A Momofuku Milk Bar Cookie Christmas

I have made five cookies from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook so far: Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow, Blueberries and Cream, Compost, Chocolate Chocolate, and Confetti.  I have also gained about three pounds since buying this book.

The basics are as follows: 1) prepare sub-recipes for Cornflake Crunch, Milk Crumb, Graham Crust, Chocolate Crumb, and Birthday Crumb for each cookie, respectively; 2) cream together two sticks of butter with sugar and glucose syrup (corn syrup can be substituted) in a stand mixer; 2) whip creamed butter and sugar with egg and vanilla for about seven minutes; 3) mix in dry ingredients like flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking powder, baking soda, and a good amount of salt; 4) mix in other ingredients like dried blueberries, chocolate chips, marshmallows, potato chips, and pretzels, and the sub-recipe Crumb or Crunch; 5) scoop out 1/3 cup portions onto parchment paper and refrigerate for at least one hour, or the dough can be frozen for later baking; 6) bake at 350 or 375 for 18 minutes and let cool on the baking sheet.  Each batch makes about 15 cookies.

The cookies are characteristically very rich, buttery, sweet, and salty with great texture and a lot of flavor.  They are all delicious, but my favorite is the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow, followed closely by Chocolate Chocolate and Compost, then Blueberries and Cream, and then Confetti.  They are a lot more work than your average cookie but are doable if you have a stand mixer (a digital kitchen scale is useful but not absolutely required).  I froze down cookie dough after making different types over the past few weeks and then baked them all to make some sampler packages that I will be giving away over the holidays.  A Momofuku Milk Bar Cookie Christmas, followed by a no-added sugar New Year!

Link to Compost Cookie and Blueberry and Cream Cookie recipes here.

Cookbook Review: Momofuku Milk Bar

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.

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