These rich and fudgy chocolate cookies are everything you want in a cookie… and more!
Today, I’m sharing my family’s favorite holiday cookie recipe. They’re soft in the center, slightly crispy around the edges and gooey with marshmallow bliss in the middle.
Before you trust my recipes, you might be curious about who I am. I’m Lindsey, founder of Elderberry Queen. I’m a wife and mom to five boys. They keep my life very busy! I love baking and cooking, and I love coming up with healthy recipes to share with you. This recipe is just too good not to share.
Curling up in your favorite fuzzy sweater, fleece blanket layered on top and a warm cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate (whatever your jam is) is heaven on earth, am I right? Well… imagine a plate of these cookies sitting next to you as well. You’ll close your eyes with each bite and murmur, “Oh my goodness” — I swear.
If these cookies make it past your family without disappearing, they make a gorgeous New Year's gift in a wintry-decorated box. I’ve even whipped these up for a few cookie exchanges, and they were a HIT.
What Exactly Are Hot Chocolate Cookies?
Well, besides being the best cookie ever for any chocolate lover… they are basically a cup of hot cocoa but cookie-style. These chocolate cookies are fudgy, rich, melty and filled with clouds of marshmallows right in the center.
If you’re like me and would rather eat than drink, then you’ll love these!
Don’t get me wrong. A cup of hot cocoa can definitely hit the spot on a cold wintery day. But I’d rather eat these hot chocolate cookies any day over sipping on a drink.
But actually… who says you can’t have both?
Just last week, I saw my son with a cup of hot chocolate AND a plate of these cookies. A true, devoted chocolate lover at heart. The mom in me wanted to be like, “No, no, no, that’s too much at once.” Then the cool mom in me took over, and I simply said, “You’re a genius, son.”
His big chocolate-smeared smile affirmed I had made the right response.
Can’t blame the boy, right? Life’s just too short to not indulge sometimes.
Here’s the thing… these are probably the healthiest hot chocolate cookies you’ll find (but they don’t really taste healthy, so trust me — it’ll still feel like a treat).
Choosing Better Ingredients
By selecting our ingredients mindfully, we're making these indulgent treats a tad healthier without compromising on taste.
To start, we've opted for gluten-free flour because we know how gluten can affect your gut over time. Read more about that here. And instead of refined white sugar, we've turned to the natural sweetness of coconut sugar, giving these cookies all the sweetness they need but without the refined sugars.
Using real, high-quality chocolate chips elevates these cookies’ richness and depth of flavor. Plus, they pack in more antioxidants and genuine chocolatey goodness than artificial substitutes. And let's not forget the marshmallows — choosing a healthier version means skipping the artificial additives (like corn syrup) and opting for ones made with better-for-you ingredients. I’ll be using Dandies Marshmallows in this recipe.
With these conscientious ingredient swaps, we're making a real effort to enhance the nutritional profile of these hot chocolate cookies while still delivering an irresistible taste and that ooey, gooey texture.
Ready to see how easy this recipe is? Let’s first grab everything you’ll need to make these rich, decadent cookies.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Most of these ingredients are kitchen staples, so you may already have them in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten-Free Flour — this is the base of your cookie and will give it that soft yet crispy texture
- Unsalted Butter — this ingredient helps the cookie to become rich and melty
- Eggs — We’re using eggs to bind everything together so you end up with the best cookie ever
- Dark Chocolate Chips — you can’t skimp out on these (it is a chocolate cookie, after all), try EnjoyLife chocolate chips
- Coconut Palm Sugar — a bit of natural sweetness is all you need in this recipe
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder — try to use high-quality cocoa powder for that deep, rich profile
- Baking Soda — the fluff behind these bites of heaven
- Salt — the companion baking powder needs to truly deliver on a soft cookie
- Dark Chocolate Bar — I prefer to use Hu chocolate bars because they’re sweetened with dates and are 100% organic
- Marshmallows — try the Dandies brand. They’re made without corn syrup or any artificial flavors. A great, healthier alternative to traditional marshmallows
If you’re in a position to buy these ingredients organic, you’ll make them even healthier! If you don’t have the extra dough right now (because we know organic does add up and the holidays are sucking most of us dry), don’t sweat it. You’re already a step up from traditional cookie recipes just by switching out refined sugar, enriched flour and GMO-filled marshmallows.
