Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

objective:
to make cookies that…
taste like cookie dough
that are not doughy in the center
are nearly perfectly round with thick borders
not overly cakey
salty enough
aromatic
the standard recipe -Toll House

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 c butter
3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
3/4 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 c chocolate chips

result: These seem a little overly gooey to me. I’m not crazy about the texture. I want to make a cookie that’s different from Toll House, if not better.

recipe 1 – the Ambrosia Chocolate Chips bag recipe

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 c butter
3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar

2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 c chocolate chips

result:
These were Steve’s favorite. I didn’t like the flavor or texture. They were flat and crispy, which I don’t like in a cookie. The flavor was rich and butter-heavy. The main differences in this recipe versus the “standard” are: 1/2 tsp less salt, 1/4 c less sugar, 1 tsp more vanilla and 1 egg instead of two.

recipe 2 – Experimental based on AB
my own experiment after watching Alton Brown’s cookie episode

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 c butter-flavored shortening
1 c light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 c chocolate chips

result:
Not sweet enough. Less pleasant smell, probably from the shortening. Slightly too heavy/dense. Texture wasn’t great (resembled shortbread). The difference in this recipe: baking powder instead of baking soda, butter-flavored shorting instead of butter, 1/4 c extra brown sugar, 1/2 c less white sugar, 2 egg yolks instead of 2 whole eggs and 1/2 tsp more vanilla.

recipe 3 – Otis Spunkmeyer recipe
started as my own experiment, ended up resembling the Otis Spunkmeyer recipe, which led to me choosing to just follow the OS recipe.

2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1/2 c butter-flavored shortening
1/2 c butter
1 c light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar

1 tbs vanilla
2 eggs
2 c chocolate chips
*fats were melted; eggs, fats and sugars were whipped until light and creamy

result:
This was the best tasting dough so far. The consistancy of the dough was really nice. The cookie slightly resembled the texture of homemade play dough – in a good way. It was moist without being gooey. Edges are great. I would like to try it with just one egg.

The problems are: 1. The flavor. Without the butter, the flavor lacks depth. maybe change to 3/4 c butter + 1/4 c shortening.

Possible improvements: Re-mix dough quickly before scooping the dough onto the pan; the butter tends to separate and sink during baking, which leads to crispy, jagged, flat edges. For a better cookie dough flavor, try using 1 1/4 c dark brown sugar + 1 c sugar.

Differences vs. the Standard: 1/2 c more flour, 2 tsp baking powder, half butter and half shortening, more brown sugar than white sugar, 3 x the vanilla.

recipe 4 – browned butter recipe

2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 c butter, browned with salt
1 tsp salt
1/4 c coconut oil
1 c dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar
1 egg, blended before adding
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs water
scant 2 c milk chocolate chips

*Butter browned with salt; fats were melted before sugars were added. Eggs, fats and sugars were whipped until light and creamy. Baked at 350 degrees.

result:
This cookie looked perfect. When they’re fresh, the strong, butter-scotch type flavor is nice, however, after a day the flavor tastes more like rancid butter… Milk chocolate chips were a nice variation, however the chocolate chip cookie flavor is lost. More chips are needed; increase by 50%. The texture was nice, although slightly on the dense side.

Differences vs. the Standard: 1/2 c more flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 c less total fat, butter was browned first, coconut oil for 1/3 of the fat, same amount of sugar with more brown sugar than white, egg blended before adding, 1 more tsp vanilla, milk chocolate chips

recipe #5 – Like #4 without the browned butter

2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 c butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 c coconut oil
1 c dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar
1 egg, blended before adding
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs water
360 g milk chocolate chips

350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (11 mins for 20 g scoops, 12 mins for 30 g scoops)

result:
These were good. The flavor was very close. Maybe needs more sugar; they taste slightly bland. Semi chocolate chips should be used to get that real chocolate chip cookie flavor. (It’s possible it could work with 1/2 milk + 1/2 semi sweet, but the few samples I made with this weren’t as good as I had hoped.) The texture of these was great as long as they were baked exactly the right amount. Since this cookie doesn’t brown like the traditional cookies, it’s difficult to gauge when they’re done. Too short of a bake time makes them overly gooey and oily and too long makes them hard and chewy (bad chewy – like taffy or caramel). These were flatter than what I wanted, which was due to the (accidental) increase in coconut oil. These were prepared with the traditional cream method, starting with the butter at 65 degrees, although I couldn’t tell a difference… (likely because of the extra coconut oil). Chocolate chips didn’t melt.

