Hot Cocoa Cookies are pure winter enchantment in every bite. We've taken your classic chocolate chip cookie and given it a seasonal upgrade that'll have your taste buds doing a happy dance. Packed with chocolate chips, marshmallows and the unmistakable flavor of hot cocoa, these Christmas cookies are the perfect winter indulgence, and you won't be able to resist their charm!
Winter is creeping in, and you know what that means – it's officially hot cocoa season! But why stop at sipping on a warm mug when you can take that cozy cocoa vibe to a whole new level with some homemade Hot Cocoa Cookies?
These hot chocolate cookies have a perfectly chewy, chocolate-infused base, generously studded with dark chocolate chips that melt in your mouth with each bite. Plus we've sprinkled in a handful of fluffy marshmallows, adding a delightful gooey surprise reminiscent of sipping cocoa by the fireside. They're the kind of holiday cookies that not only embrace the cozy warmth of hot cocoa but take it to a whole new level of deliciousness.
Whether you enjoy these cookies fireside after a long day of playing in the snow, pile them on a plate of cookies for Santa, or make them for cookie exchanges, they are sure to bring some festive magic to whomever is enjoying them.
- Unsalted Butter – The butter forms the rich and buttery base of the cookie, providing that classic melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- Sugar – Both white sugar and brown sugar adds sweetness to the cookie dough and enhances the overall chewiness and depth of taste.
- Eggs – Eggs act as a binding agent, providing structure to the cookies and contributing to their softness.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract enhances the flavor, adding a sweet and aromatic note to the cookies.
- Flour – The main dry ingredient that forms the structure of the cookies. Make sure to measure the flour accurately for the perfect texture. Use one-to-one gluten free flour if preferred.
- Hot Cocoa Drink Mix – Cocoa is the star of the show! Choose your favorite brand of cocoa mix or blend up a custom homemade chocolate mix.
- Salt – Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor profile of these hot chocolate cookies.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – These leavening agents help the cookies rise and give them a soft texture.
- Dark Chocolate Chips – Adds decadent pockets of rich chocolate throughout the cookies, complementing the hot cocoa flavor. Use milk chocolate or semi sweet if you prefer.
- Mini Dehydrated Marshmallows – These tiny marshmallows bring a delightful gooey texture and the classic marshmallow flavor, reminiscent of sipping on a cup of hot cocoa. They sometimes are labeled as marshmallow bits and see them in Walmart and Target especially during the holiday season. You can also buy them on Amazon.
See recipe card for quantities.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softed butter, sugar and brown sugar. Cream until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add in the flour, hot cocoa mix, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
2. Switch to the paddle attachment and mix thoroughly. Add in the chocolate chips and the marshmallows. Mix until combined.
3. Scoop out golf-ball-sized balls of dough and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
4. Bake for about 9-11 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is no longer shiny. Allow to cool on a baking rack before serving.
Hint: Make sure your butter, eggs, and any other refrigerated ingredients are at room temperature. This helps with even mixing and ensures a smoother cookie dough.
- White Chocolate Wonderland – Substitute dark chocolate chips with white chocolate chips for a sweeter, vanilla-kissed twist.
- Nutty Delight – Add a cup of chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts to the dough for a delightful crunch.
- Peppermint Patty Surprise – Crush some peppermint candies or candy canes and fold them into the dough along with the chocolate chips and marshmallows for a refreshing holiday kick.
- Salted Caramel Bliss – Drizzle salted caramel over the cookies once they are baked for a gooey and salty-sweet upgrade.
- Spiced Cocoa Cookies – Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients for a hint of warmth and spice.
- Mocha Magic – Replace a portion of the hot cocoa mix with instant coffee granules for a mocha-flavored cookie.
- Gingerbread Spice Surprise – Add a teaspoon of ground ginger and a pinch of nutmeg for a cozy gingerbread twist on your hot cocoa cookies.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
A stand mixer makes mixing cookie dough a breeze.
Bake cookies on a cool baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This ensures even cooking and quick cleanup.
If you plan to consume the cookies within a few days, you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container. Make sure the container is sealed well to prevent moisture from getting in and making the cookies soggy.
For longer storage, you can store the cookies in the fridge or freeze them. Bring them to room temperature before consuming.
Cookie Baking Tips
- Bring cold ingredients to room temperature.
- Creaming the softened butter with the sugars until light and fluffy is crucial. This process incorporates air into the dough, resulting in a lighter texture for your cookies.
- For the perfect texture, measure your flour accurately. Too much flour can make the cookies dry, so consider using the spoon-and-level method to avoid overpacking.
- Add the hot cocoa mix gradually, ensuring it integrates evenly into the dough. This helps to avoid clumps and ensures a consistent chocolate flavor throughout.
- Once your cookie dough is mixed you can chill it in the refrigerator up to overnight. This enhances the flavors and prevents the cookies from spreading too much during baking plus it makes it convenient for planning.
- Always preheat your oven before baking. This ensures that the cookies start baking at the right temperature, leading to a consistent and even bake.
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent the cookies from sticking and make for an easier cleanup.
- Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to portion out the dough for even-sized cookies. This ensures they bake uniformly.
- Keep a close eye on your cookies while they're in the oven. Baking times can vary, and you want to take them out when the edges are lightly golden but the centers are still soft.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps them set without overcooking.
While you can use regular cocoa powder, it might alter the flavor profile. Hot cocoa mix typically contains sugar and sometimes powdered milk, which contributes to the unique taste of these cookies.
While you can use mini marshmallows, keep in mind that they might melt and spread during baking, potentially creating a mess. If you prefer the classic look of marshmallows in hot cocoa, dehydrated mini marshmallows are recommended for better stability. Or substitute mini white chocolate chips for the marshmallows.
Absolutely! Chilling the dough in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld and can result in a better texture. Simply cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container before refrigerating. When ready to bake, let it come to room temperature for a few minutes for easier scooping.
Portion the cookie dough into individual balls and freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer the dough balls to a freezer bag. When you're ready to bake, you can place the frozen dough balls on a baking sheet and bake as directed, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time.
More Cookie Recipes
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Hot Cocoa Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup hot cocoa drink mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup mini dehydrated marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softed butter, sugar and brown sugar. Cream until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Add in the flour, hot cocoa mix, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Switch to the paddle attachment and mix thoroughly. Add in the chocolate chips and the marshmallows. Mix until combined.
- Scoop out golf-ball sized balls of dough and place on the parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 9-11 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is no longer shiny. Allow to cool on a baking rack before serving.
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