In the kitchen: Compost Cookies

In picking your ingredients, go for a mix of textures and flavors. Mine had salty chips and pretzels (left out all but a pinch of salt in the recipe to compensate), dried fruit and chocolate. Mixing the chips and pretzels in by hand ensures they stay crunchy.

I love Momofuku- I went to the Noodle Bar with a friend years ago. Totally worth the line and sadly don’t recall taking pix, but I do remember it was a fabulous meal. When I heard David Chang had chosen VA-native Christina Tosi to make their desserts my first thoughts were a.) THEY HAVE DESSERTS? and 2.) see #1. Tosi has been making all things sweet for the three locations of Milk Bar for the past year or so, with fellow sugar jockeys from such pastry luminaries as Magnolia and Jacques Torres- everything is right with that. Everything.

Tosi’s specialities include a chocolate malt cake, a confection called “crack pie”, and compost cookies, which have been a popular nosh since their debut and on my bucket list. Yeah, I’m not a first adopter, but you knew that about me already. Had two potlucks on the calendar for the weekend, and found the recipe on the Amateur Gourmet’s site, so it seemed like a lock- better yet, one of the commenters had offered her modifications to the existant recipe (which others’ had trouble with, it looked like) so I figured why not give it a go.

Aside from being time consuming- the dough must be chilled until firm- my coworkers loved them. One marvelously misguided soul didn’t realize they were made with what amounted to the leftovers from a Superbowl snack table, and asked me if the darn things were healthy. Hah. My version was made up of crushed potato chips, chocolate covered pretzels, roasted and salted cocktail nuts (Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds), peanut butter chips and, oh yeah, raisins. He must have been talking about the raisins. Truth be told, I put so much stuff in these cookies there was barely enough room for the cookie part of the cookie.

The original recipe makes some very large cookies- there was talk of ice cream scoops. I used a soup spoon and ended up with a palm sided bit of dough and lots of cookies. If I did it again, I would add chocolate chunks. And maybe make them a little larger so I could make ice cream sammies with some salted caramel ice cream between.

Can’t wait to try this again with some different ingredients. The way I see it the sky’s pretty much the limit when it comes to junk food you can put into a cookie. The good part is, one is usually enough. Usually.

The Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie
recipe by Christina Tosi with mods by KristanT
(Courtesy of Regis & Kelly’s website)
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients (options: chocolate chips, Raisenettes, Rollos, Cocoa Krispies)
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc.)

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for two to three minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color.

2. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is an almost pale white color.

3. At a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and pinch of salt.
Mix 45 – 60 seconds just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Don’t overbeat.

4. Mix in snack foods and chocolate by hand.

5. Using a large spoon (a soup spoon rather than an ice cream spoon) portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or up to 1 week. If you’re in a hurry, stick ’em in the freezer, then go preheat the oven.

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

7. Heat the oven to 375 F. Take the plastic off your cookies and bake 10 to 12 minutes. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread. At 9 minutes, 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 still seem pale and doughy on the surface.

8. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, they’ll keep five days.


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