Momofuku Milk Bar is the new cookbook from New York-based Momofuku pastry chef Christina Tosi. The cookbook delivers recipes for many famous items from Milk Bar bakery including Compost Cookies and Crack Pie, as well as plated desserts served at the Momofuku restaurants. The cookbook is divided intro ten “mother recipes” like cereal milk, crunch, flavored crumbs, and liquid cheesecake that serve as the basis for many intriguing recipes.
Chef Tosi’s recipes update flavors that recall childhood, most famously cereal milk, and also successfully combine salty and sweet. Some of the recipes have been published elsewhere, but the majority are revealed in this book for the first time. Others are updated – for example, the cereal milk panna cotta recipe is substantially different from the one that appeared in the original Momofuku cookbook. There are gorgeous photos.
Chef Tosi explains a lot of technique, including her method for creaming butter, sugar, and eggs to give Milk Bar cookies such great texture. A stand mixer is essential as you have to mix for 6-8 minutes at a high speed. She introduces some new ingredients for baking, at least to me, including liquid glucose and milk powder. Measurements are given in grams as well as typical American measurements. I bought a digital scale on Amazon that measures up to 1000 grams with an accuracy of 0.1 grams for around $10 that works great (as an aside, the recent popularity of small digital scales has probably not been driven by cooks alone).
I started by making the cornflake crunch, where cornflakes are tossed with milk powder, sugar, salt, and melted butter and then toasted in the oven. Super easy, and the sweet-salty cornflake crunch clusters are really addicting and dangerous to have lying around. These can then be used as a garnish for Cereal Milk Panna Cotta or for the crust for Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie.
I used the cornflake crunch for the Cornflake, Chocolate Chip, Marshmallow Cookies, which came out incredibly good. Just as Chef Tosi described, the edges have a rich buttery sticky crispiness while the center of the cookies are soft. Really impressive.
I will be making my way through the book (Blueberry and Cream Cookies, Red Velvet Ice Cream, Carrot Layer Cake) and posting recipe reviews from this outstanding cookbook. Highly recommended.
Link to Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie recipe here.
Note on sourcing ingredients for Momofuku Milk Bar recipes in the Bay Area: Milk powder can be found in a regular grocery store. Trader Joe’s carries grapeseed oil. Spun Sugar in Berkeley has the following: Valrhona Dutch-process cocoa powder ($8 for 8 oz), E. Guittard 72% and 55% chocolate in little discs that make it easier to weigh ($7.75 for 1 lb; the book recommends Valrhona chocolate, but the store did not carry the recommended percentages), 5000-count mini chocolate chips ($4 for 1 lb), citric acid, clear vanilla extract (but not McCormick brand recommended in the book), glucose syrup ($8.50 for 18 oz), rainbow sprinkles in a wide range of colors, and gelatin sheets. Passion fruit puree I found at Crossroads World Market in Palo Alto ($14 for 1 kg). I checked many places, including Whole Foods, for freeze-dried corn but could not find it and will probably have to order on-line.
Update January 2012: Having now made several of the recipes in the book (five different cookies, Cinnamon Bun Pie, Brownie Pie, Grapefruit Pie, Bagel Bombs), I can’t emphasize enough how on point the recipes are in terms of measurements, directions, and expected baking times. Follow the directions and you will get something delicious. They must have tested the hell out of these recipes. Outstanding.
Amazon link to Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook here.