Hot Cocoa Cookies with Marshmallows
Hot cocoa cookies are warm chocolate cookies topped with gooey marshmallows toasted in the oven. They’re perfect for Christmas!
You’re never too old to curl up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand. Brings back childhood memories or perhaps you’re creating memories with your own children now. (Am I getting too sappy? Oh, well.) Some of my favorite memories growing up are baking cookies with my family. I took hold of my nostalgia, put two and two together, and made hot cocoa cookies.
Why this recipe works
The cookies are made with cocoa and chocolate chips for extra chocolate flavor. The marshmallows are cut in half so they stick to the cookies and get slightly gooey. They are ready to eat in less than 30 minutes!
- Cocoa powder: Use unsweetened cocoa powder for the best taste. I prefer Ghirardelli.
- Marshmallows: The standard size marshmallows are the perfect size to top the cookies. Cut them in half so they stick and get gooey.
- Butter: Unsalted butter that is cold and cut into cubes will help make a thick and chewy cookie.
- Espresso powder: This optional ingredient is barely noticeable, but will enhance the chocolate flavor like it does in my double chocolate chip cookies.
Hot cocoa cookies can also be made with mini marshmallows. Stir 1/2 cup mini marshmallows into the dough before scooping, rolling into balls and baking. Keep in mind that marshmallows like to melt when they are baked so I find that using dehydrated marshmallow bits (the kind found in hot chocolate mix) works best and keeps the cookies from spreading.
You can also mix in white chocolate chips into the dough or even peppermint chips! As a garnish, add a dusting of cocoa powder or drizzle of melted chocolate.
How to make hot cocoa cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk together dry ingredients—flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso (optional). Set aside.
- Beat together wet ingredients: Combine butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, then mix in the eggs.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Bake: Roll dough into balls and flatten them slightly with your hands. Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes.
- Add marshmallows: Remove cookies from the oven, top with marshmallow halves and return the cookies to oven for 2 minutes.
Weigh your ingredients for accurate measuring. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, fluff up your flour and spoon it into a measuring cup. Level it with a knife (don’t pack down the flour). Do the same for the cocoa powder.
Use cold butter for this recipe. It holds air that helps give the cookie structure while making them soft and chewy. If your dough gets too warm, then be sure to chill it so the cookies don’t spread too much.
Timing is important for this recipe. You want to take the cookies out of the oven before they are done so you can add the marshmallows and put the cookies back in the oven. You only need 2 more minutes for the marshmallows to get warm and stick.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Hot cocoa mix has added sugar and will disrupt the structure of the cookies.
Yes. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Roll the chilled dough into balls and bake according to instructions. You can also store the dough balls on a baking sheet (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Baking time will be slightly longer since the dough is cold.
Yes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before rolling into balls and baking.
Place cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper between layers so they don’t stick together. Store at room temperature for 4 or 5 days. Baked cookies do not freeze well with the marshmallows.
Cocoa lends itself well to desserts. Try these recipes next!
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Hot Cocoa Cookies
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 16 large marshmallows, cut in half
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and espresso. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for a 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the cocoa-flour mixture to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Using a wood spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and place on the cookie sheet. Using the palm of your hand, slightly flatten the ball. Repeat with remaining dough placing the dough balls an inch from each other on the cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies at 350° F for 12 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the center isn't fully baked. Remove the sheet from the oven and place a marshmallow half on each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven to bake for an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until the marshmallows are melting and starting to puff up.
- Let cool on the cookie sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.