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Warm Up Your Holiday Season with Hot Cocoa Cup Cookies

There are just certain things that remind me of the holidays- the smell of pine trees, snow falling from the sky- and of course, enjoying a hot cup of cocoa. Once the temperature falls below 40°F, a cup of hot cocoa before bedtime becomes a tradition. So when I saw these cute Hot Cocoa Cup Cookies that were developed for our downloadable Holiday Brochure, I figured I probably needed to make them to accompany my nightly cup of hot chocolate. Plus, how cute are they? Wrapped up inside of a mug with packets of hot chocolate, these cookies would make a great holiday gift.

Get started by whisking together the dry ingredients- flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Next, cream the butter and sugar together.

Beat until it’s nice and creamy.

Add the vanilla and egg and mix.

Now add the dry ingredients you whisked together earlier to the creamed butter mixture.

Mix until the dough comes together- it might take a little bit of effort to get all of the flour mixture incorporated, but when you do, this is what it will look like:

Divide the dough in half and wrap each in plastic food wrap. Flatten the dough slightly- this will make it much easier to roll out later. Pop the dough into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until it is firm.

When the dough is firm, remove it from the fridge, and lightly flour a surface for rolling.

Roll the dough to 1/8-1/4-inch thickness.

Next, it’s time to cut the dough into strips.

I’ve found using a pizza wheel or dough scraper is the easiest way to cut the strips evenly.

Make cut marks every 2 1/2 inches along the bottom of the dough.

Now, using those marks, cut straight across the dough to form large strips.

Now comes the fun part- making cups! Cut cup shapes that are 3 inches on the top edge and 1 ½ inches on the bottom edge like this:

Make sure to save your scraps from each strip of dough, because we’ll be using them to form the handles. Take small amounts of the scrap dough and form into half circles. Attach these to the sides of the cup to form handles:

I tried different shapes of handles, and they all worked fine- it’s up to you how you want to shape them.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are set.

Let them cool completely, and in the meantime, make your frosting. Beat together the powdered sugar and softened butter.

Add the almond extract…

…and enough half and half for desired frosting consistency.

Place the frosting into a resalable plastic food bag. You don’t need fancy piping bags and tips when you have plastic food bags!

Snip off the corner of the bag, and outline each cookie with frosting like this:

I added a small amount of frosting in the center of the cookie, too, to make spreading easier.

Spread the frosting around the cookie.

Now, to attach the marshmallows every cup of hot cocoa needs, pipe 3 small dots of frosting at the top of each cup.

Attach the marshmallows just like this:

Now, it’s time to decorate! Gather your sprinkles, candies, and whatever else floats your decorating boat.

Decorate however you like- but here are some ideas to get you started:

Now aren’t those a great addition to your holiday cookie tray?

Are you or someone in your family a hot cocoa fan? If so, try these Hot Cocoa Cup Cookies this holiday season, and make sure to come back and let me know what you thought of the recipe.

Check back in a few days when Emily will share a spicy new twist on a brittle recipe.

Mallory is a Product Specialist in the Test Kitchens at Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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