The ol’ Hospitality State and its muddy claim to fame provides inspiration for these marvelous Mississippi Mud Cookies. With two kinds of chocolate, crunchy pecans, and toasted marshmallows, you’ll up your cookie game a notch or two!
If you’ve never heard of Mississippi Mud, you’re probably thinking it can’t possibly be something you’d eat. If you are familiar with this niche of the dessert world, though, that phrase has transported you to a fudgy fantasy land . . . fluffy chocolate clouds floating in a vast chocolate sky in Cocoa-ville. Think “Death by Chocolate” but with marshmallows.
The desserts, which cover every possible sweet treat from ice cream and brownies to cakes and pies, are all as rich and dark as that hard-to-pronounce river, and they’re enjoyed equally among folks both east and west of the mighty Mississippi.
Although the history of these recipes is pretty muddy as well, the mud cake probably came first, and probably not until sometime in the 1970s.
Mississippi mud cake starts with a fudgy, cake-like pan of brownies, usually with nuts (and usually pecans since this is a Southern recipe), with marshmallows sprinkled on top as soon as the brownies leave the oven. The brownies are topped off with a warm chocolate icing that traps and softens all those (now gooey) marshmallows.
The pie people brought their offering to the dessert table shortly thereafter. Most of these start with a chocolate cookie crust or a flourless cake bottom, with chocolate mousse-like fillings, whipped cream, some marshmallows somewhere, and a generous drizzle of fudge sauce or ganache. It’s the kind of thing chocoholics just can’t say “no” to.
What I’m sharing with you today is something that doesn’t have to be refrigerated or cooked in casserole or cake pans with layers of frosting. This is as simple as you can get and still experience the magic of the mud: Mississippi Mud Cookies.
The cookies are rich and chocolatey thanks to melted semisweet chips incorporated into the batter, with crispy toasted pecans and milk chocolate chips folded in, and toasted marshmallows dotting the surface.
The cookie dough itself is a pretty standard recipe that starts out with creaming butter and sugar. I know it’s tempting to rush this step, especially when there are just a few minutes between dough-making and taking a bite of these fabulous cookies, but taking 3 – 5 minutes to fully combine the two will actually make a difference in the end result.
The sugar should dissolve, with almost no grainy texture left behind.
The creaming also adds tiny air bubbles that get trapped in the butter and ultimately help these puppies rise a bit in the oven, along with the baking powder. Speaking of which, if your baking powder is more than 9 – 12 months old, replace it. It’ll lose its oomph over time and limit the height of your spectacular baked goods.
I actually like to write the date on mine with a little Sharpie when I open it just so I can keep track.
Another little tip is measuring your flour correctly. I’ve been guilty of scooping my cup into the canister or bag to measure, but you’re actually getting a little too much flour when you do this.
The only-slightly-more-time-consuming method of spooning the flour into the cups, then leveling it off with a knife or offset spatula, means more accurate measurements and more consistent baking results.
I know there are some chocolate purists who love the rich, extra dark varieties, but you’ll want to stick with semisweet in the dough. Semisweet has about half as much sugar as cocoa and around a 70% cocoa content.
Switching out something like bittersweet would throw off the sweetness here, and Mississippi Mud is nothing if not a sweet treat!
You can, however, experiment with the solid chips that get folded into the dough. Milk chocolate works great, and I love the juxtaposition of the two different varieties in these cookies. If you’re feeling sassy, though, you can use more semisweet or an ultra-mega dark variety; just know it will change the flavor profile a bit and may melt a little differently.
Onto the nuts! Pecans are the only major tree nut grown (naturally) in the states, and they definitely have a love affair with them in the south. One of the first production and trade areas in the U.S. was New Orleans, right on the mouth of the Mississippi, which is also the home of the famous pecan pie.
It’s basically blasphemy not to include them in this cookie.
Depending on where you live, these might be pricey, though, so you can substitute walnuts if you need to. Regardless of which you choose, I recommend toasting them first. With all the chocolate going on, it helps to have the nut flavors concentrated a bit to stand out.
Rather than fold our marshmallows in with the nuts and chips, we’ll press a few into the top of each cookie. If the squishy things are buried under dough they won’t be exposed directly to the heating element, and you’ll miss out on the toasting effect.
The tops of the marshmallows should get nice and brown during the baking process – s’mores level quality, and the caramelization will add that wonderful toasted flavor to our chocolatey goodies.
I prefer lining my baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat, rather than coating them with cooking spray. If you have some of those old cookie sheets with a nice dark patina (the ones you’ve had for decades that used to be silver), the spray doesn’t work consistently.
Parchment’s perfect every time!
That’s all there is to this recipe! Just baking and waiting on things to cool before snatching them off your cooling rack and indulging in a little Mississippi Mud.
This recipe is a welcome deviation from the old chocolate chip standby and will leave you dreaming of all the other ways you can bring a little more “mud” into your kitchen.
Toasting – I think a lot of people skip the toasting step because they think it’ll take too much time, but it’s fast and totally worth it! If you have lots to do, place them on a baking sheet (parchment-lined, of course) in a single layer, and bake them in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes, just until they’re fragrant and darkened slightly. Extras are great for snacking or will keep on the counter or in the fridge for several days. If you only have a handful to do, use your stovetop. A skillet, set on medium, will toast a single layer of nuts in about 5 minutes. Toss them a few times to prevent burning.
More Creative Cookies!
Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Perfect fresh lemony taste with chocolatey goodness!
Red Velvet Cookies – The perfect chewy and chocolatey cookie with a stunning color sure to wow anyone!-
Brown Butter, Pretzel,Chocolate & Scotch Chip Cookies!– Wonderful textures of flavor yet all in one chewy cookie!
Originally published on Centsless Meals
- Yield: Makes 3 Dozen
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
Mississippi Mud Cookies
- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips - 1 Cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 Cup
- Sugar - 1 Cup
- Eggs - 2 Large
- Vanilla - 1 Teaspoon
- All-Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 Cups
- Baking Powder - 1 Teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 Teaspoon
- Pecans, Chopped - 1 Cup
- Milk Chocolate Chips~Divided - 1 1/2 Cups
- Mini Marshmallows - 1 Cup
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment papaer or silicone baking mat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a microwave safe bow, melt semisweet chocolate chips at 50% power in the microwave.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed; add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and blend.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually mix flour mixture into chocolate mixture until well combined. Stir in pecans and 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips.
- Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet and flatten them slightly. Once you have placed 12 cookies on the sheet, bake about 8 minutes in preheated oven. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and place 4-5 marshmallows on the top of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly brown and fluffy.
- Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt the remaining 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl at 50% power int the microwave. Pour melted chocolate into a disposable piping bag and snip off the tip. Drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Allow the chocolate to set and harden completely. Serve.