Monday, 20 July 2009

Daring Bakers - July

It's that time again, the reveal date for Daring bakers where cooking blogs all over the world all show you versions of the same recipe..

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.

I really wanted to make both but in the end time was against me and I only managed the Milan Cookies, however as i still have the ingredients for the Marshmallow cookies they may make an appearance later. We were allowed to do only one however so I have still officially completed the challenge.
Milan cookies are very thin cookies sandwiched together with chocolate. Obviously I need to adapt the recipe but in fact it worked very well just substituting Dove Farm flour for the wheat flour and indeed some of those cooking conventionally mentioned the cookies went quite soft after a day where as the gluten free ones kept their texture much better being crisp round the edges with a slight softness in the middle of the biscuit, so a plus for gluten free. I expect that is because of the natural shortness of most gluten free flours and the fact that I did not add any extra liquid to the mix. As gluten free flours tend to need more liquid this kept them crisp.

The first biscuits shown on the trays at the top are a better colour than the ones shown with chocolate as the second batch over cooked slightly, However I gave most of the first batch away before I could photograph them finished, hence the slightly less ideal ones in the finished picture. Still they tasted nice, though te just brown round the edges ones were prettier and did taste even better.

I think I would cut back on the vanilla and lemon for everyday use and in fact i didn't use the full amount in the batch I did but having some in they is very good as it brings them up from being just a basic biscuit.

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 (I used Dove Farm gluten free plain 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. (I used a teaspoon instead)

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.

One of the tips given by another Daring baker was to use tins to get all the biscuits the same size, I tried this but put too much in each pan so i did indeed get round cookies but they were more cake like in texture.

I think this recipe will go in my to use again file because while I had to do several batches to use all the mixture it really wasn't hard and I loved the delicate texture and the chocolate was good too. I am tempted to try sandwiching some with my gooseberry curd and dipping one end in chocolate as well.


  1. Esther, I agree that the toasty brown edges improved the flavor greatly, and also agree about the extract..too much lemon for me. However, yours came out did the photos. Lovely job as always :)

  2. I only did one, too. And the lemon was a bit much!
    but your cookies look lovely, especially in the absence of a pastry bag. yum!

  3. Your cookies look wonderful, I love the colour you got in the edges =D. Beautiful job Esther!!

  4. I like how you just spooned the dough. But mine was much thinner for some reason.

  5. With a new baby I've had to take a little break from Daring Bakers, but these look great.

    Here's my menu for the week, by the way- thanks for hosting!


  6. I love that your cookies look like mini cakes oozing with chocolate! Yummmm!

  7. Kudos on making the milanos. They look great. I only made the mallows. Well done on the challenge