Posted on 7/27/2009

Murani's Milano Cookies

I am very pleased to present my second Daring Kitchen challenge which is simultaneously my very first Daring Bakers endeavour. Back home there was a Pepperidge Farm outlet store and I don't think we ever walked out the door without a package of Milano cookies. They are quite easy to make and take very little time to prepare and bake. The cookie can end up quite tough if you overwork the batter so be careful when you incorporate the flour!

Cristoforo Munari, Still-life with Porcelain Vases, Flute, Books, and Oranges, 1706-1713

The late-Baroque, Italian painter, Cristoforno Munari worked predominantly in still life. The standards of Baroque art were encouraged by the Roman Catholic church and embodied iconography and monarchy though an intensely precise handling of paint. Munari was an official court painter for the Medici family, the predominant sponsor of all Renaissance art in Florence. The disarray of the subject matter, the overturned bowl, curled pages, and precariously place instrument were characteristic of Munari's compositions. He often suggested the jovial glut of the court through carefully composed chaos (1).

milano cookies

Originally made by Pepperidge Farm, the Milano cookie was invented through the failure of the Naples cookie. Much like the Milano, the Naples was made of a wafer-like cookie with a rich chocolate topping. However, in warmer climates the cookies would stick together prompting Pepperidge Farm to turn them into a sandwich cookie. The Milano was part of the 'European' series the company rolled out and were marketed to adults as an indulgence sweet rather than a treat for children (2).

milano cookie bite

{Milano Cookies}
adapted from the Food Network (recipe by Gale Gand)
makes about a baker's dozen

6 TB butter
1 1/4 c icing sugar
3 egg whites
1 TB vanilla extract
1 TB lemon zest
3/4 c flour

1/4 c double cream
3/4 c chocolate chips
1 TB orange zest

Cream the butter and the sugar together. Gradually add the egg whites and the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add the flour and mix until just combined. With a small tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto parchment paper on a baking tray. Space the batter two inches apart (they will spread while baking).

Preheat the oven to 180 and bake for 10 minutes until the edges are golden. Let cool.

Heat the double cream in a small saucepan until scalded. Pour over the chocolate and whisk. Add the orange zest and continue to whisk until well combined. Let cool. Sandwich the filling between the flat sides of two cookies.

39 Responses to Murani's Milano Cookies

  1. peasepudding
    July 27, 2009 at 12:56 PM
    Your Cookies have turned out wonderful and I love your Blog! Thanks for your comment on mine.
  2. Cakelaw
    July 27, 2009 at 1:05 PM
    Your Milanos look terrific - well done. Your comment on the still-life is interesting too.
  3. Belle@Ooh, Look
    July 27, 2009 at 1:18 PM
    Your milano cookies look delicate yet rich. Well done! PS: Is there any link with Munari's claim of 'glut through composed chaos'?
  4. Anh
    July 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM
    You always have a special perspectibe in your post. :) love the cookies, the photos and the painting. Very artistic.
  5. Karen
    July 27, 2009 at 2:28 PM
    Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos are my favorite cookie ever. I would never had dreamed I could make my own. I'll have to try this recipe out for sure!
  6. Lisa Michelle
    July 27, 2009 at 3:11 PM
    Your cookies look exactly like the Pepperidge farm cookies, but with the perfect hint of homemade. Beautifully executed and mouth watering :)
  7. Heavenly Housewife
    July 27, 2009 at 3:56 PM
    Beautiful job. I love it.
    p.s. I lost this site for a bit and then found it again, thank goodness :) --i totally love it. I think its one of the most original food blogs on the net (so u will be see ing alot more of me ;))
  8. Snooky doodle
    July 27, 2009 at 5:11 PM
    THESE LOOK DELICIOUS! I didn t know about the Naples cookies. Really interesting
  9. shaz
    July 27, 2009 at 6:28 PM
    Your Milanos look picture perfect and great background info. Love your artistic info as well :)
  10. Ellie
    July 27, 2009 at 7:25 PM
    Your milanos look pretty! I love the shot of the half eaten one! :)
  11. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 27, 2009 at 7:31 PM
    Gorgeous work Meg! They look wonderful and happy second DB challenge! :)
  12. Karen
    July 27, 2009 at 8:30 PM
    I love that last photo. What beautiful light!
  13. Audax
    July 27, 2009 at 9:13 PM
    Your photos are excellent and I LOVE how you include art in your posting and I just LOVE art so a double bonus. Wonderful cookies. Cheers from Audax
  14. Sandra Jackson
    July 27, 2009 at 9:59 PM
    Looking Delicious !!!
    i will prepare these cookies and share the taste with you ...
  15. Lone Acorn
    July 27, 2009 at 10:18 PM
    These cookies look so tempting. And are so easy to make.
  16. Olga
    July 28, 2009 at 1:11 AM
    Those look so cute. And the blue plate is very pretty!
  17. Hannah
    July 28, 2009 at 3:28 AM
    Lovely work! Your cookies look even better than the originals. :)
  18. liz {zested}
    July 28, 2009 at 4:57 AM
    Hilarious! I'm intrigued by the choice of Murani to go with the milanos, instead of a typical Milanese Baroque type like Caravaggio. Do tell.
  19. dessert girl
    July 28, 2009 at 4:58 AM
    Yay! The Pepperidge Farm outlet! I love the idea of making your own Milano cookies. When I lived with my folks, it seemed like there was always a bag around the house! I love the stacked pic, too!
  20. Megan@Feasting on Art
    July 28, 2009 at 7:28 AM
    Thank you very much everyone for the comments!!

