Nutella Ganache Milano Cookies

From Claudia's Kitchen @What's Cookin Italian Cuisine

1/2 cup unsalted butter plus 4 tablespoons, softened

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

6 egg whites

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons almond extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour


Cookie ganache filling:

1/2 cup heavy cream

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookie dough

In a heavy duty mixer, cream the butter and the sugar.

Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and almond extracts.

Add the flour and mix until just well blended.

 I have a battery operated  cookie press to shape these cookies, however you can use a plastic zip lock bag, snip on the slant 1/4 inch or by using a small (1/4-inch) round  metal tip and pastry bag, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined  cookie sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread. I added a little flour to indent the sides to look hour glass shaped and make sure them are leveled by pushing down to flatten.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden in color and set. DO NOT OVERBAKE they should not be brown. Let cool on the pan.

While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan warm the cream.

Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add vanilla and mix well. The mixture will thicken as it cools.

Spread a thin amount of  Nutella and then the  chocolate ganache 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.

Chocolate Milanos can be made by substituting  3/4 c. of dark chocolate cocoa powder for half of the flour in recipe and omit the  2 tablespoons of almond extract.

For Rasberry Milano fill cookies with seedless Raspberry jam. For mint add 1/2 teaspoon of mint to the ganache melted chocolate instead of vanilla. You can also melt white chocolate adding 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract for lemon filling....get inventive these cookies are so versatile!