The Christmas season is making a bigger appearance than ever with the abundant limited-edition, peppermint-flavored sweets filling grocery store shelves. We raided the aisles to bring you the very worst and best of the holiday-themed candies, cookies, chocolates, and more. (To show you just how many chocolate-minty treats are on shelves right now, we crammed some of the manifold treats together to create the ultimate holiday peppermint explosion.) See how each one of them fared when you keep reading.
365 Candy Cane Chocolate Chip
The 365 Candy Cane Chocolate Chip  ($4) cookies taste like stale, burnt cocoa. We were really intrigued by the list of ingredients, including enriched flour and beet juice, but this is a healthy cookie we’ll abstain from.
Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s
We think it’s awesome that TJ’s came out with Gluten Free Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s  ($4), but when we popped open the container, there was an overwhelming corn chip scent, and that’s exactly what the cookies taste like. The corn is so strong it overpowers the peppermint flavor. If you’re into popcorn cookies, go for a box of these. Otherwise, avoid!
M&M's White Chocolate Peppermint
Eek, M&M's White Chocolate Peppermint  ($3) has it all wrong. The chocolate tastes fake, the candy is too sweet, and the mint flavoring is just bad. Avoid at all costs. Save the sugar and calories for something delicious . . . like something further down the slideshow.
Trader Joe's Peppermint Bark
Trader Joe's  Peppermint Bark ($10) comes in four thick squares of chocolate that, no matter how much force is applied, do not break up into bite-size bark pieces. The chocolate itself is waxy and bitter. This is no bark worth touching.
Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Peppermint Rolled Wafers
We are typically fans of Williams-Sonoma ’s seasonal goodies, but these Chocolate Peppermint Rolled Wafers  ($13) disappointed. They are sort of like crispy cardboard, and though the filling is Guittard chocolate, it doesn’t make up for the fact that there’s barely a hint of pepperminty flavor.
Whole Foods Peppy Peppermint Marshmallows
Whole Foods Peppy Peppermint Marshmallows  ($2) might have the fluffiest texture, but we were bummed out by the weirdly fake minty flavor.
Hershey's Candy Cane Bar
We don't have time for imitation treats! Hershey's Candy Cane Bar  ($1) tastes disappointingly fake. Where's the white chocolate? The product is sickeningly sweet.
Peeps Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallows Dipped in Chocolate
We love Peeps, but add cheap, waxy chocolate to the mix, as in these Peeps Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallows Dipped in Chocolate  ($2), and it ruins the whole thing.
Brach’s Candy Cane Candy Corn
Brach’s Candy Cane Candy Corn  ($3) has the same fondant-like taste as regular candy corn but with a slightly minty flavor. We're on the fence about whether we really enjoy these or not, a predicament we face every Halloween  during candy corn season.
Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane
We know the same chocolate is used across all Hershey's products, but the iconic shape and stripes of the Kisses make the flavor's shortcomings more forgivable than in the chocolate bar. The sprinkles in Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane  ($3) add an element of surprise and textural contrast. We'd snag one or two if we saw them in a candy bowl.
Brach’s Jelly Candy Peppermint Creme Candy Canes
If you’re a kid (at heart!) and really into gummy candies, Brach’s Jelly Candy Peppermint Creme Candy Canes  ($3) are not to be missed. They’re minty enough and extremely fun to eat.
Target White Chocolate Covered Peppermint Crunch Sandwich Cookies
White Chocolate Covered Peppermint Crunch Sandwich Cookies  ($3) are like Oreos with a crunchy peppermint topping. Beware: these suckers are really, really rich.
Edward Marc Peppermint Snowflake
Though pretty and expensive, Edward Marc Peppermint Snowflake  ($4) didn't blow us away in the mint department. We found it more decorative than delicious.
Target Peppermint White and Dark Chocolate Bark Bite
Target Peppermint White and Dark Chocolate Bark Bites  ($2) are a decent treat for the bargain. The chocolate is a step up from Hershey's, and the peppermint topping is crunchy (not chewy).
Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Marshmallow
We found ourselves digging through the coating of the Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark Marshmallow  ($20) to get to the fluffy, vanilla marshmallow, which we argue is the only good part. The peppermint on top is soggy and the chocolate coating is too thick. Instead of buying a two-in-one, buy the vanilla marshmallows and the peppermint bark separately, and eat them together.
Theo Coconut Mint
Coconut lovers will enjoy Theo Coconut Mint  ($4) for its prominent coconut flavor, slightly bitter chocolate, and nice meltability. There's only a subtle menthol-y aftertaste, so don't expect a huge mint flavor.
Trader Joe's Mini Peppermint Waffle Cookies
While a noble attempt, the Trader Joe's  Mini Peppermint Waffle Cookies ($3) have a cinnamon-flavored waffle that we're not quite sure goes well with the chocolate and mint.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Roca
The Dark Chocolate Peppermint Roca  ($1), though strange in theory, tastes weirdly satisfying. The roasted toffee flavor is studded with peppermint and has a fresh, crunchy flavor.
