December 21, 2012
Some people consider hot cocoa a beverage but I think of it more as a sweet sauna for melting marshmallows. You know what I’m talking about. You take a steaming mug of hot cocoa and toss in 3 or 10 large marshmallows, making sure to use the back side of your spoon to immerse each one for maximum meltage, and as the marshmallows begin to spread across the top of the hot liquid like melting clouds you dive in with your spoon again and again. Then and only then, after finishing off the final marshmallow do you take your first sip of hot cocoa while stealthy slipping one hand back into the marshmallow bag for another 3 or 10 large marshmallows.
A true master of the art of cocoa-marshmallow melt will be able to work with such agility and spoon speed that they’ll be able to polish off half a bag of marshmallows before the cocoa has cooled. My framed certificate of merit earned while still in my youth hangs proudly on our living room.
This is a super simple adaption of Georganne’s chocolate cookie recipe. All I’ve done is replace the regular cocoa powder with instant hot cocoa mix which provides a more subdued chocolate flavor and a sweeter cookie due to the added sugars in the cocoa mix. To add in the marshmallow flavor I used LorAnn’s marshmallow flavoring and a cup of the Kraft Mallow Bits. They come in vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint flavored. I prefer the vanilla being a marshmallow purist but also because it provides a nice contrast of color in the cookie. The one thing you’re notice if you try this recipe is that some of the Mallow Bits on the edge of the cookie will completely dissolve during baking, leaving a small hole on the side so if you’re using a cutter with a narrow section you’ll want to position the cutter to avoid creating a weak point on your finished cookie.
Remember the other day when I shared the steps I take to avoid cookie spread. Well. Let me pull back the curtain for a minute and share a recent major cookie FAIL of mine. It happens that I’ve gathered a long list of fails but this is the one that’s applicable to the context in which we find ourselves.
The first time I experimented with this recipe idea, rather than using the small Mallow Bits, I melted regular marshmallows and beat the slightly warm sweet goop into the cookie dough. As you can imagine it was a bit of a messy experiment but the result was this wonderfully soft, billowy dough that was surprisingly easy to roll and cut. And not so bad on the taste buds. Not one little bit.
And then reality and my creativity parted ways.
I slipped my parchment-lined baking sheet with 9 little unbaked cocoa mug cookies into the oven and 9 minutes later I opened the oven door to find what can only be described as one very big, very flat, very runny, oddly-shaped cookie and by cookie I mean cookie mess. If you’re thinking to yourself, “So Little Miss I-Never-Have-A-Problem-With-Cookie-Spread, don’t you think it’s only fair if you show us photos of your successes that you would show us photos of your fails?” my answer to you would be, “Has no one ever taken the time to explain to you that life isn’t fair? Seriously???”
And besides, when I opened the oven door grabbing a camera and adjusting my aperture wasn’t the first thought that raced through my head. My first thought was more along the lines of calculating my odds in getting a pan of molten chocolate cookie lava out of the oven without sloshing it onto my delicate fair flesh.
So my recommendation? Don’t put melted marshmallows in your cookie dough. I’ve already traveled that road for you and it wasn’t pretty.
But these cookies are pretty and pretty tasty too.
Marshmallowy Hot Cocoa Cookies
1 1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon LorAnn’s Marshmallow emulsion (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup instant hot cocoa mix
3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose white flour
1 cup plus a little more of Kraft Mallow Bits *
* May be purchased at large chain grocery stores or you can use the instant cocoa mix packets that already contain itty-bitty dried marshmallows. Or grab a box of Lucky Charms cereal and go fishing for those magically delicious marshmallow treats.
…..Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and instant hot cocoa mix in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
3. Add in the eggs and extract(s) beating until well-blended.
4. Add in the dry ingredients one cup at a time until the dough is fully incorporated.
5. Add in the Mallow Bits.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface to the desired thickness. Place the cut cookies onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet and bake on the center rack of the oven for 8-12 minutes. Baking time will be determined by the thickness and overall dimension of cookies.
7. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet before moving to cooling rack.
This recipe is meant to be consumed with a cup of hot cocoa. And a bag of marshmallows.
Or just a bag of marshmallows.
Yes, that’s probably best. Keep it simple. Just marshmallows. The big ones.