place on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes and remove from the oven, repeating with remaining dough.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the icing.

Royal Icing

  • In a bowl, add the powdered sugar, corn syrup, peppermint and water. Mix together until smooth, shiny and when you lift the spoon a ribbon of icing stays on the top of the icing before finally melting back in.
    1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar, 1 teaspoon Corn Syrup, 1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract, 2-3 Tablespoons Water
  • Frost cookies using a piping bag and small tip. Add sprinkles if desired.
    Sprinkles for decorating

Notes

Sugar cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 111kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 78mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 158IUCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 Best Cookies Recipes on the Planet

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a photo of a stack of four sugar cookies with white frosting and red and green sprinkles with a bite out of the top cookie