The ol’ Hospitality State and its muddy claim to fame provide inspiration for my marvelous Mississippi mud cookies recipe.
When you want something cocoa-licious drop cookies, I know you have a plethora of chocolate cookies to choose from chocolate chip cookies, cookies with nuts, cookies packed with chocolates… But if you’re looking for something with enough chocolate to satisfy even the staunchest chocoholic while giving a nice hat-tip to the American south, then my Mississippi mud cookies recipe is for you!
Put on your mudding goulashes, and let’s get to it!
My Mississippi mud cookies recipe is one that makes me swoon with its perfection! Few cookies offer what it does:
- Chewy + gooey
- A proud Mississippi heritage
- Simple prep, quick clean up
- CHOCOLATE, and more chocolate
My Mississippi mud cookies recipe may look familiar. It is not an uncommon thing for desserts to symbolize “mud” — Mississippi mud brownies, Mississippi mud pie, Dirt Pudding, Rocky Road. And while you really can’t go wrong with any of those (they’re all chocolate-based after all, so yum), I particularly love anything in the Mississippi Mud genre due to its down-home American origins.
While the exact origins of Mississippi mud cookies have been lost to the ages, everyone in the deep south has a family recipe for these tasty treats. And what sets them apart from Rocky Road flavorings is one simple yet impactful ingredient: the humble pecan.
Why is this nut so important? Read on!
Nuts about Pecans: Rocky Road treats tend to have almonds or walnuts or really any type of nut. But for my Mississippi mud cookies recipe, you’d be remiss to use anything other than the only tree nut that grows in the US: pecans. Adding them to this recipe pays homage to the south in a way that makes these cookies homey and comforting.
Depending on where you live, pecans 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.
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 350 degrees in the 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.
Cookie Dough: 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.
Fluffy: You want to make sure you get every bit of deliciousness out of these cookies that you can — so check your baking powder! I personally am terrible about keeping my leavening agents around longer than I should.
One way to check if your baking powder is still good is to put a half teaspoon of it in a cup of hot water. If it fizzes, it’s still good! If not, go buy yourself some new baking powder.
Flour: 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.
Cocoa Content: You may 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 cookies are 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.
Marshmallows: 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.
The one thing that breaks my heart about this otherwise perfect Mississippi mud cookies recipe is that storing these can be a bit of a pain.
The sticky marshmallow topping, coupled with the melted chocolate drizzle, can mean the stored cookies stick together. But does that dampen the taste? No way! The taste is great, you just have one big glob of cookie instead of a dozen little ones — which, now that I think about it, doesn’t really seem like a problem, does it?
But if you do want to keep your cookies separated, I recommend storing them in neat layers between sheets of wax paper or parchment. The marshmallows will still stick to the sheets, but your cookies will remain individual.
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! You can freeze your finished cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Normally, cookies themselves last much longer, but the marshmallows on top of these shorten that time.
If you want to store your cookies for longer, I recommend holding off on adding your marshmallow topping until you thaw them and are ready to eat. You’ll need to melt the marshmallows onto your cookies, in that case — just pop them into the oven until the marshmallows start to turn ooey gooey.
Make Ahead Tips
Planning to make these for a party, but know you won’t have much time? I love making the cookie dough ahead of time and storing it until needed. Simply follow the steps through the beginning of step 5, right before baking.
Then, instead of putting into the oven, transfer your cookie sheet to the freezer, cover, and let sit until solid. You can store your cookie dough balls in the freezer for up to two months.
How Long Can You Keep This?
If a chocoholic is in your house, not long at all.
Oh, you mean storing it? Well, in that case, you can store your finished Mississippi mud cookies in an airtight container in your pantry for about one month. Again, the marshmallows shorten the lifespan, but my oh my, it’s worth it!
Can I Add Some Raisins?
Raisins would add a delicious, hearty fruit twist to my Mississippi mud cookies recipe! Who doesn’t love that pop they bring to soft oatmeal raisin cookies? And the texture of Mississippi mud cookies is so reminiscent of chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, you may be wanting to even add oatmeal.
Actually, that’s not a bad idea…
Can I Add Oatmeal?
You might not think Mississippi mud cookies are related to oatmeal raisin cookies, but throw some oats into your batter, and you’ll be a believer! Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are one of my family’s favorites. Making a Mississippi mud oatmeal chip cookie just sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
Can I Add Peanut Butter?
The best combination will always be peanut butter and chocolate, you can make chocolate peanut butter chip cookies instead! And oh, what about peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? That counts as breakfast, right? It’s basically a granola bar. Only better, because it’s a cookie.
Can I Use Fruits Instead of Pecans?
If you just can’t stand the nuts in these mud-based recipes, you can definitely swap them out. Strawberry chocolate chip cookies are a delicious alternative.
But if you’re hoping for a seasonal favorite, I don’t know anyone who could say no to cranberry orange cookies! Or take a summer twist with coconut chocolate chip cookies!
What Other Chocolate Cookies Can I Bake?
I like your thinking! There’s a whole world of chocolate goodies out there. Chocolate pudding cookies give you rich, decadent pudding in cookie form. My chocolate biscotti recipe brings that deep, satisfying crunch. Chocolate meringue cookies are light and airy and I dare you to eat just one!
Mississippi Mud Cookies
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips divided
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, 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 the prepared cookie sheet and flatten them slightly. Once you have placed 12 cookies on the sheet, bake about 8 minutes in the 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 in 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.
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My Mississippi mud cookies recipe is only one of many scrumptious cocoa celebrations. Let’s get cooking!
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies – a super chocolaty treat with a Mexican twist!
- Turtle Cookies – chocolate and caramel to perfection!
- Black And White Cookies – A New York City style cookie!
- Smores Cookies – Another incredible cookie with marshmallow!
- Oreo Cookies – The all-time favorite cookie!
Whether you’re making my Mississippi mud cookies recipe to pay homage to the south or you just want chocolate, you’ll end up with a truly perfect dessert treat. Did you add pecans or swap them out for something different?
Let me know in the comments!