Now that the festive winter days have arrived as fast as a belly-whopping Frosty the Snowman, nothing tastes merrier than a homemade holiday cookie. These Cocoa-Peppermint Buttons — a recipe adapted from “Good Housekeeping Kids Bake!” — are jolly good. Just don’t eat them all at once . . . or your belly may resemble that of a certain white-bearded fella.

Adult’s help: Some

Hands-on time: An hour

Total time: 2 hours

Makes: About 25-30 cookies


● large mixing bowl

● measuring cups

● measuring spoons

● whisk

● small bowl

● mixer with flat beater and mixing bowl

● microwave-safe bowl

● rubber spatula

● plastic wrap

● cutting board

● rolling pin

● parchment paper

● 2 baking sheets

● 2 wire racks

● spatula


1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

⅓ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

½ cup (1 stick) of salted butter,

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

About 30 starlight mints, unwrapped


1. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a whisk. Crack the egg into a small bowl, then beat it with a whisk until the liquid is yellow.

2. Put the butter and sugar in a mixer’s large bowl, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Turn off the mixer. Melt the chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir with kitchen teaspoon, set aside to cool slightly.

3. Pour half of the egg liquid into bowl with sugar-butter mixture, then add the chocolate along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Resume beating on ­medium-high speed for 30 seconds, stop to scrape the bowl sides with a rubber spatula, then beat another 30 seconds.

4. Reduce the speed to low; gradually beat in the flour mixture just until blended (about 1½ minutes).

5. Remove the dough from the bowl, then divide into two equal pieces with a table knife; flatten each into a disk. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until dough is firm but not hard.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dust a cutting board with some flour, then roll out one dough disk with a flour-coated rolling pin until the dough is ⅛ -inch thick. Pull off small chunks of dough, rolling each between your palms into 1-inch balls.

7. Place the balls 3 inches apart on a ­parchment-lined cookie sheet. Pat to flatten until cookies are 1½ inches wide. Put the cookie sheet in the oven on the center rack. Bake 10 minutes. While the first batch bakes, prepare the second batch as you did in Steps 6 and 7.

8. Put on oven mitts and remove cookies from the oven; immediately press a mint into the center of each. (The cookies will be hot, so you may need an adult’s help.) Press gently to avoid cracking the cookies.

9. Lift the cookies from the sheet with a spatula, placing them on wire racks to cool, for 5 minutes. Bake second batch and then repeat Steps 8 and 9.

10. Once the cookies cool, share immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.