It's official. My all time favorite dessert, the one sweet that will bring me to my knees time and time again, is hands down an incredible cookie (or two, or three). Stating that fact makes me feel a bit simple. What does that say about me? Of all the amazing desserts out there, out of all the combinations, techniques, flavors, and textures, my ultimate weakness lies in the hands of a good cookie? Really? Don't get me wrong, I love cake, I'm enamored with pie, I'm pretty fond of a good frozen dessert too, but none has won my heart like the cookie. Maybe this harkens back to my childhood. My earliest memories in the kitchen are of my grandmother and I, me on a little blue stool at her kitchen counter, big wooden spoon in hand stirring up a batch of nestle chocolate chip cookies. I remember begging her (nearly on a daily basis I believe) to make cookies with me. In complete honesty, I don't think it was all about getting to eat the cookies as they came out of the hot oven, I think I enjoyed being in the kitchen with her more than anything else. That smell, cookies baking in the oven, still reminds me of her and all the time we spent together in her kitchen.
Understandably, give me a reason to bake up a new cookie recipe, dominately of the chocolate chip variety, and I'll jump at it. And although I have yet to find the holy grail, the journey sure has been fun (and delicious). Momofuku Milk Bar's Compost Cookie could reign as my new favorite. I believe if I had allowed them to chill in the back of my fridge for 36+ hours (a la the NYT chocolate chip cookie) they would've been pure perfection. I stumbled upon them by chance over at 'the amateur gourmet' (damn fine food blog my friends). You see, I've started a new tradition here at 1313, 'Sunday Supper', every Sunday I cook up a meal for my closest friends and family, we sit, eat, drink, talk and enjoy. In my eyes, a meal simply wouldn't be complete without dessert, but, in an effort to keep my sanity and part of my Sunday free before supper, I seek out simple, no fuss desserts, this cookie being one of them. At the end of the night I baked up a fresh batch, served warm cookies and a tall glass of cold milk. So classic. Guests kind of went nuts. One tried to walk out the door with the rest of the cookies (even though I made care packages with cookies to go). I'm not kidding, he scooped up everyones package and away he went! (I caught him of course.) There are two things that really make this cookie different. 1. Whipping the butter/sugar/egg combo on high for 10 minutes. Essentially dissolving the granulated sugar and creating a light, shiny butter mixture to which you add the rest of your ingredients. This creates a light as air cookie dough that is hard to resist devouring straight out of the mixer bowl. 2. The 'throw-in's' or the 'compost' part. Another Sunday Supper guest had caught the particular Regis & Kelly that featured this cookie. She said they threw in all sorts of things from standard chocolate chips, to Rolos, to Goldfish crackers. Per Adams suggestion I kept it pretty standard, throwing in chocolate chips and a mixture of crushed pretzel and potato chip. But frankly, I don't think you can do any wrong throwing in whatever suits your fancy from candy to salty snacks. Although I mentioned it earlier, I don't think it's necessary to chill these for a day and a half. They're simply delicious the day of, right out of the oven, I sure didn't hear any complaints from any of the guests. . . So, if you're a cookie fiend like me, or simply on the same quest for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, I implore you to try your hand at the compost cookie. And if you do, let me know what you throw in the mix! I have a sneaking suspicion these cookies will catch fire much like the NYT chocolate chip cookies did a few years ago, because they are that good.
Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie
via Amateur Gourmet
1 cup butter (two sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps Kosher salt
1 bag (I used one cup) chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients/junk food (ie pretzels, goldfish, twix, rolos, potato chips, you get the idea)
(preheat oven to 400 F after cookies have chilled out in the fridge)
1. To the bowl of an electric mixer add butter, granulated & brown sugar as well as the corn syrup. With the paddle attachment beat on medium speed until well incorporated and creamed together. Appx. 3 minutes.
2. Reducing the speed a notch or two, add eggs (one a time, until incorporated about 30 seconds after each egg), and vanilla. Scrape down the sides to ensure everything is incorporating well.
3. Here comes the long haul! Increase speed to medium/high (I set my speed pretty high!), set your timer for 10 minutes, and walk away. At the end of this time the mixture should become a very pale yellow, nearly white, double in volume and will be quite shiny.
4. When your ten minutes are up, decrease speed to low and add in your flour/baking soda/powder/salt and mix until just combined (being careful not to over mix). Once the dry has mixed well with the wet, on the same low speed, add your 'junk food' or 'compost' (same thing here, until just incorporated, you don't want to over-mix the cookie dough).
5. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop equal amounts of dough onto silpat-ed cookie sheet (or wax paper). I fit about eight cookies per sheet. Then refrigerate cookies for at least one hour (apparently, because of the light dough, skipping this step will result in a mess of cookie goo/soup on your baking sheet).
6. Once they've chilled, throw cookies in hot oven and bake for 9-11 minutes. They may look a little doughy in the middle, this is ok, once you take them out they will continue to cook to gooey perfection on the hot sheet.
7. Devour! (Cold milk highly recommended).