Friday, November 14, 2014

Malted Chocolate Candy Cookies

Maybe my kids are strange, but neither of them prefers the chocolate they received in their trick-or-treat bags this year. Both of them pick out the straight sugar: the Dum-Dums, gummy snacks, Smarties, Starbursts, or (my mortal enemy) the little boxes of Nerds. Now that they have eaten through all their straight sugar, they are not so interested in the chocolate that remains in their bags. I finally convinced Matthew to eat a mini Twix bar because, being my favorite candy bar of all time, I could not believe he hadn't enjoyed one yet. After painfully munching through it, he agreed that it tasted good. However, when I offered him another one, he quickly replied: "No thank you!"

Turning down chocolate? Politely turning down free sweets?! Who is this child? Certainly not mine. I've never been one to turn down chocolate.

So, while sitting here with many, many uneaten fun-sized candy bars I decided to make some cookies to give to friends that somehow incorporated the leftover goodies. I have had this recipe for Malted Whopper Drops bookmarked (literally) in my copy of Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours for months. Granted, I only had a few Whopper packages, but figured we could just chop up a medley of Crunch Bars, Musketeer Bars, and Milky Ways to make up for our deficiency.

The batter came together beautifully. The worst part was chopping all that candy and not eating it as I went along. I was chewing on a couple Kit Kat bars while baking because, let's be honest, those things are way too good to not enjoy on their own. I especially like the orange-dyed white chocolate ones they make for especially for Halloween. So festive and delicious!

Anyway, these cookies are certainly not pretty. They are pretty dark, ugly, and oddly-shaped. But they taste pretty good! You get a different candy bar in almost every bite that keeps things interesting. We brought a big batch over to a dear friend and her family who just had a new baby and they loved them. They kept trying to guess what type of cookies they were since their palates were getting confused by the caramel/chocolate nougat/malted chocolate/peanut/crispy rice flavors and textures.

Of course, my kids didn't care for them but that's only because they are weird and their food preferences are getting more weird with each passing day. They chose to forgo a freshly baked cookie in order to fight over a tiny package of Dots. Refined.

And the rest of the leftover chocolate? I think I'm going to recycle them for Christmas stockings. Maybe they'll like chocolate by then or at any rate it'll make their stockings look more full!

And in completely unrelated news, my husband joined the Age of the Phone because his work is making him carry an iPhone so he can be reached 24/7. He can now text, look up data, and do whatever it is people do with those fancy phones (I wouldn't flip phone is from 2007). He has been glued to it ever since. Probably because it takes him an hour to send a single sentence text message.

Malted Chocolate Candy Cookies
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours

1¾ cups all purpose flour
1 cup malted milk powder (we always have this in the pantry because Paul loves it)
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut up
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup whole milk
3 cups chopped candy bars (I used an assortment of Whoppers, Crunch Bars, Milky Ways, Hershey Bars, and Snickers)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. With the cold butter, you may need to turn up the speed a little bit, but your mixer can handle it. Add the eggs one at a time and beat each for a minute. Add the vanilla. The mixture may look curdled, but it will come together just fine when the dry ingredients are added. But it still won't look pretty.
Switching to low speed mix in about half the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Beat in the milk until smooth and then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients until incorporated.
Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the chopped candy. Scoop tablespoon-sized portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 11 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and just set on the edges. Be careful not to over-bake.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for about 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

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