Compost Cookies? That sounds odd… Do tell!
The original Compost Cookie recipe comes from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi. I’d heard about this cookbook through a friend and of course, as a baker, I had to check it out.
Tosi’s cookbook turned out to be quite fun. Not only is it a riot to read, it approaches baking in a way that you commonly only see in savory cooking. AND it advocates for an insane level of creative license, something rarely encouraged in baking. I’m not talking ‘make the cake in whatever shape you want’ and ‘decorate it like a dinosaur’ creative, I’m talking ‘use whatever ingredients you’ve got on hand’ creative.
The Milk Bar cookbook presents baking from the concept of starting with a ‘mother recipe.’ Much like French cooking has ‘mother sauces‘, the Milk Bar cookbook is arranged around 10 ‘mother recipes.’
Compost Cookies are based on the ‘graham crust’ mother recipe. They contain a mish-mash of ingredients inspired by what you have on hand… in this case: chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, oats, ground coffee, potato chips, and pretzels!
This cookbook also uses ingredients that feel like a home cook has gone to town on his/her pantry – adding things like breakfast cereal, Ovaltine, marshmallows and pretzels… to create flavor profiles like a PB&J.
All that aside, the thing I like most about the book is its ‘attitude’.
The Milk Bar team is creatively fearless. As they note: ‘We make things that we are interested in. We make them taste good….through trial and error. Using what we have on hand.’ This reminded me of how Laura and I approach Foodology Geek. Tosi describes the Milk Bar crew as: ‘a tight-knit, loving bunch, unafraid of eating too much cookie dough or slathering our bread with too much butter. We are our own breed of home bakers… We strive to make thoughtful, clever food that hits home every time… incredibly casual but never cavalier… deadly serious and deadly accurate when it matters.’
I dare you to check out this book – dig in and see what you can come up with!
Guaranteed – you’ll create something delicious and have fun in the process!
This recipe and others can be found on the Milk Bar Bakery website.
For more fun: Putting your own spin on Compost Cookies.
Milk Bar Compost Cookies
- 16 tbsp butter two sticks
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar tightly packed
- 2 tbsp glucose 1 tbsp corn syrup may be substituted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup mini butterscotch chips
- 1/2 cup Milk Bar Graham Crust (See below)
- 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 1/2 tsp coffee grounds
- 2 cups potato chips super crispy ones work best
- 1 cup mini pretzels
- Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk over mixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and coffee and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips.
- Using a 2 3/4 oz ice cream scoop (or a 1/3 cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature— they will not bake properly.
- Heat the oven to 375°f.
- Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. Give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.
- Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
Milk Bar Graham Crust (Mother Recipe)
- Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
- Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters.