milan cookies

Oh, do I have something sweet in store for you. Have you ever had Pepperidge Farm’s milano cookies? Well, if you think they’re good, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

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. I wasn’t feeling industrious enough to tackle homemade marshmallows and, besides, I’m a HUGE fan of milan cookies.

milan cookies 003

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 (I omitted the lemon extract. I divided the dough into thirds then flavored each third with a different liquer. See below.)
• 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 (I omitted this too. Keep reading to see what flavors I used.)

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.

I’m a sucker for mint milanos so I thought I’d try that flavor. Then, my husband requested some hazelnut milanos. Sure, sounds great! And, well, I just couldn’t stop myself…I made a third flavor. Yep, you guessed it, amaretto. All 3 were delicious, but the amaretto cookies were unanimously voted number 1! The hazelnut took the silver medal while the mint graciously accepted the bronze.

For the amarettos, I flavored the cookie dough with amaretto liquer and I flavored the chocolate filling with almond extract. For the hazelnut, I flavored the cookie dough with frangelico and used nutella for the filling. Since I was out of peppermint extract, I flavored the mint milanos with peppermint schnapps. There’s no shortage of liquers at my place, no, sir.

And what goes better with cookies than cream? Come back tomorrow when I share with you the best vanilla ice cream in the universe. Of course, that means it’s Dorie’s recipe! See you tomorrow.