Last week I kicked off Friday deliveries of baked goods to Adamant Coop with a shipment that included Malted Milk Cookies. My particular version involved adding malted milk powder to my not-really-top-secret chocolate cookie recipe and making some adjustments for a softer texture. BUT just as valid would be these malted milk ball cookies from Sweet & Vicious*.
Sweet & Vicious is a cookbook that is not shy about using candies to make your cookies / cakes / cocktails. Sure, it’s common to decorate with candies (cotton candy crowned cake anyone? That’s page 34) but you can integrate them in so many other ways (okay, not that many other ways, mostly crushing, melting and chopping). . . . There are the crushed red hots in the Kiss Me Frosting, the melted Lemonheads in the Lemonhead Cake, the candy orange slices chopped and mixed into the batter of their Chocolate Mug Cake, ten-layer Mr. Goodbar cake, root beer barrels in the Root Beer Float cookies, and the cake scraps in the accurately-names Cake Scrap Cookies. You know, candies make cookies, cakes make cookies. . .
Cookies also make cookies because Cookie Butter is a thing. Or Biscoff Spread, as it’s officially called, in which Biscoff cookies have been processed into a butter like consistency – which you can then use to make more cookies. I used to think that such a thing existed only in Europe, or at least metropolitan centers, but no – it’s right there with the peanut butters in my little downtown Montpelier grocery store. If you don’t know what you would do with cookie butter (besides eat it on a spoon) there’s a Biscoff guide to help you. I myself used it to create the world’s sweetest no-bake bars, in conjunction with crumbs from a batch of biscotti that had outlived their usefulness as biscotti. Also from those biscotti (biscotti are not a strong seller): I crushed them and used the crumbs in place of oats in the Granola-Crusted Walnuts recipe, thereby inventing Cookie-Candied Walnuts.
We can wander even further down this path with homemade candies being repurposed into cookies. Usually this happens to me when I’ve messed up a batch of candy in some way, and it must be added into brownie batter (it’s the baking version of upcycling – on a related note, brownies with a black licorice swirl taste pretty good). But you can do it on purpose, too. The financiers recipe in Caramel by Carole Bloom has you make almond pralines then crush those and use them as flour in the little cakes – the caramelized sugar gives you dark toasted notes similar to the more-traditional browned butter, but with the added bonus that you get to say there’s a secret ingredient. Also, it’s not much more difficult to make almond pralines than to make browned butter. (Sadly there’s no copy of the Caramel recipe online, but here’s a more traditional version from Dorie Greenspan)
Have we all vowed to go in for a dentist appointment yet? Good. In that case I leave you with one last thought: this recipe for Lord Baltimore Cake. A cake filled with candied cherries, pecans, and crumbled macaroons, and wrapped in a meringue icing (in other words, cake, cookies, and candies all in one dish).
*Not actually as valid for my purposes, because the Coop would have had to charge about $5 per cookie once the ingredients prices were all factored in.