Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Milan Cookies

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gail Gand of the Food Network.

Last month I completely spaced out and missed the Daring Bakers challenge. I didn't mean to skip it, and I actually thought the recipe for a traditional English tart/pudding sounded pretty tasty. But the deadline came and went before I even thought about making the recipe, and I decided to just skip it completely and do the July challenge instead. Then, today, July 27th, I realized I'd once again blown off the challenge! But this time it wasn't too late... the reveal date is today, and I had absolutely nothing planned to do all day. So I headed to the grocery store, and got to work on the Milano cookie recipe from Gail Gand. I would have loved to try the marshmallow cookies as well, but with the tight deadline I figured I'd just do one of the two recipes.

The ingredients were easy to come by, and the procedure was pretty straightforward. I had a basic piping tip from when I made eclairs, so piping them onto the silpat was no problem. I don't see why a ziplock bag with the corner snipped wouldn't work either. The recipe seemed to make a decent yield, so I did a half recipe. There were still plenty of cute cookies to go around. Overall, I enjoyed these cookies. I liked how crisp they were, and the orange and lemon flavors were really elegant. I would have liked if the cookies were just a bit thicker, but then they might not have been quite as crisp. Thanks, Nicole, for this fun and very manageable cookie recipe!

Milan Cookies
from Gail Gand on

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, add zest 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.
Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies

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