Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Compost Cookies & A Return to My Neglected Blog

Oh, blog. I've been neglecting you. I keep thinking about you. Posts I should write. I want to keep better track of the things I make and how they turn out. So here we go again. And what better way to jump back into food blogging than with a Momofuko Milk Bar recipe?

During the spring I took two trips to New York, and both featured dragging people to the two different Milk Bar locations to buy and sample a good chunk of the menu. I had already made the Blueberries & Cream cookies, Caramelized Cornflake, Marshmallow & Chocolate Chip cookies, and the Crack Pie. So there was only one logical conclusion for what to bake next, Compost Cookies.

Everyone and their mother raved about this recipe. But I remained skeptical. In part because I don't have a stand mixer, and I read a comment on one blog about how attempting the 10 minute creaming process with a hand mixer could result in burning out the motor. In the end my curiosity won out. I made the cookies.

And they were awesome. Just as amazing as everyone said they would be. I'm a big fan of order while baking, preferring anal retentive Martha Stewart-esque recipes to a "throw whatever strikes your fancy in." But I have to admit I think anything would work in these cookies within certain parameters. I used pretzels in some brownies a while back and they were a disaster, but these retained their crunch. I ended up playing it pretty safe with my mix-ins, opting for coffee grounds, chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, regular potato chips and pretzels.

Compost Cookies
Momofuku's Christina Tosi, via "Live With Regis and Kelly"


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of your favorite baking ingredients, such as chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, or other baking chips*
1 1/2 cups of your favorite crushed snack foods, such as potato chips, corn chips or pretzels**

* I used chocolate chips and peanut butter cups
** I used regular potato chips and pretzels


In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

Using a 6 oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.

Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.

DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

Heat the conventional oven to 400F. (350F in a convection oven)

When the oven reads 400F, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheetpan a minimum of 4" apart in any direction.

Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.

At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

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