Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vegetable Gardens

I hope you all had a great weekend! Ours was pretty low key; we celebrated my Dad’s birthday, began our vegetable garden, and baked these cookies. This is the first time I have ever planted a vegetable garden, so I am slightly apprehensive about it, mainly because I have a tendency to kill everything that I try to grow (with the exception of a kid). I have a funny feeling that Aiden will not let me kill these plants, because  2 1/2 year olds have a funny way of never letting you forget to do things that interest them. I love the idea of having fresh organic vegetable right in my backyard. I think it’s going to be a great little project for Aiden and myself, and he has already had so much fun planting all the seeds.

Seeds plated in a small greenhouse

Growing up we always had fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables available to us every summer. My grandpa had an enormous fruit and vegetable garden in his backyard. He had a very large raised bed garden on one side, and the other side of his yard was filled with fruit trees.  Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, onions, apricots, apples, peaches, and cherries were just a few things that he grew. Most summer evenings after a long day of work in the bakery, you could find him in the backyard tending to his garden. It was such a great thing to always have all of this wonderful produce available to us that was local, and we knew exactly how it was grown and produced, it was something he loved to do, and have for his family.

I remember one summer, I really wanted to grow cantaloupe, so he got me some seeds, and I secretly planted them in one of my parents flower gardens. Well,  those melons started to grow, and spread, and soon the garden was filled with small little melons and lots of vines. He was absolutely tickled when he saw that, he just loved it.

It’s been almost two years since we have had the vegetables that he grew. Although the summer that he passed away he was extremely sick, he still somehow managed to plant his garden full of veggies for his family, and we got to enjoy them even after he had passed. It was such a kind and selfless thing to do for us; and although we knew he was suffering greatly at that time, he never let us know it. It was suh a great gift that he gave us, but it was just the kind of person he was.

I suppose he is the reason I am planting this garden, as a reminder of him, and what he always did for us every year. I want to continue doing something that was important to him, and teach it to my son. We are starting off small, with some tomatoes and cucumbers, until I get the hang of it. Hopefully next year, we will expand to more, but I think this is a good place to start. I know that he would be so happy to see me doing this, and that’s why I am going to break my plant killing cycle and properly tend to this garden, so that we can enjoy our vegetables this summer :)

And as for the cookies, they are thin, soft, have a chewy centre, and are slightly crisp around the edges. They have a wonderful malt flavour, and are studded with chocolate chips. These are what I would consider to be the perfect chocolate chip cookie; I love a soft and chewy cookie.

If you anyone has any advice or tips on starting or growing a vegetable garden I would love to hear them!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Jessica

Thin and Chewy Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons malted milk powder*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

3. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix melted butter, and both sugars until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until well incorporated. Add in the vanilla, then the malted milk powder, and mix until combined.

4. Add in the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips, and mix until just combined, about 10 seconds.

5. Spoon or scoop the cookie dough onto the lined sheets, leaving 2 to 3 inches apart as the cookies will spread a lot.

6. Bake the cookies for about 8 to 9 minutes, until the edges are brown and the centres are puffy. Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Jessica’s Notes:

  • I have searched high and low and have been unable to find Malted Milk Powder in Canada, so I used plain Ovaltine (no chocolate added, and is whitish). If anyone in Ontario knows where I can find it please let me know :)
  • I used mini chocolate chips because I think the suit a thin cookie better, but feel free to use whichever type of chocolate chip you prefer.
Good luck and Enjoy!
Jessica

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier.

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