Possible Improvements: Use SS chips, the correct amount of coconut oil (1/4 c), try increasing chips to 400 g, increase vanilla to 1 tbs, increase white sugar to 3/4 c, try baking at 400 degrees to melt chips.

recipe #6 – Like #5 with minor adjustments

2 3/4 c [400 g] flour
2 tsp [8 g] baking powder

1/2 c [120 g] butter
1 tsp [6 g] salt
1/4 c [60 g] coconut oil
1 c [200 g] dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c [120 g] sugar
1 egg, blended before adding
2 tsp [10 ml] vanilla
2 tbs [30 ml] water
[400 g] ss chocolate chips

tools:
scale
stand mixer
sifter (or food processor)
scraper spatula
spatula
2 half sheet pans
parchment paper
2 tbs cookie scooper (or 1 metal tablespoon)

preheat: 400 degrees

method:

  1. Preheat oven (400 degrees) and line pans with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and coconut oil in stand mixer. (This brings the temperature of the butter up, which is better for creaming.)
  3. Add sugars and mix at medium speed until color has lightened and volume has increased by about 50%, about 2 minutes. (This aerates the butter, which will give the baking powder room to create tiny air bubbles.)
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour and baking powder. (Pulsing in a food processor is my method of choice for sifting.)
  5. Add egg to a small container and use a fork to blend (about 15 seconds). Add to butter mixture. Mix again at medium speed until mixture is smooth and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  6. Add the flour mixture and the water to the butter mixture in batches; 1/3 of the flour at a time, followed by some of the water, and mixing until blended before adding another batch. Try to finish with the water. (This allows the wet ingredients time to fully absorb the flour.)
  7. Remove bowl from mixer and blend in the chocolate chips by hand. (The mixer can break/smash chocolate chips.)
  8. Using a 30 ml [1 oz /2 tbs] scoop (stainless steel works best), measure out 8 level scoops onto the pan. Lightly roll scoops into a ball and place in rows on the pan (3 in the top row and bottom row; 2 in the middle row.) Smash down slightly with your hand. (The diameter shouldn’t be much larger than the diameter of the balls; they just need to resemble a disc shape rather than a sphere. This helps them bake into the perfect cookie shape without being thicker at the center – which can lead to uneven baking.)
  9. Bake on the middle to upper middle oven rack (although all ovens are different). Keep the oven light on to monitor browning/flattening. If the bottoms are browning too quickly, or they appear to be flattening too much, place them on a higher rack. Likewise, if the tops are browning up setting too quickly. More often than not, the pan will need to be rotated half way through cooking time to ensure each cookie is heated on pace with the others. As they heat, they will slowly lose their wet appearance. Remove them from the oven before they look completely dry. The edges should look slightly darker than the rest of the cookie, but the cookie itself will not darken until it is overdone. They will still look slightly wet and slightly undercooked. They will finish cooking on the counter. I usually note the exact bake time of the first batch and hold off on putting in the second batch until I’m able to decide if I baked them for the appropriate amount of time. They will harden within the next two hours, so they can be soft as they cool. But, they should not have any parts around the center that appear slightly transparent (gooey), as those will not harden enough during cooling. Allow the hot pans to rest on the counter still in the pan for about 2 minutes, then slide the parchment paper off onto the counter. After about 5 minutes, use a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack. If sliding them off the hot pan causes them to lose their shape, then note that the next batches should be left on the the pan longer. If placing them onto the cooling rack causes them to sink and take the shape of the rack, they should be left on the parchment paper longer. However, if left too long they will the will have soggy bottoms. A cooling rack is important.
  10. Store in an airtight container. My favorite cookie jars:

recipe #7

1/2 c unsalted butter [120g/4oz]
2 tbs vegetable oil [30ml/1oz]
1 c [200 g] dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar [120g]

