Category Archives: white chocolate

Vanilla Malt Magic Bars

Vanilla Malt Magic BarsI must have a thing for sweetened condensed milk right now—this is the third post in a row that requires cracking open a can of the good stuff.Vanilla Malt Magic BarsCan you blame me? It’s just so versatile! If you want something to be smooth, creamy, or structurally sound without a million ingredients, sweetened condensed milk is probably the ingredient you want. See exhibits A, B, and C. And these brownies. And these cookie bars. Oh, and this no-churn ice cream. This one, too.

I told you, I’m a little obsessed.Vanilla Malt Magic BarsVanilla Malt Magic BarsVanilla Malt Magic BarsSweetened Condensed Milk is probably most popular as the key ingredient in Magic Bars (aka 7 Layer Bars, aka Hello Dollies). In those, it acts as a soft, chewy filling and a vehicle for various chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut. I don’t currently have a recipe for traditional Magic Bars—rest assured, you can find a million of them online—but I have taken the basic formula and put it on a blondie and made two chocolate variations, including Chocolate Malt Magic Bars! Today, I’m taking that recipe and giving it a vanilla malt makeover 😍 Vanilla Malt Magic BarsThat’s right—Vanilla Malt Magic Bars, y’all! They’re soft and chewy with a big vanilla malt flavor and a buttery cookie crumb crust. The filling is studded with white chocolate chips and broken pieces of Golden Oreo, and the tops are ever so slightly crackly thanks to the way sweetened condensed milk caramelizes in the oven.Vanilla Malt Magic BarsThese bars require just seven ingredients and come together quickly and easily…again, because sweetened condensed milk makes things a snap.Vanilla Malt Magic BarsOh, and they stay soft and delicious for days on end because…well, you know.Vanilla Malt Magic Bars

Vanilla Malt Magic Bars
makes 1 8- or 9-inch pan, about 12-16 bars

30 vanilla sandwich cookies (like Golden Oreos), divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup malted milk powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Heavily grease a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides. Grease again. Set aside.

Place 24 vanilla sandwich cookies the bowl of a food processor and process until pulverized. Add 5 tablespoons of melted butter. Pulse until combined. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Press into an even layer. Bake for five minutes, until set. Set crust aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk in malted milk powder and salt. Mixture will be thick and slightly grainy.

Drizzle sweetened condensed milk mixture over crust. Use a silicone spatula or the back of a spoon to carefully spread into an even layer.

Break remaining 6 vanilla sandwich cookies into pieces and scatter over sweetened condensed milk mixture, followed by white chocolate chips. Bake for 30-32 minutes, tenting pan with foil at the 10 minute mark. Bars are done when the center jiggles just slightly when the pan is jostled.

Let bars cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use overhang to remove bars from the pan to a cutting board. Peel off foil. Slice with a lightly-greased knife and serve.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.Vanilla Malt Magic BarsVanilla Malt Magic BarsVanilla Malt Magic Bars

Funfetti Cookies

Funfetti CookiesIt’s no secret that I love sprinkles. Like big pink puffy heart ❤ ❤ ❤ them. You’d be surprised at the amount of restraint I have to practice so that half the recipes on this site aren’t loaded with rainbow-colored spots.Funfetti CookiesI know it’s silly, but I don’t care. You can tell me all you want that rainbow sprinkles have no real flavor and are mostly just food coloring and other ingredients that I wouldn’t normally give a second glance, but I simply. don’t. care.Funfetti CookiesSprinkles make me happy. Don’t rain on my Funfetti parade.Funfetti CookiesI mean, how could anyone be anything but beaming while eating a soft, chewy sugar cookie bursting with color and studded with white chocolate chips? This batch is long gone, but just looking at the photos makes me smile 🙂 Funfetti CookiesYou know what else makes me smile? Miniature schnauzers (also all dogs ever), lemon cake, the pink heart sunglasses sticker in Instagram stories…and how easy these Funfetti Cookies are to make.

