Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot Cocoa Cookies... chewy, chocolaty and oh so delicious!! -

These Hot Cocoa Cookies are chewy, chocolaty and oh so delicious!  These have quickly become my favorite Christmas cookie!  

I created this recipe to take to a friend’s Christmas Cookie Exchange Party, and they were a huge hit!  

These cookies start with a brownie-like cookie base, then get topped with a marshmallow, fudge glaze and sprinkles… what more could you want?  =) 

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Hot Cocoa Cookies... chewy, chocolaty and oh so delicious! -

Earlier this week, I shared the pretty details of my friend Bethany’s Cookie Exchange Party.

Normally, if I’m invited to a cookie exchange I might make some pretty decorated cookies… but I knew Bethany had that covered.  

So I baked up these Hot Cocoa Cookies, and I’m so glad I did!   They’re chewy, chocolaty and oh so cute!

Feel free to use different sprinkles for different holidays, or to match a color theme… easy peasy!

Hot Cocoa Cookies Recipe

Print Recipe

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Yield: Makes 35-45 cookies

Rich, chocolaty and delicious, these are a perfect cookie for Christmas, or any time of year!


For the cookies-
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

25 (apx.) large marshmallows

For the icing -
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assorted sprinkles


Make the cookies-
1.) In a medium saucepan (or in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power), melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
3.) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined.
4.) Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined.
5.) While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then cover the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  The dough should be firm.  If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.
6.) Preheat oven to 325*F. and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat type liner. Use a tablespoon (or a tablespoon sized cookie scoop) to scoop the dough, then roll the dough in your hands to create balls. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets, then flatten slightly.
Bake cookies about 12 minutes.
7.) While the cookies bake, cut the large marshmallows in half (crosswise). When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow half (cut side down) into the center of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes. Allow the pan of cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
8.) Prepare cookie icing by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl and mixing together with a whisk. Place wire cooling rack (with cookies on it) over a baking sheet (to catch any excess icing). Spoon a small amount of icing onto the top of each marshmallow, and use the back of the spoon to spread it a bit. After icing just a couple cookies, top with sprinkles before the icing dries.
9.) Allow icing to set up about 30 minutes before serving.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days. Change the sprinkles to coordinate with various holidays.

Recipe source- Cookie base adapted from Rachael Ray, final cookies by Glorious Treats

PIN IT NOW to save for later! 

Hot Cocoa Cookies... chewy, chocolaty and oh so delicious!! -

This is the perfect recipe to add to your holiday cookie trays, or bring to a cookie exchange… just be sure to save a few for yourself!  =)

Happy baking!


  1. These cookies turned out incredible, the frosting is some of the best I have ever made and the taste of the cookie is a perfect cocoa flavor. Definitely recommend as a holiday treat.

  2. I just won “Best Cookie” at my Christmas Cookie Exchange with this cookie! I have not baked cookies in years, but this looked fun and I wanted to give it a try. I’m so glad I did, these are amazing! Everyone raved about them all afternoon! Thank you!!! Merry Christmas!

  3. We had to find a cookie recipe for a culinary class to make 250 cookies and these were the prime of the class

  4. I’ve made this recipe a couple times and love it, but if I wanted to halve it, do you have any recommendations about the eggs? Should I just try to do 1.5 eggs or would it be better to use 1 or 2?

    • Hi Natalie. I’ve never made this but I would love to. My guess is to use one whole egg and crack another in a separate bowl. Then mix one egg slightly as you don’t want to overbeat it when it gets mixed with the other ingredients, but only put half the mixture in with the other egg. Then you’ll have an egg and a half going in with the other ingredients. One egg sounds too little and two sounds too much so I think you are right in that you should do an egg and a half.

  5. These cookies are so good! This comes from  a person who doesn’t really care for marshmallows.  In the winter I decorate with blue and white snowflake sprinkles. For camping or summer outings I turn them into smores of sorts….skip the icing and press a few graham cracker crumbs into the hot marshmallow with a glove or bottom of a glass. Yummy!

