I just returned to Greenville after two weeks home in Austin, and some serious baking seemed like the only sensible cure for the raging bout of homesickness that ensued. I miss Austin something fierce. So something chocolate needed to happen.
I picked up a new cookbook on my trip – Libbie Summers’ Sweet & Vicious – selected on my usual cookbook criteria: it’s really pretty and some of the recipes sound delicious. Good photos and layout go a long way with me. And I’m stoked to try more of these recipes before I go on a baking hiatus later this month… which I don’t want to think about right now. (*shudder*)
About the book, I’ll say at this point that the ingredient list can be a bit fussy, which makes it slightly less appealing overall. I went to FIVE stores yesterday hunting for rootbeer extract to make some other cookies (which I’m now determined to conquer & will post on when I do), and I had to “settle” for baking these in the mean time.
It’s not really settling, though, ’cause chocolate malt is one of my favorite flavors. I love it! Crunching into malt balls, however, sets my teeth on edge. It’s like nails on a chalk board. I can’t handle it. So I’m always hopeful when I come across a recipe that incorporates malt flavor.
Usually, recipes aren’t ever malt-y enough for my taste. It’s a sad state of affairs. The malt gets lost in the other ingredients and ends up more of a lip service than a mouth watering feature. But these cookies are pretty great!
Summers’ recipe has you roll the balls of dough in a mix of confectioners sugar and malted milk powder, and that helps bring out the malt flavor more than just amping it up in the dough. Baking chopped malt balls into the cookies adds a nice texture to the cookies overall and solves the cringe-worthy, teeth gnashing problem of malt balls by softening them up through baking.
Ingredient-wise, these might not be something you can pull straight out of the pantry. They call for dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s), malted milk powder (which you often have to hunt for in the grocery store – it’s sometimes by the coffee), and the first store I went to didn’t have malt balls (nor did Trader Joe’s, sadly).
Ultimately, I wasn’t sure how many malt balls were in a box of Whoppers, so ended up with an extra box (you only need one). Clearly, I’ll *have* to make these again to use them up.
Chocolate Malt Crinkle Cookies (adapted Side-Slap & Tickle Cookies from Sweet & Vicious)
~~Dough Requires Refrigeration~~
- 1 2/3 cups flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
- 6 Tbs malted milk powder, separated
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 24-30 Whoppers, roughly chopped (if you buy the malted milk balls in bulk, they’re usually bigger, so aim for 20 or so – you want about a cup)
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of the malted milk powder, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and fold in the Whoppers.
Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, but I’d recommend and hour or two.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
In a small bowl stir together the remaining 4 tablespoons malted milk powder and the confectioners sugar. Scoop out tablespoon balls of dough (or your favorite cookie scoop) and roll each portion into a ball. Repeat until all the dough has been portioned. Then, roll each ball in the sugar mixture and place on the baking sheet two inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies begin to crackle on top.
**I portioned out the dough the night before and then stuck them back in the fridge. As a result, my dough was fairly chilled when they went into the oven, so they didn’t spread out as much.