I have many formative childhood memories involving my dad taking me to get chocolate malts, usually as a special treat after something crappy, traumatic experience (like the dentist). If that’s not emotional eating, I don’t know what is. But I digress. The point is, I have deeply rooted positive associations with the taste of malt powder. So when I saw The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for malted chocolate chip cookies, I let out a great squee of excitement and rushed home from work to bake these.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of these cookies. You’re really not missing much, as they are surprisingly unattractive. I presented one to a coworker and he said, “I’m not sure I want to put this in my mouth.” But the ugliness becomes a moot point because as soon as you eat one, you find that it’s totally necessary to eat at least five more. This is an exceptional cookie. There’s only one slight flaw…
They don’t taste like malt.
The malt flavor is really strong in the dough, but somehow it morphs during baking into this warm toffee flavor. Don’t get my wrong, these still taste awesome, and clearly the malt is doing something to give it that deeper flavor and a great crisp-chewy consistency. (And I love that in a chocolate chip — none of that gooey, partially cooked center for me.) But it didn’t taste like my childhood, which I realize is maybe a lot to ask from a humble baked good. Still, these cookies are fantastic, and I would 100% make them again. And you should too.