Monday, July 27, 2009

It's About Time - Back to Daring Bakers

This summer has been crazy! Weddings, baby showers, new family members, crazy hot, a new swing set for the kids, did I mention - crazy hot? So busy in fact, that I missed last month's Daring Bakers' challenge.

I almost missed this month's challenge too. I finally made it at about 9 pm on reveal day (that would be tonight). Part of the reason for late night baking is that my son is going through a tough time in terms of what he can eat and is on a pretty restrictive diet. It seems to be helping, but I'll admit it's not a ton of fun: no dairy, no sugar, and no yeast. Yikes! That's rough in our house, but worth it to see him doing better. So I bake my creamy, sugary Daring Baker challenges (aka poison to my son) at night so as not to hurt his feelings by refusing to let him lick the bowl.

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.

Unfortunately I did not have time to get to the marshmallow cookies, but mark my word, I will blog those in the future. Homemade marshmallow has been on my To Bake list for a very long time.

The Milan Cookies come together very quickly, although as of this post, my chocolate has still not firmed up as much as I would like. I'm hoping as they sit, it will. Also, these cookies are definitely different than the Milano cookies you may be expecting. To my taste, these were a bit too egg-whitey. That may just have been my rushing through the recipe and the heat in my kitchen. (Did I mention it's always hot here?) but they weren't quite what I was hoping for.

The crushed, roasted and salted pistachios definitely make the cookies something special. The salty crunch they add is key.

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network.

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.


Mary Katie said...

I should comment on the fact that I was just venturing into the kitchen to bust out my nightly Milano snack. Delicious irony.

Anonymous said...

Yum, they came out perfectly!! So sorry your son can't have any :(

Danielle said...

So pretty, E. It is nasty hot here too. Not as hot as there, but muggy with a capital MUGG. I feel your pain.

Lisa Michelle said...

Those are some beautiful Mialns! Perfectly 'tuile like' thin and so clean (I got chocolate and crumbs all over I also used pistachios in one of my preps, but added them ground to the batter. I wish I had done it your way instead, much more attractive, and since it's dipped in chocolate, much tastier! Great job! Also, your poor son :) That really stinks for him! You're a good mommy - waiting to bake at night when he's asleep :)

Anula said...

Your Milano cookies are pure perfection :) I would LOVE one with a nice cup of coffee!

Catalina said...

Yes, I will make these cookies! They look beautiful. Do you get your pistachios at Costco or is Winco better?

Ethan said...

Thanks all!

Katie - I do love the "delicious irony"

D - at least we are ACed. How's my boy doing?

Lisa - pistachios in the batter sounds great! I think they really helped the overall flavor.

Cat - I got them at Winco because you can buy a super small amount. I only really needed about a 1/2 Cup at the most.

Anonymous said...

Mmm the pistachios do sound like they'd be great with these.

Katia Clark said...

Glad the boy is making progress. Those look great.

Anonymous said...

The pistachio is a great idea - I can imagine how well that would pair with chocolate and lemon!

Danielle said...

baby boy is napping all by himself at the moment. huh-freaking-zah! glad to hear YOUR baby boy is doing so well!

Danielle said...

ps - i hope there will be a pickled eggs post soon!

Christina said...

Wow! Yours look awesome! So perfect!

Anonymous said...

your cookies look beautiful!

Deb said...

These looks delicious! I think I may venture to try this recipe ;)