April 16, 2008
The first time my children saw the Horlicks Doggie Cookies, they were enchanted. The original recipe by Thng Lay Teen, who writes for The Straits Times of Singapore, was a celebration of the beverage Horlicks. A beverage said to promote sleep and is very popular throughout Asia. This cookie can also be found in a chocolate version using Nestle's Milo drink and a Horlicks free version.
With my daughter's dairy allergy to consider, the challenge was to create a malty tasting cookie that didn't have any malted milk powder. After contemplating all the different gluten free grains, I decided on using millet. It would give a more robust flavor that is also slightly malty.
Millet is a gluten free grass that is grown around the world and was the primary grain of Neolithic China and Korean Mumun societies. At Cishan, China, archaeologists found underground storage pits that were used to store foxtail millet. This site dates back to 6000-5500 BC. Millet also has the honor of making the oldest noodles found to date. They were unearthed in 2005 by an archaeology team working in Lajing, China. They appeared to have been buried in an ancient cooking pot by a catastrophic flood that hit the Yellow River area about 4,000 years ago.
Due to it's being easy to grow in problematic soil conditions, millet is an important nutritional source to many cultures around the world. It is high in vitamin B, fiber, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium and is comparable to wheat in protein content.
The cookies are mild in flavor and slighty malty with the texture of pecan sandies. The dough mixed up quickly, but it takes a little while to decorate all the little devil and panda faces. The first few I made looked like the Horlick's doggie cookies and some looked like pandas. However my children thought the doggie version looked too sad, but they liked the happy little panda. Then I showed them the little devil version I made with the Koala Crisp, a chocolate puffed rice cereal. My kids were thrilled with their appearance and preferred the devils over the floppy eared dogs. My daughter leaned over and added a Koala Crisp to the backside of the devil exclaiming, "Now, it's a real devil Mom!"
These cookies were a hit with my family. We preferred these cookies slightly warmed up, as it made the chocolate in the center all soft and melty. The warm chocolate center was a nice compliment to the sandie texture of the cookie.
I'm submitting this recipe to the April edition of Sugar High Friday. This month it is being hosted by La Petite Boulangette, with the theme of Sweet Asian Invasion.
2/3 cup (100 g) millet flour
1/4 cup (50 g) sweet rice flour
1/3 cup (50 g) arrowroot starch
2 tsp chia seed meal
1/2 cup + 2 Tb (50 g)powdered sugar
1/2 cup + 1 Tb (125 g) vegetable shortening
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tb chilled almond milk
Filling & Decorations
Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life)
Envirokidz Amazon Flakes cereal (corn flakes)
Envirokidz Koala Crisp cereal (chocolate puffed rice)
Chocolate Jimmies (Sprinkelz)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set out all of your cookie decorations and filling in small bowls. Then set out a piece of parchment paper on the counter for your work area.
2. In a large bowl, dump in the flours, chia seed meal and powdered sugar. Stir to thoroughly mix the chia seed meal with the other ingredients.
3. In the bowl to your mixer, plop in the vegetable shortening and beat until fluffy. Pour in the almond milk and vanilla. Then slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until the ingredients form a soft dough.
4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a spoon, scoop out a small amount of dough. Then press the dough out in your hand until it resembles a small bowl. Place a few chocolate chips or a few chocolate chips and a corn flake into the bowl. Then press the sides of the bowl down onto the center to seal the cookie. Gently roll the dough ball between your palms to shape it and then place on the cookie sheet.
5. Place a chocolate chip in the lower half of the dough ball for the mouth. Then press two indentations above the chocolate chip with a toothpick and set 2 Jimmies into them for the eyes. For the little Devils, press two rice puffs in the top of the dough ball for ears and then press 1 rice puff on the backside for the tail. For the little Pandas, press the corn flakes into the top of the dough ball for the ears.
6. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 18 medium sized cookies or 36 mini cookies. Note: If you want the center to be soft and gooey, warm the cookies slightly before serving.
You can use 1 tsp of xanthan gum or guar gum to replace the chia seed meal in this recipe. If you want to use a gluten free flour blend in place of the flours, then use 1 1/4 cup of the gf flour blend and do not add chia seed meal, xanthan or guar gum.