I'm not sure if others have had similar experiences during childhood, but I must share this experience with you...
My brother and I were not allowed, under ANY circumstances, to eat mom's Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. She only bought them for two reasons: 1.) we were taking a long car trip, or 2.) they were on sale and she had a coupon. No matter the reason though, these precious little commodities were not for kids. They were kept hidden, sometimes even in mom's purse, and if we ever came across them in our searches for a snack, we knew she had the cookies counted so if one was missing, she would know.
Flashforward to the present...
Since moving out of my parents' house years ago, I'm not sure if mom is still as compulsive about her Milanos as she once was but I do know that Pepperidge Farm has struck gold after releasing new flavors of their oh so simple and delicious original Milanos and they now boast 11 different flavors!! No, I certainly haven't tried them all but I definitely have tested out the orange Milanos and was not at all let down. In fact, they are so good that I was inspired to copycat them at home.
Thanks to the help of the butter cookie recipe I was given from Nestie Katie102006 during the WC Recipe Exchange (all recipes are desserts) that she organized, I was able to recreate the orange Milanos for Christmas this year. I realize making the connection between butter cookie and chocolate dipped orange heaven might be a stretch, but part of the fun of this exchange is that we can modify the recipe to our liking. Why a recipe exchange rather than a cookie swap, you ask? Well, Katie and I are part of an online community message board (called What's Cooking, hence WC) on theNest.com where there is a whole slew of other young mostly married women who exchange recipes, stories, thoughts, jokes, and many many questions throughout the day, all day, 7 days a week. And since we're located all over the world, it's slightly impractical to mail a box of cookies to someone during the rush of the Christmas season with the expectation that they will arrive on time and not in a million pieces. So the idea of the WC Recipe Exchange was born. Now, I still don't know who's recipe this is because guessing who the owner of the recipe is is part of the exchange and we will find out after the cut-off date of December 22nd...but whoever you are, THANK YOU!!! This is a wonderful butter cookie recipe that not only stands beautifully on it's own, but also is the perfect base recipe to modify and is seriously one of the easiest cookie recipes I've come across in a while. Please see my modifications in italics below.
I'm also submitting this recipe to Susan (over at Food Blogga) for her Christmas Cookies from Around the World 2007 event as I think these little pieces of heaven will be a nice addition the huge array of cookies Susan is bringing in.
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp almond extract (I used 1 tsp pure vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp pure orange extract)
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 3 tbsp course sugar
- 2 oz bittersweet choclate
- 2 oz semi-sweet choclate
- Cream butter. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in flour.
- Separate the dough in half, leaving one half of the dough in the bowl. To this dough, add 1/2 tsp pure orange extract. Using a spatula work extract into dough so that it is evenly distributed.
- This recipe is meant for a cookie press, but I can never get my cookie press to work. So what I do is use a small cookie scoop and flatten the dough into discs. I think this dough could be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters as well. I rolled the dough into logs about 2 inches in diameter, wrapped them in clear plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours. I sliced them with a sharp knife into 1/4" x 2" discs.
- Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet. Decorate with colored sugar, rainbow nonpareils, or press a thumbrint into the cookies and fill with jam. Also can be baked plain and iced with frosting when cooled. I used coarse sugar.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove immediately to wire rack to cool.
- While cookies cool, heat chocolate in a double boiler. After cooling, dip the orange cookies in the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.
Active prep time: 20 minutes
Inactive prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 8-10 minutes