These hot chocolate cookie cups are easy to make and guaranteed to impress. The buttery, slightly crumbly gluten free cookie cups are complemented perfectly by the rich, decadent chocolate ganache and the sweet, fluffy marshmallow meringue. A gluten free dessert that will dazzle both with its taste and its looks!
Sometimes, it feels like I start half of my posts by telling you how much I love chocolate.
And… well… would you look at that – another chocolate dessert post! Who’s surprised?
Nah, me neither.
And because my love for chocolate is by now pretty much a given – let’s get to the good stuff, mmkay?
So… about these hot chocolate cookie cups.
- They’re delicious.
- They look super fancy and pretty and just fabulous.
- They’re incredibly easy to make.
- They’re gluten free.
- They’re DELICIOUS. (Yes, it bears repeating.)
Many cookie cup recipes are a bit convoluted or just don’t work. I would know – I’ve tried to master them a quite a few times. There’s the “force them to keep their shape by blind baking them” method, which can lead to a crumbly cookie that’s almost underbaked. And the “bake cookie dough blobs in a cupcake tin and make the hole at the end” method… which can be tricky with gluten free cookie cups.
Of course, these methods all serve a purpose – getting a cookie cup to hold its shape and not collapse into a flat mess. Well, let me tell you something: this recipe gives pretty, almost dainty cookie cups with far less fuss. Pinky promise.
All you have to do is:
- place two strips of baking paper into each cupcake tin hole (to help remove the baked cookie cups),
- make the cookie dough,
- cut out circles of rolled-out cookie dough,
- put the circles into the cupcake tin holes,
- cut away any excess dough,
- refrigerate for at least half an hour,
- prick the bottom of the cookie cups with a toothpick or fork,
- and bake.
Now, you might think this has too many steps to be simple – and, well, you’d be wrong. Because, yes, there are a few steps to go through – but each individual step is super duper easy.
Two things are important and should not be skipped over.
Firstly, pricking the cookie dough – this ensures that any bubbles that form between the baking tin and the cookie dough can escape, otherwise you’ll get a wonky cookie cup. And wonky cookie cups, while still delicious, just aren’t as pretty.
Secondly, chilling the cookie cups in the fridge – this makes sure that the cookie cups keep their shape and don’t collapse during baking.
You with me so far? Awesomesauce.
Now, you could fill and decorate these gluten free cookie cups pretty much any way you like. Unsurprisingly, I went with decadent, luscious chocolate ganache, and – to capture the hot chocolate vibes – fluffy, sweet marshmallow meringue frosting (a.k.a. swiss meringue).
Toasting the meringue is optional… but who are we kidding – it’s almost the best part. I really recommend using a kitchen torch to get an even toasting. (Is that the right expression? Probably not.) I didn’t have one on hand, so I used the oven grill: as you can see, it still works, but the top tends to get brown faster… Yes, I did burn at least one. Yes, there was smoke. Let’s call it special effects and move on, shall we?
Of course, the proof of the cookie cups is in eating them… and because you haven’t had that pleasure (YET), let me tell you that they are AMAZING.
The cookie cups themselves are sweet, buttery and slightly crumbly – just enough to give you that “real cookie” feel, while still being stable enough to hold the filling.
The chocolate ganache is rich and decadent and I’m drooling just thinking about it. You can, of course, use any type of chocolate you’d like – I went with the slightly bitter dark chocolate (‘cause I’m just a 70%+ kinda girl) but you can easily use milk or even white chocolate.
The topping is good ol’ swiss meringue, but because these are hot chocolate cookie cups, we’ll call it marshmallow meringue, mmkay? It complements the cookie cups and the chocolate ganache perfectly… plus, well, it’s pretty.
So, yes, these cookie cups are rather fabulous. I mean, just have a think about it: in a single dessert, you’ve got: cookies, a whole lotta chocolate and marshmallow-like meringue. That, my friends, is called onehelluva dessert.
Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups (Gluten Free)
For gluten free cookie cups:
- 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (50 g) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
For chocolate ganache:
- 3/4 cup (175 g) double or heavy cream, heated until boiling
- 6 1/8 oz (175 g) dark chocolate, chopped
For "marshmallow" swiss meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup (100 g) caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
For gluten free cookie cups:
- In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla paste.
- Add the egg and mix well.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and add them to the wet mixture. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix all ingredients together until you get an even, smooth cookie dough that comes together in a ball.
- Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
- Cut out two strips of baking/greaseproof paper and place them into a cupcake tin hole, so that they are perpendicular to each other (i.e. make a cross). To help them stick to the cupcake tin, use a bit of softened butter. Repeat until you have "lined" 8 cupcake tin holes. The strips will help remove the baked cookie cups later on.
- Roll out the chilled cookie dough until it's about 3 mm thick. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles – they should be sufficiently big to fill the cupcake tin hole with a bit of excess left over. (I've used a round cookie cutter with a diameter of ~5 inch/12 cm. If you don't have a cookie cutter of that size, use a small plate and cut around it with a knife.)
- Transfer the cookie dough circles into the cupcake tin holes – make sure that the cookie dough fits snugly into the holes, with no space between it and the tin. Flatten the cookie dough walls, making sure they're of an even thickness all round. If there are any tears, patch them up with small pieces of cookie dough. Cut away any excess cookie dough, making sure that the cookie cups reach the very top of each hole, and that their edges are smooth.
- Refrigerate the cupcake tin with the cookie cups for at least 1/2 hour. This will ensure that the cookie cups hold their shape.
- Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC).
- Prick the bottom of each cookie cup with a toothpick or fork.
- Bake the cookie cups in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the cupcake tin, then remove with the help of the baking/greaseproof paper strips.
For the chocolate ganache:
- In a heat-proof bowl, pour the boiling hot double/heavy cream over the chopped dark chocolate.
- Allow to stand for about 5 minutes, then stir well until you get a smooth chocolate ganache.
- Pour the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups (up to the very edge, be generous).
- Refrigerate the filled cookie cups for about 15 minutes, until the chocolate ganache sets.
For the "marshmallow" swiss meringue:
- Mix all the marshmallow meringue ingredients in a heat-proof bowl, and set the bowl above a pot of simmering water.
- Heat the meringue mixture with constant stirring until it reaches 140 ºF (60 ºC) and the sugar has melted.
- Transfer the heated meringue mixture into a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and whisk the mixture for 5 - 7 minutes, until it reaches room temperature and forms glossy peaks. Do not over-whisk as you can lose some of the fluffiness.
- Using a piping bag and a big star nozzle (I've used an 18 mm open star nozzle, but just use your favourite), pipe the swiss meringue on top of the set chocolate ganache.
- Using either a kitchen torch or the oven grill, lightly toast the "marshmallow" swiss meringue.
- The hot chocolate cookie cups keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3 - 4 days.
Looking for more chocolate deliciousness? You’re in the right place!