Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Compost Cookies

Have you ever had a baked good, only to spend hours on end wondering what, exactly, was in it? What was that indescribable, absolutely addictive taste?
If that's your thing, meet the Compost Cookie.

For all the salty-sweet lovers out there, listen up. For those not so convinced by the power of a chocolate-covered pretzel, well, listen up too. You just might be pleasantly surprised.

The compost cookie is officially the creation of pastry chef Christina Tosi from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York--but I'm pretty sure home bakers all around the world have been experimenting with add-ins in their cookies for quite a while. A quick survey around me found tasters (i.e. my fellow colleagues) to think of the obvious when I asked them to guess what exactly was in these compost cookies. Chocolate? Check. Some kind of nut? Check (almonds and hazelnuts, finely chopped). Salted butter? Nope. They ran out of ideas, and ended up pretty surprised when they heard the remaining ingredients...scroll down for the answer!

The subtelty of the compost cookie is that while you may add strange ingredients, that seemingly don't pair well at all, the result is completely cohesive from a flavor standpoint. Brown sugar imparts a butterscotch aroma to the baked cookies, which in turn pairs quite well with chocolate, pretzels, or... corn chips. "Don't knock it till you've tried it" is what they say. 

The preparation of the batter is an oddity as well--ten minutes of beating and a good hour (at least) in the refrigerator make for some cookies that ended up a little too much on the crunchy side for me. Good thing I kept part of the cookie dough and baked it in individual pans, making two huge cookie "bars"--chewy and utterly addictive.

It's hard to summarize a cookie with so many ingredients in just one sentence. But here goes: have you ever dreamt of going to the concession stand at the movies and getting one of everything? 

Let your dream come true with a compost cookie.

Compost Cookies
adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar

yields 12 large cookies

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/8 c. light brown sugar
1/2 TB corn syrup (I didn't have any and left it out with no noticeable effects)
1/2 TS vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 c. + 2 TB all purpose flour
1 TS baking powder
1/2 TS baking soda
1 TS salt
3/4 c. of your favorite baking ingredients (options: chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
3/4 c. of your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor, cream butter, corn syrup and sugars until fluffy and light in color.

Add egg and vanilla. Beat on high for ten minutes (or a little less if, like me, you're afraid of killing your mixer): mixture should become pale and almost double in size.

Delicately mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until just combined. Stir in baking ingredients and snack foods.

Drop cookies onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to one day.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes, until golden. Cool cookies completely on pan and store in an airtight container.
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Eleni said...

I've never heard of putting pretzels and such in a cookie, but I like the salty and sweet contrast!

Lisa said...

I've heard so much about these cookies and will have to try them one day. I love the idea of a sweet/salty cookie.

Daisy said...

This idea is genious! they look delicious.

Danielle said...

I've seen cookies like these! I haven't tried making them but i'm sure they'd be good!

LyB said...

Oh, I would definitely try one of those cookies. They sound so intriguing!

Barbara said...

I've read about these but I've never made a compost cookie, Lucie. I do love sweet/salty combos too. Looks like this will be the next cookie on my list!

Kerstin said...

I'm been wanting to make these - they look great! I'm a big fan of pretzels in cookies :)