Grinch Cookies

5 Min Read

Grinch Cookies (From Scratch!)

Here’s a unique addition to your Christmas cookie tray: Grinch cookies! I actually developed this recipe several years ago and can’t believe I haven’t shared it here sooner. These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy, fun, and kids love them!

Grinch cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a Grinch movie night (with plenty of hot chocolate and marshmallows, too). Festive and cute, they’re dyed Grinch-green and decorated with colorful red and green M&M candies.

We’ll infuse a hint of peppermint extract in the dough too–just enough to add a wintery flavor, but not so much that it’s overwhelming.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • The dough is made from scratch: no cake mix or pudding mix here!
  • Subtle mint flavor: make sure to use peppermint extract, not mint.
  • No chilling required: the cookies still come out soft and chewy though!
  • Dough can be made in advance or frozen: instructions for this are below.
  • Ready in 30 minutes: we love a fast and flavorful cookie around here!

What You Need

Most of these ingredients are pretty straightforward, but let’s go over a few of the important ones before we get started.

  • Softened butter. I like using unsalted butter to have better control of the salt in the recipe, but you could use salted butter and reduce the salt to ½ teaspoon. Your butter should be softened, but don’t let it get so warm that it’s melty or appears oily on the outside, or your dough will spread too much!
  • Peppermint extract. Make sure to use peppermint extract and not mint extract! Mint tends to taste a bit like toothpaste, while the peppermint has a more festive taste. Just a teaspoon is plenty to give this recipe a subtle mint flavor.
  • Cornstarch. This keeps our Grinch cookies thick and prevents them from spreading. It also helps us avoid a chilling step in this recipe!
  • Food coloring. Of course this is optional, but it is helpful for a true Grinch-y feel. I recommend using gel food coloring; it’s more potent, and you won’t have to use near as much as you would with liquid food coloring. I used “leaf green” coloring for these cookies.
  • M&M candies. I use the festive red and green bag, but you could really use whatever colors you like here. I save about ¼ cup of these for pressing into the tops of the cookies after they come out of the oven.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

How to Make Grinch Cookies

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then stir in the eggs and extracts until combined.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually stir them into the wet ingredients.
  3. Add food coloring, if using, and stir it in well until it’s evenly distributed.
  4. Add M&Ms then fold them into the batter. Despite what it might look like from my photo above, I actually recommend folding in the M&Ms with a spatula rather than using a mixer (my mixer was just resting there after mixing the dough, I switched to a spatula for the add-ins).
  5. Drop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, giving the cookies a bit of breathing room so they cook evenly and don’t spread into each other.
  6. Bake! The cookies sometimes appear slightly underdone when finished baking. Let them cool completely on the baking sheet, where they’ll finish cooking as they cool (and don’t move them early, they’ll be fragile and prone to breaking!). This technique keeps the cookies soft and chewy for days.
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