This recipe is adapted from one by Chef Karen Barker, and let's you bake up crispy, crumbly, chocolately 'Milano' cookies just like the originals... but without all the junk! No soy, corn or hydrogenated vegetable oils here, just classic ingredients and a whole lot of yum.
The original Milano cookies
Oh, Pepperidge Farm, how you remind us of our grandfathers, our childhood and our serious lack of self control. No, I can never eat just one Milano cookie. Before I know it the bag is empty.
If you've never enjoyed Milanos, I'd like to say you're missing absolute deliciousness. But truly, you're saving yourself from serious calories and junk ingredients like processed soy and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
The making of a Milano adventure
When I saw a recipe for a homemade version of Milano cookies in my sister-in-law's kitchen, I couldn't resist. And as is fair game, I'm expected to come to town, stay a few nights and leave behind something scrumptious. Challenge, accepted.
Baking a better Milano cookie recipe
Apparently Che Karen Barker has also been seduced by the chocolate-filled wafer cookies. Her version of Milanos in her book Sweet Stuff, is divine, and what would be called tuile in classical French pastry.
Tuile is a light wheat flour batter, bound with a touch of egg white. It's absolutely perfect, and does not call for any gums, processed emulsifiers or hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Tips for baking 'Milano' cookies
Use a silicone baking mat. I'm not a fan of expensive and specialty kitchen tools (still boycotting the Instant Pot). But for tuile, a silicone mat or similar is key to success. If you don't have one and don't want one, you can get away with heavily greasing a very flat cookie sheet. Parchment paper won't work here. You can find silicone mats in most places that sell baking equipment, and of course online at Amazon and the like.
Watch the baking carefully. Fair warning, these little devils can go from underdone to way burnt in a literal hot second. My biggest tip would be to watch closely while they bake, and take them out as soon as they turn light golden around the edges.
Finesse the lift. If there is one thing I learned working in a Thomas Keller restaurant, it was finesse. And this is the best way I can describe how to removing the Milano cookies off the pan. A nice, gentle lift with a flexible spatula or thin butter knife works best. Pushing up gently from underneath the mat can help loosen the tuile.
Then melt some chocolate, spread it, stack 'em up, and enjoy yourself a little Milano cookie. Or more than one if you want to keep it real.
What's that, you say? Challenge, accepted? I thought I could count on you.
Yours in eating the whole batch,
Better than the original! Or at least better for you. No soy, corn or hydrogenated oil to be found!
- 4 ounces/1 stick butter, unsalted
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon egg whites (from one large egg)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2-3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350° F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat butter, salt and sugar on high speed until lightened in color.
- Slowly drizzle in egg white and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
- Add flour in several additions on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beaters often.
- Fill a piping bag or large plastic bag with the batter, and snip an inch-wide hole in the corner.
- Pipe ¾-inch rounds or ovals onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or well-greased with shortening or butter. Space cookies an inch apart. Use a wet fingertip to press down any peaks of batter.
- Bake for eight to ten minutes, rotating the pan at least once, just until the edges brown. Remove immediately to cool.
- Melt chocolate in a double-boiler (heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water), and cool five minutes off the heat.
- Match up cookies into same-sized pairs. Place chocolate in a piping bag and snip a small hole.
- Pipe a dollop of chocolate onto half of the cookies, and top each one with its match.
- Optional: Drizzle any remaining chocolate over cookies with a zig-zag motion.
Keywords: milano cookies recipe, homemade milano cookies, Pepperidge Farm's Milano cookies