Peppermint Baubles

These peppermint baubles are a fun alternative to frosted butter cookies, using colored dough to create a polka dot design.

By Yankee Magazine

Nov 16 2016


Peppermint Baubles

Photo Credit : Elizabeth Cecil

Here’s a streamlined alternative to frosted butter cookies. Rather than decorating with icing, you color a bit of the dough and use it to create a polka dot design on the surface. The look is fun, graphic, and modern, and a bit of peppermint extract gives these baubles a kick.


about 4 dozen cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Red and green food coloring


In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Beat the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add this to the butter mixture and beat on low just until combined.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and divide it up into three portions: two large and one quite small. (The small portion should amount to about 1/6 of the total amount of dough.) Gather the two larger portions into balls, press them into disks, and then wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Now take the smaller portion of dough. Divide it in half and mix one half with enough red food coloring to achieve your desired color. Mix the second half with green food coloring. Wrap these doughs in plastic and chill as above.

Take your red and green doughs and divide and roll them into small balls, each about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. Set half of them on a plate and return them to the refrigerator. Keep the other balls on hand.

Preheat your oven to 350° and set your racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Lay a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper on your counter and roll out one of the large disks of dough on the paper to a 1/8-inch thickness. Arrange red and green balls over the surface of the dough in a pleasing pattern, then use your thumb to press them into the dough to form circles. If the dough begins to soften during this time, transfer it (on the waxed paper) to the freezer for 10 minutes.

Using a 2-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut the decorated dough into circles, working as tightly as possible to squeeze the maximum number of balls out of the dough (once decorated, it can’t be re-rolled). Discard scraps (or you can always gently knead them to make tie-dye-style cookies). 

Bake the cookies, turning the sheets halfway through, until edges are lightly golden, 11 to 13 minutes. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Repeat the entire process with the second batches of dough. Serve at room temperature.