I’ve never made a big deal about Valentine’s Day. It’s nice to get some flowers but I don’t expect anything else. We don’t even bother going out to eat on Valentine’s Day anymore because the restaurants are always so crowded. Besides, my birthday is less than a week later so it’s easier to celebrate both occasions then. But there is one thing I love about Valentine’s day, especially since I started this blog: it’s a great excuse to make chocolate desserts!
I decided to make some cookies because Brandon’s coworkers have been asking for more cookies from me ever since my epic cookie testing project last December. It’s definitely flattering that they liked my cookies so much, so it seemed like a good idea to keep them happy and to find a great recipe to post for Valentine’s Day at the same time! I found these chocolate malt cookies in one of my Martha Stewart cookbooks and thought they would be really nice paired with a cherry-white chocolate filling.
Usually I find chocolate cookies kind of boring (I’d rather have a brownie!) but I really like the subtle malt flavor. These chocolate malt cookies are really easy to make and they come out of the oven a little bit crispy around the edges, but soft and chewy in the middle. They’re good candidates for a sandwich cookie, but they’re just as good on their own.
The creamy filling is white chocolate mixed with cream and cherry juice. I had imagined the filling would turn out more red or pink, but using dark cherries resulted in a more purple color. You could use less juice to get a lighter color or you can substitute raspberries for a redder color. My only nit pick is that the white chocolate really overpowers the cherry juice and the cherry flavor doesn’t really come through. But the recipe I based it on specifically says to use good quality white chocolate which I didn’t have in my pantry. So maybe it will work better with good quality chocolate but even if it doesn’t the filling still tastes really good (and I’m not usually a big fan of white chocolate). Besides, if I’m going to have a colored filling I’d rather use natural ingredients instead of a dye.
If you’re looking for an easy Valentine’s treat or just a quick chocolate pick-me-up these cookies are a great option!
Cherry Chocolate Malt Cookie Sandwiches
adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies
Dessert, Cookies | Yield: 18-20 large cookie sandwiches
Prep time: 40 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 50 min
- 2 cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. course salt
- 1 cup (8 oz. – 2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
- 2 tbsp. hot water
- 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen pitted dark, sweet cherries
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 7 1/2 oz. good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Sift together flour, cocoa, malted milk powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in egg, vanilla, creme fraiche and hot water.
- Add in the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
- Scoop out the dough with a tablespoon and place each mound at least 3 inches apart on large parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just firm, 10-12 minutes. Transfer the parchment to wire racks and cool cookies completely.
- While the cookies cool, put the cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until tender and juicy, about 8-10 minutes (longer if using frozen cherries). Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a food processor or blender to puree the cherries. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. Set aside.
- Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or over low heat. Remove from heat and very slowly pour in the cream, whisking steadily to incorporate it. Add cherry juice, whisking in a little at a time until you get the color you like (using all will give you a dark purple like mine). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Spread 1 tablespoon on filling onto the bottom of one cookie and sandwich another on top. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.
Stack the cookies between layers of parchment and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.