Daring Bakers: Milan Cookies

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After a much needed relaxing 2 week break I return with the Daring Bakers challenge for this month. The Daring Bakers have made all sorts of great sweet and savory treats in the past, some very challenging and others straightforward. All have been a lot of fun and I've always learned or came across something new with each challenge. Whether it was a new technique, a new ingredient or just knowing how much heat I can stand in the kitchen - it's been a great experience.

The challenge this month was a first. We've never actually made sweet cookies before, so it was a very refreshing challenge and easy. I was relieved of that! I was short of time this month due to the unplanned vacation we decided to take and knew that if the challenge was going to be too time consuming I'd be running around in circles. When reveal date finally came around I was quite happy to see we had a choice of making two type of cookies or both. Milanos and/or Mallomars were the choice Nicole at Sweet Tooth challenged us with.

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.

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Initially I had planned to do both and went with the Milanos first thinking that when I return from the vacation I could indulge in my marshmallow making skills with more ease after a relaxing vacation. We returned on Saturday evening and I could not bring myself to spend Sunday in the kitchen, instead I wanted to savor the last day with Tom and Soeren before we started the new work/day care week.

The Milanos were fairly easy to whip up and hardly took up time, which suited me and my pre-vacation mood just fine. I was slightly disappointed with the outcome though. There was not much of a flavor high and if it was not for the coffee flavored chocolate I used to sandwich the cookies with there would not have been much to report about in this post. The cookies itself were indistinctive in flavor, I think a bit of zesty citrus zest here might have made it more exciting. I used a coffee flavored chocolate with bits of coffee beans to make the sandwich filling and that really added the required zing. To complete the whole challenge I dipped half of the Milanos in bittersweet chocolate and gave it a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.

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  Meeta Recipe Card Milan Cookies

Milan Cookies

Printable version of recipe here.

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

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 coffee flavored chocolate, chopped

Optional:
3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
handful pistachios, coarsely chopped

 

Method

  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 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.
  11. To coat the cookies melt the bittersweet chocolate in a bowl over a water bath. Once completely melted generously brush the cookies on both sides with the chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and allow the chocolate to set and dry.

 


Verdict

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All in all they were OK and they did disappear fairly quickly as I took them to work. I enjoyed the texture the coffee bean bits gave complementing the pistachios. The Milanos were light and crunchy but lacked additional pizzazz. As Soeren still has two weeks summer break we’ll be trying our second option – the Mallomars – something tells me they are going to be a hit.

Look forward to a trip with to Denmark later this week. As soon as I’ve sorted out the pictures I’ll take you for a little break to a gorgeous country and beautiful landscape.

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Monthly Mingle

This month my guest host for the Monthly Mingle is Hillary from the grand blog Chew on That and she has chosen a sensational theme. I’m very excited about this one – Marvelous Melon!

Create any dish using one of the juicy melon variety and send you dish over to Hillary. Check out all the details on the Marvelous Melon announcement page.

Deadline is August 17th. Hope you’ll be joining us!

You might like these cookies from WFLH:

Almond Marzipan Kipferl 02 framed Lime Bars 03 framed Cookies-MacadamiaChoc 01 framed
Marzipan Almond Kipferl Lime Bars Salted Macadamia Nut and Chunky White Chocolate Cookies



All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2009 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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63 comments:

  1. I have always thought of milanos as a little bland. I can't wait to see your mallomars.

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  2. Ooooo, Meeta those cookies look so good!!! You are truly an expert!!!

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  3. wonderful cookies, I saved the recipe and will try them next time. thanks for sharing.

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  4. OMG, those Milan Cookies are so pretty and youre pictures are stunning! Great, as usual!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. Well, regardless of the taste, they definitely look truly beautiful Meeta. Good to hear you had a great and relaxing vacation and welcome back!

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  6. Wow, your milans are beautiful. Bummer they didn't turn out to your liking, but no one would be the wiser based on the final product you cranked out. Great job regardless :)

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  7. Yummy ones meeta!
    It would be great if you could blog in detail on photography, ways to take good pics, the set ups and steps to make a small studio at home.

    Thanks
    Vij

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  8. Milan cookies look damn pretty and crunchy!

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  9. I thought the same thing, the cookies needed a little zest to bring up the flavor. Love the dipping and pistachios on top! Hope you have a great time in Denmark.

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  10. Hope you had a great time Meeta. I don't know how they tasted, the coffee with chocolate sounds great to me.. the way you dipped them & coated them with pistachios make them look very very pretty!!

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  11. I felt mine were just ok also. The addition of coffee and pistachios sure makes them sound tasty though! I wish they were not so chewy. Beautiful photographs!

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  12. Oh dear Meeta, you are a genius with the addition of pistachio. Welcome back from the holiday. Wait to here more.

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  13. Despite the taste looks like you brought out the best in these cookies! They look fantastic!

    Glad to hear you had a wonderful vacation and looking forward to seeing your photos :)

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  14. I love the half-dipped cookie with pistachio's, so pretty! These look delicious!

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  15. Yum! I could count on you to make the Milan Cookies look (and probably) taste great!

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  16. Hi Meeta,
    I hope you had a great vacation. the cookies look yummy. But can you tell me whether I can prepare them in a microwave? I don't have a baking oven.

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  17. Hi Meeta,
    I hope you had a great vacation. the cookies look yummy. But can you tell me whether I can prepare them in a microwave? I don't have a baking oven.

