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Peppermint s’mores cookies put a vegan twist on a winter favorite

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Vegan Chocolate Peppermint S’mores Cookies
Active time:1 hour 15 mins
Total time:4 hours 25 mins
Servings:Makes 12 large cookies
Active time:1 hour 15 mins
Total time:4 hours 25 mins
Servings:Makes 12 large cookies

Every December while growing up in Sacramento, I eagerly awaited a shiny tin packed with big, oblong shards of peppermint bark that would inevitably be gifted by a neighbor or distant relative. Unfortunately, store-bought peppermint bark is rarely vegan, so when my company, Maya’s Cookies, entered its first holiday season, I set out to turn my favorite festive treat into a vegan cookie.

The resulting treat is rich and gooey, with the minty kick that’s so often associated with the winter months. It’s now one of my best-selling holiday cookies.

13 holiday cookie recipes to bring color and joy to the season

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint S’mores Cookies

If you would prefer a non-vegan version of this recipe, see the VARIATION for substitutions.

These cookies are quite large, so make sure they are spaced at least 2 inches apart before baking.

If you aren’t a fan of peppermint, omit the candy for a chocolate s’mores cookie.

Make Ahead: Before scooping, the cookie dough should be refrigerated for at least 3 hours and up to overnight. Once the marshmallows are added, the dough should not be refrigerated again.

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 weeks.

Where to Buy: Ener-G Egg Replacer can be found at such stores as Mom’s Organic Market or online. Soy Free Earth Balance is Maya’s Cookies preferred nondairy butter, but many vegan butter brands are interchangeable in this recipe. Theo and Endangered Species both have vegan dark chocolate bars that are available at many grocery stores. The most commonly found brand of vegan marshmallows is Dandies, which are available online and at well-stocked supermarkets. Trader Joe’s marshmallows are vegan as well.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered vegan egg replacer, preferably Ener-G
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) raw cacao powder (may substitute natural unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks/170 grams) nondairy butter, preferably Soy Free Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) crushed peppermint candy, divided (from 20 candies)
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) chopped vegan dark chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) vegan white chocolate chips, such as Pascha, Enjoy Life or King David brands
  • 36 mini vegan marshmallows, such as Dandies brand (may substitute large marshmallows torn into pieces)

Step 1

In a small bowl, whisk together the water and egg replacer until creamy. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao, baking soda and salt until well combined.


Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown and granulated sugars and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and the attachment. Add the egg replacer mixture and mix on medium until incorporated, scraping down the bowl again.

Step 3

Add the flour mixture and mix on low until all the ingredients are just combined and there are no visible dry spots. Still on low, stir in 1/4 cup (50 grams) of the peppermint candy, the chopped chocolate and white chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough. If using a stand mixer, remove the bowl from the mixer and stir the dough with a flexible spatula a few times.

Step 4

For the best results, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.


Step 5

Remove the bowl with the cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the dough has been refrigerated longer than 3 hours, let it sit on the counter for about 15 minutes — this makes it easier to scoop and mold.

Step 6

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line two, large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.


Step 7

Using a No. 24 disher or tablespoon measure, scoop out heaping 3-tablespoon (70-gram) portions of dough. Add 3 marshmallows to each portion, trying not to clump them together and ensuring at least one is peeking out of the top, then roll into smooth balls. As you work, transfer the balls to the prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches (5 centimeters) apart, for a total of 6 cookies per sheet.

Step 8

Transfer the cookies on the sheets to the freezer for 10 minutes to help them hold their shape. (If your freezer is tight on space, you can chill the second sheet while the first one bakes or put all the dough on one sheet before separating for baking.) For thicker cookies, freeze for 30 minutes.

Step 9

Bake, one sheet at a time, for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are puffy in the center and set at the edges. Remove from the oven and add a sprinkle of the crushed candy on top of each cookie.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

VARIATION: If you prefer to make a non-vegan version of these cookies, substitute 1 whole egg for the vegan egg replacer; an equal amount of unsalted butter for the nondairy version; and equal amounts of regular dark chocolate, white chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Increase the time in the freezer to 15 to 20 minutes to help them hold their shape.

Nutrition Information

Per cookie

Calories: 387; Total Fat: 19 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 295 mg; Carbohydrates: 51 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 31 g; Protein: 3 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.


From Maya Madsen of Maya’s Cookies in San Diego.

Tested by Christine Ashack and Becky Krystal; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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