It was only a matter of time: Compost cookies.

There is a certain inevitability to a great many things in this world: the rising of the sun each morning; death; taxes; graffiti on the subway; and the fact that, sooner or later, a batch of Compost Cookies was going to come out of my oven. Compost cookies are the brainchild of legendary pastry chef Christina Tosi, who has been cranking these things out on behalf of the Momofuku Milk bar for…well…I don’t know how long. Long enough that these cookies have an insane cult following; which, given that their entire raison d’etre is to slam together the worlds of salty and sweet, is not really all that surprising. Even less surprising is the fact that the official recipe has been crazily guarded by Tosi and the Milk Bar gang. Even their “official” recipe, as shared on Live with Regis and Kelly, is not REALLY the real deal (rumor has it that in the official version, there are coffee grounds involved–which are definitely not present here)–though it sure as shootin’ is absolutely delicious.

compost1

As I mentioned, the purpose of this cookie is to play up the relationship between salty and sweet; it’s a perfect buttery chocolate chip cookie, woken up by, well, more or less whatever you want to add–I used peanut butter cups, pretzels, milk chocolate chips and potato chips (I HIGHLY recommend using potato chips; not only do they add a ridiculous quantity of deliciousness, but they freak out the audience when you tell them it’s the secret ingredient). The trick to this cookie is really in the way you handle the dough in its early stages: you cream the butter, sugar, and egg mixture for a solid ten minutes before adding the dry ingredients. This aerates the batter, making it impossibly light and fluffy–which is imperative if you’re going to be folding in something delicate, like crushed potato chips. Unfortunately, it also means that you probably don’t want to tackle this business unless you have a stand mixer–consider yourself warned.

compost2

In my opinion, the greatest thing about the Compost Cookie is that it’s so flexible–there’s nothing in particular you should be adding to it, just whatever combination of sweets and treats tickles your fancy. It’s rich, delicious, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. For serious–you bring this to a party and they’ll be talking about your amazing prowess in the kitchen for weeks to come.

Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies
(shamelessly stolen from Regis and Kelly’s site)

1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 3/4 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 c sweet treats (I used chopped peanut butter cups and milk chocolate chips)
1 1/2 c salty deliciousness (I used crushed pretzels and potato chips)

  1. Cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes–the paddle on your stand mixer works well for this.
  2. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla. Increase mixing speed to medium-high, and grab a magazine–you’re going to let this mix for ten minutes. By the end of this time, your batter will be almost pale white color and will have nearly doubled in size.
  3. After ten minutes, lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
  4. On same low speed, add your sweet add-ins and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in the savories last, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Using a small ice cream scoop (or spoon, or melon baller), spoon the onto a parchment lined baking sheet, in approximately 2 tbsp drops.
  6. Once scooped, wrap cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week. Refrigerating is key–don’t even think about baking from room temperature!
  7. Heat oven to 400F.
  8. Bake 9-11 min.
  9. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack or airtight container.
  10. Bring them to work and watch your colleagues drool.
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