  6. Hi! I’ll be making a few batches of cookies to freeze ready for Christmas , do you kow if these freeze well? They look yummy!

    • I have frozen these with great results! The marshmallow texture changes just a little,  but not in a bad way! Still tasty:)

  7. How many cookies does one batch make?

  8. I’ve made the Hot Cocoa Cookies for the last three years. They are my new favorite Christmas Cookie, especially if you are a chocoholic like I am. Try them. You’ll have friends asking you for the recipe.

  9. about how many cookies does one batch make? I have to make 12 dozen so I need to know how much ingredients I will need to buy. Thanks

  10. These cookies turned out just like the picture, which was impressive being that it’s me who made them. They were very yummy, the cookies themselves were not very sweet but they went well with the marshmallows. I will be making these again!

  11. Hi  i’m making these cookies today and I tried four cookies 1st  to begin with and they were great my problem is is I read the small print  below the recipe  on these cookies they only last a couple days in a tight container is there anyway I could keep them till Christmas  which is not quite two weeks from now looking forward to hear your answer and thank you so much for the recipe it is delicious. 

    • Hi Joanne,
      As with most any baked good, these are best enjoyed fresh, or within a few days of baking. My only suggestion is to share this first batch with neighbors and friends, and make another batch if you’d like to serve them on Christmas.

  12. I made these today and they’re awesome!!! So fudgy and sweet. 
    My oven bakes faster, so I pulled them out at 8 minutes, put in marshmallows, then popped back in for 2 or 3 minutes. I froze a dozen for Christmas cookie platter. Definitely a keeper. 

  13. Can you freeze the dough?

    • I’ve never frozen them so I’m sorry to say I don’t have any experience to share.

    • It worked for me.  I used a cookie scoop (did not roll in a’ball’) to scoop on to wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Freeze then I put them in a freezer bag,  taking out to bake as I need them.  They need to thaw some so you can flatten them.

  14. Do ypu have to line the baking sheet with parchment paper?

  15. Just to thank you for this cookie recipe. I made these for our cookie exchange this year and I was so pleased. The cookies turned out perfect–just like the picture–and tasted wonderful. I will be making these every Christmas from now on. Hope you have a healthy and happy 2017!

    • The cookies turned out tacky and chewy. Not sure why?

    • I’m not sure what may have been the issue either? These cookies should be fudey, a little chewy (in part from from the marshmallow portion) and utterly delicious!
      What do you mean by “tacky”? Did the icing on top not dry… is that what you mean? Give me a few more details and I’ll see if I can help you figure it out. These are easily one of my most popular cookies and I’ve had tons of readers tell me how much they love them (and have even won Christmas party contests with them)!

  16. I’ve made these for 2 years. Always perfect, delicious and very festive. Love this recipe.

  17. Have made these cookies for the past 2 yrs (from this exact recipe). I can’t express enough how incredibly delicious these are. My family loves them and starts getting excited for the holidays just at the thought of these. There such a beautiful cookie that I packaged some up and mailed them to my bosses (I work remotely). They were a huge hit! If you’re even looking at this recipe because you think you might enjoy these, then definitely try this recipe. I followed each step without substituting anything and they come out perfect each time!

  18. Cam i frezee the dough??? And bake in 2 months?

    • Hi Emme,
      I generally prefer any baked goods to be fresh, so I have not experimented with freezing the dough. For this recipe, if I was going to freeze the dough, I think I’d roll it into balls, then flatten just slightly (as directed in the recipe) and freeze them in those shapes. Feel free to experiment.

  19. These cookies were even better than I thought they would be. The cookie has a great texture and flavor with or without the icing. Definitely making these again. 

  20. Made these for a cookie exchange, they were a hit! Super cute and delicious! We felt the chocolate topping was a little too sweet, tasted kind of like frosting, but they were delicious. Will definitely be making these again!

  21. I have a cookie exchange event at my job and i want to make these but I have a question… Should I bake them in the morning before work so they’re a little more “fresh” or would they taste just as fine if I baked them the night before and put them in an air tight container? Thanks!!

