Hostess Cookies

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Looking for a rich, decadent, homemade version of a childhood treat? Try these Hostess Cookies! They feature a deep chocolate cookie base topped with vanilla-flavored marshmallow cream, soft-set chocolate ganache, and classic Hostess swirls. These cookies are showstoppers! Check out the tips below to ensure they turn out perfect every time.

Recipe Tips

Chill the Dough: Since these cookies are made with melted butter, they can spread easily. To prevent this, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. The easiest way is to scoop the dough first, then chill it. Only bring out enough dough to bake, keeping the rest chilled.

Perfectly Round Cookies: For perfectly round cookies, use a large round cookie cutter (or a glass or bowl) to shape the cookies immediately after they come out of the oven. Place the cutter over the cookie and move it in a circular motion for 3-5 seconds to round the edges.

Cocoa Powder: Dark chocolate cocoa powder intensifies the chocolate flavor, but you can use any cocoa powder you have. I prefer Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate cocoa powder.

Chilling When Decorating: Chilling the cookies after each layer makes decorating easier. While it’s not required, it helps the ganache set up thicker.

Hostess Cookies

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 16 cookies


#### For the Cookies:

  • – 1 cup salted butter melted
  • – 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • – 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • – 2 eggs room temperature
  • – 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • – 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • – 1 cup cocoa powder
  • – 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

#### For the Marshmallow Layer:

  • – 3/4 cup salted butter room temperature (you can use unsalted if preferred)
  • – 7 ounces marshmallow creme
  • – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • – 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk room temperature

#### For the Ganache:

  • – 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate I use baking chocolate bars, but chocolate chips work too
  • – 3/4 cup heavy cream


#### For the Cookies:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine melted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium for 1 minute.
  • Add eggs and mix on low until incorporated.
  • Add flour, corn starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low until combined.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie and place on the prepared sheet. Chill the dough for 30 minutes to enhance flavor and prevent spreading. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Once chilled, space cookies about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, or until edges are just set. Let cool on the sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

#### For the Marshmallow Layer:

  • In a stand mixer, beat together butter, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla on medium speed until combined.
  • Add powdered sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream. Mix until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk or cream until it reaches a thick, spreadable consistency.

#### For the Ganache:

  • While cookies are cooling, make the ganache. Break the chocolate into pieces (if not using chocolate chips) and place in a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat the cream in a small pot over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes until it thickens and is spreadable.

#### For Assembly:

  • Put about 1/4 cup of the marshmallow cream in a piping bag with a small round tip and set aside.
  • Once the cookies are completely cool, assemble them. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of marshmallow cream onto each cookie and spread, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges.
  • Chill the cookies between layers for 30 minutes (optional). Spread about 2 tablespoons of ganache over the marshmallow cream, again leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges.
  • Pipe swirls on top of the cookies and serve. Refrigerate to allow the ganache to set, or enjoy at room temperature for a softer ganache.


**Smaller Cookies:** This recipe uses a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie), but you can make smaller cookies with a medium scoop (about 2 tablespoons of dough). Adjust baking time to 9-11 minutes for smaller cookies. This will make around 20 cookies.

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