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Red Hot Cookies

4.87 from 36 votes

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Red Hot Cookies are sweet, spicy, chewy, basically perfect cookies. Great for gifting and they’re just in time for Valentine’s Day! Inspired by my original Lemon Crinkle Cookies!

Red Hot Cookies placed on plate with milk

These Red Hot Cookies are chewy little spicy cookies that I’m seriously in love with! They are made just like the Candy Cane Crinkles, but instead of crushing up candy canes, I crushed up some Red Hots. The candy softens in the oven, leaving these cookies perfectly moist and tender with just the right amount of cinnamon spice. You’ll love them!

scooping cookie dough

Main Ingredients Need

Aside from needing to grab some Red Hots, you probably have the rest of the ingredients for the Red Hot Cookies in your pantry.

  • Red Hots Candy – crushed. These are hard yet chewy cinnamon-flavored candy.
  • Butter – softened. Use real butter for these cookies, instead of butter-flavored Crisco or margarine.
  • Granulated Sugar – to sweeten.
  • Vanilla Extract – used for flavoring.
  • Egg – for structure and texture.
  • Baking Powder + Baking Soda – this gives the cookies their rise and texture.
  • Salt – balances out the sweet flavor
  • Flour – this fills out the cookie and gives it some structure.
  • Powdered Sugar – rolling the dough in powdered sugar puts the crinkle onto these Red Hot Cookies.
  • One of my readers suggested making these into cut out cookies by adding 4oz of cream cheese when you are creaming the sugar and butter together. Then on a slightly floured surface, roll the dough out and cut away! She then dusted the tops with powdered sugar before placing in the oven.
  • Another reader said they rolled the cookie balls in crushed red hots instead of powdered sugar.
rolling cookie dough in powdered sugar

How to Make Red Hot Cookies|Directions

For full details on how to make Red Hot Cookies, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Step 1: Prep

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light-colored baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray, line with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat and set aside. Place Red Hots into a plastic food storage bag and crush using a rolling pin. You could use a food processor, but a rolling pin works just as well. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the Dough

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla and egg. Scrape sides and mix again. I like to use my stand mixer for this step.

Stir dry ingredients, excluding the powdered sugar, together in a small bowl and then pour into butter/egg mixture and slowly mix until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.

Stir in crushed candy. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.

Step 3: Bake + Cool

Bake 9-11 mins until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

*If using a non stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

baked red hots crinkle cookies

Troubleshooting

My Cookies Won’t Spread!

A lot of you have mentioned to me that these cookies don’t spread out. This problem happens because there is too much flour in your cookie dough! To fix this problem, fluff up your flour. Spoon it into your measuring cup and then level the top. This is the correct way to measure flour and how I measured it for this recipe. Be careful when measuring and you’ll have perfect Red Hot Crinkle cookies.

My Cookies Spread too Much!

A common problem when making these Red Hot Cookies is that they flatten out way too much! Why?

Butter.

This recipe calls for softened butter, not melted butter. The best way to get softened butter is to plan ahead. A couple of hours before you make these cookies set 1/2 cup of butter on the counter. As it sits there is will soften.

But if you are in a pinch you can microwave butter to soften it instead. Microwave in 5-second intervals rotating your cube of butter each time. Please please please use caution when softening this way. It can easily go from solid to melted in seconds! And in turn, your cookies will spread way too much.

red hot cookies on a white plate

Storing Red Hot Cookies

Store Red Hot Cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days, at room temperature for maximum freshness.

To Freeze-

These freeze really well, so making them ahead is a great option! Simply follow the directions on the recipe card up until baking. Don’t bake yet. Instead line a tray that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper, and place a single layer of cookie balls on the tray. Freeze for 1 hour or until frozen. Once frozen, stick the cookie balls in a freezer-safe bag. Cookies will last in the freezer for about 2-3 months.

To Bake-

Put the cookies directly on the cookie sheet and stick them in your preheated oven. Sometimes the cookies need an extra 1-2 minutes to bake correctly. Be sure to check on them often!

Baked red hot cookie bite on plate

More Crinkle Cookies to Try!

Oh, hello chewy, sweet, delicious perfect cookies. I tell ya, these Red Hot Crinkle Cookies are some of my very favorites EVER and you all are bound to love these too! Be sure to pin and print this one 🙂 You’re gonna luuuuuurve it!

Enjoy, friends! 🙂

4.87 from 36 votes

Red Hot Cookies

Red Hot Cookies are sweet, spicy, chewy, basically perfect cookies. And they're just in time for Valentine's Day!
servings 24 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper or use silicone baking mat and set aside.
  • Place Red Hots into a plastic food storage bag and crush using a rolling pin. Set aside.
    chopped red hots
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla and egg. Scrape sides and mix again.
    sugar and butter mixed
  • Stir all dry ingredients together in a small bowl and then in pour into mixer and slowly mix until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly.
    adding dry ingredients
  • Stir in crushed candy. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
    rolling cookie dough in powdered sugar
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
    baked red hots crinkle cookies
  • *If using a non stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Hot Cookies

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Recipe Rating




63 Responses
  1. Rebecca Laube

    5 stars
    I make these for Christmas now! Red hots are scarce, but I always find them at my local grocery candy aisle. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  2. elli

    5 stars
    If you want to turn these into cut out cookies for Christmas or Valentines, just add 4 oz. cream cheese and add flour to a surface and put the dough on the floured surface and add some flour or even the powered sugar to the top- make flat and use some cookie cut outs, it worked great!!!

  3. Joan Broadley

    2 stars
    OK so what did I do wrong? My “cookies” ended up spreading all over the pan into one big blob. Luckily my cookie sheet had sides so the dough didn’t run over onto the oven! Once they were baked and cooled I could cut them into squares, but they were a devil to scoop out of the sheet! If I made this recipe again I would bake it in a 9×12 pan and call it “squares”.

  4. Collette

    5 stars
    These cookies are amazing! Just made them for a cookie exchange. Simple to make but tastes like they were made by a professional. I’m definitely not a baker. I used a meat tenderizer to crush the red hots instead of rolling pin. Cheers!

  5. Michelle

    5 stars
    I’ve probably made this recipe a dozen times. Today I didn’t have powdered sugar to finish. But I don’t notice any appreciable difference and think I will just skip the powdered sugar from now on. I need to try a krinkle without the red hots and using some cardamom.

  6. Gina

    4 stars
    These were good! We made two batches- half using red hots and half with Wilton cinnamon drop sprinkles, and we actually preferred it with the cinnamon drops instead. They both tasted incredibly similar but the cinnamon drops won out. Thanks for a unique recipe!

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