Well, obviously they’re vegan – I just titled it that way for google purposes. Or Ask Jeeves, if you prefer.
The PPK messages boards were clamouring for a version of these and what the PPK message board wants, the PPK message board gets. They taste pretty much as I remember them, although I can’t tell you the last time I had one since I am, like, what? A level 11 vegan by now? I didn’t bother coming up with a cutesy name for them, so if anyone can think of one, have at it!
Makes 16 cookies
For those of us who miss suckling at the corporate teat of Pepperidge Farm, here is a veganized version of everyone’s favorite chocolate sandwich cookie. Even though there is a bit of orange zest in the batter, these aren’t orange flavored, the zest just kind of pulls everything together and gives a sunny note of somethin’ somethin’. I think bittersweet chocolate will give the most authentic flavor, but use semi-sweet if that’s what you got. And heed the directions to flour your hands before forming each cookie – 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 tablespoon’s worth of dough and roll it into a ball, and then roll into a log that’s 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, that’s the shape your going for. But this is homemade, so don’t try to be perfect. You aren’t 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 don’t 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 you’ve 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. Don’t 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?