Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 7, 2012

Spoiler alert: the secret ingredient is chocolate malt powder.

Sorry, did I give that away too early? My dad always told me to play my cards closer to my chest. But I was just too excited to keep my secret to myself.

I've been meaning to make these cookies for a while, ever since I spied a giant bottle of Ovaltine for sale at my local supermarket. Do you guys remember Ovaltine? The chocolate malted chocolate milk powder that has the ability to turn a boring old glass of milk into an amazing drink akin to a chocolate malt? Adding Ovaltine to my milk was the only way my parents could get me to drink an entire glass of milk when I was a little kid.

Ironically, now that I'm all grown up and actually appreciate the taste of milk, I've started to realize that I'm vaguely lactose intolerant. Funny how that works out, right? This is especially bad news for me, since I've been known to chug bottles of chocolate milk after intense workouts (I'm not crazy -- chocolate milk is one of the best recovery drinks you can drink. Trust science!). Not to mention I just bought a giant bottle of Ovaltine powder. What to do, what to do?

And that's when I came across the Pioneer Woman's recipe for malted milk chocolate chip cookies. Holy cow. Problem solved. What if I just substituted the recipe's use of malted milk powder with Ovaltine... in other words, chocolate malted milk powder?

I imagined that if I had picked up this cookie at some random barbecue or party, I would definitely realize that these cookies have a special ingredient. Immediately after biting into my first cookie, I could tell that it had an extra something something. It reminded me of childhood summers spent sweltering in the sun and taking long bike rides in the hot hot heat. Maybe I wouldn't be able to put a name on the taste, but I would definitely spend the rest of the time figuring out what on earth it is as I reached for my second cookie. And third. And fourth. 

Let me save you some time now, lest you find yourself at some random party eating delicious chocolate chip cookies wondering why on earth they taste so damn good.Ovaltine -- it's the secret ingredient that's about to blow your chocolate chip cookie experience out of the water.

Ovaltine Chocolate Chip Cookies



Special Equipment:
  • parchment paper or a Silpat mat 

For the Cookies:
(makes around 24 3-inch cookies)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Ovaltine or other chocolate malted milk powder, unleveled
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and Ovaltine until well-combined. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Take your time -- a good creaming process normally takes around 5 minutes on medium-high speed. 

  4. When the butter and sugar are ready, turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on to low speed and beat in the egg and vanilla, making sure to beat until just combined.

  5. Once the egg and vanilla have been incorporated into the sugar mixture, add the flour/baking powder/salt/Ovaltine mixture all at once and continue to beat until just combined.

  6. Use a rubber spatula to stir fold in the chocolate chips. 

  7. Line baking sheets with parchment -- this is super important as the cookies have a tendency to stick to the pan. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to place batter on to the baking sheets, making sure to separate the cookies by 3 inches (the cookies spread while baking).

  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Generally, an 8-minute bake produces cookies with a soft and gooey center, while a 10 minute bake produces crunchy ones. Allow to cool on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack



  1. These treats look promising. Yup, I remember Ovaltine, I'd love to eat Ovaltine a spoonful at a time, before mixing my glass of milk with another spoonful. I am sure the malt powder will make a really wonderful flavor in this choco chip recipe. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I too, have something to share...
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    p.s. We are hosting a Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway to celebrate our new Yumgoggle site, coming soon in our launch post, we hope you'll participate =)

  2. can i use milo instead of ovaltine and also, when the cookie dough is put on the parchment paper, is it in a ball shape or flattened out?

    thanks :)

    1. Hi Raymond,

      Yes, Milo works in place of Ovaltine. I used a cookie scoop to scoop out balls of dough into the parchment paper, and they flattened out into perfect circles during the baking process -- no need to flatten them out yourself. They might spread out too much and burn if you do.


  3. I made these today, and stuffed them with chocolate malt ice cream to make the BEST ice cream sandwiches. Here's the post in case you want to check it out:

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. Hello Michelle! Thanks for sharing such a mouth-watering-trip-down-memory-lane recipe. Couldn't wait to make some of these beauties for my hubby of 35 years. But I did something wrong:( My cookies didn't spread and have read and re-read the recipe looking for where I went off-course. Unless using packed brown sugar was a disasterous mistake...or cooking these during a very cold Maine winter does'n work...HELP please?

    1. Hm... are you baking in the mountains or at sea-level? What did the cookies look like?


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