These red and green-sprinkled Christmas Kiss Cookies will add a splash of holiday color to your table. Top each with a chocolate candy kiss (or hug!).
If you’re looking for a cookie with plenty of eye appeal, then these will be the star of your giveaway cookie trays. Holiday sprinkles practically glow on these dark chocolate morsels. They are so fun to make – easy too! Plate up a batch for Santa alongside a tall glass of milk on Christmas Eve.
Dark cocoa powder mixed into luxuriously thick cookie dough makes the baked cookies almost black and deeply chocolaty. I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, which is easy to find at most US grocery stores.
Picking out the sprinkles for decorating these is half of the fun! Use both nonpareils and ice cream sprinkles (jimmies) for a good variety of decors. I love that these can be made year-round, and for any occasion just by switching up the sprinkles. You can also vary the centers with any flavor Hershey’s Kisses or Hugs. I love the way the striped Hugs look (and taste!).
I know we’ve served up quite a few cookie recipes this season, but there’s always room for one more, right? And especially if they’re as cute and tasty as these are. These are soft in the centers, almost fudge-like at just 10 minutes bake time. They have the dark flavor of an Oreo cookie that pairs well with ice cold milk.
If you’re a fan of ‘Kissed’ treats, then check out my recipe for Divinity Kisses. They’re a classic candy for the holidays.
Christmas Kiss Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup holiday-themed nonpareils and jimmies
- 22 Hershey’s Hugs or Kisses candies, unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line at least two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Combine flour, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth. With the mixer still running, gradually add sugar and mix until smooth. Beat in egg yolk, milk or cream and vanilla extract. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture until well combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes until it is easy to handle, and less sticky.
- Spread sprinkles into a shallow bowl or dish. Shape dough into portions the size of a small walnut and roll in the sprinkles, them place 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes; remove from oven and let cool on pans about 3 minutes, then lightly press a chocolate kiss candy into the center of each cookie while they are still warm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
2 inches is WAYY too big for these. I started at that size and then made them smaller and even at about 1.5 inches it still only made 14 cookies, not nearly 25. I used this version for reference because it has the weights included but other blogs that have this exact same recipe say 3 teaspoons, which I think is more reasonable.
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon of dough. We used a little more than a tablespoon of dough for each cookie and came out with 24 1/2 cookies. The cookies should be about the size of a small walnut. I think I'll remove the instruction for 2-inch portions since that seems confusing. Thanks for your feedback!
Delicious. Here in the UK, we struggled to find red and green sprinkles but we had great fun baking and following your recipe. We used a similar popping candy instead!
The popping candy sounds so fun!
Loved them! I got 22 cookies.
this looks good. will surely try to make this next christmas
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These were great! So tasty and pretty! How did you get the kisses in without cracking the sides of the cookie? I will definitely be making these every year
Over half of mine cracked too. Did I cool to much?
Hi! These cookies will have a few cracks in them. If you look at the pictures mine have a few. As the kiss candy is inserted into the cookies after baking, it mashes the dough down a little and the sides will slightly split. However, if you’re getting major cracking in the oven as they bake, chill the cookie balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before you bake them.
Thanks for your reply…
I had the dough in the fridge for about 45 mins, so I think it was pretty well chilled. Thought was that I had allowed them to cool too much before trying to squash the kiss in…
Do these freeze well? Always looking for a new Christmas cookie recipe but I make alot at Christmas so I tend to start baking
Hi Carol! The dough freezes well. If you decide to portion the cookies and roll them in sprinkles before freezing, then I recommend using only the ice cream sprinkles (jimmies); avoid using the nonpareils. The moisture from thawing will make the colors on the nonpareils run.
Made these today…couldn’t find the Hershey hugs so I used the candy canes kisses….they were amazing! They look so cute for Christmas!
Don’t the sprinkles melt when baking?
Hi Michelle, the sprinkles do not melt during baking.
Don’t the Hershey Hugs melt somewhat in the warm cookies? I’ve tried similar recipes, and found them to melt almost flat
If the hugs or kisses are melting flat, then the cookies are too hot. They need to cool more. Let them stand, according to the recipe, for at least 3 minutes before inserting the candy. It will help if you let them cool on the pans away from the warm oven. Transfer them to a tabletop or counter away from the warm stove top.
I am making them today but after I roll them in the sprinkle I am going to make a small indentation for the kiss much like a thumbprint cookie.
So glad you’re going to try the recipe! You may want to do a test cookie with your method. Just to make sure the kisses won’t fall out of the thumbprint hole after the cookie is cooled and ready for eating. I’d love to know how this works out for you!
My neighbor and I made these for a neighborhood cookie exchange and they turned out great! The dough reminds me of the chocolate oreo cookie…so good!! One cookie is very satisfying because they are so rich. We rolled some in the sprinkles and some in powdered sugar but found it worked better to dust the powdered sugar ones after they baked. We found that we needed to let them cool longer than 3 minutes before adding the kisses and then transferred them to a plate and put it in the refrigerator to help prevent the kisses from melting as much.… Read more »
Can you make the dough the day before? And keep it in the refrigerator to bake the following day? Thanks!!
Perfection! Followed the recipe but used Candy Cane kisses. They were moist, tasty and delicious!
Taste great but I waited the suggested amount of time to add kisses and they still melted. Taste great but none are fit to gift due to melted kisses. Maybe wait 5 min to add them next time?
Yes. If your kitchen is particularly warm or if your room temperature is above 70 degrees, then you’ll need to wait longer. One fail safe might be to pop the cookies in the refrigerator right after you’ve inserted all the kisses.
This recipe is a keeper! I bought peppermint kisses (white chocolate with red stripes). I couldn’t find red or green sprinkles because I waited until the last minute but I had a jar of crushed candy canes at home so I rolled the cookie dough in that. They came out beautifully and taste delicious (the cookies have a brownie-like texture). The chocolate peppermint combination is fantastic and the cookies are so rich that they’d make a cute, small dessert – one cookie on top of a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. I used a small scoop and ended up… Read more »
Your peppermint version sounds delicious! Thank you for trying the recipe and for reviewing it. Happy Holidays to you!
These were so ridiculously easy. I tend to be a little OCD and weighed out my dough and partitioned it into 24 balls weighing in at 20g each ( if that helps anyone). After pushing my kiss in, i smoothed out the cracks by gently pushing the cracked edges together. It held up very nicely!! Another winning recipe!
How long do you think the dough can be stored in the fridge before rolling in sprinkles and baking? I’d like to make the dough a day or two earlier.
Yes! You can make the dough a couple of days ahead and refrigerate.
My cookies ended up more flat than those in the picture. What could be the reason? Thx
Hi! If your dry measurements were a little scant (flour, cocoa) it could contribute to a cookie with less volume. Overbeating the butter can also contribute to the cookies spreading. Just beat until the butter is smooth. No need to whip it for very long. Thanks for trying the recipe! Hopefully these tips will help you get a perfect result next time!