Holiday Cookie Exchange #3: Chocolate Malt Cookies
I am completely of the same mind as Dawn of So Cal Foodie, who just happens to be hosting the Final Instalment of Holiday Cookie Exchange # 3.
I've spent the last week icing countless ginger bread stars and putting together stained glass christmas tree cookies that I am starting to get ever so slightly burned out. And while the said cookies are irresistably pretty, let's face it, gingerbread and butter cookies are not everyone's cup of tea. So I decided that for the last batch of cookies that will go into C's client Christmas goodie bag, I would make something that's wonderfully chocolatey and universally liked. Again I delved into Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies and decided on her Chocolate Malt Sandwiches. They sounded like just the thing, with their deep brown hue and crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside texture. So while C slept in this morning, I decided to whip up a batch and make use of that bottle of Horlicks malt drink powder sitting in my cupboard, the leftover of a Horlicks ice cream experiment several months ago (I'm still experimenting, in case you're wondering).
As it turns out, the cookies are a real treat. As expected, they are deeply chocolatey and are given an added dimension by the malt powder. In fact, they are so good that I didn't bother to make the chocolate filling. Rather than make them sandwiched cookies as the recipe suggested, I've decided to just pack them up as is, which offers them the added benefit of being able to keep better as well. Besides, it's near impossible to find the half-and-half required for the filling in Singapore.
Here's the recipe. I've added the recipe for the filling as well, just in case you're feeling more industrious than I am.
Chocolate Malt Sandwiches
For the cookies
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup plain malted-milk powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 creme fraiche
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 170 degrees C. Sift flour, cocoa powder, malted-milk powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, vanilla and creme fraiche and 3 tbsp hot water. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture.
Space tablespoon-size balls of dough 3.5 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until flat and just firm. 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.
For the filling
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup malted-milk powder
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp half-and-half
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Let cool. Mix 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 mins. Mix on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Assemble cookies: Spread a heaping tablespoon filling on the bottom of 1 cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat. Sandwiches can be refrigerated between layers of parchment in an air-tight container up to 3 days.