Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies with Mini Marshmallows

Hot chocolate is one of the best things in the world and especially when it’s dark, thick hot chocolate that’s basically like drinking chocolate ganache. After you’ve had that, ‘Swiss Miss’ will never really do the trick. One of the first places I ever had super thick, chocolate-y hot chocolate was at Mariebelle in SoHo, when I was little, maybe 7 or 8. It changed my whole hot chocolate experience. These cookies are basically about transforming that deliciousness into cookie form!

One of the types of hot chocolate I tried there was ‘Spicy Hot Chocolate’ with chili, cinnamon and nutmeg in it (I’ve also seen it other places as ‘Mexican Hot Chocolate,’ although I am doubtful as to the accuracy of this title). As a kid, I was pretty devoted to the classic dark hot chocolate, but I may now be grown-up enough to change it up just a little bit.

These cookies are super rich and fudge-y (they should always be a bit underbaked) and the spice makes the flavor a little more unexpected and so irresistible that it’s impossible to stop eating them. The mini marshmallows are such a fun texture and cut the spiciness perfectly. You will win any and all holiday cookie swaps with these, guaranteed! (Wait, aren’t those just supposed to be about generosity? What does it say about me that I think it’s a contest?)

I actually originally made this cookies with one big marshmallow on top, which was tasty but looked like a weird poached egg on top of the cookie. Mini marshmallows are better, but they are hard to incorporate in the dough evenly, so I’m still looking for the perfect way to get the marshmallows in there!

Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies with Mini Marshmallows

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Cookies”

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
.25 tsp chipotle
.25 tsp nutmeg
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter(1 1/4 sticks), softened but still firm
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups mini marshmallows

1. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, spices and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate, either in medium heatproof bowl set over pan of almost-simmering water or in the microwave. Beat eggs and vanilla lightly with fork, sprinkle coffee powder over to dissolve, and set aside.
2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or with hand mixer), beat butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in sugars until combined, about 45 seconds; mixture will look granular. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in egg mixture until incorporated. Add chocolate in steady stream and beat until combined. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until combined. Do not overmix. Fold in mini marshmallows with spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until consistency is scoopable and fudgelike, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Leaving about 1 1/2-inches between each ball, scoop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets with 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop.
4. Bake cookies until edges have just begun to set but centers are still very soft, about 13 minutes, turning cookie sheets from front to back and switching from top to bottom racks halfway through baking.
5. Cool cookies on sheets about 10 minutes, slide parchment with cookies onto wire rack and cool to room temperature; remove with wide metal spatula.

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