Monday, March 21, 2011

As Black As My Soul

Now tell me those aren't the ugliest cookies you've ever seen. They look like a Rocco Dispirito experiment gone awry, or maybe the digestive result of eating said experiment. The photo honestly doesn't do these double chocolate malt cookies justice - they are even uglier in person. The Hershey's Special Dark cocoa made them so dark brown they are nearly black. (Note: both items I've made so far with that cocoa seem inordinately salty, despite having relatively small amounts of salt. I think the flavor of the cocoa just doesn't work well with salt and probably won't buy it again unless I am desperate.) Those shiny/melty bits in the cookies are actually Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate chips. And they look pale by comparison. The lighter brown bits are nuts, and the light yellow-ish bits (no they are not corn) are melted malt ball centers.

Malt ball centers? Since the cookies are pretty gross-looking, you're probably thinking I did something equally disgusting to get to the centers, like maybe lick off the chocolate. But no. The centers are sold by my new favorite Internet merchant, Nuts Online. Last September I purchased a bag of teff flour for making authentic Ethiopian injera. I loved the fast service and the quality of the product, so before Christmas, I ordered several pounds of nuts and dried fruits for making holiday treats, plus a bag of their peppermint malted milk balls. OMG - Best. Malted. Milk. Balls. Ever. We recently ran out of nuts, so I placed another order, this time trying their huge, candy-like dried strawberries, mochi, and the malt ball centers. Tasty enough on their own, I thought they'd also make a good addition to cookies or brownies.

While not exactly a good idea, they weren't a bad idea, either. The sugar content is pretty high, so the malt ball centers melted and oozed a bit. They taste fine - but subtle. If you don't have them, don't worry about it - the cookies will taste quite good without them. And...the longer they sit, the better they taste.

Black as My Soul Double Chocolate Malt Cookies

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup softened butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 bag Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips
1 cup malted milk ball centers, lightly crushed
1/2 cup mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 345°F.

Cream the butter and sugars together, add eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour to the butter mixture in batches, mixing well to combine. Stir in chocolate chips, malt balls, and nuts. Onto a Silpat- or parchment-covered baking sheet, scoop dough in generous 2-or-3 tablespoon dollops, flattening with your hand to about 1/2 inch thick. Bake 12 minutes until browned. Remove cookies to a rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen.

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.