Hot Cocoa Cookies

This post is sponsored by Imperial SugarDixie Crystals and Bob’s Red Mill. I received free product as a part of The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange. As always, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own.

Like the classic winter drink, but in cookie form, Hot Cocoa Cookies are full of chocolate-y goodness and topped with a toasted marshmallow. These hot chocolate cookies are the perfect companion for a mug of hot chocolate or a glass of milk. Makes 24 cookies.

Stack of cookies on linens with a glass of milk

Whenever someone mentions Hot Cocoa, I’m transported back to one chilly winter evening when my family was visiting Ohio.

We were at my aunt and uncle’s house for a long weekend. My grandmother, who lived in West Virginia, had come in town, too, and we were all spending time together at their home.

I don’t remember the specifics of evening other than it was cold enough that Memother decided we all needed hot cocoa. Not the boxed kind that’s incredibly easy to mix up.

Nope. She wanted to make hot cocoa from scratch.

So she did.

I couldn’t have been older than 10 or 12, but I remember standing next to the stovetop as she carefully explained the method to her madness. She measured milk and cream into a large saucepan before adding some cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon sticks and vanilla.

Then we stood around, chatting while we waited for the cocoa to simmer, even though we all know a watchpot never boils. And then when it did simmer, we let it go for a long while, making sure it never boiled or bubbled over.

It felt like it was taking forever, but Memother assured me it was well-worth the effort.

Unsurprisingly, Memother was right.

The cocoa was absolutely worth the wait.

When she deemed it perfect, we removed the saucepan from the heat, then we carefully ladled the steaming liquid into mugs. We topped them with marshmallows, then we shared the hot drinks with our family members.

We settled in for some quality time on the screened-in porch, and I still remember the first sip of Memother’s hot cocoa. It was nothing short of magical, and I savored that entire mug as we all spent time together that evening.

That trip was a long time ago, but every time hot cocoa is mentioned, I remember the time I spent with Memother in my aunt and uncle’s kitchen.

And for today’s recipe, I wanted to create a riff on cocoa… in cookie form.

Why I love this recipe:

This Hot Chocolate Cookie recipe is quite simple and straightforward.

It requires no time for chilling, which means you can immediately pop the cookies in the oven once the batter is made.

It’s also dairy free!

And the end result? The cookies are ridiculously delicious and the perfect consistency: crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The chocolate is dense and rich, and the marshmallows add a lovely fluffiness.

They are, quite shortly, hot cocoa in cookie form.

And it makes me so happy to share this recipe with y’all today because it brings back a lovely memory with Memother.

More cookie recipes to try: Peppermint Dark Chocolate Cookies | Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bourbon and Walnuts | Potato Chip Cookies | Shortbread Brown Butter Cookies | Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Step by step of preparing cookie topping

What you need to make this recipe:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil—refined or unrefined both work! The key to the coconut oil is it needs to be a liquid, not solid.
  • Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar, this is the sweetener for our cookies. There is no substitute.
  • Eggs—these serve as a binder for the cookie batter. I like to use large eggs.
  • Pure vanilla extract—this will help the other ingredients sing. Use the real deal stuff and not the imitation kind.
  • Dark chocolate—you may use dark chocolate chips or a bar, depending on your tastes. If you’re making these cookies to be dairy free, ensure there is no added dairy in the chocolate.
  • All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour in our house, but the regular kind works, too. We have not attempted to make this recipe with gluten free flours or other substitutes.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder—this is going to add a chocolatey kick to the cookies and make them even better.
  • Baking soda—this is our leavener, and it’s going to cause the cookies to puff up as they bake. Make sure yours is fresh.
  • Kosher salt—I like to use a medium-grain kosher salt. You could use the same size of a sea salt, too.
  • Dark chocolate chunks—I love these 62% chocolate chunks, but use whatever sounds good to you or whatever you’ve got on hand!
  • Regular-sized marshmallows—use a knife or scissors to cut them in half. We’ll be plopping them on top of the cookies to transform this into a hot cocoa cookie recipe.

Please note that if you’re aiming to make these cookies dairy free that you will need to read the ingredients of the chocolates to ensure there is no added dairy to them.

If you are not worried about making them dairy free, you may switch up the chocolate chunks and the chocolate bar to a semisweet or even milk chocolate, if desired.

Before and after picture of marshmallow on top of cookie

How to make Hot Cocoa Cookies

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Mix the coconut oil and granulatd sugar together until smooth in a large bowl. You may do this with a hand mixer or a stand mixer.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined and fragrant.

Pour in the melted and slightly cooled chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is mixed in.

In another bowl, measure in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to incorporate.

Measure the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until just combined.

Measure the dark chocolate chunks into the batter, and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula.

Using a 1″ cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Using the end of a spatula (or something round, like a muddler), press rounds into the half-baked dough to create a hollow for the marshmallows.