2 3/4 c flour [400g/14oz]
2 tsp baking powder – aluminum free [8g]

1 large egg, blended before adding
1 tbs vanilla [15ml]
1/4 c milk [60ml]
1 tsp salt [6g]

[400g] ss chocolate chips

tools:
scale
stand mixer
sifter (or food processor)
scraper spatula
spatula
2 half sheet pans
parchment paper
2 tbs cookie scooper (or 1 metal tablespoon)

preheat: 400 degrees

method:

  1. Preheat oven (475 degrees) and line pans with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and coconut oil in stand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This brings the temperature of the butter up, which is better for creaming.)
  3. Add sugars and mix at medium speed until color has lightened and volume has increased by about 50%, about 2 minutes. (This aerates the butter, which will give the baking powder room to create tiny air bubbles.)
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour and baking powder. (Pulsing in a food processor is my method of choice for sifting.)
  5. Add egg to a small container and use a fork to blend (about 15 seconds). Add to butter mixture. Mix again at medium speed until mixture is smooth and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  6. Add the flour mixture and the water to the butter mixture in batches; 1/3 of the flour at a time, followed by some of the water, and mixing until blended before adding another batch. Try to finish with the water. (This allows the wet ingredients time to fully absorb the flour.)
  7. With mixer off, add chocolate chips.  Lower bowl half way (or lift top, depending on your mixer) and blend on low speed. (The mixer can break/smash chocolate chips.)
  8. Using a 30 ml [1 oz /2 tbs] scoop (stainless steel works best), measure out 8 level scoops onto the pan. Lightly roll scoops into a ball and place in rows on the pan (3 in the top row and bottom row; 2 in the middle row.) Smash down slightly with your hand. (The diameter shouldn’t be much larger than the diameter of the balls; they just need to resemble a disc shape rather than a sphere. This helps them bake into the perfect cookie shape without being thicker at the center – which can lead to uneven baking.)  Place a few chips on top of each cookie by hand for presentation.
  9. Bake on the middle to upper middle oven rack (although all ovens are different). Set the timer for 8 minutes (they should be ready to come out after 10).  Keep the oven light on to monitor browning/flattening. If the bottoms are browning too quickly, or they appear to be flattening too much, place them on a higher rack. Likewise, if the tops are browning up setting too quickly. More often than not, the pan will need to be rotated half way through cooking time to ensure each cookie is heated on pace with the others. As they heat, they will slowly lose their wet appearance. Remove them from the oven before they look completely dry. The edges should look slightly darker than the rest of the cookie, but the cookie itself will not darken until it is overdone. They will still look slightly wet and slightly undercooked. They will finish cooking on the counter. I usually note the exact bake time of the first batch and hold off on putting in the second batch until I’m able to decide if I baked them for the appropriate amount of time. They will harden within the next two hours, so they can be soft as they cool. But, they should not have any parts around the center that appear slightly transparent (gooey), as those will not harden enough during cooling. Allow the hot pans to rest on the counter still in the pan for about 2 minutes, then slide the parchment paper off onto the counter. After about 5 minutes, use a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack. If sliding them off the hot pan causes them to lose their shape, then note that the next batches should be left on the the pan longer. If placing them onto the cooling rack causes them to sink and take the shape of the rack, they should be left on the parchment paper longer. However, if left too long they will the will have soggy bottoms. A cooling rack is important.

