i've made these for a few PAXes now. i only ever make them with bob's red mill GF flour, and they stay nice and solid throughout the entire weekend.
some other tips: i make them round because
1) it's so much easier and quicker to form them into circles than fingers
2) it's sooooooo much easier to find a match when they're round
3) they fit more easily into the baggies when round and stay stable.
i also put the chocolate into a plastic icing bag and pipe it onto one of the cookies rather than dipping them into a bowl (which just is begging for disgusting fingerprints on the later cookies. doing it this way also conserves chocolate. i only melt only 2/3 of the amount of chocolate called for in the recipe. i use 1/2 100% baking chocolate and 1/2 enjoy life chocolate chips for extra darkness.)
lastly, i use a small disher (probably 1/2 oz capacity?) and plop them onto the cookie sheet (parchment paper, always) and then a wet finger to flatten/form the cookies. (the recipe says use flour on your hands, but that has only ever been a disaster for me. but maybe because i've only ever used the bob's red mill GF flour. it was only ever a sticky mess. the water makes the cookies nice and smooth.)
my notes say it makes 22-25 cookies when using the small disher. now i totally forget if that's cookie halves or sandwiches. i'll update this later if i make them again this year. let's assume it's cookie halves?)
it's also in her 2009 book "vegan cookies invade your cookie jar" (i highly recommend that book. if you flip to the back, you can see me in the recipe tester section.) :-)Vegan Milanos
Makes 16 cookies
For those of us who miss suckling at the corporate teat of Pepperidge Farm, here is a veganized version of everyoneís favorite chocolate sandwich cookie. Even though there is a bit of orange zest in the batter, these arenít orange flavored, the zest just kind of pulls everything together and gives a sunny note of somethiní somethiní. I think bittersweet chocolate will give the most authentic flavor, but use semi-sweet if thatís what you got. And heed the directions to flour your hands before forming each cookie Ė otherwise the dough will stick.
1/3 cup rice milk (or soy, whatever you got)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Scant 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.
In a large mixing bowl, use a strong fork to mix together milk, sugar, oil, vanilla and zest.
Add half of the flour, along with the cornstarch, baking powder and salt; mix well. Add the remaining flour and mix until you have a soft, pliable dough.
Make sure your hands are very clean and dry, and dust them with flour. Stuffs about to get messy. Sort of.
Grab about 1 tablespoonís worth of dough and roll it into a ball, and then roll into a log thatís about 1 1/2 inches long. Flatten with the palms of your hand to create an oval that is 2 inches long and 1 inch across, then straighten the edges out with your fingers. Basically, if you know what a milano looks like, thatís the shape your going for. But this is homemade, so donít try to be perfect. You arenít a machine (or are you?)
Continue with the rest of the dough, flouring your hands before you form each cookie, until you have 16 cookies placed about 1 inch apart (they donít spread much.) I had to do this in 2 batches because of my small oven, so while these baked I started my next batch of 16. If youíve got a big oven then do both trays of 16 at once.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until tops are firm and edges are ever so slightly browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 2 minutes. Use a thin, flexible spatula to transfer to a cooling rack. Meanwhile, bake your next batch and melt your chocolate*.
Once cookies are cool enough to handle (only about 10 minutes), take a cookie and dip the bottom into the chocolate. Then take another cookie and dip it, and place the dipped sides together to form a sandwich. Donít press them hard lest the chocolate smush out. Place them on a tray or several plates that will fit in your fridge. Continue with the remaining cookies until you have 16 sandwiches. Have a wet rag at the ready to wipe your fingers between putting the cookies together, to avoid chocolate fingerprints on the cookies. Or just lick the chocolate off. Or just decide that who cares about chocolate fingerprints.
Place cookies in the fridge to set for at least an hour. Bring back to room temperature before serving (about 1/2 an hour.) Call it a day.
*You know how to melt chocolate, right?