I’ll Have a Malted Martha!- Vanilla Malted Cookies!- 126 eggs, 96 1/2 cups of sugar, 98 sticks of Butter, and 113 3/4 cups of flour used so far- 101 recipes to go!

October 23, 2010

Martha's Vanilla Malted Cookies

André's Vanilla Malted Cookies

In 1873 James and William Horlick, both Londoners, formed a company in Racine, Wisconsin to produce a formula for infants called Diastoid. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? It was basically powdered milk with the addition of malted barley and wheat flour. Ten years later they received a patent for their formula as well as a new name- Malted Milk.

Future generations of explorers found the high caloric content of this formula, as well as the ease to transport it, a godsend when it came to providing the sustenance needed for their long and treacherous treks across the globe. In face, one of the mountain ranges in Antarctica is named after William Horlick.

Years later folks discovered the taste sensation that malted milk provided when mixed with ice cream. Thus was born the malt shop and many sprung up across the country.

Martha’s recipe for Vanilla Malted Cookies makes good use of this familiar and delicious flavor. Malted milk is added to the regular suspects in most butter cookies. Flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and malted milk are combined into a soft batter. Martha suggests that you pipe this batter into two-inch straws from  a pastry bag. I tried this first but found the batter too resistant to being piped. Perhaps I didn’t have a large enough tip on the bag or I am a complete weakling. Instead, I broke out my trusty cookie press and squeezed out almost four dozen of these little trilobite shapes onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.

How are they? These cookies have the unmistakable taste of a vanilla malt. A perfect cross between a cookie and an ice cream treat. Delicious with coffee, tea, or a tall glass of milk. And it makes a lot of cookies very quickly. I wholeheartedly recommend giving this cookie recipe a go. It’s a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. Isn’t that what cookies are all about? Making people happy?

This post I thought I’d shake things up a bit. I have a colleague at work who uses her Facebook status to pose a question. She then writes a piece of prose using the answers she receives. I think it’s a terrific writing exercise and I’ve been chomping at the bit to try it. I went to my Facebook status and simply posted: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a…- and by the end of the next day I had thirty-eight responses. I am now going to try to take those responses and create little word snapshots. Just a few sentences to create a fictionalized description based on the responses I was given. I imagine the writing will be a bit child-like but, hopefully, not too precious. I love that my posts are usually factual stories with fictitious names, but today the story is fictitious with actual names. Wish me luck!

(By the way- I’m having to split this up between two posts because I received so many responses and I don’t want to leave anyone out.)

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a… (Pt. 1)

When Erin was quite small she’d sit quietly playing pretend in the den. Tearing through the pages of an old J.C. Penney’s catalogue, she couldn’t help but think how fancy each of the ladies looked. Their smiles seemed to glow with an almost unnatural glimmer and their clothes were so lovely. Plaids, prints, skirts, blouses, and shoes all seemed impeccably tailored to their slim and feminine forms. “That’s what I’ll be.” – Erin excitedly thought and closed her eyes to picture herself within the pages of J.C. Penney’s Holiday Catalogue. She was modeling an Aprés Ski ensemble. The caption read There’s No Business Like Snow Business and Erin smiled a warm and self-assured smile. “I’m very pretty.” – she whispered to herself and her smile widened and her heart grew warm.

Little Brian would play the radio day and night. He’d listen for his favorite tunes and when the perfect song would pop onto the air, Brian would jump around, and sing, and dance. “Gracious!” -his mother would say, entering the room with a plate of tiny bologna sandwiches and a glass of milk. “Just what are you suppose to be?” – she asked with an amused smirk. “I’m Freddie Mercury, and Gene Simmons, and John Foggerty, and Janis Ian all rolled into one, Mama!”- little Brian replied with a yelp, and a jump landing in an almost full split. His mother simply smiled and shook her head and munched on a sandwich wedge while watching her proud son bounce from floor to wall to couch to coffee table with great agility and inappropriate hip movements.

