Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies {Plus Grown-Up Valentine Printable!}

Did you know that Pinterest is a very, very dangerous place?  A place that throws things like healthy eating, budgets, and blog calendars to the wind? A place that embeds images of naughty and beautiful food into my brain, tormenting me into driving all over my teeny tiny town trying to find things like, say, coriander seeds, not letting me rest until I’ve successfully (or unsuccessfully–I’m talking to you, beautiful meltaway cookies) made said food myself?

Like these Surprise Cookies from Martha Stewart.

I saw them early last week and they have been all I can think about since then. I also couldn’t stop thinking about the name–have I ever mentioned that I am extremely not fond of the word “surprise” in recipe titles? Call me crazy, but I generally don’t like to be warned that my food is going to surprise me. If it’s a good surprise, surprise me! If it’s in something like, say, Halibut Surprise, all I can think about is what the surprise could possibly be. Because I’m a tiny bit neurotic, I automatically assume all the worst case surprise scenarios (and when we’re talking about surprises in my halibut, the list could be nearly endless).

I finally had a few minutes to make these cookies, although not so much time that I was in a position to experiment with cookie recipes. Chocolate cookies can be temperamental and I wasn’t prepared to invest all sorts of time and energy into a cookie recipe that wasn’t 100% tried and true, so I went with the easiest, most fail-proof chocolate cookie recipe I know: Cake Mix Cookies.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering if the “surprise” in these cookies is something horrific, it isn’t; it’s marshmallows. So you’ll need some of those, too.

Preheat your oven to 350. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, combine the cake mix, eggs, and 1/2 cup of shortening.
Mix until completely combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies appear cooked in the center but not completely solid. While the cookies are baking, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut each marshmallow in half.(The stuff on my shears is marshmallow residue, I promise. I’m not gross.)

When the cookies are ready, remove the pan from the oven and place a marshmallow half, cut-side down, onto each cookie.

Place the pan back in the oven for another 2 minutes. Remove and very, very gently smoosh each marshmallow down just a little, just to ensure the marshmallow spreads out a little over the cookie. Allow to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the vanilla, milk, and melted butter and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth, light, and fluffy. Spoon the frosting into an icing bag fitted with a large tip (I used a Wilton 1M tip) and swirl onto the cookies.

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Now…some of you might be saying, “But Kate, these cookies sound awfully familiar. Kind of like the Mississippi Mud Brownies. Kind of like…the infamous Tim Riggins Brownies.” Yeah, that thought crossed my mind, too. But these cookies were, quite honestly, too good not to share. So. It’s almost Valentine’s Day. I love my friends. I don’t think it’s fair that my kids should get all the fun and get to give all their friends little fun cards and treats on Valentine’s Day–I should get to, too, right?! Yeah, I thought so.

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I sent the file to Office Depot and had them printed out on glossy cardstock for less than a buck a page. Then I cut them out, cut some striped paper straws in half (but regular straws, toothpicks, skewers, or anything along those lines would also work) and taped them to the back of Mr. Riggins and popped them right into the frosting of the cookies. Pin It

Good thing my husband humors me.

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Click HERE for the Tim Riggins Valentine printable!



  1. looks delicious AND cracks me up…great combo :). also, you can spray your kitchen shears with nonstick spray to keep the marshmallows from sticking when you cut them. i’ve also read you can stick the marshmallows in the freezer for a while to keep them from sticking when being cut, but i’ve never tried that. you probably already know that but i thought i’d mention it. because i am That Girl. 🙂

    1. Come on, Amelia, why do you have to be THAT GIRL??! 😉 Just kidding–not only are those awesome tips, but I’d never heard them before and will definitely try them next time I’m cutting up my marshmallows. 🙂

      1. That’s really rude that flat marshmallows have disappeared near you. Perhaps I need to send you a care package. Also, your photo presentation of these cookies beats Martha’s to pieces.
        P.S. I’m excited for the pink or blue reveal today 🙂

  2. I make cookies like this ALL the time and they’re definitely one of my favourite things. I sometimes even make them in little mini batches of like, six or eight, so I don’t end up devouring a whole batch in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

    One thing I do differently, though, is that after I put the marshmallows on the cookies, I set the oven to Broil, not Bake, for the final two or three minutes, and then they get toasted a little bit, like s’mores. Yum!

  3. Hi Kate! Can I use butter instead of shortening? Btw -your adorable MIL showed up at our enrichment meeting and totally made my day! She’s o sad you and Sara aren’t doings timeout here in Seattle. Thanks!

      1. I made these yesterday and used butter and they turned out great. I was making them GF so I had to tweak it a little, but turned out awesome!

  4. You know you have single-handedly made 90% of the desserts that we have always put on our Christmas treat plates and people love and don’t know the recipes to?! At least I still like you guys. And hopefully people around here won’t take the time to make them by themselves.

