Tuesday, September 9, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

I am beyond excited to introduce my very first recruit, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Lisa of Lisa Is A Baker! Lisa and I are old college buddies -- we shared a house senior year with four other friends. One of our now-husbands nicknamed our little group "The Hens" because we apparently cluck and peck a lot when we are together. Anyway, I am thrilled that we get to bake "together" even though we now live a thousand miles apart and see each other way too infrequently. Lisa is a true renaissance woman and super fun -- she once partied with Jack Klugman. So go check her out!

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie challenge comes from Rachel of Confessions of a Tangerine Tart. I actually thought about skipping this week because I knew that I hate, and I mean hate, chocolate malt balls. It goes all the way back to Easter Sunday when I was six years old. I remember tearing into my Easter basket, and eagerly unwrapping the pretty pastel foil wrapper on the little chocolate egg, and then biting into what I was sure was a solid piece of sweet chocolate goodness, only to be shocked by crunchy, bitter malt. Blech! I cursed the Easter Bunny that day, I tell you. Fast forward thirty years, and I have not willingly bitten into a chocolate malt ball since that fateful day. In fact, the only foods that I will categorically not eat are chocolate malt balls and sauerkraut.

So I found myself in a bit of a pickle, being an eager-beaver new baker and all, yet finding myself eyeball to maltball with Whoppers, of all things. But I just couldn't sit out the week, so I thought about alternatives. Twix? Kit Kat? But seeing as I am coming off a string of disasters that occurred even while following the recipes to the letter, I thought, "eeeeeeasy, cowgirl." Also, I know several grown men who still won't eat vegetables and prefer Wonder Bread because that's how they ate when they were six. I worried that I would lose the right to make fun of these friends if I didn't give chocolate malt balls another chance. I decided to just go ahead and follow the recipe.

The moral of this post is that you cannot always trust your inner six year old. Because oh, dear sweet mother of Ovaltine-Whopper confections, I wept when I took my first bite of this cookie. Oh sure, I have "loved" cookies before. I've flipped through plenty of cookbooks in my day and thought, "my my, don't you look yummy." I've cast more than a few sideways glances at the cookie jar that contained my current flavor of the week. But I have not truly been "in love" until I tried these whopper drops. They say that you'll just know it when it's the real thing, and that is so true. This cookie is The One.

Let's start with ingredients. I went with the Whoppers, and popped one before making the cookies, at which point I realized that they weren't so bad after all.

Can you ever forgive me, Whoppers?

I used Ghirardelli's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. I combined bittersweet chips and semisweet chips, but next time might either do all semisweet, or just do 1/4 bittersweet. I purchased chocolate-flavored Ovaltine rather than malted milk powder, because I hate malt, remember? Loved buying the Ovaltine. Made me think of Ralphie.


My helpers were back in the kitchen this week, after sitting out the Chocolate Ice Cream Torte and the Chipsters.

While this was your typical "mix the dries, mix the wets, add the dries to the wets" sort of deal, the recipe says to sift the dry ingredients together first. I can think of few kitchen tasks that are more ill-suited to my personality type than sifting ingredients through a sieve. That is the kitchen equivalent of "lightly sand between coats" as far as I'm concerned. Don't wanna do it. Not gonna do it. So I assigned this task to my six year old. He is a sweet boy, a sensitive soul, a really good kid. He also has had the misfortune of inheriting several of my less desireable attributes, such as lack of patience. So I figured that I would only get one chance to pawn off dry ingredient-sifting on him before he realized that it was terribly tedious and refused to do it ever again. Here he is, diligently sifting, while the three year old tries to jazz things up a bit by offering a bite of the poison apple.

The batter. Don't you just want to dive right in?

I got flat cookies again. I clearly have issues. But you know what? These were so amazingly good that I didn't even care.

You complete me.

I. Love. These. Cookies. They were perfect -- chewy, chocolatey, with yummy bits of candy exploding with every bite. I am happy to report that not only do these cookies freeze well, but they taste great frozen (because who can wait for them to defrost?) Thankfully, my husband does not eat chocolate, so there were more for me. I did bring a plate over to my parents' house, since my aunt and uncle were visiting from Connecticut -- good reviews all around there. My 11 year old niece loved them and came back for more, which was THE highest praise I could have received, as my niece is the coolest 11 year old EVER.

I can't believe I almost skipped this recipe. This is why I love TWD. It forces me to make recipes that I might not have otherwise chosen. A million thank yous for picking this, Rachel.

35 comments:

Lori said...

i always enjoy your posts, but this one cracked me up!!! first, anyone who partied with jack klugman is my kind of gal. i'm so glad you found The One, your search can now end. just in time for chocolate cookies again next week.... i wonder why yours were so flat? the weird mysteries of baking. they look so yummy.

Natashya said...

I just saw Twelve Angry Men with Jack Klugman, I love him. I miss Quincy.
Your cookies look great, nice that you had helpers.
I am just now remembering that I forgot to pack them in the lunches this morning.... after promising!

Andrea said...

I'm so glad you gave Whoppers another chance, and that you found the cookie of your dreams, yay! I loved reading your post, you are too funny. And what adorable helpers, way to pass off the sifting :)

Pamela said...

Gee, Cathy...tell us how you really feel! ;o) I'm glad you've found a new liking for Whoppers. I was never a huge fan but remember my mom buying huge cartons of them. In making these cookie, I was admittedly snacking away on them!
Your little boy looks so serious doing the sifting and the cookies look great!

n.o.e said...

Oh, you are SO right about those evil chocolate malt eggs. And also about how TWD makes us stretch and grow as bakers. Soon you'll be sifting merrily along!

The flat cookie conundrum is puzzling indeed - your picture of the cookie sheet end-on cracked me up.