  22. If I wanted to use fluff instead of an actual marshmallow (to make it vegetarian friendly), think I should bake the cookie the whole time (original bake plus marshmallow bake) and then top with a dab of fluff then ice? It should work I’d think, but didn’t know f you had tried it! 🙂

    • I have not experimented with marshmallow fluff (with this recipe), so I’m not sure what to suggest. I might still try to bake the marshmallow fluff a couple minutes… but again I’ve never tried it that way. The nice thing is that this recipe makes quite a few cookies, so if you try it one way for one baking sheet worth and it doesn’t work out, you still have lots of cookies to do it a different way. Happy experimenting!

  23. made these today. every stage was a thrill. they look so pretty after the first bake. then you add the marshmallows and bang. up a notch. i used the icing sparingly and added some christmas sprinkles. tasted my “reject” cookie (the test one – i tell myself) and it is delicious. chewy, chocolate is intense, the marshmallow is just the right melty. yum. will use this recipe for the rest of my christmas baking career

  24. I tried this recipe for a potluck recently. I can not believe how amazing these cookies are. They are the perfect combination of brownie like cookie, marshemellow and icing. I love how the marshmellow seemed gooey when you bite into them, giving the sense of a marshmellow in a cup of hot chocolate. I took 3 dozen to the gathering and came back wirh none. My friends were actually fighting over who would take the left overs home. These will be a mainstay of my Christmas baking for years to come

  25. All of your comments have sold me on this recipe. The recipe seems a bit laborious, but the rave reviews have convinced me to make them for the cookie swap next week. Six dozen hot cocoa cakes cookies in my future. 

  26. I have made these cookies and the family loves them.  BUT I made a note to myself last year that I had to refrigerate them much longer than the 1 hour in order to make the dough firm enough to handle.  Should the dough be this “loose” prior to refrigeration?  Not sure whether to add some more flour or semi-freeze the  dough so it isn’t so sticky?  Anyone else with this issue?

    • So glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe! Yes, the batter should be more like brownie batter than cookie dough before it is chilled. The chilling time will vary simply based on how much you let the chocolate mixture cool before adding it to the batter, your fridge, etc. I generally find that after an hour of chilling I can get at least one baking sheet worth of cookies from the top layer of dough that has chilled, then I keep it in the fridge while baking the first sheet and can continue to work off of it in that way (chilling between scooping out batches). Feel free to chill as long as needed so the dough keeps its shape in a nice ball before baking.

  27. Thank you for the insights…and tips!

  28. when you say cocoa powder… do you mean baking cocoa? or actual hot cocoa mix powder?

  29. Wow, just wow!! Super easy for someone who doesn’t bake a lot. I can’t believe how amazing these are !!! Thanks for sharing!!

  30. I’ve made these cookies twice in the past few weeks! Once for a party and then again for christmas. These cookies are absolutely fabulous and they are so easy to make! They are so moist and incredibly flavorful! I used crushed peppermint to sprinkle on top of the icing and I’m in love!

  31. These are favorites around here…my daughter ALWAYS requests them! And I’m usually willing to accommodate 🙂 But with it being the first day of summer break, I wanted to add a little summer twist. So instead of adding Christmas sprinkles, we added crushed graham crackers on top. Still so cute, but a little more summer-ish!

  32. Do you know if these will freeze ok once cooked I want to send them in the mail. 

    • Hi Renee,
      I have not experimented with shipping them. I’m afraid the icing would make a bit of a mess as the cookies thaw. You may want to try my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, Ginger Molasses Cookies, or Perfect Sugar Cookies. Each of these would freeze and ship nicely.

  33. My cookie exchange party is at a pretty small house and we all have to sort of stack our cookies to make room for all of them.  My question is about the frosting.  Does it dry hard so I can lean them against each other or is it like soft frosting?  Important to know.   thanks so much.  They look great!

    • Hi Mimi,
      Once the icing sets a bit (15 minutes or so) you can gently stack them, at least 2-3 layers high… more than that they’d likely get a bit squished. You can also add a small piece of parchment paper between the layers to help keep the cookies separate.

