Hi friends! Apologies for the unplanned hiatus on my part! I was doing loads of travel, connecting on a few exciting side projects, and taking some time to sort out this blog space. But I’ve got some exciting things for the blog! Including photos of MOROCCO (!) that I was fortunate enough to visit last month and a fun cocktail for margarita week – stay tuned for that. Just in time to get us all excited for those sunny warm days that will soon be coaxing us out of our winter parkas.
In the meantime, I’ve got a nutty, chewy variation on a basic chocolate chip cookie right here for you. One thing I like to do in the doldrums of winter is bake. It’s a soothing activity that brings me copious amounts of joy. There’s something about that comfort that is specifically destined for blustery, wet days on the outside while you warm from the butter, sugar, and flour on the inside in your kitchen. Especially considering I hesitate to turn on my oven during the summer months.
These cookies are a bit different from my normal soft cookie selection. These are chewier (but still soft, because I’m obsessive over that) with a malty background note coming from malted milk powder. This dough is divine, but once baked, the malted milk powder blends into the dough beautifully, and it adds just enough complexity to have you asking, ‘will anyone see me if I eat 3 of these cookies right now?’.
Malted milk powder is an ingredient that is quite interesting. It lends itself to unexpected effects during baking if you’re not familiar, and it is one of my favorite flavors to use. I spoke about the science of malted milk powder way back when I was in grad school (at the beginning of this blog), and I think it’s interesting to leave here again. Enjoy those malt shop vibes!
Malted milk powder is a dried powder made from malted barley, wheat flour, sugar, and milk. The components are mixed followed by an evaporation process turning the liquid to a powder. This powder was commonly used as a nutritious treat when dissolved in milk for picky eaters as it is high in caloric content as well as vitamins and minerals. In the 20s malted milk powder became a pop culture phenomenon creating the malted milk shake and subsequently malt shops with the invention of the electric blender.
In baked goods, malted milk powder adds an incredible deep flavor to the overall profile. The malt flavor from the barley blends incredibly well with the flavors created during the baking process from the browning of the sugars. The milk sugars in the butter, the added brown sugar, and the sugar in the malted milk powder (both added sugar and milk sugars from the evaporated milk) create a large amount of Maillard browning and caramelization in addition to the malt flavor contributed by the milk powder. See what I mean with the layers? That is why products with malted milk powder taste so scrumptious! They’ve got a lot of good stuff going on. In addition to the flavor that malted milk powder imparts, the extra flour thickens baked goods further and creates a chewier product.
Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Seven Spoons
1 cup unsalted butter
3 ¼ cups (415g) all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ cups (320g) packed light brown sugar
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75g) malted milk powder
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chips)
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 360F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan over the lowest heat possible, melt the butter. You don’t want to evaporate any water, so you’re just gently melting the fat. Stir somewhat frequently.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set aside.
- Pour the melted butter into a large bowl and whisk in the sugars and milk powder. The mixture will look like it can’t handle all the sugar, but with stirring it will come together.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking briskly after each egg has been added.
- Switch to a rubber spatula at this point. Add the vanilla and fold into the mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Fold in gently. Once it is mostly blended in, add the chocolate and fold everything together. Be careful not to overmix.
- Scoop the cookie dough with a ¼ cup scoop (2 oz) onto the prepared parchment-covered pans. Make sure the cookies are a few inches apart. Sprinkle the tops with flaky sea salt
- Refrigerate each pan for 5-10 minutes before baking just to prevent excess spreading.
- Bake, one tray at a time, on the oven’s middle rack, for 10-14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The cookies should be done when the edges are slightly golden but the middle still looks soft.
- Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to let cool completely. Repeat baking the remaining pans until the dough is gone.
**Pro tip: this dough is so amazingly good, and it’s even better frozen. Seriously, it’s my favorite snacking dough. Soooo dreamy.