NOTES

  1. water can be used in place of milk.
Advertisements

1 cup butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz powdered sugar

  1. Microwave butter and peanut butter in a covered glass dish for 2 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon and microwave for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and stir until combined.
  3. Dump into an 8 by 8-inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and smooth surface of the fudge as needed.  Refrigerate 1 hour (or freeze 30 minutes) until set. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

YIELD 64 small squares
PREP TIME 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME 35 minutes
NOTES

  • Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Chunky peanut butter is not so great in this fudge.
  • Spray measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring the peanut butter.
  • This fudge will not stick to the surface of the pan, however, for easier removal an cutting, I use a freezer bag cut at the sides to line and cover the fudge.  Before cutting I remove the whole thing and transfer to cutting surface where I use a pizza wheel to slice.   Also, cuts can be made into the corners of the bottom liner to allow for flat, even edges.
  • The surface of the fudge can be smoothed easily with a metal spatula before setting, but to usually smooth it over with my hand over the plastic wrap.  This is quicker and requires one less utensil.

Queen Muffins

Whole Wheat Muffins
DRY
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, freshly milled
1/2 cup gluten flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
WET
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plain whole yogurt

  1. Place oven rack at position “C” (3rd from the bottom) and preheat to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Spin DRY ingredients in food processor and pour into large mixing bowl.
  3. Add eggs to food processor and beat for 10 seconds. Add oil and beat again for another 10 seconds. Add the remaining WET ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir just until blended (don’t over mix).
  4. Scoop into muffin cups using a disher or a 1/3-cup measuring cup; cups should be full. Bake 18-20 minutes.
  5. Check for doneness using a toothpick, which should come out clean. (OR temp a muffin from its bottom and check for 205-210 degrees).
  6. Turn muffins onto their sides to prevent soggy bottoms and cool for 20 minutes.

YIELD 12 standard size muffins
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hour
NOTES
Store up to 4 days in an airtight container, or wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months.

Old School Chocolate Chip Muffins (credit to AB)
DRY
2 1/4 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
WET
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plain whole yogurt
EXTRAS
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Place oven rack at position “C” (3rd from the bottom) and preheat to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
2. Spin DRY ingredients in food processor and pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in all the EXTRAS.
3. Add eggs to food processor and beat for 10 seconds. Add oil and beat again for another 10 seconds. Add the remaining WET ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir just until blended (don’t over mix).
4. Scoop into muffin cups using a disher or a 1/3-cup measuring cup; cups should be full. Bake 18-20 minutes.
5. Check for doneness using a toothpick, which should come out clean. (OR temp a muffin from its bottom and check for 205-210 degrees).
6. Turn muffins onto their sides to prevent soggy bottoms and cool for 20 minutes.

YIELD 12 standard size muffins
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hour
NOTES
Store up to 4 days in an airtight container, or wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months.
Adding the EXTRAS first to the flour mixture coats them and helps to prevent sinking.

Velvet Brownies

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
3.5 oz (2/3 cup) AP flour
4 oz (1 1/3 cups) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 oz (1 cup) sugar
8 oz (1 cup) brown sugar
3 oz (1 cup) walnuts

  1. Melt butter (microwave approx. 45 seconds) and set aside to cool.
  2. Place oven rack in position “C” and preheat to 350. Prep 8″ square pan and set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip eggs at MEDIUM speed until light in color and texture.
  4. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt together in food processor. Dump into small mixing bowl and set aside.  Sift sugars together in food processor.
  5. Lower mixer speed to 30 percent and slowly add sugars to eggs. Add remaining ingredients, starting with butter and alternating between wet and dry.  Fold in nuts.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake 45 minutes. Test doneness using toothpick; toothpick should come out clean.  Place pan on cooling rack and cool completely before cutting.

YIELD 16 2″ brownies
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 2 hours
NOTES
Slice using a pizza cutter, cut into quarters then cut the four squares into quarters.

Monkey Muffins

100_0124.jpgWhole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, topped with caramelized banana chunks
This is my idea of the perfect kid snack with a little rustic-gourmet flare. Apart from the sugar in the chips, they’re not too sweet and they still feel wholesome. This recipe has been tested, loved, nurtured and refined many times. The result is near perfection.

