Recipe: Best Friends Cookies

Here's a bonus recipe from this week's Clever Cookstr episode, featuring Mindy Segal's book Cookie Love.

Kara Rota
4-minute read

Makes 20 cookies

When I rode a motorcycle, I’d head up to Milwaukee on a day off and stop at Fuel Café. It was there that I encountered a malted espresso drink. I already loved both malt and coffee, and there they were together, the malt balancing the harshness of the coffee. I had discovered best friends in the flavor department. Now I use this combination all the time.

Adding a spoonful of caramel sauce to the milk chocolate hot fudge is optional, but if you have some left over from another recipe, use it. It cranks up the malt and rounds out the coffee even more. These cookies are great alongside ice cream. Or dip them in chocolate for a polished look.


1⁄2 cup Malted Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge (see below), at room temperature

1 tablespoon Caramel Sauce (see below), at room temperature (optional)


2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons instant- coffee crystals (such as Folgers)

1⁄2 teaspoon coffee extract (optional)

Heat the oven to 275°F. Have a couple of half sheet (13 by 18-inch) nonstick pans ready or line a couple of half sheet pans with parchment paper.

To make the chocolate swirl:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the hot fudge on medium-high speed until lighter in color, approximately 4 minutes. Beat in the caramel. Transfer to a bowl and leave at room temperature while you make the meringue. Clean out the stand mixer bowl well, ensuring that there is no residual oil.

To make the meringue:

In a heatproof bowl that fits over a pot for a double-boiler setup, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt to break them up. Put the bowl over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a pot and warm the egg white mixture, whisking often, to the temperature of a scalding bath, approximately 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and dry the bottom with a kitchen towel.

Pour the warmed egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high until the whites have cooled and the meringue is thick and shiny, approximately 5 minutes. Add the instant coffee and extract and whip on low speed just to combine, 10 seconds.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the hot fudge into the meringue to form a swirl. The chocolate needs to be incorporated enough so that it doesn’t bleed out of the cookies as they bake but not so incorporated that the meringue loses the swirl completely.

Using two spoons, portion the meringue into 1 1⁄2- to 2-inch blobs onto the prepared pans, about 10 cookies per pan. Bake for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and let the cookies cool in the oven to dry out completely, at least 1 hour or overnight (just remember they are in there before cranking up the oven again).

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, depending on the humidity level in the room.


makes a generous 4 cups

3 cups heavy cream

1 cup malted milk powder

1 cup cane sugar

2 tablespoons barley malt syrup

6 ounces milk chocolate, broken into pieces

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1⁄4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon brewed coffee (optional)

In a 6-quart or larger heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the cream. Whisk in the malted milk powder and stir until dissolved. Add the sugar and syrup and stir until dissolved, approximately 3 minutes. Add the chocolate and salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer so that the bubbles percolate
in the center of the pot. Cook, stirring periodically to avoid scorching the bottom, until the mixture thickens but before the oils separate from the solids, 26 to 32 minutes.

Whisk in the butter, vanilla, and coffee thoroughly (you can also use an immersion blender to do this if you want it extra smooth) and let cool.

This hot fudge keeps in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.


makes a generous 4 cups

4 cups heavy cream

3 cups granulated sugar

3⁄4 cup light corn syrup

1 tablespoon sea salt flakes

1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a high-sided pot, heat the cream to just before boiling. Keep warm.

In a 6-quart or larger heavy pot, combine 1 1⁄2 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup. Melt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar and syrup start to boil. Continue to cook until the sugar turns a rich amber color but before it becomes nearly black, 6 to 8 minutes. (If the sugar starts to smoke and turn black, it’s burned; start over.) Lower the heat to very low. In three stages, stir in the remaining 11⁄2 cups sugar, stirring between each addition to dissolve the sugar before adding more.

Raise the heat to the point at which small bubbles start to foam up around the sides of the pot. In three stages, add the warm cream, simmering to partially reduce it between each addition before adding more. The caramel will bubble up vigorously; stir to keep it from boiling over. Continue to cook the caramel until it forms a thick syrup. If you draw a finger through the caramel coating the back of the spoon, it will hold the line. Turn the heat off and season with the salt and vanilla. Cool completely.

Caramel sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Reprinted with permission from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2015 by Dan Goldberg.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.