One of my favorite bloggers and dear blogger friend, Annie from Annie’s Eats is expecting her second baby in just a few months! I’m so incredibly excited for her and can’t wait to “meet” sweet Caroline! Annie’s Virtual Baby Shower came up just at the right time since I have been absolutely dying to make these chocolate malt sandwich cookies and I knew they would be the perfect addition to an appetizer and dessert shower. I knew our host, Courtney, would be making a cake for the shower so I figured a big plate of chocolaty cookies would be go over well…and I knew that Annie would love them since she’s a huge fan of chocolate desserts and sandwich cookies of all kinds.
The cookies are simple as anything to put together. You make your chocolate malt cookie dough, bake the cookies, and let them cool. Meanwhile, you whip up some chocolate malt filling, chill it for 30 min, whip it up, and fill your cookies. And you’re done! Even better than how simple they are, these are quite possibly the best cookies I’ve ever eaten. And this isn’t just my opinion. The weekend I made them, I had my cousins up for a visit and when two teenagers tell you this was the best cookie they had EVER eaten, you know you’ve got a good thing going. My cousin, Mariah, had been waiting for over a year to make them with me since we first came across the recipe and these cookies fully lived up to every expectation. As expected, they are fantastically chocolaty but the malted milk powder adds an extra layer of depth and flavor to the chocolate that you don’t expect by just looking at them. Not surprisingly, these sandwich cookies went fast. So fast that we made a second batch the following day just so Mariah could take a few of them back to school with her in Providence. I hope they survived the car trip!
With a long list of fabulous food bloggers attending, you can imagine this shower as one filled with amazing food and great friends, some of whom I’ve been following for years and some of whom you’ve probably been following for years as well! Please be sure to check out Cook Like a Champion and Annie’s Eats for a round-up of this very special baby shower and do yourself a favor by visiting all of the blogs for the recipes and photos – you won’t be at all sorry!
As with most of the specialty baking items I need, my go-to store is King Arthur Flour and that’s where I purchased the malted milk powder from. If you’re in a pinch and can’t wait a few days for it to be shipped, you can use Ovaltine but you should know that Ovaltine contains cocoa whereas regular malted milk powder does not. For the record, I have not been able to find malted milk powder in any of the grocery stores around me, nor in Whole Foods.
For the cookies:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons hot water
For the filling:
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup plain malted milk powder
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, sour cream, and hot water. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.
Space tablespoon-size balls of dough 3 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until flat and just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.
To make the filling:
While the cookies are baking, melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simming water, stirring. Let cool. With an electric mixer, beat malted milk powder and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half-and-half, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Beat on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. After chilling, the filling will be very thick and dark but as soon as you start to beat it, the color will begin to lighten and the filling will become very fluffy.
To assemble the cookies:
Match up cookies of similar sizes into pairs. Using a tablespoon-size cookie scoop, scoop a heaping tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie until the filling pushes to the edges of the cookies. Repeat with remaining pairs of cookies. Cookies can be kept at room temperature between layers of parchment in airtight containers up to 3 days. (Though it’s doubtful they will last this long!)