My mom loves Regis Philbin. Growing up, she’d watch Regis & Kathie Lee religiously; she even once went to a shopping mall, somewhere on Long Island, to get Kathie Lee Gifford to sign a copy of her book. These days, she and my dad Tivo Regis and Kelly in the morning and watch it at night. I’m a View man myself (though Whoopie is no Rosie; I miss the compulsively watchable hysteria of Rosie vs. Elizabeth) but once I went to a taping of Regis & Kathie Lee, almost ten years ago, because my friend Dana was Harrison Ford obsessed and he was the featured guest.
Why am I telling you all this? Because if you’d asked me last week, “Who are the last two people you’d expect to have the key to unlock the mysteries of one of New York’s greatest cookies” I would not have said “Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.” And yet, thanks to this post on Eater New York, it became evident last week that if I wanted to make Momofuku Milk Bar’s compost cookies at home, the recipe was right there on Regis & Kelly’s webpage.
For those not in the know (and for those who missed this post two weeks ago), the Momofuku Milk Bar compost cookie–created by genius pastry chef Christina Tosi–is an explosively rich and buttery cookie packed with the most unexpected flavors: pretzels, potato chips, Rice Krispies and chocolate. Somehow all those flavors (and calories) work together to produce an unforgettable cookie; one that–when you eat it at the actual location–makes you think to yourself: “I could never make it this good at home.”
But you can (thank you Reeg!) It’s actually pretty easy; a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe with one unexpected step. Normally when you make chocolate chip cookies (like my favorite ones here), you beat together the butter and sugar, you add eggs and combine, then add the dry ingredients and finally the chocolate. Here, that middle step–combining the butter, the sugar and the eggs–goes on for ten minutes. You let it whip on medium-high speed and the batter becomes intensely pale and takes on a glossy sheen. It’s kind of incredible.
Then, after that, you add your dry ingredients and then the wacky stuff. I was conservative this first time around, adding only crushed pretzels and chocolate. But these cookies were such a hit (in fact, my neighbor, Rob, (the Culinary Cardiologist) said–and I don’t believe him, but he said it (I’m not making this up): “These are almost slightly better than the ones I ate last week at the actual Momofuku Milk Bar.” (I know! What a nut. Don’t listen to him, he’s crazy.)) that I feel bold enough to experiment further next time around (I’m definitely adding potato chips).
Now those of you nowhere near New York can experience the Momofuku Milk Bar compost cookie phenomenon yourselves. At 9 AM tomorrow morning, you know who to thank.
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc.)
Note: as said above, I used chopped up bittersweet chocolate and crushed pretzels. Next time I’d definitely add potato chips.
1. 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.
2. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate.
Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.
3. When time is up, 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 incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
4. 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. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.
[Note: eating this cookie dough raw is dangerously good.]
5. Using a 6 oz. ice cream scoop (I’m not sure how many ounces mine is, but it worked well), portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.
6. Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or up to 1 week.
DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.
7. Heat the oven to 400 F. Take the plastic off your cookies and bake 9 to 11 minutes. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.
At 9 minutes, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don’t match up and your cookies still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
8. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan (good luck!) before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, they’ll keep five days.