Monday, July 27, 2009

July DB Challenge: Milan/Milano Cookies

Ummm.... let's just talk about how last minute I am on this challenge. It's 2:48 pm on reveal day and I am just posting now.
Insert obligatory DB sentence here:

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.

I chose to do the Milano cookies because they made me think of my sister and the time we would spend on our summer holidays in Florida. These were a must for her. The mint kind were her favourite.

Milano Cookie Recipe:

• 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 c powdered sugar
• 7/8 c egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp lemon extract
• 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
• Cookie filling

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 orange, zested

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pithivier: What happens to leftover Frangipane

At the end of this month's DB challenge I was left with some extra frangipane. What to do, what to do.
I have seen this gorgeous French pastry called Pithivier. Usually it is a gorgeous flower shape, tall and glistening puff pastry goodness.
I thought let's have a crack at this. It's not much of a recipe since it only consists of store bought or home made puff pastry and frangipane.
The recipe for the frangipane can be found here.

1/2 package of puff pastry
1 1/2 c frangipane, chilled
Egg wash
Corn syrup glaze
- 1 tbsp corn syrup and 1 tsp water


- Cut the puff pastry in half and roll each half till about 1/8 in. thick
- Place 1 piece on a parchment lined sheet pan
- Egg wash the whole piece
- Spoon frangipane down the middle in a long strip
- Place the top piece of pastry and seal
- Brush more egg wash on top
- cut a small vent hole in the top of the Pithivier

Bake at 375 for 30 mins.
Remove and brush with corn syrup then return to the oven for 15 more minutes.
Cool, slice and serve either when still warm or cool.