What are hot chocolate cookies?
This hot chocolate cookie takes all the flavors of a cup of hot chocolate and combines it with a modified Missouri Girl S’mores Cookie to create a fun, gooey, decadent, and delicious cookie. It is the perfect cookie all year around but especially for the holidays or a cold winters night.
The story behind these hot chocolate cookies
One night while scrolling through social media feeds I came across a picture of a chocolate cookie with a marshmallow on top. It reminded me so much of my favorite cup of hot cocoa that ideas started swirling through my brain.
For those of you that have seen my Missouri Girl Marshmallow Lava S’mores Cookie post, this may seem a bit familiar as this recipe was adapted from that original recipe…which was adapted from my Missouri Girl Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
I seem to have a cookie obsession.
That chocolate chip cookie recipe was 10 years in the making and there are so many tips for making the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie. Check it out if you are looking for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe.
I knew my s’more cookie would be the perfect starting point for this hot chocolate cookie so I adapted the original recipe with the addition of DARK cocoa powder and cornstarch, as well as adjusting the flour a bit.
Tips for making the perfect gooey hot chocolate cookie
Use perfectly softened quality butter
First, start with quality butter that is perfectly softened. When you press your finger into the butter it should leave a perfect impression of your finger. Not a melty drip in sight. If the butter is too soft then your cookies could go flat. If your butter is too hard then it will be difficult to fully incorporate into the batter.
Tip: Did you forget to set out your butter to warm to room temperature? Defrost in your microwave for about 1 minute (time will vary by microwave). Perfectly softened butter every time.
Use DARK cocoa powder
Part of the appeal of these cookies are their signature deep, dark chocolate cookie dough that results from using dark cocoa powder. However, if you don’t have the dark cocoa powder then just use whatever you have. Hey, I’m a busy mamma and sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do.
Use fresh cold eggs
There is a lot of discussion out there over the temperature of the egg. Most recommend using room temperature eggs but I’ve always bent the rules on this one. I take my eggs straight out of the refrigerator and use them cold. I think it works so well in this recipe, as well as my other cookie recipes, because it keeps the butter from becoming too soft during the mixing process.
Remember to watch out for bad eggs.
What does a bad egg look like?
Look for discolorations like uneven coloring that are pink, black, blueish, or green. The egg may even look runny, watery, or have a foul smell.
Use quality vanilla extract
Always use good, high quality, pure vanilla extract.
NEVER the imitation stuff. I am a budget fanatic and love to save money when I can, but trust me when I tell you that fake vanilla is never the way to go.
If you want the absolute BEST vanilla extract at the best price, then I highly recommend making it yourself. It is easy, budget friendly, and will result in superior quality vanilla extract. Click here for my easy homemade vanilla extract recipe
Use fresh baking soda and cornstarch for tall hot chocolate cookies
Make sure your baking soda is fresh as baking soda does loose some of its potency over time.
Using a combination of baking soda and cornstarch guarantees added structure for tall and large cookies.
Don’t over mix
I don’t recommend mixing the dough well in this particular recipe. I like to mix until the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients are just incorporated. You will get a little additional mixing when you add the chocolate chips.
Freeze the dough balls prior to baking for perfect marshmallow lava centers
I had several failed attempts when I was making my s’mores cookies, which these hot chocolate cookies are adapted from. The marshmallow kept melting too early and would bake into the batter, instead of creating a gooey marshmallow center. The solution to this was freezing the dough balls which resulted in perfectly gooey marshmallow centers every time.
Assembling the hot chocolate cookie dough balls
Take a regular sized marshmallow and surround it with cookie dough (about 1/4 cup of dough) until it is fully surrounded on all sides. Make sure there are no big gaps in the cookie dough or all of the marshmallow will leak out while baking. The occasional small gap is fine. The dough will expand during the baking process, creating little crevices for the marshmallow to peak through.
Then put the dough balls into the freezer for about 15 minutes before transferring to a parchment paper lined (or greased) cookie sheet. Meanwhile, don’t forget to preheat your oven!
The Key to Perfect Hot Chocolate Cookies: Always Under Bake Your Cookies
Lastly, always UNDER BAKE your chocolate chip cookies!
Or in this case, your hot chocolate cookies.
How you bake these cookies will be the difference between an amazing cookie or an average cookie. Take the cookies out of the oven when they are still on the gooey side. They will continue to bake on the hot pan and will be perfectly “done” when cooled.
You know these cookies are done when the marshmallow starts to ooze from the crevices but the dough is still a little gooey. Take them out of the oven and let them sit on the hot cookie sheet for several minutes to continue baking.
Here are the cookies straight out of the oven.
They will deflate slightly as they cool.
Just look at these amazing mounds of gooey marshmallow yumminess!
Note: this recipe makes 8-9 VERY large cookies. The recipe adjusts very well so just double or triple the recipe if needed.
Hot Chocolate Cookies With Marshmallow Lava
- 1 stick salted butter softened
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hersheys)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup MINI chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
- 9 regular sized marshmallows
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease the cookie sheet).
Make the dough:
- In a medium bowl beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar with a hand held mixer.
- Add the egg and vanilla, beat until creamy and fluffy.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cocoa, corn starch, and salt. Stir to until combined well.
- Add to the sugar mixture and mix on low until just combined.
- Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Assemble the hot chocolate cookies:
- Take one marshmallow and mold approximately 1/4 cup cookie dough around it. Place on a freezer safe plate.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough and marshmallows.
- Place the dough balls into the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Transfer the dough balls to a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure the dough balls are at least 3 inches apart.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the dough is still a little gooey but the marshmallow is just started to ooze out of the crevices.
- Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to rest on the hot cookie sheet to finish baking and cool for about 10 minutes.