I found this recipe thanks to the fantastic Amateur Gourmet who included it on his web site www.amateurgourmet.com and it looked too good not to try. The recipe can be found strangely enough on the Regis & Kelly web site – who knew! For complete details, see http://regisandkelly.go.com/recipe-finder.html?_cat=chef&_val=Christina%20Tosi
Who the heck is this brilliant woman Christina Tosi? Turns out this goddess is the pastry chef at the Momofuku Milk Bar. This will have to go onto my list of foodie places to try whenever I make it to New York.
For Christina’s Compost Cookies, here is what you’ll need:
*1 cup butter (I used unsalted butter)
*1 cup 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 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 2 tsp kosher salt
* 1 1/2 cups your favourite baking ingredients (eg chocolate chips, rolos)
* 1 1/2 cups your favourite snack foods (pretzels, chips, crackers)
This recipe calls for using a stand mixer with paddle attachment. I used my trusty Kitchen Aid to do the job, but I imagine a hand held mixer would also do the trick. I creamed together the butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed until fluffy and light yellow. Normally I don’t make a lot of substitutions while baking, but since these are cookies and not yeast laden creatures, I decided what the heck! I used dark brown sugar and organic cane sugar, and omitted the corn syrup because I didn’t have any handy.
Next, add in the eggs and vanilla to incorporate, mixing on a lower speed. Then increase the speed to medium-high and do this for 10 minutes. This is the stage of chemistry stuff going on – apparently the sugar will fully dissolve, the cookie dough will grow to twice its size and it will look pale in colour.
Incorporate the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the dough on lower speed. I opted to use whole wheat flour in an effort to turn these cookies into a health food! Make sure you mix it for at most 1 minute until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated. It’s important not to over mix the dough and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a pretty spatula (at least in my kitchen, they’re all pretty!)
Now while I was waiting for the sugars to do their dissolving thing, I went all ragey with a mallet and some snack foods. What did almonds and pretzels ever do to me, you may ask? Well, apparently I had been repressing a whole lot of issues with these snack foods and let’s just say they paid for it!
Now for my favourite baking ingredients, I thought I had a bag of chocolate chips to add in, along with whatever mini rolos I hadn’t already eaten. Turns out I’d already used them, so I started hacking up squares of semi-sweet chocolate instead. Knives and mallets – these cookies are not for the faint of heart!
Add in your favourite ingredients on low speed and mix until they are evenly mixed into the dough. Next add in your favourite snack foods and mix until just incorporated.
Now here is where I diverged from the recipe and let’s just say it wasn’t a good idea initially. Here is what you should be doing:
Use a 6 ounce ice cream scoop and scoop the cough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Wrap this scooped dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. Heat the oven to 400F and bake for 9-11 minutes. Cookies should puff, spread and crackle in the oven. Cookies should be browned on the edges and start browning towards the center after 9 minutes. If not, leave in the oven for the extra minutes.
Instead, I refrigerated the entire bowl full of dough for at least an hour and then I used my cookie dough scoop (which is smaller than 6 ounces) to place them on a cookie sheet, which I was too impatient to line with parchment (me wanted cookies!). I cooked these babies at 400F and sure enough, they were overcooked – duoh! I tried it again with the oven at 350F and cooked them for approximately 10 minutes. With this smaller size, the lower temperature seemed to do the trick.
Christina’s recipe yields 15 6-ounce cookies. My variation yielded more smaller ones. I have no idea of the exact number because I was too busy stuffing my pie hole with cookie dough!
Christina, wherever you are in your fabulous sugary world, thank you! If I ever meet you, don’t be too horrified if I give you a hug.