Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies / by Chelsea Zwieg

I am in the process of watching The Great British Baking Competition on Netflix and I am so obsessed. It makes me want to go back to London, it makes me want to be British and it makes me want to bake. Since baking is the only thing on that list I can manage at the moment, that is exactly what I have been doing. Running around my kitchen, experimenting with cookies and talking to myself like I'm Mary Berry meets Mary Crawley because biscuits and puds are so much more exciting than cookies and cakes. 

I am also having a major moment with malt powder lately. If you were to come to the bakery, you would find that I may or may not have found a way to weasel it into every product I can get my hands on. And then I take my obsession home and make cookies. Malty, chocolatey cookies. 

Even if malt is not your thing (which we can deal with at another point), you will like these cookies. That is, if you like chocolate. Because these cookies are lousy with chocolate, in the best way. Which brings up an issue very near and dear to my heart: chopped chocolate vs. chocolate chips. Settle in for a spiel. I know that the classic desert that all of America know and loves is chocolate chip cookies, but if you want one simple thing to take your cookies to the next level (besides brown butter) using chopped chocolate is the way to go, for three very important reasons. First, when you chop your own chocolate you can use a higher quality chocolate than is usually found in chips. High quality chocolate = high quality cookies. Second, most chocolate chips have extra ingredients like vanilla and soy that make them waxy and less meltable. I like my chocolate chip cookies to have all sorts of melty business going on up in there.

The final argument for chopped chocolate is that it gives you control over the size of the chocolate pieces. Chocolate chunks are not as uniform as chips, which gives the cookies a gorgeous, marbled, bakery worthy chocolate distribution with all sorts of melty, chocolate puddles just waiting to make your day. And, in the case of these cookies, it allows you to add milk chocolate (I know, who am I?) with some actual success. While I am loyal to dark chocolate on any and all occasions, there is something about malt powder that pairs so well with the creaminess of milk chocolate. Unfortunately, just like chips, milk chocolate tends to be waxy and not very meltable. However, when you chop (or grate) it yourself you can get perfectly thin shards that melt into the dough, giving the creaminess we want while still leaving room for plenty of big, dark chocolate chunks. 

The final trick to these cookies is chill time. I am here to report that the chill time in this recipe is pretty much non-negotiable. If you bake these right away, the butter, sugars, molasses and extra chocolate create a perfect storm that makes these spread so thin they basically disappear when you turn them sideways. I prefer my cookies thin and chewy, but this was a little much, even for me. An hour in the fridge (or overnight, if you have the time) will work wonders and give you a thin, soft cookie without causing them to spread into one giant cookie (not that that happened to me, or anything). 

If chopping chocolate and chilling dough sounds like a little bit more work than you bargained for, rest assured that these are some of the most amazing cookies I have had in a while. The flavor is malty, extra chocolatey and somehow, not overly sweet. And, in a totally unplanned triumph, which I am assuming is the work of the molasses, they are unbelievably soft. Like bendy, pillowy, chewy Chips Ahoy soft. I am going on day 6 of having these in my pantry and they have remained just as soft. Miracles, guys. Malty miracles. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go eat a few more cookies and perfect my British accent. And maybe make a sponge cake or two. 

Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

| Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup malt powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. molasses 
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz. milk chocolate, grated or very finely chopped

| Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and malt powder. Whisk to combine.

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add molasses and beat to combine. Scrape bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Turn mixer to low and gradually add dry ingredients beating until just combined. Stir in both chocolates with a spatula or a few pulses of the mixer (be careful not to over mix). Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill, at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop chilled dough into two tablespoon size balls and bake 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges but still soft in the center. Allow to cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.