These Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups made with sugar cookie dough are filled with hot chocolate ganache, have a pretzel handle and mini marshmallows on top! Disclosure: Pillsbury provided me with Pillsbury Dough Products. All opinions are 100% my own.
Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups are perfect for cold winter days and they are a fun holiday cookie to bring to Christmas parties, cookie exchanges and potlucks!
They do take a little extra time to make because attaching the pretzel handles is time-consuming but the hot chocolate cookies cups are so cute that it’s worth it. And everyone loves the smooth hot chocolate ganache that they are filled with!
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I checked the weather and read that there are multiple Alberta Clippers on the way. I’m not even sure how that is possible but it looks like several of the northern states could have blizzards.
For those of you who don’t live in a northern state, Canada or the North Pole, the definition of a blizzard is: A severe snowstorm caused by strong, sustained winds of at least 56 km/h (35 mph) and lasting for a prolonged period of time â€“ typically three hours or more. Sound like fun? Not so much!
What do we do during a blizzard or severely cold weather? We stay home and keep warm, of course. We also bake, play board games, drink hot chocolate and get cabin fever. Once again, for those of you who live in warm climates, cabin fever is: irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.
But it’s not all bad, definitely not! I love living in Minnesota. On the days that are warmer, we enjoy our time outdoors. We go sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. We build snowmen, have snowball fights and go for walks in the snow.
If the weather gets really warm, like 38 degrees last Sunday, a good percentage of native Minnesotans walk around without their winter coats! Sounds crazy but 38 degrees feels warm when you compare it to -21!
I made these Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups for the first time in the Pillsbury Test Kitchens. I first imagined making these cookies at the beginning of December. I was doing a little brainstorming about recipes to make in January and February.
What came to mind was cold weather and hot chocolate. I wanted to try making a hot chocolate cake, hot chocolate cheesecake and hot chocolate cookie cups so I made a list on my iPhone.
Then, when I was at the Pillsbury Test Kitchens and was given the challenge of making my own cookie, I remembered my list and decided to give these a try. These 4 pictures are from my day in the test kitchens.
How To Make Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups
Step One: Cookie Cups
To make the hot chocolate cookie cups, I started by putting 1 tablespoon of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough into greased mini muffin tins or try using a greased silicone mini muffin pan.
(Update – an optional step would be to roll the sugar cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before putting them into the mini muffin tins to help prevent sticking.)
I baked them for 12-14 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before gently removing them.
Step Two: Chocolate Ganache
Next, I made chocolate ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a boil.
After quickly stirring in hot chocolate, I poured the hot cream over semi-sweet chocolate chips and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, I stirred the mixture until the chocolate chips were melted and the ganache was smooth.
Step Three: Pretzel Handles
I broke off the loops on some mini pretzels to use as handles. I melted a little white chocolate and used it to attach the pretzel handles to the cookie cups.
Step Four: Assembly
Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows (I used Jet Puffed Mallow Bits).
Enjoy the Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups with a cup of real hot chocolate. These cookies are super popular during the holidays and throughout the entire winter.
Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups FAQs
Question #1 How Do I Form The Cookie Cups? This recipe can be made with or without forming the sugar cookie dough in the pan.
1. Leave the dough as a ball and it will puff up while baking and sink when removed from the oven, leaving a “dip” for the ganache. This is the EASIEST method and it is how I made my Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups.
2. If you make an indentation in the sugar cookie dough ball before baking, it will still puff up while baking and sink when removed from the oven, leaving a “dip” for the ganache.
3. The straighter the sides of the mini muffin pan, the straighter the side of the cookie cups will be.
4. To make a bigger “cup” to fill with ganache, you can use a small cup (like a medicine cup) to make an indentation in each cookie, after removing them from the oven.
WARNING – when you press the cup into the soft cookie dough it can pull away or tear the cookie dough on the sides of the cup leaving small gaps. And you may need to make additional ganache if using the method.
Question #2 What should I do if my cookies overflowed in the muffin pan and spread out too far?
1. Use a small cookie cutter (mine is 2 inches in diameter) to cut away the extra cookie immediately after taking them out of the oven.
