Surprise Cookies

Surprise Cookies

Winner of the 2007 Rio Americano High School Holiday Bake Off, these bad boys helped me win my first holiday cookie contest. Actually, that is the only baking contest I have ever been in, so I guess that means these cookies are undefeated in the cookie contest world. They are my favorite holiday cookies. A moist little chocolate cake, a melty marshmallow middle, and a delicious fudge frosting topping – need I say more?

Surprise Cookies

(adopted from Martha)


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally

Fudge Frosting

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar + 2 tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Surprise Cookies


for the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Using a large spoon to scoop 1.5″ balls of dough. Drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Remove baking sheets from oven, and place a marshmallow, cut-side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven, and continue baking until marshmallows begin to melt, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

for the frosting:

  1. Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Melt butter and coco powder in a medium saucepan on low heat.
  3. Add butter  mixture to confectioners’ sugar, and immediately whisk in vanilla and milk.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over each marshmallow, starting in the center and continuing outward until marshmallow is covered.
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