I have been looking for malted milk powder for months. No lie, since before Christmas. Recipe after recipe would show up on nearly all of the blogs I follow all with promises of a cookie or cake that tastes like Whoppers (the chocolate covered malt ball, not the King's Burger. Though I wouldn't necessarily turn that down either :)). The malted milk powder was supposed to be with the hot chocolates, nope; it could be in the baby aisle, nadda. When I asked, I got get strange looks. I was starting to get frustrated.
Then, a few weeks ago, while grocery shopping with my brother, he mentions that we needed rice. So down the rice/ethnic food aisle we went. I slowly made my way down the aisle ahead of my brother looking at all the fascinating ingredients. It was at that moment that I saw it just sitting there, almost mocking me. And not just one, but two brands! Plain Ovaltine and Horlick's, which I have come to understand is the best malted milk powder (according to the many tubes of the internets). I could barely contain my excitement (sad, but true :)). The only other thing I needed for my first recipe were delicious chocolate covered malt balls. Candy aisle, here I come.
And let's put it to rest right now, Maltesers are better than Whoppers. Sorry, they are. They're ligther, more airy, which makes them seem creamier than Whoppers. Not that Whoppers are bad (they do have a Reese's version) but given the choice between Maltesers and regular Whoppers, it's Maltesers all the way.
The recipe I used was from Dorie Greenspan, but as I was reading her comments she mentioned that the malt flavour in the cookie was subtle and more of the flavour was carried by the candy. I wanted the cookie to be the star. As a result, I slightly altered the proportions of the flour, malt and sugar in an attempt to bring out the most malt flavour possible. I was determined not to add chopped Maltesers to the batter (we all know I hate uneven distribution) and instead decided to use a single Malteser in each cookie. Two test cookies made their way into the oven each with a single Malteser fit snuggly in the center. Once cooled, a quick taste test from my mother and myself determined that the candy was not necessary. It added a strange and unnecessary crunchiness. However, it might not be so jarring if I had just done what I was told, chopping and adding them to the cookie dough.
The most shocking thing about these cookies is definitely the texture; it's like eating a wonderfully chewy brownie. This really made it hard to stop eating, especially since they were not as rich as brownies tend to be (at least the ones I make :)). Even with my alterations the malt flavour was a little more muted than I had hoped, but it was definitely there. The chocolate flavour is at the forefront, and enhanced by the fact that the cookies aren't very sweet. All-in-all these cookies are quite good, but it's my opinion that in order to get the full impact of the chocolate-malt combo, you cannot scarf these cookies. You need to take your time with each one (it's hard to do, but trust me).
Despite wishing the cookie's flavour was a little more Malterser-y, I think I will try them again (or at least a slightly altered version). Maybe all it really needs is a bit more malted milk powder. Besides, the brownie texture alone makes these a win. And regarding the Maltesers Vs Whoppers debate: If you happen to be on Team Whopper or do not have Maltesers readily available, please ignore everything I said; in all likelihood, you should probably be doing that anyway.
Chocolate Malt Cookies
Adapted from BAKING: From My Home To Yours, by Dorie GreenspanYields approx 3 dozen 3 inch cookies (I used this cookie scoop)
3/4 cup all purpose flour (98g)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp malted milk powder -- I used Horlick's
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (78g)
1/4 cup sugar (50g)
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk -- I used 1%, original recipe calls for whole
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, malted milk powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. After sifting, whisk a bit to make sure it's all mixed.
In the medium bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until light, fluffy and smooth (approx 3 minutes). Add egg and continue to beat on medium speed for one minute. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add half the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add milk and then the rest of the flour mixing until incorporated.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes (I found 11 to be the best time).
Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before moving to rack to cool completely.