It's that time of year again! The time where I shamelessly listen to Christmas music all month long and everyone else gets all scandalized because how dare I skip over Thanksgiving?! Am I not thankful for everything in my life?? I love Thanksgiving as much as much as (and probably 10x more than) the next person but I will tell you all exactly what I tell all those christmas joy stealing haters: write a Thanksgiving song and I will listen to it on repeat all November long. In the meantime, I am going to give this song and all of the happy holiday goosebumps that it gives me the full two-month play time that it deserves. And I'll be darn thankful while doing it.
It's also a fine time to start planning out what Christmas cookies should make an appearance this year. V. V. Important Decisions.
I have some old standbys that I think should be included on every plate of Christmas cookies whether I'm making them, my mom is making them, or someones co-worker's wife's sister is making them. Spritz cookies, Peppermint bark cookies, and at least one decorated sugar cookie that looks like a 4 year old either decorated it or sat on it (you would never know I work in a bakery by looking at my decorated cookie handiwork) But I also like to try out some new things each Christmas. Things like super chewy brownie cookies that taste like the very edge of a corner on a pan of the fudgiest brownies around.
These cookies are intense in the best kind of way. Like 3/4 lb. chocolate and only 1/4 cup flour kind of intense. They're more chocolate with essence of cookie than cookie with a lot of chocolate. To make them a little more interesting (a cookie has got to get it's fancy pants on it if wants to play on the holiday cookie tray) I added malt powder to the inside and sea salt to the outside. Malt is one of the best flavors that can go into cookies, in my opinion. It's a flavor that is so hard to explain but I'm assuming everyone has had a malt at this point in their lives and I don't really need to explain. Right? The sea salt keeps any over-sweetness in check and also makes them completely addicting in the way that only salty-sweet things can be.
While these would make a great addition to your holiday cookie roster, let's all agree that you should probably make them now too. And then maybe again next week. You know, just to be sure you've got your technique mastered come christmas cookie baking time.
P.S. If you are looking for something to eat in between cookie tasting sessions, I talked about four of the most satisfying winter salads you will ever encounter in the Milwaukee Journal yesterday. Read it here!
Salty Malty Brownie Cookies
Adapted from Food and Wine
Makes 12 large cookies
- 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. malted milk powder (Carnation, Ovaltine etc.)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
- sea salt, for sprinkling
- Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir often, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes at medium speed. They will be thick and pale yellow. Beat in the vanilla.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate into the eggs until no ribbons of yellow remain. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the milk chocolate and give it one final stir. Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes before scooping.
- Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the chilled dough onto the baking sheets and bake 12-15, until the edges are dry and the centers crack slightly. If you like flatter cookies, like I do, flatten them gently with a spatula in the last 2-3 minutes of baking. Generously sprinkle the cookies with sea salt as soon as they come out of the oven. Let cool on the trays for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.