Initial inspiration for this cookie was from Martha Stewart’s ‘Cookies’ book which I highly recommend. I love her lay-out in the front of the book dividing cookies by (‘crumbly and sandy’, ‘chunky and nutty’, ‘soft and tender’, etc) and appreciate her vast inclusion of the many holiday classics! Since it came out in 2008, it can be purchased for a reasonable price on Amazon.
What I did to make this recipe my own was to boost the flavor components a bit, adding Kahlua, upping the vanilla and just changing the techniques to what works best for me to have success. The gingerbreads and cutter cookies are most visually arresting in my holiday cookie tins, but these cookies steal the show for best flavor, texture and overall richness! Also best for chocoholics (see the surprise cookies hiding in the top left of this photo, being all shy?)
Equipment: Need a small ice cream scooper for these, the batter is very moist and would be impossible to get into small balls without it!
1 3/4 flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Tip: Original recipe says to avoid Dutch processed, but this recipe has worked for me using either the basic cocoa powders like Hershey or the more expensive kinds, or the cylindrical container that has a mix of Dutch processed and regular cocoa. Either way the taste was on the money!
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick of butter (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar (or vanilla sugar when you put a vanilla pod into the sugar to add flavor)
1 large egg (I prefer cage free)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsps Kahlua, or other coffee or espresso liqueur or actual coffee
15 of the large marshmallows cut in half
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tbsps unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tsps unsweetened cocoa powder (see above see above tip)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and whisk. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a Kitchenaid standing mixer or into a large bowl and use a handheld blender. Mix using paddle attachment until it is pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg (one at a time if you are doubling this recipe), milk, vanilla and Kahlua.
With the blender on low, add in the flour mixture gradually. Scoop out the cookies onto parchment lined trays (definitely need the parchment – use a 1 3/4 inch scoop or similar). Space 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes rotating the tray after 5 minutes. Immediately add the half marshmallows by pressing them into the top, then cook another 2 minutes. Let cool completely before icing.
Melt the butter in a small pot on the stove. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder, then add in the melted butter, whole milk and vanilla. Blend with a handheld blender.
Once the cookies are cool, drop them into the icing top side down and pull it up. That usually covers the marshmallow. If you see some white peaking through, dip it again. Once they set for 15 minutes you can store in an airtight container for a few days, or in the freezer for up to a couple of weeks.