Friday, April 15, 2011

compost cookies for earth day

I know I'm kinda late jumping on the compost cookie bandwagon, but they've been all over the internet, and when I was trying to think of something to make for earth day, compost cookies seemed like the natural thing to bake. Because of the name, not because they are any good for the planet or anything like that, so earth day, perfect time to make compost cookies!

I'm scared of bugs, and... nature basically, so I don't compost. I think I would if there was a city run program where they collect the bins of compostable material and they would compost it for me, but if it means collecting my trash and adding it to a pile of trash in my backyard that I have to turn over a few times a year and add brown compost or something to it, uh. no. I'm not doing that.

But I'll gladly add a bunch of yummy snack food to a cookie dough to make compost cookies. I read Momofuku's book a while back, and although I'd like to eat some of what they make at the restaurants, the cooking style is not really for me. Their recipes are really interesting... and complicated! Even the baking ones I found on the web. They are really out there, and seem awesome! The crack pie, the cereal milk ice cream, the chocolate malt cake... They seem like a lot of work with a lot of components, so I think the cookie is a good place to start... Even that recipe has had mixed reviews from bloggers who've tried it. They come out super flat for most people.

I thought of just using my regular cookie dough and adding a bunch of stuff to it, but decided to try the milk bar recipe, even if it was doomed to fail. So beat butter and sugars, add eggs and beat for 10 minutes. Yeah. 10 minutes. Add dry ingredients, now make sure you don't over beat. 10 minutes was enough! Mix in a bunch of baking stuff and snack food. Portion out. Chill. Bake. Enjoy.

Momofuku Milk Bar's Compost Cookies Recipe
Adapted from the recipe that used to be available on the Live! with Regis & Kelly website
Yield: 40 cookies

1 cup 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 baking ingredients (1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup skor bits, 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup graham crumbs)
1 1/2 cups snack foods (3/4 cup pretzels, 1/2 cup potato chips, 1/4 cup dark chocolate covered coffee beans)

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
2. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.
3. When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from the mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
4. On same low speed, add in the baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in the snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.
5. Using an ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
6. Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.
7. DO NOT BAKE the cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.
8. Heat the conventional oven to 400F.
9. When the oven reads 400F, arrange the chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheet pan a minimum of 4" apart in any direction.
10. Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.
11. At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.
12. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

The cookie dough came together really nicely. Chopping up the add-ins took some time, and since I was eye balling the quantities, when I added them in the batter, I found I was short about 1/2 cup of stuff, so I added in more oats to make up a full 3 cups.

I used my 2-3 tbsp cookie scoop to portion them, and I think they were the perfect size. In my oven, they took 10 minutes. I thought I had under-baked my first batch because I split one open the minute they were out of the oven and it was still raw in the middle, but while the rest of them cooled on the baking sheet, I guess they finished cooking, because they were perfect.

Because of the reviews I read, I was scared of the spreading factor, but baking 9 on my baking sheet was perfect. And although they are thinner than say, my regular chocolate chip cookies, they were not crisp. Nice and chewy, not crumbly. A very nice texture actually. I'm happy I tried this recipe.

I'm glad I didn't add more chips or pretzels because they were salty enough. I found they were really good, my parents loved them, Mme Sophie liked the coffee in them, but my husband though they were too salty (they were really salty...). These cookies are definitely more for grown ups than for kids, especially with the addition of the chocolate covered coffee beans, but it didn't stop my daughter from eating them. As if she needs the caffeine...

1 comment:

  1. I love making compost cookies, its the perfect recipe to finish up the little remnants of baking/salty stuff in the cabinent! My favorite is to use annies cheddar bunnies in the mix! :) Also sometimes I find that the batter only needs to mix for 7-8 minutes...I think thats why some peoples came out so flat.


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