Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Compost Cookies

I have wanted to try to make "compost cookies", based on the famous Momofuko Milk Bar recipe, for quite some time. After reading several of the recipes online AND all the comments about them, I wasn't sure if I should try. Many people complained about the cookies spreading too much and being really flat - even after chilling the dough. The original recipe called for mixing for 10 minutes after you add the eggs and vanilla (!) which seems excessive. Based on several of the comments left on various blogs, I decided to mix them for the amount of time that I normally do (3 minutes-ish), add additional flour, decrease the baking powder, and eliminate the corn syrup.

These are great! I've made them twice now - once using pretzels, some frosted shredded wheat, some oats and few gingersnaps as the "snack mix" and once using just pretzels and oats. I never have potato chips around but I think they would be good. The cookies themselves are crunchy on the outer edges and chewy in the middle.

Compost Cookies

  • 2 sticks of softened butter (16 Tablespoons)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten (room temp)

  • 9 oz. flour (about 2 cups, if you don't have a scale)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt (or 1/2 tsp sea salt)

  • 1 1/2 cups snacks (pretzels, etc)

  • 1 1/2 cups baking ingredients (in this case - chopped dried apricots, semisweet choc chips, cocoa nibs)

  1. Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color (2-3 minutes)

  2. Crush snack pieces (pretzels, etc) by putting it in a plastic bag and hitting it with a rolling pin.

  3. Add eggs and vanilla, a little at a time, until fully incorporated (again, probably 2-3 minutes on medium speed)

  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to evenly distribute ingredients.

  5. Add half of dry ingredients to wet and mix on low. Add other half until just combined (there may be a few dry spots but don't overmix).

  6. Add snacks/pretzels and choc chips/whatever and finish mixing by hand (I use a wooden spoon or a stiff plastic spatula). If you use the mixer, the dough can get overmixed and develop too much gluten.

  7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

  8. Remove dough and place golf ball sized scoops onto parchment-lined baking sheets. I used and ice cream scoop. You can make them smaller, but these make nice bakery-size cookies. Put back in fridge and start preheating oven to 375F.

  9. After 20 minutes, remove cookie sheets from fridge and place in preheated oven on middle rack.

  10. Check cookies after about 12 minutes. When cookies are brown around the edges with just the middle part looking a little raw then they are done. If you cook them until they are completely browned then they will be overdone and too crunchy! My cookies took about 14 minutes but your oven will vary.

  11. Allow cookies to cool on tray for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling.

  12. Store airtight 3-5 days.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jack-O'-Lanterns - A Few Days Later

Here are our jack-o'-lanterns a couple days after Halloween (my sister's above and mine below). Since they were scary faces to begin with, I think they've improved with age! I thought about leaving them out there to become really gnarly but I guess it's time to move on. I'm sad that Halloween is over for another year but on to Thanksgiving and Christmas!