This recipe for Malted Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Cookies has been a long time coming. I have tried different versions and I think this is my best one yet.
I have long been a fan of shortbread cookies and one of my favorites is no longer found in any market I shop. My simple shortbread cookie with chopped pecans and mini chocolate chips was replaced on the shelf with another variety and I was bummed. Seriously bummed, so I decided to go about and make them myself.
I have tried several different recipes and variations, time in the oven and ingredients and feel this is my best effort to date. The fact that my house smelled like the french bakery La Patisserie where I worked as a kid in San Francisco made it all the better. I wanted these to be a little tangy and added the malt powder to them for that extra flavor note and topped each with Maldon sea salt flakes, which counterbalanced the rich buttery, chocolate crunch of the baked cookie. Instead of just the mini chocolate chips, I added the cocoa powder to double dip the chocolate factor in the dough, too.
These are fantastic and instead of the usual rounded cookie, I opted for rolling the dough out and cut them into rectangles.
So in a bowl went the malted powder, powdered sugar and dark cocoa powder. I whisked these to mix and chopped my pecans and measured out my chocolate chips.
I creamed the room temperature butter until it was fluffy for a minute on high and added the malt/sugar/cocoa mixture. Cover the top of your mixer! I swear whenever I use cocoa powder it’s like an explosion when added to the mixer. Who needs the added cleanup! Next I and added some vanilla and mixed completely.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and grab a wooden spoon, or my favorite for sticky doughs, a rubber spatula. Mix the flour, cornstarch in and fold the mini chocolate chips and chopped pecans in, but don’t over mix, just until it all comes together.
Next, and I learned this trick from Dorie Greenspan – it’s BRILLIANT!
I scraped the dough with my spatula into a gallon size Ziploc bag, but do not seal the bag. Using my hands I carefully pressed the dough to fill out the entire bottom of the bag. Next, I gently rolled out the dough until it was about a 1/4″ and filled the bag to the top. While rolling, make sure no creases are formed in the dough and avoid air pockets. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up the butter rich dough.
Next, I took a sharp knife and sliced the bag away. Placing a sheet of parchment paper on top, I carefully flipped it over and using a ruler, I marked out and sliced 8 columns. 4 sliced cuts the other way made 32 total rectangle cookies. If the knife sticks a little dip it in hot water, it made it easier, but be sure to wipe off the water first, then continue slicing.
The dough was sticky, as the butter comes to room temperature, so I lifted the entire sheet of parchment and placed it on a cookie sheet then popped it all in the refrigerator to firm up enough to remove and place on the cookie sheets.
After 10 minutes in the refrigerator to firm the dough I placed 16 cookies per pan lined with my Silpat baking sheet, or parchment paper if you like, and topped with some Maldon sea salt flakes. In the oven they went for the magic to happen and 18 minutes later they were ready.
Look at these beauties! And the aroma from these permeates your home. Chocolate goodness with the promise of delicious comfort and hominess. Is that a word? Anyways, these are so good!
Break out some milk or your favorite drink to go alongside these. The slight crunch on the outside reveals a tender buttery chocolate, soft crumb cookie.
The little nuggets of melted chocolate chips and pecans make me smile and the added tang from the malt is perfect. Each bite has a bit of salty goodness mixed with the sweet chocolate and sour tang from the malt.
These are so delicious and I already have two other ideas on this basic recipe for different flavors, but thats for another day. Today I am enjoying these…
- 1¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup dark cocoa powder
- ½ cup malt powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup pecans
- Cream the butter, malt, cocoa powder and powdered sugar together until completely combined and smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and add in the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
- Remove bowl from mixer and add in the flour and cornstarch, mixing with a rubber spatula. Fold in the mini chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Do not over mix, just until combined. It will be sticky.
- Transfer the dough into a gallon sized Ziploc bag but do not seal the bag. Roll the dough to the width of the bag and ¼” thick, rolling the dough to the top of the bag. While rolling, make sure no creases are formed in the dough and avoid air pockets. Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325° and line baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet.
- Cut open the Ziploc bag and place the dough on a piece of parchment paper on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes and carefully transfer to the baking sheet. If the cookies are too "limp" to move after cutting, refrigerate for 10 minutes and then transfer to baking sheet. Top each cookie with a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and bake for 18 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Adapted from The View From Great Island’s Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies recipe.