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Chocolate-Malt Sandwiches

Malted-milk powder adds a rich component to both these cookies and their filling. A double dose of chocolate (chopped semisweet and lots of cocoa powder) makes these sandwich cookies extra decadent.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 dozen
Chocolate-Malt Sandwiches

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2004


For the Cookies

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

For the Filling

  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup plain malted milk powder
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make cookies: Sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, vanilla, creme fraiche, and hot water. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.

  2. Space tablespoon-size balls of dough 3 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until flat and just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.

  3. Making filling: Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Let cool. With an electric mixer, beat malted milk powder and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half-and-half, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Mix on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  4. Assemble cookies: Spread a heaping tablespoon filling on the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat.

Cook's Note

Cookies can be refrigerated between layers of parchment in airtight containers up to 3 days.

Reviews (42)

  • LauraHurn 25 Feb, 2011

    I like this recipe, though it's pretty rich. When I next make them, I plan on adding more sugar, lightening up the filling and baking for longer so that the cookies are more wafer-like. WARNING: This recipe is only good for true chocolate lovers! ;-)

  • Luv2BakenRun 5 Jun, 2010

    I really loved the cookie, they spread and baked nicley. I added a little of milk chocolate chips to the cookie. The filling was different and bitter so I changed it up and it turned out wonderful; a wonderful contrast to the cookie (sorry Martha but I think this filling is pretty good). I added 1 cup confectioner sugar, 4 tablespoons of milk, and 6 ounces of cream cheese and doubled amount of malt.
    It was much lighter in color and all flavors really came through!!!!

  • lisamaria 1 May, 2010

    Ok, to the person who said her filling was dark and not like the picture, make sure you finish reading the directions. After the filling chills in fridge, you have to beat it for 3 mins. That is when it gets lighter in color and fluffier in texture. I am chilling mine now so the filling will set. They are good cookies! This is only the 2nd time I baked with malted milk powder. It's definitely a different taste. The fillling is light and not sweet at all. Definitely a nice recipe!

  • chrisbensch 9 Apr, 2010

    These were the hit of our United Way bake sale yesterday and all my colleagues at Strong National Museum of Play want this recipe!

  • crowlowl 23 Mar, 2010

    I am having a hard time finding malt milk mix. I found Ovaltine, but it has alot of sugar in it. Any thoughts on aking your own?

  • faberke 17 Jan, 2010

    Best chocolate cookies EVER! I didn't have creme fraiche, so I just used regular sour cream,

  • CVDW 14 Mar, 2009

    Best EVER chocolate cookies! I used whole milk for the creme fraiche and half and half since I didn't have either and they still turned out great!

  • maureenmcdonough 4 Mar, 2009

    What about the vanilla in the cookie recipe--it's not mentioned in the directions. It is mentioned in the directions for making the filling.

  • MarilynandMe 3 Mar, 2009

    These were SO worth it! The special ingredients and the time....the batch was a little large for this house though. Also, as the batter sat at room temp as I was baking, the last few cookies didn't look as good. Too flat. So I would put it in the fridge between batches.

  • mintcheese 28 Feb, 2009

    Why is everyone complaining about storage temperature? It says to refrigerate them. The only time it refers to room temperature is for the butter and the cream cheese. Unless the recipe was fixed yesterday after those comments? Not seeing a problem here!

  • Co0kielo0ver 27 Feb, 2009

    So0 are these go0d? I wo0uld lo0ve to0 try them, but I just want suggestions fro0m yo0 guys. Do0n't want to srew these up... trust me, I've had experience.

  • CherylJean 27 Feb, 2009

    Search for a recipe for creme fraiche ( and make it yourself a few days in advance of when you need to use it!

  • kimberlykeappler 27 Feb, 2009

    Creme Fraiche is located by the deli in the cheese section sometimes you find it by the block cheeses. It is a cross between cream cheese and sour cream. it is a little sweeter. You often mix it in a pasta sauce. Malted Milk powder is near the powdered chocolate drink mixes (often you will find carnation is the brand you see the most.)

  • chengkhim 27 Feb, 2009

    what is cream fraiche ? where can get it.

  • qwasi 27 Feb, 2009

    what is malted milk powder

  • phamack 14 Dec, 2008

    These are great but I had to almost double the amount of the cream cheese to get a spreadable frosting - it was nearly runny and way darker chocolate than in the picture. I came here to see if she'd revised the recipe as I got it out of her cookie book. Hmm.

  • ricson 10 Nov, 2008

    Tried these out and as usual matyha's recipe doesb'y fail/ Thanls again
    Sonya australia

  • ecbbear 17 Sep, 2008

    The cookie part is an excellent cookie for ice cream sandwiches. I made a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream and placed about 2 tablespoons of ice cream between two of these cookies to make the sandwich. You can freeze them overnight for a harder ice cream or eat them right away for a yummy soft serve treat. The cookies stayed nice and crisp and did not get soggy from the ice cream.

  • nidaba 28 Aug, 2008

    Crn n me fran n che (French for "fresh cream") is the continental European counterpart to the soured cream more traditional to Anglophone cultures. It is a heavy cream slightly soured with bacterial culture, but not as sour or as thick as soured cream. Crn n me fran n che can be made at home by adding a small amount of cultured buttermilk or sour cream to normal heavy cream, and allowing to stand for several hours at room temperature until the bacterial cultures act on the cream. Source: Wikipedia

  • dorachance 16 Jul, 2008

    What is creme fraiche ?