2. Try using less cookie dough in each of the cups.
Question #3: How do I prevent the cookie cups from sticking in the mini muffin pans? I’ve made sugar cookie cups using Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough many, many times using different pans, from different brands, in different kitchens and have not had issues with them sticking, but several of you haves so here are some things to try:
1. Roll the sugar cookie dough in a granulated sugar before placing it in the cups.
2. If the cookie cups are only a little bit stuck, try using a thin knife to gently pry up the edges.
3. Remember, mini muffin pans vary by brand, materials used to make the pans and the age of the pan.
4. I now use this Grazia Silicone Mini Muffin Pan to make my Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups and it works great! If you want to try a new pan, I would definitely recommend that one.
Question #4: Will the chocolate ganache spill out of the cookie cups when you are eating them?
Here is a look at the inside of the hot chocolate cookie cup once the ganache has cooled in the fridge. It is fudge-like so no, it will not spill out.
Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups
- 1 package Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoon hot cocoa mix
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- 12 mini pretzels
- 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Put 1 tablespoon of the sugar cookie dough into 24 greased mini muffin tins. See note 1 for optional sugar coating.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes at 375˚F. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before gently removing them.
- Make the chocolate ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a boil.
- Stir in the hot cocoa mix.
- Pour the hot cream over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.
- Break off the loops on some mini pretzels to use as handles.
- Melt the white chocolate and use it to attach the pretzel handles to the cookie cups.
- Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows.
We made these on Christmas Eve and we are all big fans! We’re making them again for New Year’s eve tonight and will probably make them for February birthday parties. Thanks for such a fun and delicious recipe!
Fantastic! I’m glad to hear you are as big of a fan of them as we are!
Jami Lynn says
They are so adorable… they taste just as good as the look! My son and I made these the past 2 years for his kindergarten and now 1st grade Christmas parties. They were A HUGE HIT!!! The adults loved them just as much!! Since they were a big hit at the school parties I figured why not try them for the cookie exchange party! As surprised as I was to be the #1 big winner for best cookie all around, I actually wasn’t that surprised bc I knew they’d be loved !!! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas!! I’ve been baking with your recipes for with some time now, love them all!!! Xxxx
Thank you so much Jami Lynn! You made my week! Merry Christmas!
Hi! Every year for Thanksgiving my family does a dessert competition. I have decided I want to try this recipe for the dessert competition. The only caveat is that the entire thing has to be home made … any suggestions on a homemade recipe for the sugar cookie?? What texture does the sugar cookie need to be? Any advice would be fantastic! Thanks soo much !
Hello! I’ve never tried making these hot chocolate cookie cups with homemade sugar cookie dough but it definitely should work! You want the sugar cookies to be sturdy so that they will hold their shape and not crumble. I would suggest doing a trial run using homemade dough before the big day! Here is my sugar cookie recipe: https://www.thegunnysack.com/best-sugar-cookie-recipe/
I make them with chocolate chip cookie dough too. This might be a better homemade cookie to use for Christmas. You could add peppermint crumbles as wel
If I wanted to wait to make and add the ganache the day I was serving the cookies to prevent them getting soggy, how long would the cookies themselves stay fresh?
I have made these for a couple of years and they are great. I do shape them when they come out of the oven and press them down before they cool and I remove them. I use a non stick mini muffin pan and I butter it for sure. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t do the pretzel handles but either way it has been a bit.
I’m curious if anyone has made the cookies, put the ganache in (not the pretzel), and froze them, even for a few weeks? If so, did they do ok, or no?
Thea McCrory says
Did you ever find out if they are ok to freeze?
I freeze them every year and they work great!
I added dried pineapple rings to replace the little pretzel bit on the cup because pretzels don’t belong on cookies. The pineapple adds a very nice sweetness… much neede.
Happy Mum says
My kids would love this! Thank you for the amazing recipe!
Heather M. Whipple says
I am not going to use silicone a baking pan.
I have an aversion to it, I just don’t trust silicone and food in an oven together.
Are you sure I cannot use a regular mini muffin/cupcake pan? Please let me know.
Yes, you can definitely use a regular mini muffin pan. That is how I originally made the cookie cups when I created the recipe and you can see the metal pan in my photos in this post. But after a few readers reported issues with the cookie cups sticking, I came up with an alternative for those readers. Both kinds of pans will work!