I love cookies, but my preference is usually that they have some chocolate of some sort in them. These cookies are completely chocolate free, and are some of my favorite. They are extremely addicting and go perfectly with coffee! Malted milk powder if you have never had it, adds a great milky carmel flavor. My favorite brand is Carnation, if you can find it (usually in the isle at the grocery store with the coffee and tea). The vanilla bean is optional but I've tried these cookies without them and it does add some very distinct flavor, but I would imagine vanilla paste would also work. I've also tried these cookies with whole wheat pastry flour but that also does change the flavor of the cookies and they taste more like graham crackers (not bad just a different flavor)...
Vanilla Malt Cookies (adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe) - makes approximately 36 2" cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups malted milk powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
3 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup white sugar
2 TBS corn syrup
1 egg (room temperature)
seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the corn syrup, once mixed add the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, malted milk powder, salt, and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and mix together. Scoop the dough onto greased sheet pans (or lined with parchment paper) and press down slightly. At this point you can either freeze to bake later (always my preference so you always have fresh cookies or bake right away. Bake 375 for 12-15 minutes. If you decide to freeze the dough, scoop the dough on a sheet pan and let it freeze solid and then put the dough into a zip lock bag. When ready to bake just simply put them on a sheet pan and into the oven- no defrosting necessary, the cookies bake better though if you press the freshly scooped dough down before freezing (you only need to slightly press the dough down otherwise the cookies will end up too flat).