Milk Powder Is The Secret Ingredient To Elevate Chocolate Chip Cookies

While you might equate milk powder with baby formula or wartime rations, it has more uses than you think. Originally invented and marketed as a way to conserve liquid milk and extend the shelf life of the product, milk powder is now an essential ingredient in a wide range of sweets. For example, skim or full-fat milk powder is a key ingredient in homemade milk chocolate bars, chewy caramels, and malted milk balls.

It provides a creamy, milky richness to chocolates and other desserts while also instilling a soft yet cohesive thickness to liquid batters. In the case of chocolate chip cookies, milk powder bestows a unique flavor that will add that sought-after je ne sais quoi element.

The key is to toast milk powder to add depth of flavor, a method revealed on celebrity baker Matt Adlard's Instagram. Toasting the milk powder creates a rich nutty, caramel flavor that enriches the batter without thinning it out, as liquid milk would. It also compliments the flavor of chocolate or nuts should you decide to throw them into the mix.

How to incorporate milk powder into your chocolate chip cookies

Consider using toasted milk powder in conjunction with brown butter. Brown butter is already a well-known ingredient that can elevate countless sweet and savory dishes. Together, brown butter and toasted milk powder amplify the nutty, caramelized flavor that will set these chocolate chip cookies a cut above the rest.

To toast the milk powder, pour skim milk powder into an even layer in a baking pan and toast it in the oven until it turns golden brown. After cooling the milk powder, add it to the dry ingredients, which you'll then blend into the wet mixture of eggs, sugar, and brown butter. Chill the cookie batter for at least a few hours to ensure a thick, chewy texture and concentrated flavor that lets your secret weapon shine.

Milk powder has a long shelf life, so you have a secret weapon for many batches of cookies to come. If you'd like to use it elsewhere, rehydrate the leftover milk powder and pour it into a glass to accompany your freshly-baked cookies!