Thursday, December 02, 2010

Christmas cookies, not for Ralphie

In the movie A Christmas Story, Ralphie is disappointed when his secret message turns out to be "Drink your Ovaltine."

Last year when I was experimenting with this master dough (also mentioned here), I wanted to try the Malted Milk Buttons variation, but couldn't find any Ovaltine at our supermarket. So I put that idea aside; but when I saw jars of Ovaltine weeks later, I picked one up. It turns out that nobody here likes to drink it much, so we had more than the required two cups' worth left to make the Buttons this year. And they are very good.

As with the "Chocolate Shortbread" we invented last year, giving you the actual recipe is a little tricky, because you need exactly half of a Master Dough recipe which contains three egg yolks and so on. But I'll give you the idea and you can work it out from there...or you can buy Leslie Glover Pendleton's book...or you can find a copy of the December 15, 1998 Woman's Day Magazine.

Make a shortbread-type dough containing about 2 1/2 cups flour, 2/3 cup white sugar, a cup of butter, 1 or 2 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix in, probably with your hands, 2 cups Ovaltine-type powder and another 1/2 tsp. salt. You will also need at least 6 oz. of milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate--chips or squares, doesn't matter--for melting and dipping. We ended up using the whole 8-oz. box of semisweet chocolate, and had a few left over that did not get dipped. Squish all the Ovaltine powder (and the extra salt--not sure why that's needed, but I did put it in) into the mixed dough, and roll it into approximately 140 teaspoon-sized balls--no joke, these are quite small like Pfeffernusse. Bake on ungreased sheets for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees, but watch them--you do not want the bottoms to burn. When they've cooled enough to handle, melt the chocolate and dip the tops of the cookies into it, forming a sort of kiss-type swirl if you're skillful enough, or just getting them chocolatey if you're not. Let them set--they probably won't get firm enough unless you put them in the fridge.

As I said, we're not Ovaltine drinkers--but the cookies seem to be addictive.

This post is linked from Four Moms Cookie Exchange at The Common Room.

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