The Daring Bakers July Challenge - Milan cookies

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.

After all I have to conclude I wasn't very lucky with the challenges this month. First I had to pass the cooks challenge simply because of lack of time with all the additional things to do at work. Second the things in my kitchen didn't went smooth as well. Maybe I am just out of practice after abandoning it most of the time this month - just visiting for short breakfasts. I won't mention the Marshmallow cookie disaster - it's too embarassing. At least, I produced a sort of Milan cookies somehow ...

Milan Cookies

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
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

In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.

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 - it was silly of me trying to fit all doe onto one tray - well you're guessing the outcome: one cookie 'sheet' instead of cookies. Luckyly I also used my madeleine molds so at the end I had some kind of cookies I could use further.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools). 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.

Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

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