Shortbread gets a malted milk makeover in this recipe. Pair it with bittersweet glaze and coarse grey sea salt for the most divine flavor combination!
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 malt ball-inspired shortbread cookies came from.
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.
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 and in many well-stocked grocery stores nationwide.
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.
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.
Grey Salt Shortbread Malt Balls
- 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
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- Coarse grey sea salt for sprinkling
- 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.
- 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.