Little Charla had arranged every object in the nursery to her liking. The dolls and Teddy bears were impeccably placed according to size, color palate and country of origin along the top of her bed. Once the mass of dolls,  bears and blankets were meticulously organized in an orderly composition that satisfied Charla’s precocious aesthetic she then shouted “…And Hold It, everybody!” With a flourish she produced a sketchpad and a large box of crayons and went to work. Charla scribbled with large and dramatic movements stopping every now and then to extend her thumb before her eye, a trick she’d seen in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. “Voila!” – she exclaimed as she tore the sheet of craft paper from her pad and fell backwards onto the floor emotionally and creatively spent. “Le Artiste! Zat is what I shall be. Zee most famous and zee most rich artiste zat has ever been!” – little Charla confided in Penelope, her favorite doll and the most cooperative of her models. Penelope looked back with her perpetual smile and eternal approval. Charla smiled back and wondered to herself what the children in Paris were doing that day.

Rifling through the medicine cabinets and the nooks and corners under every sink in the tiny, tiled bathroom, little Angela found enough gauze, enough cotton balls, and enough band-aids to properly mend her sickly Rag Doll who fell victim to a recent epidemic of Newlittlepuppybitis. The doll had many open wounds and after a quick triage Angela knew she needed to stop the bleeding of white, foamy fuzz or she’d have to perform a fuzzy-wuzzy transfusion- an operation she wished she’d paid more attention to in pretend nursing school. After an hour of so of bandaging and taping and sweating and squeals of “You can make it!” and “Don’t you die on me!” the little rag doll pulled through. Exhausted and a bit self-satisfied, Angela thought to herself- “What other toy can I tease the dog with?”

Little Anne and little Julie each sat in a crowded and dark theatre many miles away from one another. Neither little girl knew the other or what they were about to experience. It was Christmastime and on the way to the theatre they enjoyed looking at all the magical lights downtown. They loved how the streets bustled with people wrapped in colorful and cheerful Winter coats and scarves. The theatres went dark and as the curtains rose on a beautiful Victorian parlor with a group of children playing around a spectacularly lit tree, Anne and Julie inched forward in their seats. As the story progressed the tree grew and Anne and Julie were transported to a place so lovely it took each of their tiny breaths away. Lovely and graceful women dressed as delicate flowers balanced weightlessly on their tippy-toes and in the end, as if by magic, it snowed on stage. Each girl looked up at their parents as they left the theatre and headed towards the car, their hearts filled with yearning and desire. “Can I take ballet lessons?”- they asked.

Sherry was a little girl with blonde curls and a soft and funny disposition. Sitting in the corner of her wood-panelled den she held her small, bald-headed baby doll in her arms and rocked gently back and forth. “Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Mama’s gonna’ buy you a mockingbird…” she sang very sweetly, very softly as she’d seen her mother do a hundred times before. “This is happiness” -she thought to herself. “Needing to be needed is what it means to be a good mama.”- and she pulled the baby doll even closer, her eyes closed tightly, scared of the time when she’d have to let go.

Cherish had bad days at school. She had bad days at home. She had bad days at church. Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall Cherish thought about how much it sucked being a kid. No one listens to me. No one pays attention to me. It’s as if I don’t even exist. I’d say “Screw It” but I’m only seven years old. I can’t wait till I’m an adult and my sarcasm can be fully appreciated.

Caryn watched the technicolor set flicker with sequined ice-skaters zooming across the stage in a carefully choreographed homage to the music of Englebert Humperdinck. Caryn wasn’t happy. “C’mon. C’mon! Move it. Bring him out already.” – she thought to herself. When the number ended, sparkling, shimmering doors opened and out came Marie. “What!?” – thought Caryn. “Where is he?! Is he sick?! What did Marie do with him?!” – after a moment of sheer panic, Donny appears nonchalantly from the audience where he’d been watching the opening number the entire time. “Oh, he’s so funny.”- Caryn thought to herself. Later in the program as Marie proclaimed she was a little bit country and Donny, being the rebel he is, proclaimed he was a little bit Rock & Roll, little Caryn thought, “Oh, Donny, so am I. So am I. And one day you’ll find out.”- she then received a shock of static electricity as she tongued the screen of the old Zenith.

