Milanos and Not-Mallows Cookies : Daring Bakers Challenge July, 2009
For this month's Daring Baker challenge, we were asked to bake two different cookies, both of which featured one of my favourites – chocolate! It was a different matter that I had never heard of either cookie before.
The only change I made there was to substitute the rice milk/ soy milk with milk. I also added a tbsp of cocoa powder to half the dough as I wanted to sandwich one vanilla cookie with one chocolate cookie to make my Milanos.
My cookie dough was a bit oily and not smooth enough, and my "Milano shaped" cookies ended with cracked edges. I didn't quite envisage this and have no idea why this happened, as other DBers who used this recipe made good cookies. I decided to salvage my cookie dough by rolling it out to about 1/8" thin and cutting out the cookies with a cutter. Now my cookies looked prettier and had no rough edges either. I baked the cookies as instructed and sandwiched them with the chocolate filling.
As good as these cookies were, they still didn't match my expectations of what I thought the Milano cookie would be like. For someone who has never seen a Milano, this was a slightly unrealistic expectation to have. So I went ahead and attempted the challenge recipe scaled down to a quarter. This meant using only 1 eggwhite, about 7 or 8 cookies (according to the instructions) and minimal wastage if the cookies didn't turn out right.
My first set of cookies spread out quite a bit looking quite unlike any cookies I've ever seen. I managed to make them look decent by drizzling leftover melted chocolate over them.
My next two batches turned out the right shape, which made me quite happy. They were a bit on the smaller side than I expected, but I think that's the size they're meant to be as I did pipe the cookie batter as instructed. I let the cookies cool, sandwiched them with melted chocolate and voila, Milano cookies!
While my rolled and cut out eggless Milano cookies looked pretty and were good, I didn't feel there was anything special or unusual about them. If you are looking for a reasonably good eggless cookie, then this recipe makes them.
The Milano cookies I made with the challenge recipe were much nicer in texture, crisp at edge and slightly chewy in the middle. About two hours after they had cooled down,however, the cookies became quite soft and lost any hint of crispness.
I seem to have lose-lose (as opposed to a win-win) situation here when it comes to the weather and some kinds of baking. Either the summer is too hot when all things buttercream (and such stuff) become soft/ melt, or the high humidity ensures that certain crisp bakes become spongy in texture!
My halved and slightly altered version of the challenge recipe (I substituted flax seed for the eggs and cardamom for the cinnamon) is given below:
- Blend the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the butter and using an electric mixer, mix till the mixture is sandy. Add the flax seed powder-water mixture and mix till combined. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
- Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes at 190C (375F) or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
- You can store the cookies in an airtight container till you're ready to top them and cover them with chocolate.
- Otherwise, place a small ball of marzipan (recipe follows) on each cookie, and smooth the marzipan ball down to cover the edges of the cookie. The cookie will look like it has a marzipan dome.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminium foil, parchment or silicon mat.
- One at a time, gently drop the marzipan-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
According to the recipe, my halved version should have given me about 1 dozen Milano cookies. What I ended up with was over 50 cookies! I can only guess that my Milanos were smaller and thinner than they should have been.
The cookies in themselves were quite good, a bit like shortbread and some where in between crisp and cake-like in texture. My daughter liked them plain and since I had so many cookies, I topped and coated only about 15 of them in chocolate.
The "Not Mallow" chocolate covered marzipan topped cookies were just heavenly. There was something very satisfying about biting into something chocolatey and encountering the textures of soft marzipan and a slightly crunchy cookie.
This part of this month's challenge got our full votes and this cookie is something I shall be experimenting with again.