If you hand me a bag of Milano cookies, don’t expect to get anything less than an empty bag back. These cookies? They make me crazy! But anything with butter and chocolate usually does…except for when I was little. Back then I preferred a healthier diet of whole raw onions and lemons and limes with the peel still on (true story)….my sister (smart cookie that she was) was the one who could be found consuming butter by the stick on the dining room table. Thankfully it wasn’t long until I caught on to the deliciousness of butter….and of Milano cookies (thanks to my Grandmother’s cookie stash!). On a recent trip to my Grandmother’s house, what should I happen to find but a bag of Milano cookies, and who better to leave the bag empty than me (though I tried to blame it on my hubby). Since then I have had a serious continuous craving for these buttery cookies and I realized it was about time I learned how to make them (that, or it was time I started investing in Pepperidge Farms cookie stock).
Homemade Milano Cookies
Makes about 24 pairs
4 tablespoons of butter, chopped
2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
Flavors: 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint, 1 tablespoon of orange liquor + 1 teaspoon of lime zest, 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules, 1 tablespoon chopped dried lavender, 2 tablespoons finely chopped nuts (like hazelnuts or almonds)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheet(s) with either a silicone mat (what I use) or parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed. Add in the egg whites, beat for a minute, then add the vanilla. Finally add in the flour. Beat for a few seconds, then use a spatula to finish folding in the flour by hand.
Fill a pastry bag (or a ziplock bag with a small corner cut off) with the cookie batter. Pipe single lines of dough about 2 inches long and about 2 inches apart. The cookies will look very small, but as they bake they will expand into a larger size. Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes, or until the edges brown (watch them carefully). Let them cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a rack to let them fully cool.
To make the ganache filling, pour the cream into a microwaveable bowl. Heat on high for one minute. Stir in the chocolate until it is melted. (These steps can also be done in a small saucepan over low heat). If your ganache seems to thin, either add more chocolate or try refrigerating the ganache for about 10 minutes prior to spreading it on the cookies. At this point I divided my ganache into several bowls to make different flavors, but of course feel free to have just one flavor of filling.
Pair up your cookies with similar halves. Spread about one teaspoon of ganache on the flat side of one cookie, then top with another cookie. Continue until you have used up all the cookies. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to set the ganache.
To store (if you even have any left), keep refrigerated in an air tight container.
Recipe slightly adapted from here