I am quite a big fan of the milano cookies you find in the white paper bags in the grocery store. I am not however a fan of paying for their asking price. So, armed with my whisk, a bar of chocolate and a carton of eggs I set off on an adventure. My kitchen adventure had it’s up and downs, and I am not going to say it was easy because it wasn’t. I had a lot of trial and errors, more errors then I really wanted actually. I was feeling ‘off’ and it showed in my cooking. Biggest lesson learned, if you feel not your self stay out of the kitchen, it shows in your food.
In the recipes I found most directions for the cookies are very very vague. The little things aren’t explained. Like how thin the dough is, how if you pipe according to directions you get cookies that look more like thumbs, what tip to use, and how much is spreads and how to avoid it. I actually learned a lot from these cookies so that is a good thing. I tried two batches, one following the directions and one of mine changing things how I felt the batter should be to get the desired cookie. I also tried putting one batch in the freezer to firm up before putting in the oven to see if that would help with the spreading. I found that I liked how my recipe turned out better then the original. If you like milano cookies, and baking then eventually you will try and make them. However, can I ask that you give my version a shot? I felt they produced the version closes to the ones found in the market with more predictable results then the original. Good luck, with either version you attempt. Original Milano Recipe
My Milano Cookie
Makes 12-20 Cookie Sandwiches
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 egg whites, room temp
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Almond extract
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- Ganache Filling
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp Amaretto Liquor
Note: To bring your egg whites up to room temperature which greatly helps with separating the whites from the yolks. In a large coffee cup fill with warm water and put the eggs still in the shell in the cup and let sit for 5 min. Pour out the water and add more warm water and let set for another 5 minutes. Room temperature eggs will also prevent curdling or splitting when you add the eggs to the butter mixture. Have you ever added eggs to creamed butter and it looked curdled? The eggs were cold and was starting to seize the butter making your batter look curdled and splitting from the sugar. To get a creamy fluffy batter when adding eggs to creamed butter, always bring to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites with the vanilla and almond until well just mixed and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter until fluffy, and gradually add the sugar until well combined. Slowly add the egg white and extract mixture to the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides and mix until well combined. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour until just combined. Remove the bowl from mixer and scrape down the sides and fold in any uncombined flour. Pour into a large piping bag fitted with a round tip (I used Ateca, #804 Round Cake Decorating Tip).
Set up your cookies sheets up on your counter and be careful when piping the cookies out. The batter will be thin and may still split out of the tip with out much encouragement. In the bowl you took the batter from do a few practice runs with how much pressure and how the batter flows out of the bag. You will start a line with the batter about two (2) inches long and in the same movement (top to bottom, bottom to top) go over the line of batter you made again to make the cookie thick but not wide, give the cookie two (2) inches around on all sides to spread. You will get around 20-24 cookies on a sheet. Try to make as uniform as possible. Place in the freezer for about 5 minutes until the batter is not tacky but slightly firm to the touch. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are a nice golden brown and the centers are still pale. Remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheet, before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the batter is used and all cookies are cooked and cool. Match all the cookies to a similar cookie to make uniform sandwiches. Set aside and prepare the ganache
To make the ganache: In a small bowl add the chocolate and amaretto. Scald the cream and pour over the chocolate. Let it set for 2 minutes. After it has set mixed until well combined, it will cool to blood temperature as you mix it. Once cool pour into a small piping bag with the same tip as used before. On one of the cookies of a set on the flat side of the cookie use the same motion you used for the making the cookies for piping the ganache. Going for width with the ganache instead of height like when piping the cookies. Sandwich together with the matching side flat down on the ganache. Let cool completely before storing. Will last up to a month in an air tight container.