Milk Bar Compost Cookies | The Daily Dish

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Milk Bar Compost Cookies

4 Comments | Written on April 19, 2012 at 5:00 am , by

After running 13.1 miles, a girl deserves a treat…right?   (Ok, so I realize that is just a way of justifying my insatiable sweet tooth.)  Nevertheless, when in New York the place to go for an indulgent treat is Milk Bar.

This retro-style childhood memory-inspired dessert haven is associated with David Chang’s famous restaurant Momofuku.

From cookies to milkshakes and even their legendary “Crack Pie,” this menu is pure fun.  I love the idea of their soft serve ice cream that tastes like cereal milk.

My sister ordered a slice of the “Crack Pie.” (A name that you can see is a registered trademark!)  Imagine a deliciously addictive oatmeal cookie crust  with a filling that tastes a bit like butterscotch or maybe browned butter.  She thoroughly enjoyed it, but luckily didn’t feel the need to check in to Promises in Malibu.

I was intrigued by the Pretzel Milkshake.  The sweet/salty combo is one of my favorites when it comes to dessert.  After chatting it up with the guy behind the counter he recommended that I add a little bit of chocolate syrup to the order and make it a chocolate-covered pretzel milkshake….DONE!

Yes, it was every bit as good as it sounds!

The store also sells mixes to recreate some of their cookies at home!  The next day my sister was going to a work event where she wanted to bring something yummy to share.  We decided it was the perfect opportunity to try a mix!

The most interesting one was the “Compost Cookie Mix.”  Imagine every cookie you have ever had, all in one!  There were chocolate and butterscotch chips, graham crackers, oatmeal, and coffee bits.  Then you crush up some potato chips and pretzels and toss them into the batter.  Amazing!

Everything comes in convenient little bags and the instructions are super easy to follow.  They even sold small bags of chips and pretzels at the Milk Bar, so we could walk home with all the ingredients on hand.

P.S.  Did anyone notice the cameo of my old 1977 KitchenAid Stand Mixer in the photo above?  It has found a new home in my sister’s New York City apartment.  My parents received this mixer as a wedding present, and it has lived in Chicago, LA, and now New York.  I actually took it as a carry-on one time when I went to visit my sister!  People looked at me funny and it was painfully heavy, but totally worth it!

Here is the recipe included in the Compost Cookie Mix.  The recipe can also be made from scratch (see recipe below).  This mix is available at Milk Bar locations or at Williams-Sonoma.

Compost Cookies (Mix)  (click here to view and print recipe) 

9 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 graham cracker packet

1 sugar packet

1 egg

1 cookie mix packet

1 compost packet

1 bag (individual serving size) crushed salted plain potato chips

1 bag (individual serving size) crushed mini pretzels

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a small microwavable bowl and microwave on medium power until melted, about 20 seconds.  Let cool slightly.

Place the graham crackers in a large bowl, add the melted butter and mix, squeezing gently with your fingers, until small clusters form.  The mixture should hold its shape when squeezed in the palm of your hand.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 8 Tablespoons butter and the sugar packet, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is pale in color and almost doubled in volume, about 10 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the cookie mix and beat until the dough just comes together and the dry ingredients are incorporated, 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the compost and the graham cracker crumbs and beat on low speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Using the spatula, gently fold in the potato chips and pretzels until just incorporated.

Divide the dough into 9 equal balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 4 inches apart.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.  (The cookies need to be chilled before baking so they will hold their shape.)

Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheets.  Bake the cookies until lightly browned on the edges but still slightly underdone in the center, 12 to 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through the baking time.  Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely, about 15 minutes, before serving.  Makes 9 milk bar-style cookies.

Compost Cookies  (click here to view and print recipe)

2 sticks butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2?3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

2 Tbsp. glucose*

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup mini butterscotch chips

1/2 cup crushed graham crackers

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2 1/2 tsp. ground coffee

2 cups potato chips

1 cup mini pretzels


Combine the butter, sugars and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats and coffee, and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels, and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips. (You deserve a pat on the back if one of your cookies bakes off with a whole pretzel standing up in the center.)

Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1?3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly.

Heat the oven to 375°.

Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. Give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

* In a pinch, substitute 18 grams (1 tablespoon) corn syrup for the glucose. For the coffee grounds in this cookie, we tested the recipe with freshly roasted and ground artisanal coffee from Stumptown as well as with craptastic coffee grounds that you can find just about anywhere. We discovered that it doesn’t make a difference what kind you use; the cookie is delicious every time. Just make sure you don’t use instant coffee; it will dissolve in the baking process and ruin the cookies. And, above all else, never use wet, sogalicious grounds that have already brewed a pot of coffee. We use Cape Cod potato chips because they aren’t paper thin, so they don’t break down too much in the mixing process.

4 Responses to “Milk Bar Compost Cookies”

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