There was fancy and there was F-a-n-c-y in the 70s. Super freaking fancy was taking a Calgon bubble bath. You know: Calgon Take Me Away.
We had no bathtub so that was out.
Frustrated Woman: The Traffic! The Boss! The Baby! The Dog! That does it! Calgon, take me away!
-1979 Calgon commercial
Then there were those flavored tins of powdered coffee with the catchy name: General Foods International Coffees. We tried them but somehow they never transported us to a quant cafe in Paris as they claimed they would.
Husband: I wish we were still in Vienna.
Wife: Me too. (Hands him coffee) This’ll take you back.
Husband: Mmm…Chocolate. This reminds me of the coffee we had…
Wife: (Interrupts) That night. That was my favorite night in Vienna.
Husband: But we never went out. (sexy giggle)
-1970s General Foods International Coffee commercial
Finally there were Mint Milano, mint chocolate ganache sandwiched between two delicate cookies. Expensive but available at our neighborhood Sunny brook Farms Market. One night I awoke with a nightmare and went to my mother’s bedroom. I peaked in and there she sat in bed with a bag of Mint Milanos all to herself reading an Agatha Christie. Even I knew not to disturb that perfect Pepperidge Farms moment.
Karen (a rich bitch): Where is my Mint Milano?
Rosario (her surly maid): I don’t know, lady. Maybe you ate it.
Karen: No! I would remember. You know that I allow myself one Mint Milano per day. And now, I cannot have another Mint Milano until tomorrow. And yes, I’m sure that my doctor would be very happy if I could go a day without a Mint Milano. But I say a person’s got to enjoy life! I want my Mint Milano!
Rosario: What are those crumbs on your jacket?
(Karen looks down at the front of her jacket)
Karen:(sheepishly) Mint Milano. Maybe I did eat it. (Giggles)
Rosario: Whenever I get together with my friends and we talk about who works for the craziest bitch, I always win.
-Will and Grace
Jack: Oh my God, you caught the bird.
Karen: Honey it was easy. I just gave him some Mint Milanos…
(bird falls over dead)… and some brandy to wash it down with.
Super fancy. Super easy. Unbelievably delicious. You can make them two ways. One is standard Mint Milano buttery texture, the other way is to substitute 1/4 cup of flour with ground toasted almonds (i.e. homemade almond flour). The second way your cookies will be a little more delicate but oh my, the heightened flavor and sandy texture are worth it. Either way you will have a cookie that will blow your family's socks off.
- 1/2 cup vegan butter room temperature
- 3 tbsp confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp aquafaba* thick, see note at bottom of recipe.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal if using, if not add another 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp non-dairy milk
- 1/4-1/2 tsp peppermint extract to taste
- 4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil
If you aren't using store bought almond meal, then now is a good time to place 1/2 cup roughly chopped whole almonds in a pan and toast it in the oven till lightly golden and fragrant. Remove from oven. Cool. Grind to a coarse flour like texture in a spice or coffee grinder. You'll have too much almond meal. Lucky you! Sprinkle it on oatmeal, salad, ice-cream, almost anything.
Heat your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. If you toasted your almonds be sure to turn the oven down to 325.
Whip your butter and confectioner's sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer for a good 6-7 minutes. It will turn light colored and have a dreamy almost buttercream frosting like texture.
Now you add your aquafaba and vanilla and whip another minute, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once.
Add the flour (sifted), almond meal and a pinch of salt to the butter mixture. Mix until a soft dough forms. Don’t over mix or the cookies will loose their tenderness.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Scoop out 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls. Form each ball into an oblong log roughly the length of a mint Milano cookie. Place all your logs on the cookie sheets with a a couple of inches space around them. Now gently press the logs flatter, keeping the shape of the Milano cookie in mind. I used a small offset spatula to straighten the long sides. Bake the cookies 15 minutes on 325 fahrenheit and allow to cool completely before filling.
Stir together the glaze ingredients until you have a spreadable consistence. Taste and make sure it is correctly minty to your liking.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave on low or over a double boiler. Once melted stir to combine.
Smear the flat side of one cookie with peppermint glaze, smear the flat side of another cookie with melted chocolate, press together. Eat the cookie. Repeat with rest of cookies.
Tell the family that you are sorry but the cookies burnt and they are having celery surprise for dessert instead.
*Aquafaba is the liquid left over from cooking legumes. Use canned or homemade. For my recipes I always mean fairly thick aquafaba. If you are using straight from a can just reduce it by 25%, about a 10 minute simmer on the stove. It will thicken as it cools.
One small can of legumes usually renders me a bit over 3/4 of a cup. After 5 minutes in my microwave on high it has reduced to 1/2 cup and is perfect for most recipes. It will thicken as it cools. Of course you can reduce aquafaba on the stove in a sauce pan as well, I am a little absent minded and sometimes reduce my precious golden liquid until it is but a whisper in a burnt pan.
Check out the Aquafaba Vegan Meringues Hits and Misses Facebook group. They are the best of the best.