Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
These spiced and spicy cookies boast a rich, chocolatey flavor. They are generously filled with gooey molten marshmallows, making them a delightful treat to keep you cozy during the colder months. The dough is infused with cinnamon's warmth and a hint of ground cayenne, a combination reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate, lending these cookies a holiday-inspired taste with an unexpected, subtle kick.When stored in an airtight container, the marshmallow center provides a delightful chewiness and retains its fluffy softness, even after a few days. To achieve the characteristic ripple of white marshmallows peeking through the shiny chocolate exterior, freeze them entirely before using them in the cookies. Otherwise, they may dissolve into the cookies as they bake.
- 1½ cups (192 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (51 grams) cocoa powder preferably Dutch-processed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt such as Diamond Crystal
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1½ cups (305 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Mini marshmallows frozen solid
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment or using a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until it becomes light and fluffy, which should take approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and continue beating until the mixture turns creamy, about 2 more minutes. Incorporate the flour mixture and beat on low speed until there are no more dry spots, roughly 1 minute.
- Shape the dough into mounds and place them on a baking sheet using a 2-tablespoon (1-ounce) cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. If you haven't already, freeze the marshmallows.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine granulated sugar and the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl.
- If it's very stiff, retrieve half of the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Take a portion of the dough and gently flatten it in your palm. Arrange 5 frozen mini marshmallows on top of the flattened dough, then fold the outer edges over the marshmallows to encase them. Roll the dough into a ball and coat it with the cinnamon sugar. Place it on the baking sheet, ensuring a 3-inch space between each cookie.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies slightly puff up and you can see bits of molten marshmallow peeking through the surface. Allow them to cool on the sheet for approximately 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and marshmallows. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze dough balls (without the cinnamon sugar coating), store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw them at room temperature for 5 minutes, roll them in the cinnamon sugar, and bake for 13 to 15 minutes.