These are sensational! The cookie alone is well worth the making for its crisp, chocolaty goodness, but when you add that chocolate malt filling they are heaven. My youngest son's eyes rolled back into his head with ecstasy when he tasted one. "Where did you get these?" he asked. When I told him I'd made them he couldn't believe it. "It's like a cookie with mousse in the middle," he said. True.
This recipe is from that cookie Bible, Martha Stewart's Cookies. Following the directions exactly they came out a bit bigger than is comfortable for a cookie, I think, so next time (and there will be a next time) I'm going to make them a bit smaller so they're not quite so daunting. I think I'll also make some smaller plain cookies and dust them with powdered sugar, and I plan on using this filling the next time I make chocolate whoopie pies. Whatever you decide to do, DO decide to make these. You'll be queen of the cookie exchange with this one!
Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.
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 creme fraiche (I used 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, creme fraiche, 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.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering 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.
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.