  34. Hi, how long does it take to make a batch of these cookies?

    • Hi Laura,
      A lot of that depends on how you like to work… but if I was making these from start to finish I’d estimate 2-3 hours. Not all of that is active time, since the dough needs to chill 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. So preparing the dough is about 15-20 minutes, then chilling time (up to 1 hour), then baking time (likely 1 hour for all), and then 15 minutes to add the icing.

  35. These cookies are a hit anytime I make them. However, the chocolate frosting starts to turn splotchy white the next day after they’re made. Any idea why?

    • Hi Misty, Yes, I’ve experienced the same issue. I’m sorry to say I don’t have a solution other than to wait to frost the cookies until the day they’ll be served.

  36. i want to make these to give away as christmas gifts. how many days/weeks would they last if left out in a container vs. freezing them? what about if i made the cookies without the icing?

    • I have not experimenting with freezing these cookies. I’m not sure how the marshmallow portion would react. The cookies will remain fresh tasting for several days, although after a day or two the icing may discolor a bit. One option is to bake the cookies with the marshmallows (as directed), but then add the icing the day you’ll be serving them.

  37. The cookies taste amazing but the frosting didn’t work out…I followed the directions but it was lumpy and never hardened up, very watery. 

    • Hi Joan, So glad you loved the cookie portion. If the icing was lumpy it was likely that your powdered sugar was a bit lumpy to begin with. Next time, try adding just a bit of water at a time, while stirring to make sure any little lumps are blended. The frosting should thicken as it cools, but it will never be fully hard. Again, it sounds like maybe just a bit less water would help with that, and letting the icing cool a bit more before adding to the cookies. Happy baking!

  38. This is probably a really dumb question but here goes. Do you use semi sweet chocolate morsels or  semi sweet chocolate baking bars? These cookies look so cute and delicious! Just want to make sure I use the right one!

  39. These came out beautifully and my family really really enjoyed them. They’re now my new favorite Holiday cookie. Thanks you for sharing!

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  41. How many dozen does this make?…

    • Hi Tammy, As listed in the recipe, if you make balls of dough about 1 tablespoon sized, then you should get about 35-45 cookies. If you use 2 tablespoons of dough, then you’ll get less cookies, of course. I hope you give the recipe a try, it’s truly one of my favorites!

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  43. My grandsons and I made these cookies today. They are a winner. The ciokie, alone, is delicious but topped with the marshmallow and sprinkles – WOW! I’ll make another batch tomorrow. Thank you.

  44. I make these every year. This year they didn’t turned out so great .. the flattened out…
    What did I do wrong? Help. 

    • So sorry they went a little flat on you! My best guess is that maybe the dough needed to be chilled a bit longer? Happy holiday baking!

  45. I made these today and they were absolutely delicious but for some reason my cookies 
    Spread out and we’re paper thin. I had a hard time getting them off the cookie sheet
    Without them tearing they were so thin. I checked my flour and my baking powder to make sure I used enough and I still can’t figure out what happened. Do you have any 
    Suggestions for me? I want to make them again to figure out what I did wrong. They were delicious just paper thin. Thank you! 

    • It’s most likely you did not chill the dough long enough. The dough should be firm enough that you can roll the dough into solid balls before baking. Did you roll the dough into balls in your hands, or just scoop it onto the baking sheet?

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  47. How long will these cookies keep? How do you suggest storing them?

  48. Just a fabulous cookie!  We have used it for the last few years and distribute to friends. .  Instead of sprinkles we always do crushed candy cane, but other than that I follow recipe.  I like to weigh my  cookies so I do .85 oz balls,  bake for 10 mins before adding the marshmallows for another 2 minute bake.  Thanks for the recipes! 

  49. These were the absolute best cookies I’ve ever had! I made them for a Christmas dinner at my cousins house and they disappeared in minutes, my husband insisted that I made them for his Christmas cookie exchange so I did and he said they were an absolute hit. This will be my go to cookie recipe for Christmas!!

  50. These really are great cookies. I too won the Cookie Bake Off at my office’s holiday party! I think they will be our new Christmas tradition!

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