Malted Milk Ball Cookies

Recently observed and overheard …

She sat – minding her own business – munching on Whoppers while reading a book.

He says – “Hey, I love Whoppers!”

She says – “That’s nice. I like them too.”

She glances coyly at him and says – “I love cookies.”

He says – “I love cookies too. How perfect would a cookie be that had Whoppers in them!?”

She thinks about this for a moment and asks – “What do you think of peanut butter?”

He answers – “I love peanut butter, especially with chocolate.”

By the look on her face, she thinks he might be the perfect man.

Watching this scene unfold, I think I need to find a cookie that has Whoppers in them – if for no other reason than to ensure that this couple has the perfect cookie!

Dorie Greenspan and Baking: From My Home to Yours to the rescue! This is a great baking book. The recipes are great. The ingredients are obtainable. The instructions easy to follow.

This cookie is perfect. Chocolate, slightly malty, crunchy and melty Whoppers, the cookie slighty crispy and slightly chewy.

The only trouble with this recipe was trying to roughly chop Whoppers. CHOP WHOPPERS! They are round. They seemed to be trying to escape their fate. They were rolling off the cutting board onto the floor, into the range top.

While trying to cut these roly poly spheres of deliciousness, I was given the suggestion to use a serrated knife, score them, then cut each in half. ARE YOU KIDDING ME HERE OR WHAT!? A) That ain’t rough chopped and B) who has that kind of time!? (Now, you know this suggestion HAD to come from a man!) I ended up putting a dish towel around the edge to contain the little buggers and I didn’t have to search for the escapees. I must say, any Whopper that tried to escape ended up being punished severely – EATEN – that was a win for me!

  • 1¾ C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C malted milk powder
  • ¼ C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ C whole milk
  • 2 C (6 ounces) chocolate-covered malted milk balls (Whoppers), roughly chopped
  • 1 C chocolate chips (or 6 ounces chopped chocolate)

NOTE: Chopping the Whoppers was traumatic enough. I used chocolate chips. I just couldn’t face chopping another disagreeable ingredient!

Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

NOTE: The original recipe says to sift. I hate sifting. I hate washing the sifter. And truth be told, I am a really messy sifter, the stuff goes everywhere – except the bowl.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

NOTE: It will look a little curdled, but the batter will smooth out once you put in the dry ingredients.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. The batter will look more like fudge frosting than cookie dough. By hand, mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate.

With the mixer still on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate chips.

NOTE: I would suggest a spatula. It took all that effort to roughly chop the little buggers, you don’t want them beaten by a mixer’s paddle now, do ya?

Drop about 2 heaping tablespoonfuls worth of dough onto the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until puffed and set but still slightly soft to the touch.

NOTE: I implore you, if you don’t already have scoops for your cookie baking – GET THEM! So much simpler and quicker than trying to dole out sticky cookie batter by spoons!

Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Now, off to find that Whopper cookie struck couple!

NOTE: Trader Joe’s makes a Whopper like candy that has a layer of peanut butter in between the chocolate shell and the malt ball itself. That might send these two Whopper, peanut butter, cookie adoring, star struck lovers over the moon.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

French Fridays with Dorie is one of my favorite cook-alongs.

Sadly, I lent my Around My French Table to a friend and have missed quite a few in the past couple of months.

But the book is back! And so am I!

Slow roasted tomatoes. What can I say? Slow roasted (3 HOURS!) grape or cherry tomatoes, with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and herbs!  The simplest of ingredients, the simplest of preparation, and you are left with smokey, sweet, rich, deep flavored, ruby tomatoes.

Yowzer!

Dorie suggested rosemary, but I have an abundance of oregano, so I used that instead. Thyme would be good too! It’s all up to you!

We had these over ribeyes last night and the rest were used up on pasta for my hubby’s dinner tonight.

I wish I could give you the recipe – buy the book, it’s SO worth it!

Cola & Jam Spareribs

One of my favorite styles of cooking is hands down BBQ. And, conversely, the thing I jones for the most during the winter is BBQ.

Leave it to Dorie Greenspan to come up with the perfect solution for my winter BBQ blues in Around My French Table ~ Cola and Jam Spareribs.

The timing was perfect – an upcoming French Fridays with Dorie recipe coupled with a gloomy, chilly Sunday and the ribs were on sale! Trifecta!

I love that Dorie’s recipes shoot different scents wafting throughout the house. There is a marriage of different aromas and flavors that always come together perfectly both for your nose and mouth. The anticipation of what’s to come is mind boggling.

So quick to put together with simple, yet intriguing, ingredients.

I have to admit. I cheated a bit. I bought my ribs already cut. Anything to make my time in the kitchen simpler and more enjoyable.

I let the ribs sit in the marinade for a little over 2 hours in the fridge. Then brought them to room temperature before I put them in the oven.

I confess, I am a baster.  I baste constantly cooking my turkey on Thanksgiving, and I basted these ribs far more than the recipe suggested. Especially after  adding the Coca-Cola for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

The end result was sticky and sweet from the orange juice and Coke with a depth of flavor from the Chinese 5 spice and ginger. Falling off the bone tender and moist.

This recipe will have MANY repeat performances in our house.