Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge - Vegan Milanos


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.

How nice to have an option to make either or both of these cookies for this month’s challenge. The marshmallow cookies, sadly, were not an option for me, as I don’t have any vegan marshmallows. The Milanos, however, have already been veganized, thanks to Isa.

Isa’s recipe is more suited to my family’s tastes. She uses a bit of orange zest in the cookie batter and a pure chocolate filling. Gale Gand’s recipe has lemon zest in the cookie batter and orange zest in the chocolate. My family has a thing about fruity chocolate. I did use Gand’s method to spread on the chocolate filling rather than Isa’s method of dipping the cookies into the melted chocolate.

I knew the hardest part of the recipe would be making good looking cookies. I've steered clear of baking sandwich cookies because it's difficult (for me, anyway) to hand shape evenly sized cookies. I didn’t flour my hands to pat out the dough as per Isa’s method. I found the oily batter to be quite easy to work with as is. As usual, my only issue is the time it takes to shape 32 cookies. My attention span is about 10 minutes and these required much longer than that, probably about 30 minutes. I was reasonably happy with my shaping.



I baked the cookies for 14 minutes. After they cooled I melted the chocolate. I was doing other things in the kitchen, and my chocolate seized up. I saved it by adding 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance and 1 tablespoon of corn syrup, then I reheated it and got it back to a nice smooth consistency. I spread it on and made the little sandwiches. Voila!


Now I haven’t had a store bought milano in years, but I’m sure mine are too thick. I have to call them My Big Fat Milanos.



Since these are not gluten free cookies, I had only a taste of about half a cookie. Aside from being too fat, the cookies are wonderful. I am a huge chocoholic, but I would enjoy eating just these cookies without the chocolaty center. They are really crispy, and I enjoyed that for a change. Plus it's perfect with the creamy chocolate center. I know this recipe made the blog rounds about a year ago, so if you didn’t make them then, you should now. They are actually quite easy to bake and super delicious to eat!

22 comments:

Chrissy said...

i have not made that recipe, but i'm so glad you shared it! when i first went vegan, my mother gasped in horror, "but what about milano cookies?!" i can't wait to make these for her.

Andrea said...

Okay, I'm heading off to see the recipe, but I probably have an attention span of 9 minutes. Your cookies look beautiful to me, but I don't know anything about milanos.

LK Sisters said...

Delicious! Haven't had those in years!

miss v said...

veganizing these are a dream come true for me! seriously! i use to eat these every day when i was in high school (and ovo-lacto veg). amazing work!

snugglebunny said...

Didn't know that Isa had veganized Milano cookies either, but they were never my favorite from Peppridge Farm; I always went for the Wedding Cake Cookes. Not sure if I will ever try these, since I'm not into shaping cookies either. But nice to know that they are out there if needed.

Ricki said...

They do look good! I'm sure the orange added an extra dimension that made them irresisitible (and I think I'd be the opposite of you--would go for just the filling!) ;)

twoveganboys said...

Wow. The milanos look delicious.

Bianca said...

Yum! I didn't know Isa had veganized those. I'll have to look for the recipe. I used to love those little Pepperidge Farm milanos!

jessy said...

i love the sound of orange zest in the cookie batter, Diann! i'm gonna have to check out Isa's recipe. your milanos look so pretty - and i'm glad you saved the chocolate! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Jes said...

Those look so tasty! Being a chocoholic I **know** I would eat half a batch in one sitting :)

Hannah said...

Mm, your milanos look great! Isn't Isa's recipe wonderful? :)

Gaia @ Viva Granola said...

Hey Diann!
Cookies look wonderful :)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, I am dying to make those!

A_and_N said...

I love how your cookies retained that shape. Good work!

Mihl said...

Never had any milanos! They look wonderful and I love everything with a chocolate center.

Jacqueline said...

They look really good Diann. You have a lot more patience than you crdeit yourself with!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

These look fantastic!!!

Jackie at PhamFatale.com said...

wow what a great way to twist the challenge and turning it vegan. I love them and mmm chocolate!

Veg-a-Nut said...

I so remember those cookies. They were so good I could eat an entire bag by myself. YOu have such self control! :o)

Vegetation said...

I have that same attention span. I think it's why I make muffins and not cookies so much.

I've never eaten or seen a Milano but yours look fantastic and I love orange in chocolate so they sound good too!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I think these are really impressive!

Erin said...

Your milanos look wonderful!