Pretzel Crisps Dark Chocolate and Peppermint
Though fans of the white chocolate flavor, we found that the flavors in the Pretzel Crisps Dark Chocolate and Peppermint  ($3) compete too much. It's a stretch to pull off pretzel, dark chocolate, and mint in a balanced way.
Gourmet Peppermint Twists Marshmallows
With an old-school peppermint flavor, Gourmet Peppermint Twists Marshmallows  ($2) have a refreshing, cooling aftertaste. The pillowy texture is near perfect, with just enough chewiness.
Nikki’s Cookies & Confections Peppermint Snowman
We love Nikki’s Cookies & Confections Peppermint Snowman  ($2) for the buttery cookie, which tastes almost like animal crackers, and the slightly minty white chocolate coating.
Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Cups
Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Cups  ($25) look really beautiful, but there is no filling inside the cups — a huge disappointment. Instead, the cups are dense blocks of chocolate, which is difficult to bite into and enjoy. However, the chocolate itself is good and high-quality.
Dreyer's Peppermint Wonderland
Though the bright pink swirls in Dreyer's Peppermint Wonderland  ($5) toe the line between eye catching and radioactive, we can't get enough of the gooey chunks of peppermint candy and ultrafluffy texture. A few thought the mint flavor tasted highly artificial, knocking the rating down a bit.
365 Chocolate Candy Cane Sandwich Cremes
Compared to Joe-Joe's and Oreos, 365 Chocolate Candy Cane Sandwich Cremes  ($4) fall short. The generic brand has a smaller cookie, less filling, and less mint flavor than the others.
Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Tea
This Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Tea  ($3) is no plain mint tea. It has a distinct, sweet peppermint candy flavor and the addition of vanilla, cinnamon, and orange peel. We'd sip on it all season long.
Whole Foods Cookies and Cream Peppermint Bark
Chocolate fiends will want to crack bit after bit of Whole Foods Cookies and Cream Peppermint Bark  ($6). Our only complaints are the peppermint pieces on top are chewy (not crunchy), and it’s not quite minty enough.
Ghirardelli Squares Peppermint Bark With Dark Chocolate
Though the mint flavor of Ghirardelli Squares Peppermint Bark With Dark Chocolate  ($4 per bag; $180 per case) is pleasant and not too sweet, the texture is extremely waxy.
Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Slims
The Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Slims  ($3) have a white-chocolate coating and saltiness that make us want to reach our hands back into the bag for more. The only downside is they aren't pepperminty enough.
Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops
The Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops  ($2) are colorful and would look nice in a candy bowl. The peppermint part tastes just as minty sweet as classic starlight mints but with a chewy tootsie roll core.
Fatty Sundays Smooth Mint
Equal parts minty and messy, Fatty Sundays Smooth Mint  ($7) tastes like it has Andes chocolate mints crumbled atop a pretzel. However, we hankered for a crunchier coating.
Hershey's Peppermint Bark Bells
The dark chocolate in Hershey's Peppermint Bark Bells  ($3) helps temper the sweetness of the white chocolate. We love the adorable shape and the crunchy sprinkles.
Pop Rocks Candy Cane
We detected something like cherry in the Pop Rocks Candy Cane  ($1). While there is some sort of minty flavor in the rocks, they are predominately fruity. We still enjoy the fizzy sensation, as always.
Jet-Puffed Peppermint Mallows
Classic in Jet-Puffed flavor and texture, the Jet-Puffed Peppermint Mallows  ($1) have a slight, subtle mint flavor that is kid-friendly.
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Minty Mallows
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Minty Mallows  ($3) are meant to be savored. The mallows are extremely chewy, and the thin dark chocolate coating provides just enough bitterness to offset the sweetness.
Lindt Lindor Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles
Lindt Lindor Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles  ($4) taste identical to smooth and melty mints  but with a supercreamy filling and snappy chocolate shell.
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Cremes
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Cremes  ($3) are like York Peppermint Patties — only better due to the crunchy peppermint topping. Beware: the oozy filling is stringy like hot cheese.
Oreos Candy Cane
Oreos Candy Cane  ($4) have a cute holiday design, refreshing minty flavor, and subtle and crunchy candy cane pieces. Though not as good as Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's , these red-and-white cookies are still quite delicious.
Pretzel Crisps White Chocolate and Peppermint
Salty-sweet Pretzel Crisps White Chocolate and Peppermint  ($3) satisfies with its creamy white chocolate coating and generous peppermint topping.
Jif Whips Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mint
Peanut butter, chocolate, and mint surprisingly work in these bipartisan cookies , so we had no hesitation diving our spoons into Jif Whips Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mint  ($5). Light and mousse-like in consistency, the peanut butter, mint, and chocolate are balanced and don't overpower each other. A tub of this is likely to go fast.
365 Candy Cane Pretzel Flats Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate fans will have to control themselves around a bag of 365 Candy Cane Pretzel Flats Dark Chocolate  ($3). The salty-bitter-pepperminty combo is addictive.
Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Peppermint Bark Snack Mix
While nothing can compete with homemade puppy chow, we’ll settle for Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Peppermint Bark Snack Mix  ($5) when we’re in a pinch. Though the peppermint flavor borders on being toothpaste-y . . . we’re into it. Keep in mind these pieces are a bit powder-sugary and aren’t drenched in chocolate like homemade versions usually are.
Theo Peppermint Stick
Like an expensive red wine, Theo Peppermint Stick  chocolate bar ($4) has sophisticated layers that bloom. It's indulgent, slightly acidic, and rich. The mint hits you on the back end, and one square is likely to satisfy in a sitting.
Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Creme Bites
Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Creme Bites  ($4) are like candy canes covered in chocolate. The chewy consistency, intensely minty flavor, and dark chocolate keep us coming back for more.
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe's
The most indulgent peppermint treat goes to Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe-Joe's  ($4). The dense shell is a little too thick for our liking, but the flavors themselves are insanely delicious (albeit rich).
Milano Slices Peppermint
Dark-chocolate fans, please meet Milano Slices Peppermint  ($3). The thick dark chocolate coats the Milano cookie half, then crunchy peppermint pieces top the whole thing.
Hershey’s Kisses Dark Chocolate Filled With Mint Truffle
Hershey’s Kisses Dar Chocolate Filled With Mint Truffle  ($3) are like a thicker, creamier Andes mint. Nom!
Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch
Though the shell lacks the crunchiness promised in the title, Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch  ($1) are just as oozy and minty as ever. Here's a pro tip: pop them in the freezer, and then enjoy while watching a Christmas movie with the family.
Trader Joe's Mini Dark Chocolate Mint Stars
Cute and festive Trader Joe's Mini Dark Chocolate Mint stars  ($3) could brighten up any holiday party. The teensy shortbread cookies remind us of Mother's Circus Animal  cookies in the best way ever. There's only a subtle hint of mint, making them kid-friendly.
Nice! Peppermint Creme Cookies
Nice! Peppermint Creme Cookies  ($3) are surprisingly really good for a generic cookie. The cookies are comparable to Oreos and the abundant filling, stuffed with crunchy peppermint, kept us coming back for more.
365 Candy Cane Pretzel Flats Yogurt
Minty, salty 365 Candy Cane Pretzel Flats Yogurt  ($3) are a feast for the eyes and tastebuds too. We’d proudly serve these at holiday gatherings.
Hammond's Peppermint Cotton Candy
Hammond's Peppermint Cotton Candy  ($3) tastes like pillow mints  but in cotton candy form. The only problem is that this stuff is too snackable.
Dove Peppermint Bark
Melt-in-your-mouth Dove Peppermint Bark  ($4) has, hands down, the smoothest texture to beat. The addition of crunchy peppermint pieces simply sent us swooning.
McConnell's Peppermint Stick
McConnell's Peppermint Stick  ($10) is pretty much the best ice cream we've ever had, due to its incredible mouthfeel, smooth texture, perfect amount of peppermint stick crunch, and not too much sugar.
Milano Minis Candy Cane
Ever eaten a whole bag of Milanos? Yeah, so have we. The next bag with no chance is certainly Milano Minis Candy Cane  ($3). The precious size, creamy texture, peppermint flavor, and buttery cookies make us instant fans.
Lake Champlain Peppermint Cheer
Lake Champlain Peppermint Cheer  ($13) is like if you took the best qualities of Andes Mints (melt-in-your-mouth texture) and peppermint bark (the refreshing candy cane flavor), and married it with top-notch chocolate.
M&M's Holiday Mint
M&M's Holiday Mint  ($3) reminds us of those pastel chocolate mints that used to be served by the bowl in restaurants and hotels during the '90s. Beyond having nostalgia in their favor, the M&M's have a mild, sweet mint flavor that we love.
Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Cookies
How can we possibly count the ways in which we love Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Cookies  ($25)? The chocolate cookies themselves taste just baked and have a crispy, flaky texture that pairs really nicely with the white chocolate and crunchy peppermint bits.
Peeps Peppermint Marshmallow Stars
Peeps Peppermint Marshmallow Stars  ($2) have a crushed peppermint exterior that paves the way to puffy mallow heaven.
Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark
The price tag for Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark  ($29) sure hurts, but the contents inside nearly make up for the blow to your wallet. With big chunks of crunchy peppermint, just the right proportion of dark and white chocolate, and a nice meltability, just try it to believe.
Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's
Oh, boy — when these hit shelves, prepare to stock up. Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's  ($3) have double the creamy stuffing, crunchy pieces of candy cane, and such delicious flavor that we could plow through a box in a sitting.
Bonus! We combined only the best peppermint and candy cane treats to form an outrageously delicious peppermint sundae, complete with Oreos Candy Cane, Peeps Peppermint Marshmallow Stars, M&M's Holiday Mint, Dove Peppermint Bark, Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch, and Milano Slices Peppermint.