Compost Cookies

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The Pasta Man is a young lawyer from Washington, DC. He cooks a lot of pasta and other things, too. He blogs at www.thepastamanblog.com.

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Have you ever completed the pantry challenge? Two weeks ago, I filled a box with everything in my pantry that I hadn’t used in more than a year. It was a big box. Amid the scones and bloody mary mix, I found ancient graham crackers and dried milk powder, as well as a bunch of old snack food.

These compost cookies (made famous by Momofuku milk bar in New York) do a great job of using up whatever’s in your pantry (Cranberries! Chocolate chips! Chex Mix! Pretzels!), and they are delicious to boot. The mix of a very sweet butter base with a great, salty crunch from snack foods is extremely satisfying. The Magic Bullet does a great job of making the graham cracker filling, which gives a distinctive caramel flavor to the dough.

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Compost Cookies

Ingredients

For the graham mixture

  • 6 graham cracker squares
  • 1 Tbsp dry milk powder (or use coffee creamer)
  • 1½ tsp. sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream (I actually used skim milk and extra butter)

For the flour mixture

  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

For the finished cookie dough

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground coffee
  • about 4 cups snack mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, pretzels, or Chex Mix

Instructions

  1. To make the graham mixture, blend graham cracker squares in the Magic Bullet, then add milk powder, sugar, and salt and blend again. Add butter and cream (or milk if you’re using that instead) and blend.
  2. To make the flour mixture, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. For the cookie dough, combine the butter, both sugars and corn syrup in a large bowl and cream using beaters on medium-high for two to three minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional seven to eight minutes. Use a spatula to get any missed ingredients from the side of the bowl.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, not longer than a minute. Use a spatula to get any missed ingredients from the side of the bowl.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. Add the graham mixture, coffee, and any snack items that won’t break easily (such as chocolate chips) and blend on low for thirty minutes. