The Milano Dark Chocolate Cookie from Pepperidge Farm is the most popular of the “Places” cookies, which are named after various locales where I’d like to go on vacation, including Brussels, Geneva, Tahiti, Maui, and Sausalito. The Milano sandwich cookie was once a nonsandwich cookie called Naples with a layer of dark chocolate on top of one cookie, but when the cookies began to stick together during shipping, another cookie was placed on the chocolate and the Milano was born. The secret in this clone recipe is the combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour to give the cookie its light texture. For the chocolate layer use the dark chocolate melting wafers from Ghirardelli or a dark chocolate intended for candy making and dipping. You’ll need a pastry bag or gun with a #12 round tip to form the cookies. And if you have a silicone baking mat, use it here to bake the cookies. If not, a parchment paper–lined baking sheet works well.

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces (¾ cup) powdered sugar
3 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
2½ ounces (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
2½ ounces (½ cup) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 12-ounce bag Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers (or similar dark dipping chocolate)

Cooking method

1-Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

2-Combine the butter with the powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Mix for 1 minute. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk until foamy but still in liquid form, then add to the butter/sugar along with the vanilla and salt. Beat with the mixer for 1 minute.

Combine the flours and baking powder in a medium bowl, then add it to the wet ingredients. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated and the batter is smooth.

4-Spoon the batter into a pastry bag with a #12 round tip and pipe 2¼ inch-long and ¾-inch-wide tubes of dough 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. The cookies will spread out as they bake, so give them room to grow. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes or until beginning to brown around the edges. Cool.

5-Melt the chocolate on high for 30 seconds in your microwave. Stir. Melt the chocolate again if necessary in 15-second intervals until it is completely smooth when stirred. Use a butter knife, frosting knife, or spatula to spread a thin layer of the melted chocolate on the face of one cookie. Place another cookie on top, sandwiching the chocolate in the middle. Repeat with the remaining cookies and chocolate.

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