You’re winning, my friend! Now, let’s get to baking.
How to Make Hot Chocolate Cookies
My kiddos love helping me make these cookies! Not to mention, the dough is delicious as well :) So maybe your little helper can lick the bowl when those cookies are baking in the oven?
You’ll be the coolest momma ever! (Even though I bet you already are!)
Alright… let’s get these cookies baked and in yo’ belly.
Here’s how to make these delicious treats:
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 325℉. Then, melt the butter and chocolate chips either using a double boiler method on your stove or in the microwave. If you use the stove, heat it on low and stir constantly until melted. If you use the microwave, heat for 30 seconds, stir, heat for another 30 seconds and continue until fully melted.
STEP 2: In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until combined and smooth.
STEP 3: In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Then, pour into the wet ingredients and mix gently with a spatula.
STEP 4: Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
STEP 5: Pull the dough out of the fridge, and with a spoon or ice cream scoop, get one dollop at a time and gently roll it in your hands. Place on your baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes.
STEP 6: Pull cookies out of the oven, place one square of chocolate and one marshmallow in the middle and press down gently. Then pop your baking sheet back in the oven until the chocolate is melted and the marshmallow puffs up a bit (about 3 minutes).
STEP 7: Let them cool for about 10 minutes before scarfing them down. You want them to be melty but also keep their shape so it’s not a hot mess while you’re eating. Plus, no one wants to burn their mouth, either!
Can I Prep These Ahead of Time?
Yes! I suggest just making the dough ahead of time if it’s a week or more beforehand. You can refrigerate the dough for up to a week and freeze the dough for up to 4 months.
Are Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips Okay to Use?
Absolutely! Use whatever your heart desires. I suggest dark chocolate chips in this recipe because they’re healthier, and let’s be real — it’s because I LOVE dark chocolate. But each to their own, so you do you, boo!
Can I Skip Chilling the Dough?
This is a big no. You gotta chill the dough, or it won’t turn out as fudgy and chewy as you’re dreaming about (or that I promised).
How Do I Store These Cookies?
Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. If you freeze them after you’ve baked them, they don’t look as pretty, but they’re still edible for up to 3 months!
If you’re stacking them, use parchment paper in between your layers so they stay as beautiful as they looked coming out of the oven.
A Healthier You This Winter
Since I’m a mom of five boys, I understand how difficult it is to get sick over winter. How you’re crossing your fingers hoping no one comes down with anything during the holidays or the two weeks or months before either. You need time for it to cycle through and get out of your home. I hate it!
That’s why we’re always trying our hardest to:
- Eat nourishing, healthy foods
- Get outside, even if it’s cold
- Sleep at least 8 hours a night
- Take our daily dose of elderberry syrup
- Stress less (easier said than done, I know!)
Read more about the do’s and don'ts of building your immune system here.
As someone deeply passionate about crafting healthier recipes and incorporating my elderberry syrup in new ways, I find so much joy in my kitchen and sharing my family recipes with you.
At Elderberry Queen, my all-natural shop, I’m dedicated to curating natural products that support your immune system, ensuring wellness year-round.
These hot chocolate cookies, a beloved holiday treat, have been revamped with better-for-you ingredients without compromising on that decadent flavor. They embody my belief that indulgence can coexist with healthier choices.
I hope you love them as much as my family does!
🎉 More Holiday Party Foods You’ll Love:
- Easy Chocolate Truffles
- Baked Brie With Honey & Pecans
- Best Ever Mini Cheesecakes
- Chocolate Elderberry Swirled Fudge