These Chocolate Cookies Are Part Biscuit, Part Cookie

The holidays are about decadence—putting on your highest heels or nicest tie, staying out too late, pouring yourself a bit too much Champagne, and making these Frosted-Malt Chocolate Biscuits. They’re rich, but not overly sweet. They have flaky layers and dolloped frosting, which will make them (literally) stand tall next to all the other holiday cookies. They’re beautiful but understated with monochrome coloring. And they are very, very chocolaty.

The dough is essentially a biscuit dough with a little more going on. Don’t be scared, though. I’ve never made biscuits, and these cookies came out so well that they were gone by the end of the night, consumed by fewer people than I care to mention. It all comes together mostly in a food processor.

You start by pulsing chocolate wafers (I used discs, but any big, flat shape will do, like pistoles or fèves). It’s the first step, but this detail pushes things over the top, as the shards get mixed into the dough and baked, anonymous until you bite in and taste the goodness that is pure chocolate hiding in the flaky layers of your cookie.

chocolate malt biscuit cookies angle

Photo by Kelsey McClellan

The dough itself is made of flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, kosher salt and—wait for it—malted milk powder. Depending on when you were born, this might be an unfamiliar ingredient. But fear not. You can find it at your grocery store in the baking aisle or you can buy it online. It’s made of malted barley, wheat flour, and evaporated milk that, with just a couple of tablespoons, will take your cookies to the next level, imparting a subtle milky, nutty taste reminiscent of the inside of Whoppers.

Next you add butter right into the food processor, which gets pulsed with the dry ingredients until it is the size of peas. And then finally comes your cream, with a touch of vanilla extract, added by hand and mixed with a fork, to ensure that you don’t over-mix. Remember, you want those flaky layers, like a biscuit. It’ll look crumbly, but don’t freak out. Knead the whole thing a couple of times until it comes together and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill. All you have to do is let it hang out for at least an hour (though you can leave it overnight, too). Cold dough means cold butter, which means flaky layers.

Now you’re most of the way there. Feel proud. Do the dishes. Take a shower. I did all three of those things while I was waiting.

frosted malt chocolate biscuit

Photo by Kelsey McClellan

Once the dough is chilled, it’s time to roll it out and punch your little biscuit circles with a round cookie cutter, which is arguably the most fun part. Now I know I’ve been comparing these cookies to biscuits this whole time, and they are in texture, but they’re actually going to turn out much thinner than proper biscuits. That’s okay! They’re cookies after all!

The punching out goes fairly quickly, but if your mom happens to call you back in the middle of punching and you accidentally let the dough get soft (ahem, hi, mom), pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes and then continue on your way.

While the cookies bake and cool, make the chocolate frosting that goes on top. (I told you these were chocolaty.) This takes all of 5 minutes and yet the combination of chocolate, corn syrup (there’s only a little, and no other ingredient will make your frosting so glossy), and heavy cream creates a luxuriously silky concoction. In fact, I put a couple of spoonfuls in my mouth before dollops ever made it onto my cooled cookies. Then I switched spoons, people.

Last but not least, sprinkle some flaky sea salt on each one. It looks like snow on a mountain top! Or glittery holiday lights! Or jewels sparkling against your favorite party dress! And, you know, it makes these cookies taste even better.

Get the recipe:


More cookies, for your eating pleasure.

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