Malted Milk Shortbread Cookies

makes about 3 dozen

For the Shortbread

1 cup (8-ounces) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioners' sugar

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons malted milk powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

6 Tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped malted milk balls

For the Shortbread

Preheat the oven to 325º F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy.  Add the flour, malted milk powder, salt, and vanilla, beating until combined (dough will be crumbly).  Knead the dough on a work surface until it comes together, and pat it into a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours or until firm.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.  Using a 2-inch round or fluted cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  Using a spatula, transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheets.  Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut out cookies until all the dough has been used.

Bake the cookies for 20-30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Frosting

In a medium bowl combine the sugar, cream, and vanilla, whisking until smooth.  Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies and sprinkle with the chopped malted milk balls.  Allow the frosting to set.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Enjoy!

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