Homemade Milano Cookies


It’s hard not to love Milano cookies.  Every time I go down the juice aisle to grab kid standards like apple juice and juice boxes . . . the accursed store employees have placed the cookie aisle right there, beside me.  I try not to look at the Milanos . . . but they get me every time . . . like a siren calling me to the rocks.  “Eat me . . . eat me!!!!!”
But do you know those things are almost $5 a pack?  So I never (well . . . “never” is a bit strong . . . I HARDLY EVER buy them).  They are also fairly high calorie . . . so the cause is hopeless.
Or is it?
Fear not, fellow Milano lover!  These are every bit as delicious as the real thing, but they cost a fraction of the cost, and because they use egg whites, rather than eggs, they are at least a little lower calorie than the original, also.  Goodness! Can these cookies please get down on one knee and propose?  Because I can’t live without you, baby.
What are we waiting for?  Let’s do this!
Milano Cookies Recipe (adapted from several other recipes that I found, online)
12 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
200 grams egg whites (roughly 6 eggs’ worth)
1.5 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
Filling Ingredients:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 heaping cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Directions: Cream butter and powdered sugar until it is light and fluffy.  Add in egg whites and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Add in flour and mix until combined.  Using a tsp. cookie scoop, place batter on a silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for roughly 15 minutes, until the cookies are starting to brown on the edges.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack before adding creamy ganache filling.  For filling, combine heavy cream and chocolate in a saucepan and allow to completely melt together.  Cool ganache in a metal pan until ready to use.  Refrigerate or freeze cookies if you do not plan to eat them, immediately, to preserve crispness.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
First, combine the powdered sugar and butter together, in a bowl.  Cream them until they are nice and light and fluffy . . . channel your inner warm and fuzzy thoughts.
This is what your batter will look like when the sugar and butter are creamed together.  It is so light it could practically do a commercial for Weight Watchers.  Sigh.  Lovely.  (And by “Light” I mean, in consistency, not calorie. Hehe).
Mix in your egg white and vanilla.  The batter will seem kind of unmixed (oil and water never mix too well), but when you add the flour, it will become a gorgeous, creamy ribbon of batter.  This is what you want.
Now comes the conundrum.  REAL Milanos are kind of like gorgeous long ovals of cookies.  Now, if you are incredibly ambitious, and you want to use a piping bag and try to get all those shapes the exact same, perfect size, be my guest.  But the name of the game, for me, is taste and “Get this done before the kids realize I’m out here, stirring without their assistance!”  Therefore, I went with the faithful cookie scoop. I used a teaspoon cookie scoop (these cookies spread quite a bit, and the scoop also helps to mound the dough, a bit, so that the spread isn’t as pronounced), so that the finished cookies are basically the same size.
Nonetheless, even with the cookie scoop, these cookies won’t be exactly the same size.  If I had a name for this dough, I would call it “Toddler Dough,” because it always does what it wants, no matter how hard you try to mold it.  So sometimes you just have to do your best and accept what it is, even if it might not be what you had in mind.  😉
Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Let’s get those to baking and start on our filling.  Let’s make our ganache with a little panache!
First, get yourself about 1/2 heaping cup of semi sweet chocolate chips.  If you prefer the dark milanos, use dark chocolate chips. You can use any flavor of chips that you like.  Today I saw espresso chips at the store.  Oooooooh . . . wouldn’t that be amazing??
Place your chocolate chips and 1/4 cup heavy cream together, in a saucepan.  Turn the heat on medium low and stir, occasionally, so that your chocolate starts to melt, but doesn’t burn.
Continue stirring until you get all the chocolate lumps out.  The ganache doesn’t need to be hot– just melted.  I wish I could somehow stir myself and get all the lumps and bumps out.  Ha.
Spread your finished ganache into a metal pan (I used an 8×8) if you want, to help it cool a little more quickly.  This isn’t essential, but it speeds up the time it will take to make a finished cookie, and therefore, will get you a yummy Milano in your mouth, faster.  Seems like a no brainer to me.
Now, the cookies are done!  They smell great, don’t they!  You want them to be just starting to brown around the edges.  If you want your cookies super crispy, let them brown a little bit more.
When the cookies have finished cooling on a cooling rack, use that same handy dandy tsp. scoop to make a scant tsp. of ganache filling in each one.
Oh, OK.  You twisted my arm. Load it up until it oozes out the sides, begging you to eat the extra chocolate.  I won’t judge.
Top your ganache with another cookie.  Admire all those sweet little chocolate filled cookies smiling sweetly at you.
Did I mention these are lighter than normal Milanos?  OK . . . so not a great deal lighter, but lighter is lighter!  Let’s not split hairs, here.
So have one.  Have two.  Because you did it.
And I’m just so proud of you.


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