Angela got to play Mary in her Sunday school’s Christmas nativity pageant. It was quite an honor. She was thrilled with the costume and thankful she didn’t have any lines to memorize. All she had to do was be led around the stage by the boy playing Joseph, kneel down in the cardboard manger, and hold a baby doll, lovingly while her parents took a gazillion photographs. “I’m good at this.”- she thought, thankful she didn’t have to play an angel, or worse, a donkey. She looked down at the little baby doll and made a mental note- “When I’m a mama I want two kids.  A girl named Sally and a boy named Jesus.”

It was Sunday afternoon television and watching an enormous African elephant raise it’s trunk high above his head and let out a loud and ferocious blast from his trunk, Sarah’s eyes focused on the little lady in khakis holding an enormous camera and trying not to get smooshed. “Wow…Cool.”- she thought to herself. She pictured herself in that woman’s shoes. Traipsing off to foreign places with exotic sounding names like Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Boca Raton. “That’s what I’ll do.”- little Sarah thought. “That’s what I’ll be… unless I can be a babysitter, a veterinarian, or a princess.” – she smiled proudly. “It’s nice to have something to fall back on.”

“His hair is so perfect. How does it do that? And those suits! Boy, I’d really look like something in one of those.”- Little Derek looked at the flickering screen of his parent’s Magnavox and thought-“Bob Barker, you will one day need a successor. Look no further for I am he. I’ll even get the dog spayed or neutered, or both! I honestly don’t know what that means. I’m only seven.” Little Derek would conduct showcase showdowns on the playground at recess and each of the children would eagerly wait for their name to be called so they could “Come On Down!” and win valuable prizes of rocks and sticks arranged in neat little piles.  Derek spent a lot of time in front of the bathroom mirror fixing his hair just right and practicing his stage presence with a Price Is Right microphone fashioned from an old chopstick with a superball taped to the end of it.

Little Meghan, too, had game show aspirations. “Oh, Mr. Bozo.” – she remarked to herself, “One day you’ll see me staring back at you from across the stage and you’d better have a truckload of prizes for me to take home, because I’m going to win like no one’s won before, clown man.” Megan, like Derek, would spend a lot of time in front of the bathroom mirror. Except she used this time to perfect her sincerest and most authentic expressions of surprise at receiving such a bounty of premium goods from Bozo the Clown on network television. She even managed to work up a few tears during one of these practice sessions and pretended to ask Bozo if she could have a glass of water and a moment to herself.

Little Mary wanted to be a dog. She liked biting people.

Little Meredith wanted to be a horse until she saw one poop.

(Pt. 2 – to be continued)

4 Responses to “I’ll Have a Malted Martha!- Vanilla Malted Cookies!- 126 eggs, 96 1/2 cups of sugar, 98 sticks of Butter, and 113 3/4 cups of flour used so far- 101 recipes to go!”

  1. Angela Says:

    Well done Andre. Great writing exercise!

  2. Jenny German Says:

    This is an intriguing subject. Brings to mind a little skinny girl whose name unfortunately rhymed who whiled away many hours looking at those wonderful ads of many glamorous flight attendants who had the opportunity to see a new exciting city everyday! Rome,Paris,London all while helping cheerful people, bringing them drinks and smiling indulgently at their happy children.It never occurred to her that she could have the perfect make up and hair-do and wear the uniform of captain of the plane,as well.

  3. sherry chenevert Says:

    I feel very honored to be included in your blog and yes I do like to feel needed and am crying at the thought of having less than two years until my last child leaves the nest. What will God have for me then. Is my job over? What will I do when I have to retire from being a mom? Oh,,,,, I forgot there are grandchildren.
    I love you Andre. Hope you are feeling better these days. You are a very special part of my life.

  4. Russ Says:

    Vanilla malt cookies — God love Martha.

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