Milk Bar’s famous Compost Cookies recipe from Christina Tosi
These 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.
Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies
40 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling. Makes 15 to 20 cookies.
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons glucose syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup mini butterscotch chips
- 1/2 cup Graham Crust (recipe below)
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coffee
- 2 cups potato chips
- 1 cup mini pretzels
1 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.
2 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.
3 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 you’ll break too many of the pretzels or potato chips. You deserve a pat on the back if one of your cookies bakes off with a whole pretzel standing up in the center.
4 Using a 2 3/4-ounce 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.
5 Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
6 Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or silpat-lined sheet pans. 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.
7 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.
Makes 2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup dry milk powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
2 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. The mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and mix it in.
3 Eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. The crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. Stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
Note: In a pinch, substitute 1 tablespoon light corn syrup for the glucose (which may be purchased online). For the “coffee grounds” in this cookie, we tested the recipe with freshly roasted and ground artisanal coffee from Stumptown as well as with crap-tastic coffee grounds that you can find just about anywhere. We discovered that it doesn’t make a difference what kind you use; the cookie is delicious every time. Just make sure you don’t use instant coffee; it will dissolve in the baking process and ruin the cookies. And, above all else, never use wet, sogalicious grounds that have already brewed a pot of coffee. We use Cape Cod potato chips because they aren’t paper-thin, and so they do not break down too much in the mixing process.
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