As I type this, the thermometer I can see from my computer has climbed all the way to 6.3 degrees, the highest it’s been in days. At 11am this morning, it was still hovering at 3, and that doesn’t count the windchill which is still close to -20. When it’s cold, we hunker down with hot chocolate, but since it isn’t even warm enough to play outside, we got creative and made a version inside – hot chocolate cookies! And what’s hot chocolate without marshmallows?
When I’m stuck inside, there are only so many board games I can play and movies I can let the wee ones watch. Instead, we get to cooking and baking, and these hot chocolate cookies were exactly what we needed to get rid of some of this cabin fever. This is the benefit of having a well-stocked pantry. And yes, hot soup is on the menu for tonight’s dinner.
I’m a sucker for chocolate and cherries together, and ever since Starbucks had dark cherry hot chocolate three or four years ago, I’ve been stuck on that idea. I’ve made my own version of cherry hot chocolate at home using my decadent hot chocolate recipe and blending in some of my homemade cherry syrup. I decided to stick with my favorite theme when I made these cookies, chopping up dried cherries as small as I could and distributing them in the dough before baking.
Heaven. Pure, unadulterated heaven. And I need a little heaven right now! The snow is adding insult to injury in Chicago.
Hot Chocolate Cookies
To make these, you mix up the dough as you normally would, with the exception that you want to melt together the butter and chocolate chips, then remove from heat and beat in the sugar and espresso. then the eggs. Dry ingredients get stirred in, including the chopped dried cherries if you choose to use them.
I absolutely love my medium cookie scoop to create uniform and round cookies, which is exactly what you need for these hot chocolate cookies. Scoop them out, twelve to a sheet, being sure to space them, though they don’t spread too much. These get baked for 12 minutes before the marshmallow gets added.
While the cookies are baking, I prep my marshmallows. Using 12 large marshmallows, I cut them in half leaving two perfect circles. I’ve found that using a serrated knife works best for these and is least likely to end up crushing the marshmallow in the middle and giving you a deformed marshmallow when you’re done.
Once the hot chocolate cookies have baked for 12 minutes, pull them from the oven. Gently place a marshmallow half atop each cookie with the cut side down. Press the marshmallow just enough so that it sits nicely in the center of the cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another three minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then place them on a cooling rack (I adore my three tiered cooling rack because I never run out of counter space – I’ve had these forever!) to cool completely.
These are amazingly good. As in I will grudgingly admit that I hid the last seven of these in a container in my freezer behind the veggies in the hopes that my family would forget about them and I could eat them myself. I feel slightly guilty about that, but not enough to share them with my family.
And as good as these hot chocolate cookies are, if you just so happen to stick one in the microwave for about 8-10 seconds so that it gets just a little warm and the marshmallow just starts to puff up? Well… don’t say I didn’t warn you. You may end up hiding them behind the veggies, too.
Soft and chewy decadent hot chocolate cookies with the marshmallow in the middle. Eat them fresh from the oven, or stick them in the microwave for a few seconds to get them extra soft and delicious.
- 1/2 c butter
- 1/2 c chocolate chips
- 1/2 c cocoa powder
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 T espresso (or 1 t java extract)
- 1 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 t salt
- 3/4 t baking powder
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1/2 c dried cherries, finely chopped
- 12 large marshmallows, cut in half
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Over low heat, melt the butter in a heavy pan or double boiler. Once it’s melted, add the chocolate chips and cocoa powder, stirring until it’s melted. While the butter is melting, chop your dried cherries as finely as possible.
- Add the butter/chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl and add sugar and espresso. Beat until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition so that it is light and fluffy.
- Add the salt and baking powder, and mix again until it’s incorporated. Add the flour and stir until mostly combined but a few white streaks remain. Add the dried cherries and stir until just combined.
- Scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet covered with a sil pat or parchment paper. I used my medium cookie scoop, and this was the perfect size for the cookie.
- Bake in your 350 degree preheated oven for 12 minutes.
- While your cookies are baking, use a serrated knife to cut them in half, leaving two perfect circles. When the 12 minutes is up, remove the cookies from the oven and add the marshmallow halves with the cut side down. Place them in the center of each cookie and press gently until they are nestled into the cookie.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 3 minutes, until they are lightly cracked and dry on top but still soft and chewy. Let them cool for five minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a cookie rack to cool the rest of the way.
- Store in a sealed container for up to five days, or freeze for up to a month.
The cherries make these cookies absolutely outstanding. If you prefer, you can leave out the cherries and use a few chocolate chips in the dough or just eliminate the dried cherries entirely.