Friday, October 29, 2010

Homemade Milano Cookies

If you've ever reached for the iconic, white package of any Pepperidge Farm cookies, you know what a delight they can be. My hands-down favorite has to be Chessmen, but I would never turn down a good Milano. Or one of those rolled wafer things. Or a Tahiti cookie. Ok, I never turn down a cookie. Except if they have nuts. The point is - I made Milanos! At home!



How, you may ask, did I get that shape? Well I'll tell you. With this:
This, my friends, is a cookie press. This particular one, if you couldn't tell, is quite old. Like before I was born, before my parents even met, before Nixon was president, old. In fact if you google "Sawa 2000" you'll see it being sold as delightful 1960s antique.
Anyway, for those of you who have never heard of such a contraption, it's quite simple. The cookie press is a metal or plastic tube, that comes with a variety of metal disks. You fill the tube with cookie dough, and fit the disk of your choice on the bottom, and the device helps you squeeze out a perfectly shaped cookie with each click of the handle. Tada!
Since the Sawa 2000 is in fact not on the market anymore, I was looking around for a brand to recommend for those of you looking to try. They're really not too expensive, you can find many choices between $10 and $20. They now make battery-operated versions, though I've heard bad things about them. If you can, get a metal option, as the plastic ones have a tendency to break - although they do give you the benefit of seeing how much dough is left. This seems to be a solid choice for a beginner.
Well, I've spent all this time talking about the cookie press, and not about the cookies. These were pretty adorable, and fun to make. I think I may want to up the amount of chocolate filling - perhaps a double coat, or a ganache? Try them out and let me know!

Tip of the Day: Not every cookie dough will work in a cookie press (and obviously no mix-ins) - it has to be the right consistency and density. If you want to try it out, look for recipes specifically designed for a cookie press - and test out the one below!

Recipe: (adapted from Baked Perfection)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (or about 6 ounces bar chocolate)

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add in the egg, vanilla and salt and beat until combined.
Stir in the flour.
Fill the cookie press with the dough and fit the disk on.
Press the cookies out onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 inch apart.
Bake on 375 F for about 10 minutes, until just lightly golden.
Transfer to wire racks until cool.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl, and spread onto the bottom of one cookie. Place a second cookie on top and let sit until dry.

3 comments:

  1. It won't surprise you to know that we had a SAWA when I was very young and Your Grandma used to bake cookies ( which were called biscuits in those days) every week with it.
    Ask your Mum if she remembers it.

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  2. The picture of your SAWA made me laugh, my mum has the exact same one, a hundred years old still and still in original packeting. I resently bought a newer version but it came with no recipes.

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