Malt-Easter chocolate chip cookies

This Easter was a sad one for me – I didn’t receive a single egg!

Sure, I may have told people that I was trying to be healthy and cut down on sugar, but still… it’s Easter!

On Easter Monday I went out to see if I could find any bargain reduced eggs and treat myself. I don’t know why Easter egg chocolate is better than normal chocolate, but it definitely is…

As it happened, there weren’t any actual eggs (apart from One Direction ones, wonder why no one bought those…) but what Tesco did have to offer my was half-price bags of Malteaster Bunnies – and so the idea for these cookies was born.

The dough on its own is delicious, with Ovaltine powder to give it a distinctive malty taste, but the two bags of massacred bunnies plus a bar of milk chocolate chopped and added to the mix really make these a Malteser-lover’s delight.

My first batch didn’t go entirely to plan, they spread too thinly and were a little oily, but I think I must have measured something incorrectly as the second batch turned out fine, with only 10g less butter difference to the first.

They are still quite thin cookies, falling into the soft and chewy rather than thick and cake category, but I liked them and they went down well with my taste testers at work too.

You could make these at any time of year – just swap the seasonal bunnies for one of those Malteser bars and it should work fine. Actual Maltesers I always find go chewy when baked, but feel free to experiment and let me know how it goes!

Malt-Easter chocolate chip cookies (basic cookie recipe adapted from Cookies & Cups)

  • 105g unsalted butter
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 medium egg
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g (two sachets) Ovaltine powder
  • 2 bags (around 100g) Malteaster Bunnies, chopped
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped

Chop the butter into cubes then add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, this will take a couple of minutes. Add the vanilla bean paste and the egg and beat again until well combined, then sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and Ovaltine and beat once again until it all comes together. Fold in the chopped chocolate and bunnies, then chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

Divide the dough into equal-sized balls – I got 14, weighing 45g each. Chill again while you pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan) and then place spaced out on a baking sheet, 6 at a time. Bake for around 10 minutes, until just starting to crisp around the edges. Leave to cool on the baking sheet – if you try and move them while hot they’ll break and you’ll be forced into eating warm gooey cookie dough, and no one wants that…

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I’m entering these cookies into Choclette’s We Should Cocoa challenge, this month hosted by Rachel who chose Easter as the theme. They’re a great way of using up any sad looking bunnies leftover from the weekend!

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Malteser birthday cake

Last weekend was my lovely friend John’s birthday. He has been kind enough to say some very nice things about my cakes in the past, so I couldn’t let the occasion pass without baking something special.

When asked what type of cakes were his favourite, he said ‘sweet, not fruity’ so naturally I took that to mean chocolate.

I looked around a bit before settling on this chocolate malteser cake.

I decided to make it more birthday-ish I would double the icing so I could cover the whole thing as well as the inside and top, and arrange the maltesers in a more decorative pattern.

The sponge didn’t come out quite as well as I’d hoped, it wasn’t exactly dry but it wasn’t as moist or light as I would have liked either.

I don’t know if this is because I substituted the 3 medium eggs the recipe required for 2 duck eggs, but they had been given to me by one of the friendly pony’s colleagues and were too fresh and delicious not to use.

I also used less almonds and buttermilk than the recipe called for, purely because of the size packs they come so I wouldn’t have to waste any.

If I made it again I’d use a different sponge recipe, but the icing worked well and the birthday boy was happy, so overall it was a success.

Chocolate Malteser Birthday Cake

For the sponge:

  • 3 medium chicken eggs, or 2 duck eggs
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 50g melted butter
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Whisk the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes or until they have trebled in size. Add in all the other ingredients and mix to combine. Split the mixture between 2 greased and lined 7″ round cake tins, and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees. Leave the cakes to cool while you make the icing.
For the icing (makes enough for the cake and 6 cupcakes):
  • 250g marscapone
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 large sharing pack maltesers
Beat the marscapone until smooth then gradually sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add a little milk if the mixture it too thick to beat.
At this point I put the sponges, icing, maltesers and cake tools into a box (along with some cupcakes and ice packs), as the birthday celebrations were taking place 45 minutes away from my house and I wasn’t sure the cake would make the journey.┬áHandily the pony’s parents live near by, so I borrowed their kitchen to assemble the cake.
To assemble, first chop the maltesers roughly in halves. I separated the neat looking ones to go on top and used the rest inside the cake and to decorate some cupcakes.
Spread a layer of icing on top of one of the sponges, then scatter chopped maltesers on top. Add the other sponge on top, then coat the top and sides with the rest of the icing. Leave in the fridge to cool for a while, then arrange the maltesers on top in a pretty pattern. Enjoy!