Sometimes you just do not want to settle for a mediocre cookie but you don’t have a lot of baking ingredients on hand. This recipe was made out of the complete accident of having a hodge podge of ingredients in my cabinet. We only had a very small amount of mini chocolate chips left… considerably not enough to make cookies. We did have marshmallows so that’s how the S’mores Cookies with Mini Chips and Marshmallows came together.
I didn’t want to settle for a mediocre mug cookie so I made up the difference from my chocolate shortage with a perfect cookie texture and some marshmallows. I had to first do a little more research on the science behind different cookie ingredients and how to make the best possible cookie I could with what I had. I spent a lot of time understanding the different effects of eggs, baking powder and baking soda, butter, and sugar.
While the research was complicated, this recipe came together incredibly easy. The recipe is also gluten free, dairy free and can be made vegan if you omit marshmallows or use a vegan brand. You don’t need any fancy equipment, the ingredients are common to have on hand and [mostly] healthy. The most crucial part that does make this cookie come together is the technique. The important elements are pairing the right texture of yogurt, butter and almond flour.
The most important step in the whole recipe is to start by beating the butter and sugar components together. Once you have begun emulsifying the sugar and fat together, you will alternate between beating and adding the almond flour and yogurt into the mix.
This creates a strong bond to hold the cookie together and create two textures in the end result. It helps to break down the almond flour so it is not a crumbly cookie but more like a crispy, crackly outer shell and chewy, gooey center. The marshmallows create sticky and delicious canyons for melty chocolate to melt through.
Yogurt is a substitution ingredient in a pinch if you do not have vanilla on hand but some vanilla flavored yogurt. In the notes about yogurt on this recipe, it mentions to stick to a fluffy yogurt option as opposed to a thinner yogurt. You can substitute if you cannot find a fluffy yogurt but the texture and end consistency does not get quite as crispy. Cookies with thinner yogurt tend to spread out more and lose some of the bond between the sugar and butter which creates an airy and chewy texture. To combat this, add another 1/4 tsp of baking powder and chill the dough for several hours or overnight.
It is extra important to beat the butter and sugar together in the very first step before adding the yogurt, especially if the yogurt you chose does not have a thick consistency. The key is not to create volume in the butter and sugar but to create a strong emulsification that will not leak oil in the baking process. You can tell the cookie turns out once baked when the edges are slightly raised (and not totally spread out) and you can see shiny sugar crystals along the top of the cookie once it has cooled.
Since these S’mores Cookies with Mini Chips and Marshmallows have no eggs or gluten flour, they last well in the refrigerator for a few days. They are a great meal prep treat because you can bake small batches of fresh out-of-the-oven cookies every day. Since they are egg free, you can eat the cookie dough, freeze it chunks and bake them later or add them to ice cream. It’s a great treat to make with kids because they can sample the dough if they want and no one has to worry about potential risks with raw eggs. The live probiotics in the yogurt substitution are much better for everyone’s bellies.
- 6 Tbsp butter (dairy free substitute, ghee – ok) (coconut butter, coocnut oil, oil – NOT ok)
- 2-3 Tbsp yogurt ***
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum omit if your gluten free blend already has it
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt add 1/4 tsp extra if you want a little more salt or sprinkle larger sea salt chunks at the end of mixing
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 – 3/4 cup super fine almond flour
- 3/4 – 1 cup gluten free flour mix **
- mini chips
- marshmallow you can use mini marshmallows but I usually just break up 1-2 super large campfire marshmallows into pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Soften butter. Be sure to only just melt it somewhat. It should not be fully melted.
Add Brown Sugar & Sugar.
Begin beating the sugar and butter.
Once it starts to be mixed and fluffy, add 1 Tbsp of yogurt and 1/4 cup of almond flour.
Beat the mixture for 1-2 minutes, until pale and fluffy. This step is extremely important and cannot be skipped!
Add more of the almond flour (but not all of it), vanilla, salt and another Tbsp of yogurt.
Beat again for 1-2 minutes. You want to emulsify the fat in the butter with the sugar and dissolve the almond flour into the mix so it is not grainy. This creates a strong bond for the cookie to be chewy and gooey without gluten flour.
In another bowl, mix together the rest of the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and xanthan gum.
Once mixed together, add to the mixture.
Now using a spatula or wooden spoon, slowly fold the flour in the mix.
Once incorporated, mix in as many mini chips and marshmallow pieces as you want. Be sure not to overmix.
If the dough is too sticky or dry, add small amounts of almond flour or yogurt.
On a baking tray lined with parchment paper or greased with a high heat, flavorless oil, drop large 2 Tbsp sized cookie bites.
On a large tray, I usually do 2 rows. You need to leave more space between the cookies than you would initially think to. They will spread out a lot!
You can roll your cookies into perfect balls or keep them uneven. Once on the sheet, push down the center of each one so it can spread out.
Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes or until preferred golden brown goodness has been achieved. The cookies will have a few phases of cooking.
They may seem like they are golden brown halfway through but the center is still fluffy and undercooked in the middle- they will just stick to the pan. They are done once they have spread out and the edges are golden brown.
Once you take them out of the oven, let them cool for 10 minutes. Using a metal spatual is recommended to help lift cookies and keep sticky marshmallow in tact for serving.
***Unflavored. MUST be fluffy like a cloud- usually thick greek yogurt or thick coconut yogurt (usually not thick from thickeners but fermentation). I like cocojune, Anita’s or GT’s brands.
You can substitute for thinner yogurt if you cannot find a fluffy yogurt but the texture and end consistency does not get quite as crispy. Cookies with thinner yogurt tend to spread out more and lose some emulsification. To combat this, add another 1/4 tsp of baking powder and chill the dough for several hours or overnight.
**If I don’t have any on hand I use mostly white rice flour, 1 Tbsp corn starch and the remaining volume I make up with more almond flour. Trial and error adding small amounts more if the dough seems to sticky. Be sure to NOT over mix the dough.