Malt Ball Shortbread Cookies

Malt Ball Shortbread Cookies are reminiscent of the nostalgic candy. Bittersweet glaze and coarse grey sea salt add the most divine flavor!

Grey Salt Shortbread Malt Balls

I always seem to have a tall stack of mail order magazines accumulating on my bed side table. When I have time, I enjoy browsing through them. The food magazines are always the first I reach for. That’s where the idea for these malted milk ball-inspired shortbread cookies came from.

Sweet Inspiration

I spotted some malted shortbread featured in Napa Style (now defunct) and the recipe practically leapt off the page and into my mixing bowl. The cookies looked crumbly and round with a coating of chocolate and a sprinkle of grey sea salt. I am a salty-sweet girl, and I happen to keep Sel Gris on hand. 

The originals were completely chocolate-dipped. My version isn’t quite as covered. I just dipped the tops so the chocolate coating wouldn’t overtake the delicate malted milk flavor. I think it’s the perfect amount of bittersweet chocolate to chewy cookie.

Grey Salt Shortbread Malt Balls
Malt Ball Shortbread Cookies
Grey Salt Shortbread Malt Balls

Just a pinch.

Sel gris (grey sea salt) is less salty than table salt because it still has minerals in it from the sea water. The texture is perfect on these, so don’t be afraid to add a pinch to each cookie! You can find it for purchase online. However, it’s become so popular it is carried in most well-stocked grocery stores nationwide.

Grey Salt Shortbread Malt Balls

Adding the malted milk directly into the dough gave these cookies a chewy bite. It’s a great texture and the malt flavor really comes through. And they truly are reminiscent of malted milk ball candy!

Grey Salt Shortbread Malt Balls

These taste fantastic and garnered rave reviews! Bittersweet chocolate and coarse sea salt are BFF’s. Together they’re the perfect topping for rich malted shortbread cookies. They’d be perfect for cookie exchanges around the holidays, or anytime you need a tasty homespun gift.

Related recipe: Toasted Coconut Shortbread

Grey Salt Shortbread Malt Balls

This recipe uses two specialty salts. The first, flake sea salt (such as Fleur de Sel), goes into the batter. If you don’t have flake sea salt on hand use 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt. The second is coarse grey sea salt, which can be found at most well stocked grocery stores.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 dozen

Ingredients
 
 

Cookies

  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry malted milk

Chocolate Coating

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • Coarse grey sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions
 

Cookies

  • In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until well combined (this is called cold creaming, the mixture should be slightly crumbly). Mix in vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon flake salt, and 1 cup of flour just until combined. Mix in malted milk until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining flour and mix on low speed just until the dough begins to come together.
  • Move the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pull the dough together in a ball with your hands. Wrap or cover in a bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Remove dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it.
  • Roll the dough into 1″ to 1 1/2″ balls (or use a 4 teaspoon capacity cookie scoop) and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Space the cookies 1″ apart.
  • Bake until light golden brown on the bottom, for 17-20 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheets.

Chocolate Coating

  • Melt chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl, stirring at 30 second intervals. When completely melted, dip rounded tops of cookies into chocolate and place back on parchment. Sprinkle the dipped tops with coarse grey sea salt. Allow to dry approximately 1 hour.
Keyword bittersweet chocolate, coarse grey sea salt, malted milk powder, shortbread dough
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Sue
Sue
12 years ago

You're very ambitious; I'm impressed! Those look/sound amazing:) I love Whoppers candy, so I'm sure I would love these!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
12 years ago

Haha, thank you! My first two batches were as flat as pancakes. It took some tinkering to get it right. 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

I would love to know where you found malted milk powder, it doesn't seem easy to find? Thanks.

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
12 years ago

My local grocery store carries malted milk powder, but I'd say in some areas it's hard to find. It is shelved with the dry milk products and canned milks such as evaporated and sweetened condensed. I've found that you can buy it online at Amazon, but only in bulk. It is sold by Carnation/Nestle(well, that's the brand I use.) If you have any whole foods/specialty stores around you may want to check there also. I hope you find it!

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Thank you very much, I will have to go on a search for it because these cookies look fantastic!

Karen @ Mignardise
Karen @ Mignardise
12 years ago

Just looking around and found this post…wow! These sound delicious! My husband loves malt balls, so I'll have to give these a try. Thanks!