Milan Cookies

This month Daring Bakers’ Challenge was Gale Gand’s cookies, and there were two different varieties to choose from – Milan cookies (ganache-sandwiched thin crispy cookies) and chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies. I intended to make both, and I still do. The marshmallows are in production, four different kinds. I just simply couldn’t finish them on time due to a bunch of circumstances. I will probably post the rest within a week, since dear Nicole from the Sweet Tooth, the host of the challenge, generously extended the posting date. Meanwhile, here’s my interpretation of the Milan cookies.

First ones are lemon-flavored cookies filled with white chocolate and raspberry ganache. I wanted to figure out a perfect formula for white chocolate and fresh berry/fruit puree ganache. I liked the idea to tame the chocolate sweetness with sour fruit. So, I experimented. And the final result was satisfying in every way – flavor was great and the texture was extra-creamy.

The second kind is coconut cookies sandwiched with dark chocolate coconut ganache filling. I used unsweetened coconut milk and a bit of rum in the ganache. It was very nice, but the coconut flavor could be more pronounced. Although, once placed between two coconut cookies, it seemed to get interesting enough.

I loved them both. The cookies were the best (the crispiest) the day they were sandwiched together. I would definitely recommend assembling them the day you plan to serve and keeping the leftovers in the refrigerator.

Makes about 6 dozen total (3 dozen each flavor)

For the cookies:

  • 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups (11 oz) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 7/8 cup egg whites (210 ml), room temperature
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the lemon cookies:

  • 1 tbsp pure lemon extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

For the coconut cookies:

  • 1 tbsp pure coconut extract (optional)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup ground unsweetened coconut

For the white chocolate-raspberry ganache (adapted loosely from Sherry Yard’s white chocolate ganache):

  • 6 oz good quality white chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp (45g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, softened
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh raspberry puree
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • Scant 1 tbsp Chambord
  • A drop of red food coloring (natural preferred), optional, if you wish to enhance the color. I didn’t use it.

For the dark chocolate-coconut ganache:

  • 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • ½ tbsp dark rum

Make the cookies:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment or silicone baking mat (preferred). Set aside.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light. Gradually, beat in the egg whites, followed by the pure vanilla extract.

Divide the mixture in half between two bowls (weight to be precise). Into the one portion, whisk in the lemon extract and ¾ cup flour, mixing just until incorporated. Into another portion, whisk in the coconut extract (if using), ½ cup flour and ground coconut.

Transfer the batter (obviously, one at a time) into a large piping bag fitted with a ¼-inch round tip. Pipe 1-inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart (the cookies will seriously spread).

Bake, in batches, until the cookies spread and become light-golden around the edges, for about 10 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheet on a cooling rack. Once cooled, the cookies can be filled. Store the unfilled cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for several days. Sandwich with the ganache close to a serving time.

Make the white chocolate-raspberry ganache:

Pour about 1-inch of water into a frying pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and wait for a couple of minutes to cool. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl, then place the bowl with the chocolate into the hot water, just for a moment, to premelt the chocolate and buffer a shock of adding the hot liquid later. Remove the bowl from the water bath, add the butter.

In a small pan, bring to a boiling point the cream, raspberry puree, and corn syrup, stirring. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and let sit for two minutes without disturbing. When the time is over, gently stir the mixture with a rubber spatula in circular motion (from the center to the sides of the bowl) until the chocolate melts and the ganache is smooth. Gently stir in the liqueur. Let cool to room temperature and thicken. Pipe or spread over the cookies.

Make the dark chocolate-coconut ganache:

Follow the directions above.

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71 Responses to “Milan Cookies”

  1. how gorgeously elegant you make these look! vera a work of a master!

  2. What goregous milanos you did they are perfect in shape and size (and they are all the same shape and size WOW). And the photography is superb. Very well done on this challenge. Looking forward to your other challenges in the future. Hope the mallows work out as well. Bravo! Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  3. I drooled and sighed: they are just perfect.

  4. Like Meeta and Audax, I am marvelling at the perfect finish of your cookies.

  5. They look lovely ^^!! XOXO

  6. Oh, your milanos are perfect!!! How did you get them to be so round and even like that? I love how they are dark on the edges and pale in the center. I should’ve known that if anyone can turn such a homely cookie into a 5 star deal, it could only be you!!

  7. Oh wow… how did you get them so even…. they look absolutely perfect… and yummy on top of it!

  8. Yay, you did it! I think your Milans are the most perfect ones I’ve seen in this challenge thus far! I love the raspberry-white chocolate flavor so much, and the coconut filling is similar to one I made. I also used coconut milk in lieu of heavy cream for the ganache, but added some pure coconut extract to make sure you could taste a little more than a whisper of it :) It worked..although I love your addition of rum. All in all, amazing job, and gorgeous photos as well!!

  9. Your Milans are just so perfect. What a fantastic job. The photographs are so lovely, too. I can’t wait to see your mallows! :)

  10. Your Milans are beautiful! Such perfect neat circles. The white choc raspberry ganache sounds amazing.

    Lovely photos :)

  11. Oh these flavors sound delicious!

  12. Oh wow!! Your milans have the perfect finish, beautifully smooth and the flavors are yumm!!

  13. Wow..so neat.. love the white chocolate and raspberry ganache… beautiful pics as always :)

  14. They look so pretty! I love the flavors you chose!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  15. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your choice of filling!!

