Gifts from My Kitchen

I’m a huge malt fan. I sprinkle it in my regular chocolate chip cookies, brownies and of courses milkshakes. So this cookie, one I adapted from Martha Stewart Living was a no-brainer for me. They take a while to make and assemble, but they’re worth it for extra-special friends (or bosses). I adjusted the filling to make it less rich. I don’t typically have creme friache around, but use sour cream in its place. If the dough seems too thin, add a little extra flour, which will also make a thicker more durable cookie–a plus when packaging and delivering to friends.

Chocolate Malt Sandwiches

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen
•    FOR THE COOKIES
•    2 1/2 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 creme fraiche, sour cream or yogurt
•    3 tablespoons hot water
•    FOR THE FILLING
•    7 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
•    2 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
•    1 cup plain malted milk powder
•    6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
•    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make cookies: 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, creme fraiche, and hot water. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.
2.    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.
3.    Making filling: 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. Mix on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4.    Assemble cookies: Spread a heaping tablespoon filling on the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat. Cookies can be refrigerated between layers of parchment in airtight containers up to 3 days.

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