Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Malt Cookies

You know when people have news to share, whether good or bad, they ask the person who is about to receive the news "are you sitting down?" Well.. before you go any further, I need to ask you...

Are you sitting down? Are you ready for this?

These chocolate malt cookies from Smells Like Home are phenomenal. Oh. em. gee. They are fantastical. I noticed them when there was a virtual baby shower for Annie. Annie has a completely cute little boy named Andrew and they're expecting their Daughter, Caroline, very soon. So, some of her blog friends hosted a shower for her. How cute!

I didn't realize until after I made these cookies, but I have the Martha Stewart cookbook that they're originally from. I thumbed through the book a little the other night after realizing it and found so many cookies that I'd like to make in there!. Where shall I send a dozen to first?

Ok, I'm done rambling, onto the cookies!

Dressed up for Valentine's Day!

Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies
From: Smells Like Home
Originally From: Martha Stewart

Yields: 18-20 sandwiches

Tara made note that she could not find malted milk powder in grocery stores around her. I was prepared to use Ovaltine as a substitute per her suggestion, but much to my surprise, there was malted milk powder on the shelf right next to Ovaltine at my local Target.
Cookie Ingredients:
 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (I used sea salt which I wasn't a fan of. Perhaps that was too coarse)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons hot water
Ingredients for the sandwich filling:
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup plain malted milk powder
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Let's get bakin!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, sour cream, and hot water. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.

Space tablespoon-size balls of dough 3 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until flat and just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. (I took them out at the 10 minute mark. I didn't want them to get too crispy) Let cool on parchment on wire racks.

Multitask!
While the cookies are baking, melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simming water, stirring. Let cool. (I've never melted chocolate in this manner before. I've always melted it in the microwave in ~30 second increments. I'm an impatient person, but melting chocolate this way was super stress-free. It was almost therapeutic watching the chocolate slowly, slowly melt into a smooth velvety chocolate) With an electric mixer, beat malted milk powder and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half-and-half, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Beat on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. After chilling, the filling will be very thick and dark but as soon as you start to beat it, the color will begin to lighten and the filling will become very fluffy.

Match up cookies of similar sizes into pairs.  Using a tablespoon-size cookie scoop, scoop a heaping tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of one cookie.  Sandwich with another cookie until the filling pushes to the edges of the cookies.  Repeat with remaining pairs of cookies.  Cookies can be kept at room temperature between layers of parchment in airtight containers up to 3 days.

I originally made these for a coworker who helped me restore a huge Excel document that I accidentally erased.  I could have kissed her I was so happy! I figured she deserved something home baked as a thank you. We often go to her for all of our excel questions and I don't know that she ever really gets a proper Thank You.

Take your baked goods to work day!
I sent the rest of the batch to work with Matt. I have to admit, I really love the compliments that come rolling in when I send treats with him to work. The one that I'm most humbled by.. his 'Work Mom' is a novice cook and baker. She's always bringing homemade cinnamon rolls, egg bakes, pastries etc to work for her coworkers. She told him that these were 'the best cookie I've ever had.' I really feel honored that she said that. A couple different coworkers of his told him that I should open a bakery. Little do they know, if money were no object and that was completely doable, I'd open a bakery in a heartbeat. Definitely a pipe dream.

Unfortunately, I can't take the credit for these wonderful concotions, that's all Mrs. Martha's doings. I'll gladly reel in the compliments though :-)

1 comment:

Mary said...

These look SO yummy Amy!! Awesome!