'Tis the Season for mailboxes everywhere to be stuffed with catalogs from vendors we've never even heard of. I have a rather embarrassing pile accumulating. I call it the "intend to" pile. I intend to browse them, but I've only made it through ONE. The one that caught my eye in particular, is called Napa Style. It's Michael Chiarello's baby and it is packed with food, wine accessories and home items. How did I not know this existed?
The catalog even piqued the Hub's interest. He found something in the food section (of course) that sounded right up his alley, "Gray Salt Shortbread Maltballs". After thoroughly reading the description, I just had to try to make my own version. I think they turned out pretty great.
The main difference between Chef Chiarello's version and mine is that I added malted milk directly into the shortbread batter. Although tempted to leave this out, I decided to go ahead with the salting of the unbaked cookies as directed by the original recipe. Am ever glad that I didn't skip this step. It adds an intensity of flavor that is a little more grown-up. Also I happened to have Sel Gris so I figured, what the hay. I'd go for it.
(Sel Gris, meaning "Grey Salt" is a French sea salt that has a mild briny flavor)
I spaced these out a little far, as they don't spread very much while baking.
One thing that I found a little fiddly, was the baking time for these. You'll know the cookies are done when the top begins to crack. (see below)
I decided to coat the rounded tops with chocolate instead of the entire cookie. I didn't want too much chocolate coating to kill the delicate malted milk flavor.
An added dusting of malted milk will make these even merrier.
I really enjoyed making these. Mark and I have fond memories of both our Dads enjoying Chocolate Maltballs as a favorite snack. I'm really excited about sharing these with him tonight.
I hope you enjoy the cookie version of chocolate maltballs as much as I have!