Ovomaltine Ice Cream Sandwiches
Every evening of my childhood my mum, like the good Swiss ex-pat she is, would make herself a cup of Ovomaltine to drink. As a child I tolerated the stuff, but didn't love it, preferring sweeter powder-in-milk drinks like Nesquik. But over time Ovomaltine made its way into my heart...and my cookies.
Ovomaltine, or 'Ovo' as it is fondly called in Switzerland, is hardly just a drink for the Swiss and Swiss ex-pats. Worldwide it remains extremely popular and it is one of the most famous and recognizable Swiss brands.
No, English speakers, that's not a spelling mistake—the original name of the product was misspelled on its British trademark registration, leading to its English name of Ovaltine. (And no, it should definitely not be called 'Roundtine'...)
Ovomaltine was developed in 1904 in Bern and today it is sold in most countries around the world. Initially made to help combat malnutrition in Swiss children, it has been successfully branded as a nutrient rich beverage that goes hand in hand with sport and active living. For more, check out my post on Ovomaltine.
In Switzerland there are numerous Ovomaltine products beside the eponymous powder including cookies, chocolates, and bars, all benefiting from its unique malty taste and gritty mouth feel. In cookies, Ovomaltine tends to add a lovely flavour and slightly grainy chewiness, as in the ice cream sandwich base here. The mild vanilla ice cream is an excellent counterpoint to the malty flavour and slight stickiness of the cookies. As the pictures show, it's a messy cookie, but it's worth it. (Thanks to Sam for photographing my chocolatey hands.)
150 g butter, softened
120 g brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
60 g cocoa powder
80 g ovomaltine
120 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
Put the butter in a large bowl and beat until soft and creamy. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until incorporated. Add the egg and beat until fluffy.
In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder, ovomaltine, flour, and baking powder.
Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Refrigerate for about an hour.
2 tbsp ovomaltine
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / gas mark 5
Mix the ovomaltine, cocoa powder, and sugar together in a shallow bowl.
Using two spoons, drop walnut sized balls into the mixture. Roll them in the powder, then place them on a baking tray, pressing them into discs.
Bake for about nine minutes. They will still be a bit soft as they come out of the oven, so leave them for a minute to firm up on the tray before you move them to a cooling rack.
Vanilla ice cream
Leave the ice cream out of the fridge for a little while, until it becomes spreadable.
Using a spoon or a small offset palette knife spread the ice cream on one half of the cookie and put the top on. If it is difficult to spread the ice cream, dip your spoon or palette knife in warm water between cookies.
Stack the assembled cookies in a container between wax or parchment paper, then put them in the freezer for about an hour.
- If you are using an egg right out of the fridge, first put it in a bowl of hot water to bring it to room temperature. It will incorporate into the mixture better.
- These cookies are a bit of a mess, your hands will get chocolatey.
- Ovomaltine in Switzerland does not contain added sugar, different countries have different amounts of sweetening in their own mixture. This should not affect the cookies themselves too much, but perhaps the sugar in the pre-baking step could be left out.
- These cookies, while fantastic with ice cream, are also quite delicious on their own.
- Makes about 40 little cookies.