Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone what’s inside these cookies until they eat them! Let’s keep it a secret, a top secret, between us baking friends. It’s fun that way, isn’t it? It’s also super fun to watch the looks on people’s faces when they unsuspectingly bite into a simple looking cookie and find they’ve bitten into….a giant white chocolate-peppermint kiss! And not just any Hershey’s Kiss: A Kiss beautifully swirled with red and white stripes like the candy canes they are named for, softly melting into the buttery dough and bursting with white chocolate and peppermint flavors. It’s like we took candy canes, which are already awesome, and elevated them to even better, cookie covered heights.
The year I first made these cookies, I made 13 batches (not even exaggerating). It started with just the recipe testing because you can’t send out a new cookie without taste-tester approval. Then I made an extra batch or two for my family. And then we had a friend come stay with us for a few weeks and she LOVED these cookies so much that I was making another batch every third day and now send her some every year (she’ll have some waiting for her when she comes to visit next week 😉 ). Of course, when my mom was invited to any cookie exchange party, I had to make more! Cookies this unique and this delicious only come around a few times in your holiday baking life and the recipe needs to be shared. The holidays are about sharing and giving after all.
Since that first year, Hidden Candy Cane Kiss Cookies have become a family favorite and my most requested holiday cookie. These were also the inspiration for the Hidden Pumpkin Spice Cookies I made before Thanksgiving. I don’t think you can go wrong with any flavor of Hershey Kiss (except maybe the cherry cordial because the interior of that is liquid) and knowing me, I’ll probably try it out with all of them and then subject you all to 15 more Hidden (Insert Hershey Kiss of Choice) Cookies over the next few years. But don’t worry, everyone loves these cookies so you won’t mind having multiple recipes on hand 😉
Though they can be time-consuming (because of unwrapping the Kisses and hand molding each cookie), they are pretty simple to make. Some hints before you all rush off to your kitchens! I like my butter still a little on the chilled side, at softened but not room temperature. I think it makes the dough easier to work with. Also, chill the dough while you unwrap the additional Kisses to make the most effective use of your time. The dough works best when it is chilled a bit but still pliable and soft. Because you have to wrap the dough around the Kisses, too cold and the dough won’t mold well but too warm and the dough won’t hold enough of a shape to hide the Kiss. And the whole fun part is biting into a cookie and not expecting there to be a Kiss in the middle.
These cookies are AMAZING a few minutes out of the oven when they are still warm and the Kiss is gooey. Not gunna lie, I sometimes zap my cookies in the microwave to recapture that just out of the oven softness. They also freeze beautifully, which is why I currently have 3 batches in my freezer ready to be given out as gifts at a moment’s notice.
The best gift your friends will ever receive! Besides your presence of course. Happy Holidays!
hidden candy cane kiss cookies
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ large egg (whisk one egg in a small bowl and only use half of it…or make a double batch like I always do!)
- ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar (aka icing sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 10 finely chopped Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses
- About 20 additional, unwrapped Candy Cane kisses
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the icing sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter in two batches, mixing to combine well after each. Fold in the chopped Kisses.
Chill dough while you unwrap the additional Kisses.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and press a Candy Cane Kiss into the center. Wrap the dough around the Kiss so that it’s completely covered. Repeat until you run out of dough. Cookies can be placed pretty close together on the baking sheets because they don’t spread.
Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine always take exactly 10) then immediately remove to cool on a wire rack.