A few years ago Momofuku’s Milk Bar Compost Cookies® were taking the world by storm. Pastry chef, Christina Tosi, took everyone’s favorite snacks and packaged them up in a simple, compact, magical treat. EVERYONE was talking about them! I, of course, printed out her recipe and then somehow I just never got them made. I finally baked some up and my oh my are they worth the hype. You scoop out 1/3 cup of dough per cookie so these things are HUGE. They can be made smaller, and I might do that next time, but there’s something so exciting about holding a giant cookie in your hand. Believe me when I say you want to try these. As the LA Times® says, “You’ll never look at cookies the same way again.”©
yield: 15 to 20 cookies
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (3 full sheets)
1 Tbsp milk powder
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 1/3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
prepared graham mixture
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 tsp ground coffee
2 cups potato chips (thick ones that won’t break too much when mixing)
1 cup mini pretzels
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- Combine the butter, both sugars and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and continue to beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham mixture, oats and coffee, and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels and again, mix only until barely incorporated, 15 to 20 seconds.
- Using a ⅓-cup measuring cup portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. 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.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans (should be about 6 cookies per sheet).
- 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 serving or storing. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.
Do not use instant coffee or espresso powder in place of the ground coffee, as it will dissolve into the cookies, which it is not intended to do.
Pretzel recommendation: Snyders® mini pretzels.
Potato chips recommendation: Cape Cod® potato chips.
This is what Christina Tosi says about her Compost Cookies®:
When I was a baker at a conference center on Star Island, twelve miles off the coast of New Hampshire, I learned to make this kind of cookie from one of the best bakers I know, Mandy Lamb. She would put different ingredients in the cookie each day or each week and have people try and guess what the random secret ingredients were. Because we were on an island in New England, when storms blew in, we were trapped. No one traveled to the island, and, more important, no boats with food on them came our way, either. We had to get creative and use what we had on hand. We might not have had enough chocolate chips to make chocolate chip cookies, but if we threw in other mix-ins as well, the seven hundred some guests would never notice the shortage of one ingredient—and the cookies would always feel brand new, because they were different every time. I found after many batches that my favorite compost cookies® had my favorite snacks in them: chocolate and butterscotch chips, potato chips, pretzels, graham crackers, and ground coffee. Compost Cookies® always turn out great in my mother’s kitchen because she infamously has a hodgepodge of mix-ins, none in great enough quantity to make an actual single-flavored cookie on its own. My brother-in-law calls them “garbage cookies”; others call them “kitchen sink cookies.” Call them what you want, and make them as we make them at milk bar, or add your own favorite snacks to the cookie base in place of ours.