Peppermint Meltaways

Scott and I grew up with mothers who were equally crazy about Christmas.  Sometime during adolescence my siblings and I made a rule that Mom couldn’t start blasting christmas music before Sept 1 (this was the best we could do.)  They would start stashing presents during the after Christmas sales and sometime in June the countdown would start all over again.  A crucial aspect of the holiday for both of our families was a long list of traditional Christmas cookies, many of the recipes written down by German and Swedish grandmothers and great grandmothers. My mother in law passed away just a few  years after we married, and most of my fond memories with her were around Christmas baking.  I wanted to keep Karen’s memory alive by baking her favorites each year (see Swedish Cardamom Coffee Cake) and of course I had long list from my side of the family.  Pepperkokker, snickerdoodles, scottish shortbread, brown pfeffernuesse, white pfeffernuesse, cream cheese cookies, peppermint melt aways, Weiser lebkuchen, candy cane cookies, biscotti, sandbakelser- for years I made them all, one batch each night the first couple weeks of December.  Since leaving Alaska we have simplified the holiday; I take a survey and pick the top three (someone please convince Scott that chocolate chips cookies are not a Christmas specialty!) and peppermint meltaways are always included.   They are similar to melt in your mouth shortbread, but even more simple to make.  We suffered through eating a double batch of these last week so y’all could have a picture to go with the recipe.  You are welcome.

PC Isaac Leigh

1 cup butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp peppermint extract

2 1/4 cup flour

(few drops of green food coloring for the traditionalists)


Mix sugar, butter and extract till creamy

briefly stir in flour,  do not over mix

drop by spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet ( I use my pizza stones instead)

bake at 400 until set or lightly brown on top.  About 10 minutes

while still warm, sprinkle powdered sugar on top (it sticks better when they are warm)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *