Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Bakers July 2009: Homemade Milano Cookies

A Flight of Milanos

It's always exciting when the month's Daring Bakers challenge is revealed and this month was no exception. Drum roll please...The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network. That's right homemade Milano Cookies...

I have some limited experience making marshmallows from when I helped Erin from Serious Eats with her Peeps Week Peep Production, and I do love a good marshmallow filled cookie, but Lawman does not love marshmallows so I decided to keep peace and harmony in our home just make the Milanos.

I wanted to be a little playful with the Milanos so I decided to do a citrus trio enhancing the ganache with lemon, lime, and orange zest.

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons lemon extract
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour
• Cookie filling, recipe follows

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 orange, zested

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, divide filling into three small bowls add different citrus zest to each and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

I must caution that a hot and humid July is not ideal weather for making these cookies. The piping was a bit difficult with the heat and though the cookies were crisp immediately after cooling, they got a little softer due to the extreme humidity.

Overall these cookies turned out fairly well--I really liked making the trio of flavors. I'll definitely give them another shot when it's not so hot out.

Pile of Milanos

For more inspiring takes on this month's challenge take a look at the Daring Baker's Blogroll.


Dolce said...

Frankly I think anyone who dares to bake a milano at home will have peace. At least while they are getting eaten...

Brownie said...

@dolce: haha! thanks! :-)