Wednesday, April 17, 2013

hot cocoa cookies

Did you know there's a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa? I never once thought about it until I listened to this episode of Spilled Milk, but it totally makes sense! Hot chocolate? Is made with chopped chocolate melted into hot milk. Hot cocoa, on the other hand, is cocoa powder and sugar and milk, heated together. Both delicious, but totally different.

Call these cookies whatever you want. They have both melted chocolate and cocoa in them, a piece of chocolate pressed into the top of the hot cookie makes it literally ooze chocolate, and they're topped with a melty marshmallow. So they have all the key elements of both hot cocoa and hot chocolate. Best served warm, they are decadent and chocolatey and delicious.

Look how yummy:

See how gooey those marshmallows are?

Let's give it a closer look.

Now really close. See that melty chocolate?

The recipe was originally from Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine.

Hot Cocoa Cookies
60 cookies

24 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, divided*
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) flour
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
30 marshmallows, cut in half

Chop 12 ounces of chocolate. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and 12 ounces of chocolate, stirring frequently, over low heat. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. (You can use the microwave if you prefer; heat for a minute, stir, and microwave again if needed in 30-second bursts.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Using a mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla at low speed until smooth, about two minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture until just blended. Add the flour in two batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats. Scoop the dough into 1" balls. Arrange 16 balls on each cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 10-12 minutes.

While the cookies bake, snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise. Use 7 1/2 ounces of the remaining chocolate and break it into squares. Stick one square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides of the marshmallows.

Remove the cookies from the oven and gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Return to the oven and bake another 3-4 minutes, until the marshmallows are just softened. (They don't want to burn, or even really turn golden.)

Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 5 minutes. Grate some of the remaining chocolate over the hot cookies. Use a spatula to remove the cookies to racks and cool completely.

Repeat with remaining dough, marshmallows, and chocolate. If using parchment, you may need to bake each batch on a clean sheet of parchment.

The cookies are good warm, so the chocolate and marshmallows are a little gooey. Heat for a few seconds in the microwave or toaster oven before serving.

*It is helpful to use thin chocolate bars for pressing into the cookies. Trader Joe's has 3-packs of small chocolate bars that work nicely. For the melted chocolate and the grated chocolate, you can also use chocolate chips or thicker chocolate bars. Rachael Ray suggests 7 chocolate bars, 3 1/2 ounces each.

Print recipe.

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