DRY
2 cups flour (see Flour notes below)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
WET
4 bananas
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
EXTRAS
3/4 – 1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
TOPPING (optional)
2 bananas, chopped
sugar

  1. Place oven rack at position “C” (3rd from the bottom) and preheat to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Spin DRY ingredients in food processor and pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in the EXTRAS.
  3. Spin bananas in food processor until smooth. Add the remaining WET ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir just until blended.
  4. Scoop into muffin cups (cups should be full) and set aside.
  5. Chop 2 bananas (quarter lengthwise, then slice). Carefully place a spoonful of the chopped bananas onto the tops of the muffins, pressing them into the batter slightly and keeping them toward the center. Sprinkle each with sugar, about 1/2-1 teaspoon per muffin.
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes. Muffins are done when the tops are an even light golden-brown color. Turn muffins onto their sides to prevent soggy bottoms and cool for 5 minutes.

YIELD 10 standard size muffins
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 40 minutes
NOTES

Flour
Different combinations of flour can be used, totaling 2 cups. For freshly-milled whole wheat (which can give the muffins a “scratchy” or grainy feel) use no more than 1 cup, with the balance being AP or bread flour. (Store bought whole wheat flour is more finely milled and eliminates the need for AP flour.) Replacing 1/4 cup of AP flour with gluten flour can prevent overly dense muffins and add protein.
Here’s how it should look when using freshly milled whole wheat flour:
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup AP or bread flour
1/4 cup gluten flour

Wet Ingredients
Always bake with purified water.
This recipe does create a thick batter. However, if, after adding the wet ingredients to the dry, the batter feels a little too close to cookie dough, water can be added a couple tablespoons at a time.

Extras
Adding the EXTRAS to the flour mixture first serves to coat them and helps to prevent sinking.
Most brands of chocolate chips are made to hold their shape after baking and many also have a bad “chocolate candy” taste. Higher quality chips melt better and compliment the healthy, natural flavors of the muffin by not tasting artificial and overly sweet. Many high quality chips are larger in size, which doesn’t work as well with this muffin. Mini chips are too small and ruin the banana to chocolate ratio. Medium size, high quality, semi sweet chips are ideal.
Nuts are best chopped by hand to ensure evenness in size. Food processors and food choppers can cause somewhat of a “nut-meal” mixed in with nut pieces.

Baking
Use a 1/3 to 1/2-cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the muffin tin. (1/3 is the more accurate amount needed, but the 1/2 cup is quicker since the right amount tends to fall out and scraping it is not needed.) Since these muffins don’t rise as high as regular cake muffins, filling the cups until they’re level results in a nice size muffin top.
Pan may need to be rotated 90 degrees halfway through cooking to allow for even baking.

Store
Store up to 2 days in an airtight container Without the caramelized banana chunks on top they store for up to 4 days.

2-Ingredient Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 cup heavy cream

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and cream.
  2. Turn out onto a floured surface; knead gently for 5 minutes or until no longer sticky.
  3. Roll dough to a 1/2-in. thickness and cut into 3″ biscuits. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.

YIELD 9 biscuits
PREP TIME 15
TOTAL TIME 25
NOTES
If you don’t have self-rising flour, add 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt to 2 cups all-purpose flour.
Cut dough with a tall drinking glass (if you don’t have a biscuit/pastry cutter), but do not twist as you press down. Instead, press straight down and twist slightly as needed to break apart the dough.
Optional: Rub with butter in the last 5 minutes of baking.

(Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins)

DRY

WET

EXTRAS
3-4 (8 oz) carrots, coarsely grated
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts

  1. Place oven rack at position “C” (3rd from the bottom) and preheat to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Spin DRY ingredients in food processor and pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in all the EXTRAS.
  3. Add eggs to food processor and beat egg for a half a minute. Add oil and beat again for another half a minute. Add the remaining WET ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir just until blended (don’t over mix).
  4. Scoop into muffin cups (cups should be full), and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  5. Check for doneness using a toothpick, which should come out clean. (OR temp a muffin from its bottom and check for 205-210 degrees).
  6. Turn muffins onto their sides to prevent soggy bottoms and cool for 20 minutes.