Place the halved marshmallows in those rounds.

Transfer the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for an additional 6-9 minutes, or until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and cool slightly, then enjoy!

A bite out of cookie sitting on holiday linens with glass of milk

Overhead view of hot cocoa cookies on linens wrapped in a bow
Stack of cookies on linens next to glass of milk

Three cookies on napkins and linens next to glass of milk

Interested in making these for you and yours?

Here’s how you can do that this winter…

Pinterest graphic for Hot Cocoa Cookies, showing cookies stacked on top of one another with milk and text
Three cookies on napkins and linens next to glass of milk
Yield: 24 cookies

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes

Like the classic winter drink, but in cookie form, these Hot Cocoa Cookies are chock full of chocolate-y goodness and topped with a toasted marshmallow. These dairy-free cookies are the perfect companion for a mug of hot chocolate or a glass of milk.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks (62% works beautifully here)
  • 12 regular-sized marshmallows, cut in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. In a large glass bowl, mix the coconut oil and sugar together until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
  4. Pour in the melted (and slightly cooled) chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is mixed in.
  5. In another bowl, measure in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together.
  6. Measure the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until just combined.
  7. Measure in the dark chocolate chunks, and gently fold them into the batter.
  8. Using a cookie scoop, scoop 1" balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  9. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  10. Using the end of a spatula (or something round like a muddler), press rounds into the half-baked dough.
  11. In the rounds, place the halved marshmallows.
  12. Transfer the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for an additional 6-9 minutes, or until the marshmallows have browned.
  13. Remove from the oven, and cool slightly, then enjoy!

Notes

Do not chill the batter. The coconut oil will firm up and make it very hard to scoop the cookies, even when the batter comes to room temperature.

The marshmallows get a little hard when these cookies come to room temperature. To get the same gooey texture as the just-out-of-the-oven cookies, pop in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 64mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

How much did you love this recipe?

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36 Comments

  1. I love this story and these cookies! I bet that was the best hot cocoa you have ever had. It’s awesome that there is no chilling required and you can get straight to deliciousness without the wait!

    1. Thanks so much, Rachelle! It really was the best hot cocoa, and I think it was because we spent all that quality time together making it. Now, I don’t have her recipe or anything, but the memory of that cocoa warms my soul. And thanks! I love when you don’t have to wait for a cookie recipe to set up in the fridge!

  2. What a sweet story! I should definitely make hot cocoa from scratch & pair it with these awesome cookies – they are so gorgeous!

    I don’t have a cookie that evokes a memory, but holiday dishes do – my Grand Louise’s Cranberry Salad and Grandmother Vickie’s Sweet Potato Casserole!

    1. Thanks, Megan! And you absolutely SHOULD make hot cocoa from scratch and pair it with these cookies. It’d be amazing. (I also should have done this for the photos, but I did not. Alas.)

      I love that you have two holiday dishes that evoke memories! Do you eat them yearly? I hope so, and I hope they bring about good memories!

        1. LOVE that! It’s incredible how certain holiday dishes just bring back those memories and come from our grandmothers and grandfathers. We’ve got some like that, too, and I wish we got to enjoy them more often!

  3. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this cookie recipe since I saw you post a teaser batch on Instagram! They look so delicious! I love the story of you and your Memother.

  4. Such a sweet story! These cookies look seriously amazing – love the marshmallow in the middle + the photos are gorgeous!

    1. Thank you, Michelle! Food that tells a story makes me so happy! And these cookies really are seriously amazing — the marshmallow breaks up the chocolate well! And I had so much fun photographing these cookies.

  5. Such a great story! No one ever cooks like a grandmother ๐Ÿ™‚ These cookies look awesome, Erin!

  6. Oh yummy! These look so ooey gooey and delicious! What a precious memory to have of your grandmother. Whenever I make my Mum’s Christmas spice cookies I remember the first time we rolled them out and decorated them about 23 years ago. And the memory makes them taste all the sweeter ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. These really are ooey gooey and delicious, Amy! I love that you’ve got a similar recipe that you remember making with your Mum and that it makes the cookies even better. Food that brings back memories is the best… and I hope you make those spice cookies yearly so you can relive that first time y’all made it together! (I know I do with some of my family’s cookie recipes!)

  7. These look AMAZING! Like I am ready to crawl through the screen to eat them. This is definitely going on my Christmas baking list!

    1. Thank you, Celeste! I wish there was a way to send cookies through the internet because WOULDN’T THAT BE AMAZING?!? No screen crawling necessary. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy!

  8. Oh my gracious!!! Santa would love a plate of these after his long night of delivering presents on Christmas Eve. I love these so much! PINNING!!

  9. Those look terrific and I love the inclusion of coconut oil, one of my most favorite oils for baking!

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