Terrible name for a cookie, I know. You won't care after you taste them though, because they will KNOCK your socks off. I heard about Compost Cookies from my sister's friend who swears by them and happens to be an avid baker as well. I first tried one when my sis wisely brought back five of them from the said friend's house. The dear offered one to me and I scarfed two without breathing. These cookies hit on all the right things: crispy, salty and sweet. I taste notes of caramel and brown sugar along with pockets of salty goodness. The texture is outta control too. It's one of the tastiest cookies I've ever had. Believe it. The recipe comes from a legit place too: the cookbook of the famous NYC bakery Momofuku Milk Bar. Christina Tosi, the chef/owner of Milk Bar, gave the cookies this name because it's made up of a hodgepodge of her favorite snacks: chocolate and butterscotch chips, potato chips, pretzels, graham crackers and coffee. She says "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."
One thing to note, some of the ingredients aren't commonly found in grocery stores, such as "glucose," but luckily Amazon seems to have them. I've included links for the challenging ones.
Recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar (I recently acquired this book for my burfday, thank you sister!)
Yield: makes 15 to 20 BIG cookies (see picture below to get an idea of scale)
Ingredients - Compost Cookies
225 g (16 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
150 g (2⁄3 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
50 g (2 tbs) glucose
2 g (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
225 g (1 1⁄3 cups) flour
2 g (1/2 tsp) baking powder
1.5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
4 g (1 tsp) kosher salt
150 g (3/4 cup) mini chocolate chips
100 g (1/2 cup) mini butterscotch chips
1/4 recipe (1/2 cup) Graham Crust (recipe below)
40 g (1⁄3 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
5 g (2 1/2 tsp) ground coffee
50 g (2 cups) potato chips (Cape Cod is what's recommended)
50 g (1 cup) mini pretzels
Ingredients - Graham Crust (you only need 1/4 of this recipe. I just halved the recipe.)
190 g (1 1/2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
25 g (2 tbs) sugar
3 g (3/4 tsp) kosher salt
55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted, or as needed
55 g (1/4 cup) heavy cream
Directions - Graham Crust (you only need 1/4 of this recipe. I just halved the recipe.)
1. Toss the graham crumbs, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
2. Whisk the brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream together. add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. the butter will act as a 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 14 to 25 g (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.
Directions - Compost Cookies
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. (See page 27 for notes on this process.)
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 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 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.
5. Heat the oven to 375°F.
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. Pro Tip: Mine took 16 mins. Always start a few mins under the recommended time when baking. Every oven is different! I pulled a rookie move and overcooked my first batch because I went with 18 mins. Dummy.
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.
Tips from Christina: In a pinch, substitute 18 g (1 tablespoon) corn syrup for the glucose. 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.