  5. these cookies look the best.. well I have just one problem. I dislike frosting. I know I must be the worst person around but I just don’t like it. My birthday cakes are all sans frosting. Any idea of what I can put on top to hide the surprise?

  6. hmm… married women swooning over men who are NOT their husbands. give me a break. i’m pretty sure these same women would slap their husbands silly and then call the bishop if their husbands oogled and swooned over another woman.

      1. I am pretty sure every man alive (who is not gay) swoons over someone other than their spouse, whether they voice it or not LOL.

    1. Kate, sometimes I feel bad that you have to put up with rude people who don’t understand jokes, are self-righteous and are “know-it-alls”. Your jokes and funny comments always make me laugh and I can tell you are a good wife and mother! I don’t think I would have the patience to deal with peoples’ comments the way you and Sarah do! I am always impressed with you two! Thank you for all of your hard work!

      1. Kate,
        You should just ignore the rude people because all your ideas are fantastic and I’m sure theyare just jealous!


  8. I’ve been making cookies like this for years. Except I use butter instead of the crisco, and I use a different frosting recipe. They are a family favorite!

  9. These are awesome! Not only do those cookies look delightful, but so does Tim Riggins! I LOVE me some Friday Night Lights, one of the best shows ever in my opinion!

  10. These look awesome! I was wondering if I make them on Sunday for a bake sale on Tues will they still be good? Have they stayed in anyone’s home long enough to check this out? I signed up to bring goodies to a bake sale at my hospital and then realized I was working a 12 hour shift on Monday.

  11. My mom made a variation of these when I was young…I loved these cookies, what a great treat to find a modern/easier/improved version. I cannot wait to make them for my grandkids, We all love chocolate marshmallow anything. Thank you so much! Yummmm!

  12. I don’t really like cookies. I make them, but don’t normally eat them, my family does. I made these tonight and HOLYCOW I ate 4 of them within a few hours. These are amazing. My husband likes cocoa flavoring so I thought I’d give these a try – they’re now in our rotation. Love your blog, and your recipes are honestly some of the best I’ve seen.

  13. I made these last night and my daughter said these are Delicious are they from Our Best Bites? (She’s ll) I use your recipes a lot!! Thanks for all the great ideas 😉

  14. OK, I have not watched Friday Night Lights yet, but I have to say I just laughed my butt off haha! One of my neighbors made these cookies for us for Christmas and let me tell you… they were gone in like 2 minutes. YUM. I am totally going to make them now. 🙂

  15. Made these today as a Valentine’s Day treat for my husband since he loves chocolate. They are delish! He is a huge FNL fan, like me, but I did leave off the Riggins printables since I didn’t think that would enhance his V-day experience this time. ;). However, I don’t feel that had I printed them, he would feel I was dishonoring our marriage vows and that a phone call to our priest was in order (wow, lighten up, why dontcha, Comment #30!) Pretty sure he would have laughed and taken it in the humorous spirit in which these are intended, since he’s a secure guy. Keep up the great work, ladies!

  16. I made these today and I burned half of them— it was the grace of God that I did. They are too tasty for me to have 24 of them in my apartment!

  17. Let’s say I’m not the best or most experienced cook/baker in the world and don’t have an icing bag…or tip. Can I still make my cookies look half as good as yours? I was debating trying a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. I realize the swirled frosting won’t have the pretty lines yours does from the star tip.

    1. Sure! You can also just spread it onto the cookies with a spatula. Although, I swear to you on the life of my cat, swirling it on with an icing bag is the fastest and easiest way! 🙂

  18. I made these with butter and 1% milk and they are still to die for. I seriously debated on hiding them before my hubby got home so he wouldn’t know that I made them.

  19. I want to try these! Is the 1/2 cup shortening you mention something extra on top of what the cake mix requires? (ie. cake mix usually calls for one egg and some vegetable oil)


  20. My hubby and I ate these on Valentine’s for dessert and both of us made ourselves sick on these amazing cookies! They were even better the second day for breakfast. So bad of me.

  21. I just made these today and they are DELICIOUS!!! I did have to add a lot more powdered sugar and my frosting was still more fudgy than fluffy. They still taste really good, but I am wondering what I may have done wrong or if anyone else had this problem. Thanks!

    1. I had the same problem with my frosting. Definitely did not get light and fluffy. It was pretty fudgy. So much so it wouldn’t come out with a medium size star tip (couldn’t find the large one). I just figured it was due to my MAD baking skills (read sarcasm). I had a 2lb bag of powdered sugar and almost used the whole thing.

  22. These are the best cookies! Delicious! 🙂 Kate brought me one to school the other day and I was blown away at how amazing they were. Definitely a keeper recipe! Thanks Kate! I cannot wait to make these with my children on Valentine’s Day. They LOVE chocolate. 🙂

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