YIELD 12 standard size muffins
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hour
NOTES
Store up to 4 days in an airtight container, or wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months.
Ignore the temptation to grate carrots in the food processor. They come out too long and too skinny, and wet.
Adding the EXTRAS to the flour mixture first coats them and helps to prevent sinking.

2 cups canned pumpkin puree (1 15 oz. can approx.)
1 cup vegetable oil
2-2/3 cups white sugar
3 eggs (approx. – not 4)
3 cups and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, approx.
1 1/2 – 2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, approx. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

SERVES 24 (2 9″x5″ loaves)
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hr 15 minutes

{almost perfected}

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons water
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream together the 1 cup butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract, water and flour; mix until smooth.
  3. Measure level teaspoons of dough, roll into a ball and smash into a Milano shaped oval into your palm. (Dough will not flatten significantly during baking, so take a minute to shape into a nice, flat, oval.) Place on ungreased cookie sheet 3/4″ apart.
  4. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes (appox.) or until they have a golden honey color (not brown).
  5. Cool for 5 minutes while preparing chocolate. Microwave chocolate chips and the 1 tablespoon butter until smooth. (Heat for 1 minute, stir; continue heating for no more than 15 seconds at a time and stirring at each interval.)
  6. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread chocolate on the flat side of each cookie. (Careful not to make a mess of this process. Cookies will look much better if the chocolate is carefully placed.)
  7. Let harden for 30 mins to 1 hour. Match similarly shaped cookies together. (Pressing too hard will cause the chocolate to overflow.) Let harden in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

update:
I just discovered that Gale Gand has a recipe for these.  Here’s her’s:

12 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon extract
1 1/2 cups flour
Cookie filling, recipe follows
Cookie filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 orange, zested

Cream the butter with a paddle attachment then mix in the sugar. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated. 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. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
Cookie Filling: In a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl. Whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools). 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. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

16 oz. [2 cups] warm water
[2/3 cup] nonfat instant dry milk
1 oz. [2 tbs.] dry yeast
[¼ cup] sugar
10 grams [2 tsp.] salt
[1/3 cup] butter
1 egg
[5-5 ½ cups] all purpose flour

  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water and the milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves.
  2. Add the yeast to this mixture then the sugar, salt, butter, egg and 2 cups of the flour.
  3. Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then turn to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add 2 more cups of flour then mix on low speed until the ingredients are wet, then turn the mixer on medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. The dough will be getting stiff and you may need to remove the bowl from the mixer and mix in the remaining flour by hand.
  4. Add approximately ½ cup of flour and mix again. This can be done by hand or mixer. The dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff. It may not be necessary to use the entire amount of flour.
  5. Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour approximately 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil all around the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered with oil. This helps prevent the dough from drying out. Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.
  6. Sprinkle a cutting board or counter with flour and put the dough on the flour. It is now ready to roll out and cut into desired shape and size of roll.
  7. Place rolls on greased (or parchment lined) baking pans. Let rise until the rolls have doubled in size (typically not more than 1-1 ½ hours).
  8. Bake in 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction. Brush with melted butter while hot.

YIELDS 12 – 18 rolls
PREP TIME 15 minutes (1-2 hour rise) 15 minutes (1 hour rise) 20 minutes bake
TOTAL TIME 4-5 hours
NOTES

  • Substitutes: Bread flour can be used in place of AP flour.  Shortening or margarine can be used in place of butter.  Non-instant powdered milk can be used in place of instant.
  • Do not allow dough to over rise.  The rolls will have large air bubbles and taste like yeast.
  • When rolling out dough, be careful not knead it.  The point is to remove air bubbles so the dough will bake properly.  Use gentle hands and a light touch.
  • The size of the rolls should be as uniform as possible, for proper baking.  35 grams of dough for each roll is a good amount to aim for.