Sink your teeth into these warm and chewy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies for the ultimate winter treat. These cookies are ooey-gooey goodness in every bite, combing the warming flavors of Mexican Hot Chocolate and brownie-like cookies that feature bits of marshmallow and chocolate chunks. These cookies are some that your whole family will love, and they’re perfect for gifting to others to spread the joy!
Hot Cocoa and Cookies All in One
What if you could get hot cocoa and cookies all in one? These Mexican Hot Cocoa Cookies merge a favorite winter drink into a favorite baked treat. Imagine coming inside after a sledding adventure, shoveling the driveway, or a brisk winter walk to enjoy a still-warm cookie that gives you all the warmth and good feelings of a cup of hot cocoa? These chewy hot cocoa cookies feature chunks of chocolate and they are dotted with melty marshmallow pieces. They’re a cookie that is just as fun to share with others as they are to eat yourself!
Recipe Highlights: Hot Cocoa Cookies
This simple cookie recipe is one you’ll want to make right away! They:
- are loved by kids and adults
- can be easily modified to be gluten free and/or dairy free
- are chewy (a lot like a cross between a chewy brownie and a cookie)
- make great gifts for teachers, friends, and family
- contain perfectly subtle spices, which Mexican Hot Chocolate is known for
- can be made in less than 30 minutes
Ingredients to make Hot chocolate Cookies
Gather these baking ingredients to make a batch of these adorable hot cocoa cookies today:
- Flour – to easily make recipes like this one gluten-free, we always reach for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour because it is easy to use and always results in great gluten-free baked goods. If you don’t need cookies that are gluten free, you can use an equal amount of unbleached all-purpose flour. We’ve tested this recipe with both, and both flours achieve great results
- Chocolate chips – we suggest semisweet chocolate chips, but you can also use milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips. For dairy-free, use dairy-free chocolate chips
- Unsalted butter – you’ll need 4 tablespoons, or half of a standard stick; for dairy-free, use plant-based stick butter
- Egg – this recipe calls for 1 egg. If needed, you can use a flax egg instead (see the instructions for how to do so below)
- Pure vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Fine salt
- Warming spices: we use ground cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne pepper to get a spicy warmness that Mexican Hot Chocolate is known for. You can omit these spices if you’d rather not have that subtle spice flavor
- Chocolate chunks – you’ll stir some chocolate chunks into the dough and sprinkle a few on top for a nice look
- Mini marshmallows – cut miniature marshmallows in half so that you get a nice distribution of that ooey gooey goodness in each bite
Find the ingredients list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
How to Make Mexican Hot Cocoa Cookies
Here are the easy steps to make these chocolate cookies that kids and adults love:
- Melt the chocolate: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Stir gently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and transfer the melted chocolate to a mixing bowl.
- Make the dough: Add the sugar, egg and vanilla to the melted chocolate. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
- Chill the dough: Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill. While the dough chills, preheat the oven.
- Roll the dough: Roll the chilled dough into 20 balls of equal size (about 1 ½ tablespoons). Place on two baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper. With slightly damp fingers, press the dough balls into disks about ½-inch thick. Press 3-4 marshmallow pieces onto each cookie with their cut sides down.
- Bake and cool the cookies: Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cookies are set and tops are crackly in appearance. Remove the hot cocoa cookies from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include the nutrition analysis, listing calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium, and more per serving.
What is Mexican Hot Chocolate?
Did you know that your favorite warm cup of hot cocoa has Mexican roots? Traditional hot cocoa recipes can be traced back to ancient Mexican civilizations, such as the Aztecs and Mayans, who blended cocoa beans with vanilla and water to make an energizing drink. Originally, hot cocoa wasn’t sweet. But, future versions included sugar, and easier-to-find cinnamon took the place of vanilla. The result was a hot, sweet chocolatey drink with spicy warmth from the cinnamon. Nowadays, Mexican Hot Chocolate is known as a rich version of hot chocolate that includes some subtle spice from cinnamon, chili powder, and other spices. We used this flavor inspiration for these Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies!
Chill the Dough for the Perfect Texture
After you make the cookie dough, chill it right in the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. This dough is designed to be slightly sticky, which helps achieve that delicious chewy texture! Chilling the dough is an important step that will help when it comes to shaping the dough and getting them to bake into that just-right brownie-like texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
These cookies contain warming spices, including cinnamon, chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne, which provides subtle spice inspired by the flavors of Mexican Hot Chocolate.
Not at all! Of course, preference for spice is different for every individual, but we (and all of our kid taste testers) find that the spices in these cookies are fun and delicious, and the perfect match to the sweetness you get from the chocolate, sugar, and marshmallows.
Yes, you can make the dough up to 2 days ahead (through Step 5) and keep it chilled in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake the cookies.
Cool the cookies completely before storing them. Stack the cooled cookies in a container using pieces of parchment between layers of cookies. Tightly close the container to make an airtight seal and store them at room temperature, where the cookies will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
These Hot Cocoa Cookies are a great freezer cookie! Bake them before the holidays, keep in the freezer, and they’ll be ready for the cookie tray whenever you need! To freeze, cool the cookies completely then place in a freezer-friendly container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Make These Cookies Gluten Free
These cookies are easily designed to be gluten free by using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in place of all-purpose flour
Swaps To Make These Cookies Dairy Free
Use plant-based stick butter in place of the regular butter. Also, use dairy-free chocolate chips and chocolate chunks (such as Enjoy Life brand) in place of the regular chocolate chips and chocolate chunks
How to Use A Flax Egg Replacer
You can make these egg-free cookies by using a flax egg in place of the regular egg. To make a flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon of flax meal (ground flaxseeds) and 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until a gelled egg-like consistency forms
Naturally Nut-Free Eggs
These cookies don’t contain any nut butter or nuts, so they are naturally nut-free cookies
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free baking flour blend*
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup mini marshmallows, cut into halves
- ⅓ cup chocolate chunks, for topping
- Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips and butter, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar, egg and vanilla to the bowl and stir well.
- To the chocolate mixture, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir until well combined and soft dough forms (keep stirring until it comes together – this will be a thick and dense dough).
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
- While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Roll the chilled dough into 16 balls of equal size (about 1 ½ tablespoons) and place on prepared baking sheets.
- With slightly damp fingers, press the dough balls into disks about ½-inch thick. You will need to use your hands to shape the dough into round cookie shapes. Press 3-4 marshmallow halves and 2-3 chocolate chunks onto each cookie.
- Bake 7-9 minutes or until cookies are set and tops are crackly in appearance.
- Remove from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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* if you want to make cookies that are gluten-free, we recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. If you don’t need cookies that are gluten-free, you can use unbleached all-purpose flour.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 110
- Fat: 5 g
- (Sat Fat: 2 g)
- Sodium: 220 mg
- Carbohydrate: 17 g
- (Fiber: 1 g
- Sugar: 9 g)
- Protein: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 16 mg
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