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  18. the cookies look amazing but i got really excited and distracted with the theme for MM next month :D

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  19. Beautiful cookies Meeta! :)I loved that green cookie tin! :)

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  20. Thank you for the comments. they were not too bad just lacked that final touch. they still went away like hot cakes!

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  21. Very colourful cookies, Meeta.
    Do try the Mallows. We liked them better and I'm sure it'll be a fun thing to do with your son.

    Good to see you back.

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  22. Welcome back hun...good to hv U back & ever so daring!! LOL...those Milanos are a work of art! Love the pistachios on the bitter chco. I did just the mallows & boy were they delish!

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  23. Denmark! Whoo hoo can't wait to read that post and the pics.

    I am thinking of doing a trip to Copenhagn next month, your post will be timely.

    Awaiting eagerly for your holiday post.

    cheers
    sandra

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  24. Oh, how lovely!!! I myself decided to stick with one this time, and maybe try out the other one over the weekend. Unlike you though, I wasn't on any vacation/break. I was just lazy and left the challenge to the very last second, as always. But now I chose to make the mallows over the milanos, and I'm very happy with the taste. You should definitely make them!! But I'm not so sure about making the milanos now, if they are THAT bland and tasteless. Maybe I'll stick to my good old langue de chat recipe instead. But I'm sure your coffee chocolate filling more than saved those cookies from the birds(to borrow from Helen).

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  25. Welcome back Meeta. All I can say is that these cookies look so beautiful and your pictures stunning. These are some of my favorite cookies - light and chocolatey! Love the lemon flavour in them and the addition of pistachios on the bitter chocolate.

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  26. Oh wow.....they look gorgeous....love the pistachio touch given to them....Hope you had rocking time out there...

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  27. Came by yesterday but there was no post...! Glad I came back! The milano's look just great! Good to hear you had a good break!

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  28. How come you make such delicious food and such beautiful food photographs.

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  29. LOOOOOOVE your version with the pistachios!!

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  30. These look so delectable, Meeta. I love you added pistachios on them. Sorry you didn't like them very much though.

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  31. Your Milan cookies look delicious! I love the shape you made them in and the flavorings you chose. Beautiful cookies!

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  32. Welcome back to blogland Meeta! I hope you were able to enjoy yourself exhaustively :)

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  33. Looks professional and yes awesome clicks as usual..first time to comment though

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  34. Gorgeous looking, love the pistachio touch. Wish I'd had time to give them a go.

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  35. I am getting quite excited to see the results for this challenge. Many blogs that I follow are participating and it looks like it's going to be a tough challenge. Good luck!

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  36. Your cookies are beautiful. I love the sprinkling of the chopped pistachios on top. Beautiful!

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  37. What a great idea, I will try to participate.

    Cookies look delish!

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  39. Lovely Pics Meeta. I am not a big fan of Milanos but pistachios sure makes a difference. I am sure your Denmark vacation inspired you to create these mouthwatering beauties :) well...even at baffling moments you have created some amazing dishes like peach risotto...but brown and green tells a lot about ones mood isn't it.....

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  40. hey this cookies lk very yummy pls can give substitute for EGG as v r pure vegetarian(JAIN) so i can make them for my kids.

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  41. Glad to see you back.Milanos look perfect with lovely green pistachios and the coffee flavoring must add to the yumminess :D

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  42. I love the touch of pistachios!! I am great fan of pistachios!! N

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  43. They may lack pizazz in the flavor, but these are sure good looking!

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  44. love the use of pistas in it.. bursting with great colors

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  45. Sorry you weren't blown away, but those are just perfect looking - and I love the pistachio / coffee / choc combo!

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  46. They look lovely. Thanks for the flavor heads up - I admit, I have yet to make mine yet.

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  47. Even though you weren't thrilled with them, they really came out lovely! That coffee filling sounds wonderful, and I don't even like coffee! However, pistachios I DO like!

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  48. these looks so pretty and très delicious!!! :) x

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  49. Gorgeous cookies and photos! I did the mallows, but so want to try the milans!

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  50. Seriously beautiful cookies and photos!

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  51. They look absolutely delicious! Beautiful photos!
    I'm sorry, that you didn’t love them.

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  52. These are beautiful, Meeta! Love the addition of the dip and the sprinkle of pistachios... and can't wait to see your mallows!

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  53. I've looked through several sites all participating in this challenge and I must say they all look great. You all have your own take on the cookie design and it's quite interesting. Thanks!

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  54. I enjoy Milan cookies and decided to use left over egg whites, I had in the fridge to try your recipe. I had a little difficulty making them uniform, tasted one and it was okay. I reread your comments and agreed that they need something. I made the filling and tried the cookie with the chocolate and it was delicious. It is hot and humid so I have them chilling in the fridge for a few minutes to set the chocolate. Thanks! Beautiful pictures.
    MA, E.U.A

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  55. thank you everyone. i have not had time to make the mallows yet. but you all are tempting me!

    MA - i hope they turn out well.

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  56. Very pretty, Meeta! And I agree, filling makes these cookies.

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  57. wonderfully dressed up cookies!just loved them.

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  58. I can't wait to try this recipe! (Along with several others from your blog that are making my mouth water!)

    But what zest are we referring to in step 7? (Sorry, beginner baker here!)

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  59. Great! I'm going to try this recipe as well, thanks for sharing ;)!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta