Zomg call me naïve but this recipe is extreme! What cookie contains 20 different ingredients? What cookie calls for a ‘Graham Crust’ to be specially prepared, just to then be mixed into the final dough! Umm.. what cookie has crisps in it?! Yes Potato Chips! Pretzels in a cookie? I was captivated. If you’re from the States then more than likely you’ll have heard of compost cookies, also named kitchen sink cookies or even garbage cookies! But I had never heard of anything like them, which was why I was so fascinated and intrigued when I came across Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar’s Recipe for Compost cookies.
The irony here however is that this style of cookie seems to have originated from the necessity to use up all the snacky odds and ends in your pantry. You know all those leftover chips, pretzels and crackers you have lying around – Yeah right!? I had to go out and purchase everything for this recipe, which initially made me feel a little ridiculous. I sort of compared it (perhaps stereotypically) to Joe Normal, somewhere in the depths of SE Asia, going out and buying everything they might need to whip up a batch of bubble and squeak! But once I had this recipe in my mind I just couldn’t shake it. It was however a long 6 or 8 weeks until I was able to make my compost cookies as I had trouble getting my hands on a few of the ingredients (again the irony). A bottle of liquid glucose? Come again? A friend managed to track some down in this out of the way baking supply shop but what the heck even is that? (from what I could gather, the glucose inhibits sugar crystal formation and should make for a softer moister baked good?) Butterscotch chips? I had to look them up too and then decided I was glad they weren’t readily available here as their first ingredient was sugar followed by palm oil and then a host of artificial colours and flavours(!) and so substituted white chocolate chunks instead (surprise-surprise).
Once I had corralled all my so-called pantry staples, this cookie batter alone took me almost 2 hours to prepare (I’m not selling this am I), although it may have had something to do with me having to first make the graham cracker crust, and then chop up the chocolate chips, white and dark as well. At one stage in the recipe, the batter calls for 7 to 8 minutes of beating! I sat and sweated as 8 minutes slowly ticked by and I even googled “why do these cookies need to be beaten so long” but came up empty (believe it has something to do with breaking down the sugar crystals and obviously incorporating air which apparently leads to a ‘chewier’ cookie with superior texture?) And as I finally scooped the last bit of cookie dough into a giant 1/3-cup ball (which I was convinced by this point was WAY too big) I was ready to concede to my theory and that perhaps harder doesn’t actually mean better.
3 days later however, after the New York Times cookie recipe, I can’t not leave my cookie dough to rest and ‘mature ’ for at least 72 hours, I was gladly proven wrong (or is that right) as the most glorious golden cookies were pulled out the oven. Were they pretty? Yes, it that ‘only a mother could love’ kinda way, and boy were they tasty! Most certainly worth all the hassle, special shopping, graham crust making and all the rest! Although I won’t be making these ‘loaded’ cookies on a regular basis (just from a calorific standpoint) I will be making them again in the near future… and again… and am now keen (read desperate) to try some of Tosi’s other cookie recipes – Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies anyone?
Compost Cookies – Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk BarThis recipe is for a single batch (approx 15 – 20 cookies) – I made a double batch and managed 32 LARGE 1/3 cups cookies
- 225 grams (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 150 grams (2⁄3 cup, tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 50 grams (2 Tbsp.) glucose
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp.vanilla extract
- 225 grams (1 1/3 cups) flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp.baking soda
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) 70% chocolate chunks (I used Lindt)
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) white chocolate chunks (I used Valrhona)
- 1/4 recipe Graham Crust (85 grams or 1/2 cup) (see recipe below)
- 40 grams (1/3 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 1/2 tsp. ground coffee* (I used lavazza)
- 50 grams (2 cups) potato chips – definitely use kettle or something equally as sturdy – I used kettle ready salted.
- 50 grams (1 cup) mini pretzels
Cream the butter, sugars and liquid glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for up to 3 minutes.
Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
Combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the mixture and on low speed stir until it just comes together. DON’T OVERMIX. Scrape down the bowl again.
Add the chips/chunks, graham crust, oats and coffee and again slowly mix until just incorporated.
At this point my bowl got very full (due to the double batch) and I tipped the mixture out into a big bowl and added the crisps/potato chips and pretzels and mixed by hand. This way lots of crisps and pretzels remained whole.
I used a 1⁄3-cup ice-cream scoop to then portion out the dough. You could go a little smaller here but not much – these cookies were born to be BIG. Line a large plastic container with greaseproof paper and store your ‘scoops’ in here in the fridge while they ‘mature’.
Technically you could bake after an hour of cooling time but I baked the majority of the batch 3 days later and left the last 4 cookies a week in the fridge. ‘Just baked’ whenever you want!
Preheat oven 190°C/375°F – Prepare 2 large lined baking trays
Arrange the chilled dough on your lined baking trays. Don’t crowd. I only placed 4 cookies per tray as they are big and spread quite considerably.
Bake for 18 minutes until the centres are golden and the edges browned.
Cool on baking tray at least 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack. These cookies are large and heavy and are quite fragile until completely cooled.
Eat fresh that day. If you store them in an airtight container they will soften overnight and lose their chew. I preferred storing them in the fridge.
Graham Cracker CrustMakes about 340 grams (2 cups) – will keep in the fridge/freezer for a month (ready for your next batch!)
- 190 grams (1 1/2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
- 20 grams (1/4 cup) milk powder
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 55 grams ( 1/2 stick) butter, melted, or as needed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.
Whisk the butter and heavy cream together.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until mixed