    @Belle, Munari's composed chaos was to mimic the disarray of the court after a night of revelry. Or did you mean a link to the dessert?

    @liz, I didn't even think of matching the city! To tell you the truth, this post was pretty last minute so I grabbed the first Italian still life painting I found in my archive folder and used that.
  21. Y
    July 28, 2009 at 7:45 AM
    Those look yummy. I kind of wish I'd had the time to make them as well as the marshmallow ones.
  22. April
    July 28, 2009 at 8:39 AM
    Great job on your first DB challenge! The cookies look great!
  23. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    July 28, 2009 at 9:31 AM
    Beautifully done! The Milan cookies look wonderful!
  24. Julie
    July 28, 2009 at 10:00 AM
    Wow, your dad just bought a package of these for our wine club! I bet yours tasted much better. : )
  25. Lauren
    July 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM
    Yum! Your cookies look amazing =D. Beautiful job on this challenge - I love your photos!!
  26. chou
    July 28, 2009 at 12:56 PM
    "carefully composed chaos"--that could describe a kitchen in addition to a court. Fun!
  27. MeetaK
    July 28, 2009 at 4:37 PM
    love the painting! great job on your DB challenge you did a beautiful job! perfect!
  28. petoskeygirl
    July 28, 2009 at 10:35 PM
    The cookies look so good!! Wish I could enjoy them with you. I am going to try to make them for Grandpa.
  29. Andrea
    July 29, 2009 at 8:50 AM
    Very pretty Milans! I especially like the last photo, very nicely composed.
  30. kellypea
    July 29, 2009 at 9:28 AM
    Ironically, I enjoyed Milanos far more than I ever did Mallowmars so I'm still wondering why I chose the less favored cookie for this challenge. I hadn't realized that Pepperidge Farms no longer makes them. Yours are simply beautiful!
  31. Amy I.
    July 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM
    Lovely as always, Megan! And I adore your aqua-rimmed plates.
  32. Lisa
    July 29, 2009 at 3:40 PM
    I love the history of the milano cookies, never knew that, really interesting.

    And your cookies look yummy!
  33. Rosa's Yummy Yums
    July 29, 2009 at 7:13 PM
    Your Milan Cookies look pretty and so delicious! Great job and nice blog!


  34. art and lemons
    July 29, 2009 at 11:32 PM
    Your stacked milano cookie photo is perfectly focused on the slightly oozing chocolate center. Nice touch with the complimentary sky blue and apple red, just lovely.
  35. Jill
    July 30, 2009 at 12:50 AM
    You have a really great and interesting-to-read blog! :) I love that you gave the background information about the painting, as well as the cookies. Well done for you first Daring Bakers challenge and welcome!
  36. Elissa
    July 30, 2009 at 1:28 AM
    The background of the cookie was really interesting, thanks for sharing it! Your milans came out lovely, congrats on your second challenge!
  37. jillian
    July 30, 2009 at 10:05 AM
    Great looking Milanos and very interesting post
  38. Engineer Baker
    July 30, 2009 at 7:16 PM
    Really, it was part of a "European" series? Too neat, and something I never knew! Beautiful job!
  39. isa
    August 1, 2009 at 1:01 AM
    Your cookies are very beautiful and extremely tempting!
    Love your post!