Daring cookie monsters!

This month's Daring Bakers challenge was done in the very last minute - on the day of the reveal (i.e. today). Fortunately, the challenge this month wasn't too time-consuming:
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.
Yum! Both these cookies are versions of store-bought cookies, Mallows and Peppridge Farm's Milano Cookies. I've never had Mallows, but we both like Milanos. The challenge said that we could do both cookies, or chose just one recipe. Due to lack of time time we had to limit ourselves to one of the recipes, and chose the easiest one, the Milans. I was really looking forward to making my own marshallows, but alas, that has to wait for another time.

The Milan cookies were easy to make (and the batter was delicious!). We halved the recipe and omitted the vanilla extract as that is hard to find in Sweden (we get vanilla sugar and whole vanilla pods/beans, but normal grocery stores don't sell extract). We also didn't find any lemon extract, only "lemon aroma" which is oil-based, so we reduced the amount to one teaspoon.

The Milans turned out great - they are light and delicate, and taste very close to the original. Thanks Nicole for a tasty challenge!

Here's the recipe for the Milan cookies - for the recipe for chocolate covered marshmallow cookies, go to the Daring Kitchen recipe archive or to the Food Network.

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

• 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.

Previously completed challenges:
February 2009: Chocolate Valentino
March 2009: Lasagne of Emiglia-Romana
April 2009: Cheesecake
May 2009: Strudel
June 2009: Bakewell Tart...er...pudding


  1. beautiful cookies! I always leave my challenges to last minute too- nice to make life a little more exciting, right? wonderful job...

  2. Your Milans came out just like the Pepperidge Farm ones! I would not know the difference! It seems quite a few people living outside America are trumping a lot of us Americans in this challenge when it comes to the appearance of these cookies, which we've been eating since we were kids. Go figure..lol

  3. Great job! They look great! I still need to make mine....

  4. Great work -- that's one pretty cookie! Maybe I'll give them another go when it's cooler.

  5. Lovely milano cookies. I like your photos a lot! You did a great job :) Cheers!

  6. The shape of your cookies is perfect! You did a great job. I made the chocolate covered marshmallow cookies ... now i want to give the Milanos a try.

  7. hehe, yours look a lot better than mine. we have the same problem of finding vanilla extract here in denmark but i brought a bottle with me from california the last time i visited. however, i usually prefer vanillesukker as it leaves lovely black flecks in the final product. ^^

  8. oooh, you kind of have me wishing I went for Milanos as well, but as you I baked my mallows on the day of the reveal, because I, it seems, manage to procrastinate even in baking :) Did you used to live in HK?

  9. I also waited until the last minute and made the milans:) Yours look really great!!! Great job on the challenge!

  10. Thanks for all your sweet comments!
    Alisaz: we lived in HK for 6 months last year. Absolutely loved it and we want to go back... Hopefully soon!

  11. Your Milan cookies looks very well done, congratullations!

  12. Your milans are perfect stand-ins for the original Pepperidge Farm packages with slightly crisped edges. Fabulous job!