I'm so glad you <3 these cookies. I have half a carton of Whoppers I could send your way!
Nancy

Flourchild said...

Im so glad you went ahead and made these cookies. Your children look like they are great helpers! I love your pictures!
You don't have a Walmart?! I thought they were everywhere ;)

Lady Baker said...

Thanks for the intro, Cath! (Who knew my brush with Jack Klugman would garner such attention? I love that there are people out there who see his ccontribution to TV!)

I had the same aversion to Whoppers and left them out of my recipe...there's something about them that make my throat feel funny...like itchy..I can't explain it...Granted I have not had them in 20 years, so maybe I should take a page from your book and try them again!

Your cookies look great!

Marie said...

I loved this post. You are a great writer. You make me want to make them again today! I love Ralphie and the whole time I was making these I kept thinking of him and his special secret message decoder and the message, Don't forget to drink your Ovaltine! I love whoppers so these were a real treat for me, especially when I put them together in pairs with marshallow fluff. Yummo!

Laura said...

Wow - what a fantastic post Cathy! So glad you ended up confronting those childhood fears and got a great cookie out of the deal
;-)

Long live A Christmas Story!

Prudy said...

There are so many things I love about this post. Let me start with the fact that you cursed the Easter Bunny and made me laugh. Second, your kids are adorable, just sooo cute, especially holding a poison apple. Third, I can completely relate to the notion of wanting to skip for not liking this or that, and then finding out the Dorie reigns supreme. You complete me-another hilarious line. Your cookies look fabulous! You are becoming one of my favorite Tuesday stops.

Melissa said...

I'm so glad you gave Whoppers another chance and liked them. These cookies really were amazing, I'll be making them again for sure!

Anne said...

Your posts are so funny, I was dying laughing at the "you complete me." LOL. I love the photo with the book, cookie, and milk all set up. Great job!

Mike Spoodles said...

Wow! I wonder what flattened them. I don't know much about the chemistry of baking, I guess. Still, glad they were so amazingly delicious and that you gave Whoppers another chance!

Jules Someone said...

You totally crack me up! I loved reading this entry. My cookies came out flat as well. I'm thinking a rest in the fridge would have helped. I'm so glad you gave the Whoppers the benefit of the doubt.

Teanna said...

HAHAHA First of all... NATTY ICE! Oh man, did we drink a ton of that up at my college days at Syracuse University! You make me wish I wrote about it!

Secondly, LOVE Ralphie, LOVE your two helpers, and LOVE the fact that your inner six year old can stop haunting you!

Jamie said...

Ahhhh, Ralphie!!! I am so curious as to why yours came out flat?!?

The DeL Sisters said...

Ha! Thats funny your husband does not like chocolate, just means more for you!

SUGAR BETTY said...

That is awesome that you enjoyed them as much as I did! I also made ice cream sandwiches from them! :)

Spike said...

I think these cookies surprised a lot of people. The whopper industry must be feeling the effects!

PANTRY REVISITED by Peggy said...

I guess I made a mistake skipping this week. Your post cracked me up and I am now wanting one of your cookies sooooo bad. Can't you just share one? :)

Engineer Baker said...

Haha, I love your post - too funny! I agree though, these cookies are The One. I'll fight you for them :)

Rebecca said...

OMG, I've got to buy me some of them sifting children. ;)

Bridgett said...

How cute are your kids helping out? I love it when my daughter wants to help although it does create a bigger mess. My son would rather eat the ingredients! My cookies turned out flat so I think I have issues as well. So now we can start the ever-fashionable flat cookie movement!

Kelly D said...

We are in sync with these. AWESOME. Glad you didn't listen to your inner 6 yr old.

I have heard Martha Stewart say that using a whisk is sufficient sifting. I say go for it.

Beth G. said...

What a great post~ I loved these cookies too! Great job~~

HoneyB said...

I hate sifting also....and only do it when I absolutely think I cannot get away with it. Glad you loved the cookies!

The ovaltine made me think of Ralphie too!

Kimberly said...

To this day I cannot eat Boston creme donuts...I was five, my mom handed me a chocolate iced donut without a hole in it, and I figured it was the coolest donut ever because they had left in the hole so I could have more chocolate icing. Took a big bite and out oozed what looked for all the world like mayonnaise...It was all I could do not to be a very sick little girl right there.

Brave you for trying Whoppers again! And that poison apple pic is hilarious.

Flourchild said...

Your so funny! No worries on not knowing what Walmarts nickname is. I have two teenage girls that keep me updated on the hip stuff of life! Your doing great and will be there before you know it! By the way your kids are darling! Keep baking and I will be back to see those Chocolate Chunkers..yum!

Anna said...

Try adding bits of original Cowgirl Chocolate in your cookies or for any other baking. She has truly unique flavors and they are out of this world.
Cheers
Anna
www.cowgirlchocolate.com

Michelle Ioapo A'etonu said...

thanks for you comment and for making me feel so welcome! your blog is great...i love your stories! i'm going to check out Barefoot Bloggers myself! Thanks for the tip!

Marthe said...

Your cookies look very tasty!!

Jacque said...

Wow, I'm so glad you like them, I mean, LOVED them. I loved them too.

hehe, Ralphie... what a great movie.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Great post! Very funny. I'm not the "sand between coats" kind of person either!

Di said...

I love your helpers. You know, I was in such a rush making these cookies that I totally missed the instruction to sift. I just put my dry ingredients in a bowl and whisked them together. The Easter malted eggs were my first experienc with malt, too.

Rachel said...

A million, you're welcomes! I'm so glad you decided to make them and that you love them. TWD Florida Pie made me stop hating coconut and I'm glad this recipe did the same for you and whoppers. Now go and spread the whopper love, my child. :D

 
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