Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 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 Gale Gand of the Food Network. We were given the options to make either, or both cookies. I chose to make the Milan cookies as my husband and I are big fans of Pepperidge Farm Milano brand cookies!

I almost didn't complete this month's challenge as I don't have air conditioning in my kitchen, so when the weather is hot and humid I try to barbecue outside as much as possible. I saw everyone's completed challenges today, however, and I decided I couldn't resist baking at least one batch!

The heat and humidity did give me a few problems, as my batter was very soupy at first since the butter had almost melted, and I had to add a little more flour to the batter and then chill it so it would allow me to pipe it onto my cookies sheets. The chocolate filling also stayed melted like water, probably because of the heat, and therefore was messy to work with. But the finished cookies were delicious, and my husband declared them "addictive," so I guess I'll save this recipe for repeat performances.
Be sure to check some other Daring Bakers challenge results at the blogroll link here to see both of the July challenge cookies made to perfection!

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

Cookie dough:
• 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.

To learn more about The Daring Kitchen and to join in future Daring Bakers or Daring Cooks challenges please visit the wonderful website!


Ciao Chow Linda said...

These are all the more impressive considering the lack of a/c and the heat in your kitchen. brava Pat

steviewren said...

I saw the pictures of your cookies on my sidebar and I had to zip right over. I'm literally drooling...mmmm. I can't buy Milans because I will eat them all in a couple of sittings.

Question...can you taste the lemon extract and the orange zest? Or do they just enhance the flavor?

black eyed susans kitchen said...

They look delicious Pat. You are a daring baker to jump in and give them a try with all of this humidity. I am impressed!
♥, Susan

Anonymous said...

Your cookies look delicious!


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Stevie

I can definitely taste the orange zest in the chocolate filling. The lemon flavoring in the cookie itself is less discernable, more of an enhancement.

I'd like to try mint as a chocolate flavoring next time as I always love that combination.

Lisa said...

Pat!! They came out so lovely!!! I love the more stout shape and smaller cookie! You know what they remind me of? The chocolate dipped cookies on the large Italian cookie trays! All they need is colored sprinkles or pistachio! Beautiful! Also, I totally agree that it's SO hard to bake in humidity, even with AC or CA, and your final produect never turns out as it should. (Like my flaccid Milanos..lol(.

As for the Yanks..this team is reminding me a bit of the '98 team, although the problem with beating the Angels and Red Sox may come back to haunt them as they'll have to meet either or BOTH in the post season! A first and/or second round exit could be in store if don't they stop playing scared against those two teams!

Judy said...

A gourmet treat...for sure! And I can almost taste the citrus flavour. They look most yummy.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I am so impessed with this project that you completed. Thank you for introducing me to that new website. I look forward to visiting it. When given the compliment that they are addictive...always hold on to that recipe.

Joyce said...

I have A/C in the entire house but I still do not like to play with a chocolate filling in the hot summer months. You were certainly very brave. Think you should file these for a cold winter afternoon in the kitchen:) They do look good and I would probably eat them all right away and blame my eating on the fact that they were melting. Better to melt in your mouth then in the cookie jar:)

Lynn said...

There went my diet.

Vee said...

I love those Pepperidge Farm cookies, too. Sounds as if the heat gave you plenty of challenges, but you rose to the trouble. If your hubby thinks they're wonderful, I can tell that you'll be baking them again the next cooler day.

Unknown said...

argh..I want those cookies Pat, too bad we are so far apart, if I am living next door, I'd pop over and raid your kitchen..:D

Proud Italian Cook said...

I would have to agree, you are very daring to turn the oven on when its hot and humid, but they sure look worth the effort Pat!

Tracy said...

Those look waaaay better than Pepperidge Farm, Pat!! I can see how these would lend themselves to many flavor possibilities...mmm... Oh, loved seeing Bo in your previous post...what a beauty! Happy Day ((HUGS))

Junie Moon said...

Your cookies look awesome. I never once thought of those cute paper cups for the cookies I see in your photo. I'ts a nice look to presenting the cookies, so I'll add the paper cups to my next shopping trip.

It's been 106 here but we've not had to deal with the humidity like you're experiencing, so persevering in getting these Milans made is a real feat on your part. Wonderful job, Pat!

Claudia said...

Gorgeous cookies! And under duress! 60 degrees here - you should come cook in MN! haven't used ac since June. You deserve an award for "baking under adversity and succeeding!"

Arlene Delloro said...

They look so delicious. I am contemplating making the marshmallow ones (I adore Mallomars!!!).

GailO said...

These look absolutely yummy and I'm sure they taste a lot better than the store kind...I don't think I would have managed the challenge in the heat:)

dana said...

Those cookies look scrumptious. The Pepperidge Farm version is one my hubby and I have loved for years. I know, however, they couldn't possibly hold a candle to yours---my mouth is watering just LOOKING at those photos!!!

Also, I so enjoyed seeing your beautiful Bo pictures...what a gorgeous feline!

Thanks for your comments about my gr.son...he continues to do well...it's so scary to see a newborn be ill. I'll keep you and your mom in my prayers. L, Dana

Linda Lou said...

I am a big of of Milan cookies - despite the heat you did an excellent job...hand one of those through the computer would you?

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I can't believe you were able to do without A/C in the kitchen! You are daring indeed. :-) In the fall, you'll have to try with the mint extract. They were seriously delish.