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~ Whoppers Milk-Chocolate Malted-Milk-Ball Cookies ~

IMG_2092Back in the 1970's, a shopping trip with mom to Hazleton, Pennsylvania's indoor Laurel Mall, was not complete without picking up a carton of Whoppers -- conveniently located close to the checkouts in the K-Mart.  I was almost a teenager.  My brother, three years younger, required a stop at K-Mart to appease him -- and it was always our last stop at the mall.  Whoppers were our treat for the thirty-minute car ride home, and, as mightily as we all tried, it was next to impossible for mom, David, and I, not to polish off the contents of that entire milk-carton-shaped container.

Eating candy out of a milk carton = a kid's dream come true.

IMG_1940Produced by The Hershey Corporation, Whoppers are crunchy malted milk balls covered with a milk-chocolatey coating.  They're about 3/4 inch in diameter and, besides their signature malted milk centers, they are known for their unique packaging:  a large, 12-ounce sized milk-carton-shaped box.  They come in smaller 5-ounce boxes too (the size sold in most movie theaters), and, in plastic "fun sized" tubes containing a judicious twelve or three pieces of candy.

IMG_1955In 1939, the Overland Candy Company introduced the Whoppers' predecessor:  Giants.  In 1947, Overland merged with the Chicago Biscuit Company, Leaf Gum and Leaf Machinery.  In 1949, the then Leaf Brands reintroduced the candy under the name:  Whoppers.  In the 1960's, Leaf Brands was purchased by W.R. Grace, which Leaf repurchased in 1976.  Hershey Foods acquired Leaf in 1996, where they continue producing the now iconic Whoppers to this day. 

What is malted milk powder?

6a0120a8551282970b016763395fd8970bIt's a combination of malted barley, wheat flour, malt flour and powdered milk containing additives like sugar and flavorings like vanilla or chocolate.  The term "malt" refers to a process where a grain is placed in a warm environment, allowed to sprout, and is quickly dried to a fine powder. Malted milk powder was invented by a London pharmacist, James Horlicks, in 1869.  His intention was for it to be a liquid supplement for infants and invalids, but it quickly found popularity in unexpected food markets.  Because it was lightweight and nonperishable, explorers like Admiral Richard E. Byrd took it to Antarctica, where he named a mountain range after Horlicks.  Because of its pleasant, sweet taste when mixed with milk, people in general started drinking malted milk for enjoyment.  Mothers, like mine, added it to milk to entice little girls like me (who hated plain white milk), to drink their milk.

IMG_2054These cookies just might be the easiest cookie to make -- ever.

IMG_197112  ounces malted milk balls

1  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (2 sticks)

1  cup lightly-packed light brown sugar

1/4  cup instant malted milk powder

1  large egg, at room temperature

1  tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/4  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon salt

IMG_1959 IMG_1959 IMG_1959~ Step 1.  Place the malted milk balls in a 1-gallon food storage container and seal the bag.  Using the flat side of a meat mallet, give the Whoppers several whacks to break them into random-sized bits and pieces.  Set aside.

IMG_1976 IMG_1976~ Step 2.  In a large bowl, on medium-high speed of electric mixer, place and thoroughly combine butter, light brown sugar, malted milk powder, egg and extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a large rubber spatula, about 1 minute.

IMG_1982 IMG_1982 IMG_1982 IMG_1982~Step 3.  Remove the mixer -- it won't be needed any more.  All at once, add all of the flour, baking soda and salt. Using the large rubber spatula, thoroughly incorporate the dry ingredients into the butter mixture -- this will take a minute or two, but it's easy to do.  A thick, uniformly-colored cookie dough will have formed.  Add and thoroughly fold in the Whopper pieces.

IMG_2003 IMG_2003 IMG_2003 IMG_2026~Step 4.  Using a 1 3/4" ice-cream scoop, place 12-15 scoops of cookie dough, well-apart on each of 3, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans that have been lined with parchment.  Work one-pan-at-a-time, meaning:  Chill a pan of cookies in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. When first pan comes of out of refrigerator, place the second pan in. When the second pan comes out, place the third pan in.  When each pan comes out of refrigerator:  Bake on center rack of preheated 350° oven for 10-12 minutes -- cookies will be very soft but puffed through to their centers, and just showing signs of light-to-medium browning.  Cool cookies, on pan, 3 minutes, allowing them to flatten out and firm up, then, use a thin spatula to transfer them a wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour.

Bake in 350° oven 10-12 minutes.  Cool on pans 3 minutes.

IMG_2022Transfer to wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour. 

IMG_2027Malted milk w/malted-milk ball cookies = a dunkers dream. 

IMG_2096Whoppers Milk-Chocolate Malted-Milk-Ball Cookies:  Recipe yields 2 1/2 dozen 3"-round cookies.

Special Equipment List:  1-gallon food storage bag; flat-sided meat mallet; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 1 3/4" ice-cream scoop; 2, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans; parchment paper; thin metal spatula; wire cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09632331970dCook's Note:  Malted milk powder isn't just for mixing into plain white milk or making malts.  It's delicious in eggnog too.  To ring in the New Year with an adult-friendly, celebratory drink, try my recipe for ~ Thick Creamy Eggnog & Rum Milkshakes 'n Malts ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)


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