When I was a child, a really young child, I would spend weekends with my grandmother and great-grandparents. They would indulge me in many ways, especially sweets. My great-grandmother always had a batch of jello in the fridge. For as long as I could remember, my grandmother took great pleasure in telling the story of my “disappearance” while I was visiting one weekend. Apparently, I climbed out of my crib and went on a midnight jello raid and fell asleep on the dining room floor. The three of them frantically searched for me and in their panicked state, they did not see me in the corner of the room. Luckily, they found me before they called the police or worse yet, my parents. Over the years, we shared many laughs with each retelling of this story.
Another story my grandmother loved to tell was how I would sit with my great-grandfather and watch tv with him. According to my grandmother, he had a favorite show-I think it may have been the Jackie Gleason Show but I was too young to remember. What I do recall is that I had a little yellow chair with a cane seat and that I would sit along side of him as he watched the program. He also had a thing for Milano cookies and he would share the with me as we sat together.
My grandmother would have turned 100 on the 26th of March and as I was making cookies to send out to my family for Easter, I decided to make a batch of Milano cookies in honor of the two of them. Rather than try to duplicate the recipe myself, I turned to a website that I can trust and this time, I went to Leite’s Culinaria where a copycat recipe is posted. The recipe calls for piping out the cookies and while I didn’t mind that part, I did not have the right sized tip so my cookies were rather small in comparison to the recipe.
If you make these cookies, plan ahead and get the proper tip. Also keep in mind that it is best not to put the entire batch of dough into the piping bad-your hand will thank you! Use a ruler as you go to make sure that you get the right length so that your cookies are all the same size.
Now to the filling…While I may know a lot about baking, I am not an expert on everything but I do know this, boiling chocolate is not the best idea. The filling recipe calls for simmering the ingredients until they “break” and then to blend them back together. The mixture of cream, sugar, unsweetened chocolate and butter being simmered and it thickened as it cooked.
After 45 minutes or so, it finally got real thick and broke. The fat separated out and floated on top. Unfortunately, I do not own an immersion blender and had to rely on a whisk to mix back together. The whisk did not do the job and the filling was a little grainy. More importantly, it did not taste anything like what I remember the filling of a Milano cookie tastes like.
If you look closely, you can see the grainy bits of chocolate in the filling that I mentioned. Despite this, my family members enjoyed them. While I may make these again, most likely will make these again, I will not make the filling again and I think I will probably just make some dark chocolate ganache to fill the cookies.
Over the years, Darry and I have lived in different cities on the East coast, the West coast and in between and some how, I still have this little chair. It is showing its age, well, so am I if you must know.