For as long as I can remember, I have carried a deep love for Milanos, those vaguely European vanilla cookies sandwiched together with chocolate from the folks at Pepperidge Farm. So I finally figured out a way to make a Milano cookie recipe myself. While tinkering with the recipe, I discovered that whipping hot fudge makes a silky, milk chocolate frosting, the perfect filling for these cookies. I dare you to eat just one.–Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy
LC Better Than Pepperidge Farm Note
Will this homemade Milano cookie recipe take longer than it would to make a quick jaunt to the store for a bag of Milanos to sate your craving? Why yes, it will. Quite a lot longer, actually. But where’s the satisfaction in just ripping the bag open the moment you get to the car? Where’s the strangely satisfying longing that comes with prolonged anticipation? Where’s the loveliness that comes with a perfectly imperfect homemade touch? Where’s the satisfaction taken in creation? Because we gotta tell you, the Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie simply can’t compete with these homemade Milano cookies from one of our favorite cookbooks of the year.
Special Equipment: Ateco tip #895 for piping the cookies and filling them with hot fudge
Milano Cookie Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 1 H, 30 M
- 4 H
- Makes about 36
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups Hot Fudge (we suggest making this the day before and refrigerating it overnight)
- 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugars and mix on low speed to incorporate. Increase the speed to medium and cream the butter mixture until it is aerated and looks like frosting, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
- 2. Put the milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup.
- 3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- 4. Add the milk and vanilla and mix on medium speed for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until nearly incorporated.
- 5. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together, approximately 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and mix for another 30 seconds to a minute to ensure the batter is homogeneous. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand.
- 6. Fit a pastry bag with the Ateco tip #895 and fill with the cookie dough.
- 7. The most challenging part of making these cookies is piping the batter so that the cookies are the same size. To make it easier, fold sheets of parchment paper into thirds like a business letter, using the folds as a template for piping. (For this recipe, make 4 sheets of parchment paper the same dimensions as a half sheet pan (13 by 18 inches). Fold each sheet of parchment into thirds lengthwise like a business letter. Line 4 half sheet pans with the folded parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. (Alternatively, if you don’t have enough pans, you can put the parchment paper directly on the counter and transfer the paper and piped cookies to a sheet pan when a pan frees up.)
- 8. Holding the pastry bag at a 90-degree angle, pipe 3 rows of 2 1/2-inch-long strips of dough onto the parchment, up to 20 cookies per pan, using the folds in the parchment paper as a guide. As you pipe, keep the pastry tip close to the parchment paper. To release the cookie dough from the tip, run the tip back over the top of the cookie. Refrigerate the sheet pans until firm, at least 20 minutes, working in batches if refrigerator space is limited.
- 9. Heat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- 10. Bake 1 pan of cookies at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the edges are golden brown and the tops are firm, 4 to 6 minutes more. Let the cookies cool completely on the pans. They ought to crisp as they cool. Meanwhile, bake the remaining cookies, 1 pan at a time.
- 11. When you’re ready to assemble the Milano cookies, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the hot fudge until it lightens to the color of milk chocolate and looks like frosting, 3 minutes.
- 12. Fit a pastry bag with the Ateco tip #895 and fill the bag with the hot fudge.
- 13. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper. Sort through the cookies and pair them in sets of 2 cookies of almost identical or similar size. Turn half the cookies over. Pipe even strips of hot fudge down the length of the upturned cookies, leaving a small amount of room at the ends. Top each frosted cookie with the flat side of a second cookie and press lightly to adhere.
- 14. Place the Milano cookies on a parchment-lined sheet pan and refrigerate until set before serving. (The cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days—as if they’ll last that long.)
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
Milano Cookie Recipe © 2015 Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy. Photo © 2015 Dan Goldberg. All rights reserved.
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