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.
2 weeks ago