Christina Tosi is brilliant. This is a fact, of course, that has long been established. I’m saying it again though, compost cookie in hand, just as you would if this cookie was in your hand.
One cookie, all of your favorite snack foods. Imagine. (If you haven’t already gotten one at milk bar.) It may not be the healthiest snack in the book, but in my opinion, if you’re making cookies, especially birthday cookies, you might as well go balls to the cookie wall. By which I mean include potato chips, and pretzels, and popcorn, and mostly anything else you have. This cookie can handle it.
I can think up the process of creating these devilishly good cookies: snacking on potato chips, pretzels, throwing caution to the proverbial wind, throwing a handful into the dough for good measure. It is the recipe that conjures up all childhood memories, mad scientist experiments, potions, and all. It's the one baking recipe to which you can add in a little of this, a little of that, recklessly concoct, and the result will still be successful. Wildly successful. It is the cookie recipe to end all cookie recipes, to make a convert of all self-professed baking-haters.
It seems that the compost cookie is an exercise only in channeling your inner child, but it really all makes sense: sugar with salt, savory with sweet, all muted slightly by the standard slurry of flour and butter. And even better, the recipe never has to be the same twice. If you really wanted to, you could switch up the add-ins every time. Which makes this not only as brilliantly successful as a cookie can be, but also ever-changing, adaptable, never boring.
Go on, empty your pantry into cookie dough. It’ll be wonderful, I promise.
The Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie
recipe by Christina Tosi
Note: The only thing I left out here was the corn syrup (to be precise, one tablespoon of it), because I didn't have it. The cookies still came out great, but adding it in is up to you.
1 cup butter (two sticks, unsalted)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients, crushed if too large (I used chocolate chips, chocolate covered pretzels, some shredded coconut)
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods, crushed (I used potato chips and smartfood)
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. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add eggs and vanilla to incorporate slowly.
Increase mixing speed to medium-high and set a timer for 10 minutes. The mixture will become an almost pale white color and will double in size; this is what you want.
On a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix 45 - 60 seconds just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have been mixed in. Be careful not to over beat the dough, and scrape down the side of the bowl every once in a while.
On the same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30 - 45 seconds until they evenly mix into the dough. Repeat this with the snack food ingredients.
Portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan. (The original recipe calls for a 6 oz. scoop, but I just eyeballed it.) Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or up to 1 week - You'll need the dough to be chilled in order for the cookies to hold their shape when baked off.
Heat the oven to 400 F. Take the plastic off your cookies and bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until browned on the edges and barely beginning to brown in the center.