Sorry about that tangent. Won’t happen again. Today.Funfetti CookiesThis recipe starts with a buttery drop sugar cookie dough that you probably have all the ingredients for right now! #score Funfetti CookiesFunfetti CookiesYou could, of course, skip the accoutrements and bake up a batch of really delicious plain sugar cookies, but I promise the sprinkles and white chocolate chips are worth the extra trip to the grocery store. They take an already great recipe and turn it up to 11.Funfetti CookiesI don’t know about you, but I simply don’t have time or spare calories for cookies that aren’t an 11.Funfetti Cookies

Funfetti Cookies
makes about 2.5 dozen cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon imitation butter extract or almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (jimmies,* not nonpareils)
1 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until fluffy and lighter in color. Beat in granulated sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and optional imitation butter or almond extract, if using. Add dry ingredients in two installments, beating until combined. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in sprinkles, followed by white chocolate chips. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Scoop chilled dough in 2 tablespoon increments, and roll into balls. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 10-11 minutes, until puffy. Let cool on baking sheets for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat process with any remaining dough, letting the baking sheets come back to room temperature between batches.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.


I used jimmies for the sprinkles in this recipe. Nonpareils may not be substituted. For information on the differences between the two, see this post. Funfetti CookiesFunfetti CookiesFunfetti Cookies

Banana Pudding Cookies

Banana Pudding CookiesWhen I first started out as a New York nanny, I worked for a family that lived in East Harlem. I took care of their baby girl, whom I affectionately called “Zu” (a nickname which bears no likeness to her actual name), from the time she was nine months old to when she was two and a half. And, oh, we had so much fun together. We read a million books, danced to Mary Poppins on vinyl, and I introduced her to the Peanuts (because Snoopy rules). We blew bubbles in the backyard, gave fist-bumps and high-fives, wore silly hats, and made cakes.

Well, I made the cakes. She did a lot of stirring ☺️ The point is that it was the best job I’d ever had up to that point. From the time I arrived everyday to the time I left, we were two peas in a pod.

Banana Pudding CookiesBut if you have children or have ever spent an extended period with anyone else’s children, you know that no matter how much fun you are having together, there comes a point where cabin fever sets in and you’d rather do anything than be in the house for two more minutes. When this happened, I’d put her in a baby carrier and we’d go find something to do. When it was nice, we’d go to the playground. When it was gross out, we’d go to Target and buy things I didn’t need. And sometimes, on very special occasions, we’d hop over to Evelyn’s Kitchen, a treasure of a bakery in East Harlem, for a treat to share.

Banana Pudding CookiesWe always ordered the same thing, one Banana Pudding Pudgie. It’s a soft, chewy, white chocolate-studded cookie that tastes just like its namesake dessert. We’d go home and I’d cut it in quarters so she could grab them easily with her little fingers, and we’d enjoy it together before finding a new record to dance to. Those are some of my favorite memories ever. Just a simple little treat with my sweet, tiny friend.

When the time came for me to move on to a new family, I had no reason to frequent East Harlem or make trips to Evelyn’s Kitchen. This was a time when I was just getting into baking, and so I decided that I would figure out how to make Banana Pudding Pudgies at home. And it only took me fourteen months to get it right 😁😁😁 But I did, and for the last two years, whenever I get a hankering for a treat from Evelyn’s Kitchen, I save the subway fare I’d spend getting to and from East Harlem and make a batch of Banana Pudding Cookies instead.

Banana Pudding CookiesYou guys, these cookies taste exactly like banana pudding. No, seriously. They literally taste exactly like the combination of vanilla pudding, bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream that we grew up with. But they’re portable and much less messy 😊

There are a million pudding-based cookie recipes out there, but this one is different. It’s not made with instant pudding mix–I’ve found it makes these cookies dry and artificial-tasting. So, ditch the mix! Instead add the three main ingredients in instant mix (cornstarch, milk powder, and granulated sugar) individually, followed by a full tablespoon of vanilla extract to round everything out and give these cookies a classic pudding flavor. Combined with mashed ripe bananas and white chocolate chips, these cookies taste–and I can’t stress this enough–exactly like banana pudding.

My Banana Pudding Cookies are not as puffy as the cookies that inspired them, but they capture their flavor perfectly. Incredibly soft and chewy with strong banana and vanilla flavors, they’re the perfect cookies to make for cookouts or picnics, or anytime you are craving banana pudding. And if you have a sweet, tiny friend to share with, all the better.

Banana Pudding Cookies Looking for more banana pudding? Check out my No-Churn Banana Pudding Ice Cream!

Banana Pudding Cookies
makes about 4 dozen cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, milk powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Add light brown and granulated sugars and beat until combined. Mix in egg, followed by mashed banana and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, beating until combined. Mix in white chocolate chips.

Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, or up to three days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 8-10 minutes, until the edges are starting to turn golden and the tops are no longer raw looking. Let cookies cool on the pans for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Cool baking sheets to room temperature before baking any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Banana Pudding Cookies