  16. Both the lemon and coconut milans sound divine!

  17. Simply marvelous! I’m swooning over the flavours you chose, expecially the white-chocolate and raspberry. And your cookies are so perfectly shaped and crispy-looking!

  18. Oh, your cookies look so elegant and stunning! They are so thin and crisp. I love the combination of flavors you chose, white chocolate raspberry sounds absolutely delicious!

  19. The look perfect! I love the raspberry and white chocolate idea.

  20. How beautiful. They look absolutely perfect!

  21. Such beautiful cookies! They look light and perfect for summer.

  22. Wow, I always wait in awe for your creations for the daring bakers… I’m never disapointed.

    Cheers!

  23. Absolutely gorgeous and beautiful cookies. I love the sound of you filing flavour. Lovely pictures too.

  24. Magnificent!! Beautiful pics and absolutely perfect looking milan cookies. I love the creative flavor combinations. You really went above and beyond.

  25. those look wonderful, Vera! are they similar to “Langue de Chat” cookies??

  26. Your cookies are so lovely, I’m fanning myself with my hand.

  27. Ooh yum, great flavour combinations! I’ll have to try making these :)

  28. OH they look just wonderful, and the white chocolate raspberry combo must be out of this world!! I want to make them with some almond extract in the cookie. YUM!

  29. they’re PERFECTLY thin, vera–golly, you’re amazing. your creations never fail to impress me. both fillings are stellar and i’m not sure which i’d enjoy more–each combo is superior in its own right.

  30. Wow, gorgeous!

  31. Mmm, very pretty! I’ve found a white chocolate and fruit whipped ganache is a lovely topping for cupcakes too!

  32. They look gorgeous. I’m late with this months challenge and I only made the other option but these are bookmarked to try later.

  33. WOW – what stunningly beautiful cookies!! Fabulous flavor combos, and your photos are amazing!

  34. Your cookies are so elegant! The coconut version sounds fabulous.

  35. Your idea with white chocolate and raspberry genache sound fantastic! Bet they were delicious! :)

  36. How did you managed such perfect cookies?! They’re gorgeous!

  37. I’ll play mallow to your milanos :)
    They look incredible! Quite possibly the most perfect I have seen so far!

  38. Have been waiting to see these Vera, & am thirlled that the wait has been so sweet. Excellent Milanos & great flavourings. Now will wait for the Mallows…can feel a virtual treat in the pilepline!

  39. So pretty and elegant. I love your choice of flavors.

  40. gorgeous! i love the flavor combinations too. i will have to try those! mine were not nearly as uniform in shape. i’m very impressed!

  41. Quite amazed at how they came out so evenly sized. The white chocolate raspberry ganache sounds lovely.

  42. Your photos are BEAUTIFUL and I love the flavor combination of the white chocolate raspberry ganache–delicious!

  43. Good god, I don’t think I’d even be able to draw such perfect circles on a piece of paper! Fabulous work!

  44. Thank you, everybody, for your great comments! I am flattered indeed!

    Sherry, yes, these cookies are basically the same.

  45. Wow! You did an awesome job! The cookies are so perfectly formed, and the filling choices you made are pure genius!!! Cant wait to see your mallows!

  46. I just envy the shape of your milanos.. they are perfectly round and same size… Can you tell us how did u pipe your batter, such that you have nicely round cookies?

  47. What incredible flavors! These sound way better than the plain old original milanos.

  48. i love the flavors of your cookies! and they look perfect!!! awesome job!

  49. Perfect… just perfect :))))))))))))

  50. Those cookies look amazing, I want some! hehe

  51. Oh Vera– your cookies put mine to shame. They are so evenly shaped, and browned and filled and I love your flavor combinations.

  52. thanks so much for the info, Vera! i will definitely be giving these a try! :)

  53. Wow, your milanos have such perfect shapes! I’m really impressed and tempted. Kudos!

  54. Vera, your milanos are pure perfection! I always love to see your DB results…just amazing! ;)

  55. They’re simply beautiful!

  56. These cookies are just to cute…feels like a little piece of heaven…yummie…so delicate.

  57. I love how delicate your cookies look – mine are more like shapeless blobs :P The coconut variation sounds wonderful as well.

  58. I so love your different flavours for the filling!! They all sound so yummie to me!!

    How to choose what you want to eat???
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,…they look just perfect!!

  59. Wow! These are beautiful. They look so yummy!

  60. WOW!!
    Perfection
    Your Milans cookies are the most beautiful cookies I ever seen.

  61. Your cookies look delicious and they are so delicate!
    I really love the flavors you chose!
    I can’t wait to see your mallows!

  62. vera, these look so good!!

  63. Every one of them looks perfect! You are really good at this.

  64. your cookies look too dreamy to be true!

  65. How can someone get the milanos so perfect?? You did it! :) Beautiful work Vera!

  66. Perfectly shaped milanos and beautiful photographing!

  67. These sound fabulous! For such a light tasting cookie, is there a certain type of pure vanilla extract that you prefer to use? Also, what about the pure lemon extract? Have you found any brands that taste different from others?

  68. Wow! these look gorgeous and delicious. Thanks!

  69. Thank you very much, everyone, for such kind words!

    Angie, I use organic flavorings in my baking, most of them are by Frontier. Pure lemon oil makes a great (better, I should say) alternative to the extract; natural citrus oils are readily available from many kitchen/baking supply stores on-line.
    Nielsen-Massey Vanillas are great; I usually use Madagascar Bourbon.

  70. whoaaaa!!!

  71. Your Milan Cookies look exquisite!

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