Caramelized White Chocolate & Toasted Milk Cookies

November 29, 2019
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 25 hours
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 2 dozen
Author Notes

Growing up, I felt like every family but mine had a cookie recipe that was passed down from generation to generation. Baking wasn’t a big part of the Indian culture my parents grew up in, so I knew I’d never get to bake cookies with my grandmother like the kids in the Nestle cookie dough commercial that ran during the holidays.

One of the reasons why I started my blog and wrote a cookbook was because I wanted to create measured, replicable recipes for my daughter. When my grandmother passed away, all the comfort foods and recipes were gone with her. I want to make sure that, when I am long gone, my daughter can bake these cookies and, someday in the future, share them with her kids. To me, recipes represent a piece of someone’s love and, just like scent memories, food memories can bring you right back to a moment in time.

This Caramelized White Chocolate & Toasted Milk Cookie recipe is the one I want to pass down to my daughter and her future generations. It’s inspired by Jaques Torres’s famous chocolate chip cookies, but with Indian flavors and ingredients.

I use a mixture of powdered jaggery, brown sugar, and white sugar to get the perfect chewy yet soft texture. Jaggery, or palm sugar, is an unrefined sugar made from palm tree sap and/or sugar cane. It’s typically sold in large brown bricks (similar to piloncillo), which are chiseled down into small pieces for cooking. Nowadays you can find powdered jaggery easily at your local Indian grocery store. If you can’t find jaggery powder, you can buy a block of jaggery and grate it. I love how it gives the cookies a slightly dark, toffee-like flavor.

Chopped, toasted pistachios and slivered almonds add a pop of color and crunch. Toasted milk powder, caramelized white chocolate, and cardamom all give this cookie a warm, cozy aroma that reminds me of my grandmother’s hugs where I’d get wrapped up in her sari. Milk powder is an oft-used ingredient in Indian desserts (mithai) and provides a sweet, subtly rich flavor. Toasting the milk powder gives that subtle richness a caramel-heavy note that pairs beautifully with the toasted nuts and cardamom.

While I may not have any recipes from my grandmother, I'm happy to have captured the feelings, flavors, and scents that remind me of her—and the sweets she used to make for us—in this cookie. —Milk and Cardamom

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is a part of Chocolate Week—seven days of recipes and stories, all chocolate—presented by our friends at Guittard. A fifth-generation family business, Guittard has been crafting an array of chocolate offerings (like top-quality baking chips, cocoa powder, and baking bars) in San Francisco since 1868.

Featured in: Food52's Holiday Cookie ChroniclesFood52

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup (126 grams) white chocolate morsels
  • 3/4 cup (69 grams) instant nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup (120 grams) bread flour
  • 1 cup (120 grams) cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams, or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (72 grams) jaggery powder or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, finely ground
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (114 grams) slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) chopped unsalted shelled pistachios
  • flaky salt, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C) and line a 9x13 inch (23x33 centimeter) baking pan with parchment paper. Fit your stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Add the white chocolate to a microwavable bowl, and microwave in 15-second increments, stirring between each increment, until all of the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Alternatively, if you don’t have a microwave, set up a double boiler by bringing a small pot of water to a boil and placing a small bowl on top of the pot, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Add the white chocolate to the bowl and stir frequently until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove the chocolate from the heat. Add the instant nonfat dry milk powder and mix well. Spoon this mixture onto the parchment-lined baking pan and spread into a thin layer. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the bread flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large stand mixer bowl, add the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, jaggery, and cardamom. Cream the butter, sugars, and cardamom on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until the dough just comes together. Fold in the caramelized white chocolate mixture, slivered almonds, and pistachios until evenly distributed. Press plastic wrap against the dough, making sure it is completely covered, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or as long as 72 hours.
  5. When ready to make the cookies, heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take 2 tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a ball and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet 2 inches (5 centimeters) apart. Sprinkle the cookie dough balls lightly with a bit of flaky sea salt. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Rotate the baking tray 180° halfway through baking. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then move them to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jonathan Russell
    Jonathan Russell
  • Amy Kaufman
    Amy Kaufman
  • Milk and Cardamom
    Milk and Cardamom
  • Lauren

13 Reviews

Lauren December 27, 2021
Had high hopes for these but they unfortunately fell flat. These are a cakey cookie, not a chewy one which I'm not a fan of. Also the flavors were all muted with them not having enough sweetness nor caramelization (even the flaky salt didn't help).
Jonathan R. November 9, 2021
I used white chocolate chips which made a sandy mixture with the milk powder. It toasted beautifully in 9 minutes and mixed in really well with the dough. I did use untoasted nuts though which ended up tasting raw and chewy and not entirely appetizing in the final product, so I would 100% recommend toasting them first. Great recipe.
Sarah L. March 13, 2021
Hi Heta,

I’m working on the batter now. Sounds delicious. I’m excited to try them. Yet, I’m off to buy more chocolate and milk powder. Unfortunately, I used Valrhona Ivoire. I thought the higher cocoa butter solids would make the cookies all the most tasty. However, the chocolate-milk mixture overtoasted in 9 minutes. I’ll look for Guittard at the shop and see if that works. I’ll give it another go. I’ve always caramelised white chocolate the David Lebovitz way... slowly sans milk powder. I know Christina Tosi adds milk powder. I’m sure I’ll get it to work!
Michelle S. December 19, 2020
Palm sugar is created by such misery. It has no place in any recipe.
kirstyebuchanan May 23, 2020
Thanks for the recipe! Just prepared the dough and can't wait to try the cookies tomorrow. I have a question about the caramelised white choc & milk mix. After baking it in the oven, is it supposed to become crumbly and almost biscuit-like, or is it supposed to remain molten and spreadable?
Milk A. May 23, 2020
It becomes crumbly if you used melted white chocolate chips. If you used a bar of white chocolate with over 35% cocoa butter then it stays meltable. Either one works with the cookie! You're on the right path!
rosecedar January 22, 2020
Thanks for solving the mystery about the white chocolate! I would use a high quality bar or block of white chocolate rather than morsels. I have not found white chocolate morsels that I like except for Guittard, which are not really white chocolate (they are called "choc-au-lait," or something like that).
Amy K. January 3, 2020
I would love to make these cookies but also am confused. I agree with rosecedar in the comment 12/11/19. Hoping the recipe can be clarified.
Milk A. January 22, 2020
Hi Amy! You can find my response below! :-)
Amy K. January 22, 2020
Thank you! They look so yummy.
rosecedar December 11, 2019
I'd like to try this, but I am confused. White chocolate chips are in the ingredients and the photo shows cookies with intact white chocolate chips. But the recipe says to melt the "white chocolate" and combine it with the milk power, then spread it on a sheet pan to cool, then fold the "carmelized white chocolate mixture" into the dough. Should there be white chocolate chips in the dough as well as the carmelized white chocolate mixture? Is there an ingredient (block white chocolate) missing from the recipe? Or is the photo not accurate and you are supposed to melt the chips? And do you just fold in the entire sheet, or should you break it up first?
Milk A. January 22, 2020
Hey! It looks like they included white chocolate chips for the image. I personally do not add whole white chocolate chips to the cookies.
ThriftyGiblet January 23, 2020
Could you please comment on rosecedar's question. A descriptive sentence about what the white chocolate mixture should look like and what to do with it after it's cooled would be helpful.