Hot chocolate cookies are a fantastic Christmas cookie recipe that uses hot cocoa mix as part of the cookie recipe! You’ll top them with some peppermint marshmallows, rich ganache, and a sprinkle of crushed candy canes. There just like eating a mug of peppermint hot cocoa!

Hot Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Marshmallows are coated with chocolate and sprinkled with chopped candy canes.

At this time of year, I need nothing more than a warmly lit Christmas tree, some long-sought after decorations, a snowy day, and some of these hot chocolate cookies. 

Oh sure, hot chocolate loaded with marshmallows by itself is fine and dandy but it’s Christmastime!  Bring on the cookies!

Aside from my determination to conquer the homemade marshmallow this winter, I was equally as determined to make an awesome hot chocolate cookie to nestle itself underneath one of these peppermint marshmallows.

I’ve been intrigued about these cookies for the past couple of years but I wasn’t really interested in using hot chocolate packets in a cookie recipe. So I made my own hot chocolate mix. What can I say? It’s what I like to do.

I actually only made a half-recipe of the mix this time around and ended up with enough for 3 test rounds of these cookies (which included two major fails). And there was still plenty of leftover cocoa to serve out of the crock pot at our family holiday party this past weekend.

Overhead view of Hot Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Marshmallows are coated with chocolate and sprinkled with chopped candy canes.

The cookies themselves are just how I want my cookies to be: chewy on the inside with a slight crisp on the outside.  Sort of like my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

They don’t blow you away with chocolate flavor but you definitely feel like you’re eating hot chocolate.  Is that weird?  

Oh, and then they’re topped with a fresh and fluffy peppermint marshmallow, some rich ganache, and a sprinkle of crushed up candy cane for a little crunch factor. 

This is winter heaven wrapped up in these cookies, my friends, winter heaven. I could settle in front of the fire with a plate of these cookies and you may need to roll me out of the house when I go back to work after the New Year.

It’s going to be a rough holiday season on my hips but dang it, these hot chocolate cookies are worth every single calorie.

Hot Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Marshmallows are coated with chocolate and sprinkled with chopped candy canes.

Hot Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Marshmallows

Yield: 20-22 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 11 minutes
Assembly Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes

Hot chocolate cookies are a fantastic Christmas cookie recipe that uses hot cocoa mix as part of the cookie recipe! You'll top them with some peppermint marshmallows, rich ganache, and a sprinkle of crushed candy canes. There just like eating a mug of peppermint hot cocoa! See the Note below for store-bought substitutions.

Ingredients

For the hot chocolate cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups store-bought or homemade hot cocoa mix
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

For assembly:

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (not chocolate chips)
  • 2 tsp heavy cream
  • 1 recipe peppermint marshmallows, cut into 22 pieces with a 2-inch round cutter (These can be made up to 1 week in advance)
  • Peppermint crunch or a couple tbsp crushed up candy canes or peppermint candies

Instructions

  1. To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk the flour, hot chocolate mix, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute - no need to beat until light and fluffy here as that is too long for these cookies. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until no flour remains. Stir the white chocolate chips into the batter on low speed or by hand.
  3. With a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons), scoop out the dough into rounds and space the rounds 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. You should get about 20-22 cookies from the recipe. Bake for 10-12 minutes; rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes then transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.
  4. To assemble the cookies: Heat the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for 30 second intervals at half power until the chocolate is melted and the cream is fully incorporated, stirring between each interval. The ganache should be thick but spreadable.
  5. Spread a quarter-size dollop of ganache on the top center of a cookie and lightly press a marshmallow round on top - it will stick when the ganache hardens. Spread a little more ganache on top of the marshmallow and sprinkle some peppermint crunch on top of the ganache. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store assembled cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

If you're not totally into going crazy and making everything from scratch for these hot cocoa cookies, no worries! You could use 6 packets of store-bought hot chocolate mix and large marshmallows cut in half in place of the homemade mix and marshmallows I suggest below. I really do encourage you to at least try to make your own marshmallows if you have a few extra minutes (that's all the hands-on time they require) because they make an enormous difference and taste waaaay better than store-bought.

Do Ahead: The prep time listed here includes just making the cookies and the assembly time - I had the mix and marshmallows made a couple days in advance in order to save time when I made/assembled the cookies.

Smells Like Home original

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