Mmmm, smell that? It’s hot cocoa. In cookie form.

It doesn’t get really cold here in Scottsdale very often. Sometimes I miss the chill of truly brisk winter air. Usually it’s when I’m feeling nostalgic over something as silly as a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Not the kind from an envelope… a steaming mug of scratch-made malted hot cocoa.

Sure, I can make that here. It just doesn’t have the same warming effect it did as a kid in Upstate NY where the temps dipped into the teens for three solid months and my nostrils stuck together with every biting breath. I had a love-hate relationship with that cocoa.  Always knowing the first steamy sip was going to scald the tip of my tongue, but I was so chilled I didn’t care.

Until it actually happened. Then I cried like a baby. A cold baby with a burnt tongue.

Now that I’m a tad bit more mature, with a tad bit more restraint, I can wait for the first sip. Or in this case, the first bite.

Malted Hot Cocoa Cookies
(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Surprise Cookies) makes around 20 cookies
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp malted milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 large marshmallows (cut in half)

Chocolate Malt Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp malted milk powder
4 – 5 tbsp whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, malted milk powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy then add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine completely.

Drop in rounded heaping tablespoons on prepared sheet pant (around 2″ apart) and bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes (rotate halfway through) then remove from the oven and immediately press a half marshmallow into the center then return to the oven and bake for another 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pans on a wire rack for a few minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and malted milk powder in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the butter, milk and vanilla and continue stirring until smooth.

Once the cookies have cooled completely, frost each with enough frosting to cover the marshmallows.

These cookies seriously taste just like a mug of cocoa… with a giant gooey marshmallow stuffed inside… topped with the perfect amount of fudgy frosting.

Here’s even better news… I haven’t burnt my tongue eating them. Yet.