  • jeannied59 15 Jul, 2008

    I've made these cookies following the recipe exactly. They are absolutely wonderful. If there are any leftovers, store in refigerator. They are totally worth the effort.

  • Wishintobemartha 14 Jul, 2008

    Ovaltine and Carnation both make malted milk powder. It can be found in the aisle with the Nestle Quick Chocolate Powder that you would add to regular milk to make chocolate milk.

  • trudys_person 14 Jul, 2008

    I'm not sure what malted milk powder is - could somebody give me a couple of brand names to look for? Thanks!

  • weatkins 13 Jul, 2008

    I also noticed in the recipe that it never told me to add the 2 tsps. of vanilla extract. I assumed it was just omitted and put it in with the egg, creme fraiche and water.

  • weatkins 13 Jul, 2008

    So I made the cookies. I read everyone's comments on how to make the creme fraiche and ended up just going to Dean

  • SweetieHunny 12 Jul, 2008

    I get half my recipes from Martha Stewart, the other half from

    Explanation of Creme Fraiche:

  • canmathews 12 Jul, 2008

    These cookies are divine! I have made them several times at 5,000 ft altitude, and will add that I use a small dipper, or scooper, to make the cookies uniform so they look perfect. One is plenty per serving, very rich.
    I do refrigerate them.

  • tydyq 12 Jul, 2008

    What a bunch of whiners making comments on a cookie recipe! They should go back to eating their bon-bons and watching "The View." They're a bunch of whiners, too!

  • surlybroad 12 Jul, 2008

    I also read the last sentence twice, Beth. Too bad Martha's staff doesn't proof read as well as we do. :) I'd refrigerate the cookies between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container. (If I refrigerate anything at room temperature, my refrigerator isn't working! lol )

  • gammy5x 12 Jul, 2008

    To: DolfanDale: Sour, spoil, ferment... what ever you want to call it. Isn't that what sour cream, and sour dough starter mix is all about? Creme franiche is similar to sour cream, but richer amd sweeter and usually more expensive to purchase.

  • bethsoccer 12 Jul, 2008

    I've read this recipe twice and there must be something wrong re. editing...the last sentence (step 4.) says, "Cookies can be REFRIGERATED between layers of parchment in airtight containers AT ROOM TEMPERATURE up to three days." That probably should read "refrigerated for up to 3 days"! Most probably - what with cream cheese and half-and-half in the filling.

  • DolfanDale 12 Jul, 2008

    To Gammy5X: Won't the whipping cream and buttermilk spoil if not refrigerated?

  • cookiechick 12 Jul, 2008

    For weatkins...I found this website that describes what creme fraiche is and how to make your own. I think in the states you can buy malted milk powder in a regular grocery store. I've never seen it in Canada!

  • gammy5x 12 Jul, 2008

    Martha's recipe for Creme Fraiche: Combine 1 C. Whipping cream with 2 Tbl. buttermilk. Cover and let stand at room temp. overnight or until thick. Or...mix 1 C. heavy cream, whipped, with 1/3 C. sour cream and 1 T. sugar. (fold in s. cream and sugar.) The malt powder is available in most grocery stores... usually located in the section where drink additives are located. (chocolate syrups etc.)

  • krobinsonabello 12 Jul, 2008

    Creme fraiche is simliar to sour cream but with significantly more fat content. Some stores carry it in the specialty cheese section. (If you can't find it at your store, there are a variety of instructions for making a version of it that you can find online. Or, you might be able to substitute sour cream or a combination of sour cream and heavy cream and cut back on the hot water.) Malted milk powder is available most grocery stores. It's by the hot cocoa mixes at my store.

  • Danababe 12 Jul, 2008

    I went to food network and this is their recipe on creme fraiche:
    3 cups cream
    1/3 cup buttermilk
    In a stainless steel bowl, combine cream and buttermilk. Let sit overnight in a warm, dry place. Stir, then refrigerate.
    I also read that you can substiute sour cream for creme fraiche.
    No idea about malted milk powder.

  • weatkins 12 Jul, 2008

    Does anyone know what creme fraiche is and where I can get it? Also, suggestions on malted milk powder-- is that at the regular grocery store?

  • ecbbear 1 Jul, 2008

    I have made these cookies twice now. The 1st time I followed the recipe exactly. They were picture perfect

  • betsyrisch 2 Apr, 2008

    colesmom- get over yourself! This is a cookie recipe, not a weight-watchers salad!

  • thiskaren 30 Mar, 2008

    Whatever happened to the saying "If you can't say something nice...then don't say anything at all"? Don't you get tired of the negativity? Martha's weight is fine.

  • ulihelisdi 30 Mar, 2008

    Martha is 60 some years old, she can certainly be anything she wants, heavy, thin whatever. It's ok to be overweight as long as you are healthy. Martha does yoga exercises. She's happy being who she is. Her recipes are guidelines for us to use, we have the choice of reducing amounts, however, I agree with moneybag, indulge.

  • Moneybag 29 Mar, 2008

    Looks delicious. Why bother to cook if calories have to be avoided. I love a really decadent calorie fix every now and then.

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