Chocolate lava cookies
I've always loved chocolate lava cake, so I thought why not recreate it in cookie form? This more portable and less fussy recipe comes together with no special equipment and tastes just as delicious (if not even better) than the cake we all know and love.
The cookie is made with simple ingredients, including cocoa powder, to give it a rich and deep chocolate flavor. I used Valrhona dutch processed cocoa powder, but any cocoa powder you have on hand will work great. You can absolutely use a hand or stand mixer to form your dough, but I found that with all room temperature ingredients this dough came together perfectly with just a spatula.
You can use a cookie scoop for portioning your dough, like this one from Oxo, but I actually like using a scale for this recipe. I measure each cookie to about 45-48 grams of dough and you'll get 10 perfect cookies.
The filling is where things get extra fun. My favorite, and the full recipe I share here, is with a homemade ganache filling. I think it best mimics a classic chocolate lava cake and gives an even deeper chocolate taste. I chose to use semisweet chocolate, but you could use really any chocolate here. I did also want to give an alternative filling option that doesn't require you to make ganache. I tested out the cookies with the same steps just swapping in a Lindt chocolate truffle in the center and they were delicious. The one thing to watch out for if you use this switch is that the center will be more runny for the first hour or two after your cookies come out of the oven as compared to baking with the ganache filling, so don't be alarmed if you see some chocolate leakage and just leave them be until they're a bit more stable and they will be absolutely delicious. Another option to switch things up, you could add a small amount of extract (like mint or almond) to your homemade ganache, or you could use a fun flavored Lindt chocolate truffle.
The final step is the powdered sugar topping. While you can skip it, I highly recommend this extra touch. It adds just the right amount of sweetness and really gives the chocolate lava cake look and taste! It's important to give your cookies time to cool after the oven so they don't fall apart when you lift them, so once you're ready to eat you can dust on your powdered sugar and you're ready to enjoy.
While you'll of course get the best gooey, lava effect when the cookies are fresh baked, they also taste delicious cold when enjoyed the next day. You can also warm them up the following day to recreate the runny chocolate bite. The baked cookies can be frozen and enjoyed at a later time though I recommend doing the dusting of powdered sugar after defrosting. I haven't tested baking the dough from frozen but once I do I'll update the recipe with guidance!
1 stick (1/2 cup, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature 113g
2/3 cup light brown sugar 127g
2 tablespoons powdered sugar 15g
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 135g
1/3 cup cocoa powder 35g
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Filling and topping
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup (4 oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for dusting 8g
Total time: About 4-5 hours including chill time
Prep time: About 30 minutes
Bake time: 10-12 minutes
Chill time: 3-4 hours
Servings: 10 cookies
Large cookie sheet
Mesh strainer or sifter
Spatula or large spoon
Large and medium bowl
Optional: small heavy bottomed nonstick pot, scooper 2/12 - 3 tablespoons large
First, make your chocolate ganache. Note, if you plan to use Lindt chocolate truffles or something else in the center of your cookies, you can skip the ganache steps.
Finely chop your semisweet chocolate and set aside in a heatproof bowl.
Carefully heat your heavy cream in a small heavy bottomed pot on the stovetop or in the microwave. You just want some steam wisping off. Once it's heated, pour it over your finely chopped semisweet chocolate. Leave it for about a minute, and then use a spoon or whisk to stir until completely smooth. Set it aside for about an hour at room temperature and then you can pop it into the fridge to finish setting.
Meanwhile, make your cookie dough. In a large bowl, add your unsalted butter, brown sugar and powdered sugar. Use a spatula to combine your butter and sugars until there are no more streaks of butter.
Add in your vanilla and egg, continue to mix until fully combined.
In a separate bowl, add your dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together and ensure you break up any clumps of cocoa powder. Pour your dry ingredients into your butter mixture and use your spatula to fold together and form your dough.
Cover your dough and place it in the fridge to chill for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm to the touch.
Shape your ganache filling. About two hours after making your ganache (including some time in the fridge) your ganache should be more firm yet still soft. Use a tablespoon to scoop your ganache and place each scoop onto a lined plate or small pan that can go into your freezer. You should get about 10 scoops, and then place into the freezer.
Shape, bake and finish your cookies. Remove your chilled dough from the fridge. I like to use a scale, but you can also use a cookie scoop about 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons in size.
Line a large cookie sheet and portion out your dough into 10 even disks, each weighing about 45-48 grams or 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons in size. Fill your cookie dough disks with your scooped and chilled ganache or Lindt chocolate truffles. Carefully shape and close your dough around the filling ensuring there aren't any holes in the dough or thin spots. Put your shaped cookie dough balls into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
When you're ready, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake your cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow your cookies to cool directly on the cookie sheet for about 30 minutes - if you try to move them before this you'll risk the centers leaking. Once they're cooled enough, use a mesh strainer or sifter to sprinkle the tops of your cookies with a tablespoon of powdered sugar - a little goes a long way here, and though this step is optional, I highly recommend it! Note, if you used Lindt truffles for the center of your cookies, they will need about an hour or two before they're stable enough to pick up, but you can of course be enjoyed with a fork before then.
These cookies will have the best lava effect within a few hours of baking. They will still taste delicious though if stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and you can enjoy cold or warmed up. If you'd like, you can also bake these cookies and then freeze them to enjoy at a later time and dust with powdered sugar once you defrost.
Carb and serving info:
Servings: 10 cookies
Carbs per serving: 35
Carbs for full recipe: 350
Carbs in cookie dough only: 267
Carbs from powdered sugar topping: 8
Carbs from ganache filling: 75
Carbs in full recipe, milk chocolate Lindt truffle filling (no ganache): 328
Carbs per cookie, milk chocolate Lindt truffle filling (no ganache): 33
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.