licky licky yum yum — chewy horlicks cookies

by hungryrabbit on August 26, 2011

Chewy Horlicks Cookies

Malted milk was a childhood favorite—specifically if it was made with Horlicks, the classic blend of malted barley and milk powder. As a kid, I didn’t like to drink water and instead would go for any beverage with flavor. (There was no soda in sight in this young rabbit’s home.)

I have consumed many glasses of Horlicks, Ovaltine, and Milo back in those days. Both Ovaltine and Milo are chocolate-malt beverages, but are made differently, so all three have distinct flavor profiles. Horlicks had a unique taste that just clicked with me—I could drink it hot or cold, day and night. It never failed to deliver the satisfaction that I wanted. For those who love malted milk and need something portable, there’s Horlicks candy.

It’s been years since I last had my Horlicks malted-milk. I lost track of it when I first moved to US, but ever since I started this blog, I’ve been thinking of rekindling my taste for it. Yes, there’s Carnation Malted-Milk powder that you can get from supermarkets, but, the intensity is pale in comparison. So I got my jar of Horlicks from Chinatown and made myself a nice cup while contemplating how I might cook with it. I kept going back to baked goods that evoked nostalgia, both in terms of flavor and texture. Milk and cookies seemed to be the right direction, and a chewy texture would bring the right comfort factor.

So, I made Chewy Horlicks Cookies—and they immediately brought me back to childhood. I was probably 12 or so. After my parents and brothers had gone to bed around 10 PM on school nights, I would sometimes make milk tea and sneak into my grandma’s room to share it with her. We would sip it and dunk biscuits while watching movies on TV. I never told my parents and I don’t think she did either. It was our moment.

So grandma, this post is for you, even if we actually never ate these particular cookies. We did have our time together, the late night rendezvous, and the weekend afternoon dim-sum feast.

Chewy Horlicks Cookies

recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
yield:  2 dozen cookies


2-1/4 cups (11-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Horlicks (malted milk powder), plus 2 tablespoons for rolling
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 ounces) sugar , plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/ 3/4 stick) unsalted butter , melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, Horlicks, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Place 1-1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.

3. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, delicately roll dough into balls. Combine remaining 1/3 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of Horlicks in a small bowl. Working in batches, roll balls in sugar mixture to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of measuring cup, flatten dough balls to about1-3/4 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with remaining sugar mixture (about 2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.

4. Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Curt August 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

I agree, I love malted milk and haven’t had it much these past years either.

When I was a kid, I would put powdered malted milk in a bowl and eat it with a spoon.

Elizabeth of AsianinAmericamag August 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

Oh my goodness! Horlicks was so much a part of my kids’ growing up years! I love this recipe !!!! I will try and make it for my sons…I’m sure it will bring back lots of good memories. Thanks !

serena @bigapplenosh August 26, 2011 at 10:43 am

So awesome!! I wonder if this would work to make Milo cookies…

Tina@flourtrader August 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

This post inspires me to try Horlicks, I like malt but have always used the Carnation powder. The cookies look really good-great pictures. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Adryon August 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

I’m a huge malt fan and I know these have to me amazing. I love the story about your grandmother and that you had your own little secret.

Barbara | Creative Culinary August 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I love malt too but have always limited it to ice cream type treats. But I bought a jar of Ovaltine recently and need to experiment. Maybe with these…I love a chewy cookie rabbit!

Margaret August 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

The cookies look delicious, and love your late night rendezvous story with you gram…so cute!

Simone August 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm

That looks amazing and can I say Ken… I just totally love your photos!! Getting along with your new camera?

hungryrabbit August 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Funny you mentioned camera. This set were taken with my old camera, but I do love my new Nikon.

Sunny Hernandez (@foryourpiesonly) August 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

These are some seriously delicious looking cookies and since you made them I am sure they taste as good as they look! I am so putting these on my “to make” list :)

foodwanderings August 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Off the bat Wabbit this is bringing the fun into blogging and we are only at the title at the this point. Second, I am keep learning as I had no clue what was Horlick and malted milk was. So you c you made the process of learning fun. Needed that as been intense few weeks for us so I’ve been gloomy like ‘Irene’ and this is kind of shunsine and Licky licky yum yum…made me smile! :)

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen August 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Ken that just reminded me I need to buy horlicks. I adore it so much but been ages I had it. And once I’m done with my tall glass, I’ll be making these cookies. Looks great

Katherine Martinelli August 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I’ve never had Horlick’s but these look great! Will have to give both a try.

Russell van Kraayenburg August 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

So… I’ve never heard of Horlicks or malted milk, but these cookies look scrumptious. They look so pretty too! So where do I find this Horlicks? I have to go to chinatown? I’m going to ask my dad if he had heard about it because wikipedia says they make it in South Africa.

P.s. guess what I bought today! A cookie scoop! So now I can make perfect, consitent cookies.

Brian @ A Thought For Food August 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

This is the first time i’m hearing of Horlicks but now I’m really intrigued! Ken, these cookies look divine!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction August 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I’ve never had Horlicks either! We made malted milkshakes at the ice cream parlor where I worked all through high school, but we just added malted milk powder to our regular milkshakes (shhh… don’t tell!). But, these cookies look incredible. I need to hunt some of that stuff down.

Tres Delicious August 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm

It’s simply amazing. Looks rocky on the outside but inside, i presume it’s kinda soft and chewy.

Monet August 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

The best cookies have memories attached to them. I’ve never heard of Horlicks before, but I’m taking your word on it. Now I’m craving to create a cookie that will remind me of my childhood! Thank you for sharing. I hope you are having a blessed and beautiful day.

Su-yin August 30, 2011 at 10:36 am

You know, I was never a fan of Horlicks in the original “drink” form, but LOVED these little Horlicks “sweets” that I used to try back home. These cookies look fab, I might replace the Horlicks with Milo ;)

hungryrabbit August 30, 2011 at 10:59 am

Be careful with Milo. Since it’s a freeze dried product, it might change the texture of the cookies. Ovaltine is probably a better choice.

Gail August 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

I LOVE Horlick’s so much more than any American version of malted milk. It’s flavor is so much more intense. These cookies look lovely and dunkable!
3 cheers for a cookie to dunk!

Marian (Sweetopia) August 31, 2011 at 7:34 am

These cookies do look licky licky yum yum… in fact they’re calling to me for breakfast!

Dawn @ Kitchen Lore September 1, 2011 at 2:21 am

These look delicious, and it’s hard to sell me on cookies without chocolate. I love malt – I’ll be trying these soon!

Dawn @ Kitchen Lore September 1, 2011 at 2:23 am

For those who aren’t familiar with Horlicks: it’s the original malted milk, from British brothers who moved near the Chicago area and made the stuff in Wisconsin. It’s not surprising that Horlicks has a stronger flavor, since they have the original patent.

kickpleat September 20, 2011 at 12:53 am

I used to drink Ovaltine as a kid and loved it. Now I live in Chinatown and I see Horlicks and Ovaltine even more often than I did back then. These cookies look really amazing so I’ll pick up a tin and try and relive some memories!

Rosie October 4, 2011 at 1:43 am

Thanks for posting this recipe! I baked half a batch of them on the weekend although I substituted malted milk powder (from King Arthur Flour) for the Horlicks. My cookies looked a lot flatter and didn’t have the crackly look like yours, though.

BUT! They were really yummy and I’d bake them again!!

hungryrabbit October 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

Sometimes when the temperature is too warm, it’s spreads more. Roll the balls and chill it for 30 minutes before you bake, that should help.

Rachel April 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Hi. I would love to try this recipe but do you have any way of converting the measurements into grams for us Brits?


hungryrabbit April 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Hi Rachel, this might help you with the conversion. – Ken

Rachel April 5, 2013 at 7:13 am

Hi Ken.

Thanks for the link but really I’m looking for how to convert tablespoons (of butter) and cups (of sugar etc) into grams. As a Brit I just can’t understand how you measure out butter into a cup. Do you melt it first or what? And if you do, doesn’t that create a lot of waste?

I’m just curious.

hungryrabbit April 5, 2013 at 8:17 am

Hi Rachel, 6 tablespoons of butter equals 3 ounces/85 g. You do melt the butter in advance, just as the recipe says. This gives the cookies the chewy texture. -Ken

Jackie July 3, 2013 at 1:18 am

Hi Ken

Can you get Horlicks in any of the american markets.

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