When I think about the uses for orange as a flavor, desserts aren't the first thing that pop into my head.
Morning beverage tops the list, followed closely by pork enhancer and frequent partner of the cranberry.
That may all be changing now, thanks to these unique and dainty little sandwich cookies. Granted, my love for them has a lot to do with the cinnamon-spiked buttercream frosting gluing the cookies together, but I'm sure you've come to expect that from me by now.
How do I judge how much frosting to use between the melt-in-your-mouth cookies? Like so:
-If, when I take a bite, frosting does not squirt out, then I haven't used enough.
-If, when I take a bite, frosting squirts out onto the floor or my lap, then I've used too much.
-Alternatively, if I've only sandwiched 10 cookies or so out of a 40-cookie batch and run out of frosting, then I've used too much.
Just kidding--you can never use too much. Make more frosting and continue.
Orange-You-Glad-They-Exist Milano Sandwich Cookies
(based on a recipe by Gale Gand)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Freshly grated zest of 2 medium oranges
2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
pounds and pounds of your frosting of choice
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
With a mixer, beat the butter, orange zest, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix. Add the sifted flour and mix until smooth. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Form into two thin disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on lined baking sheets.
Bake for 6 to 10 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you're using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.
Fill with your favorite frosting, whether it be chocolate ganache or cream cheese. I went the cinnamon buttercream route and it took me to a happy place.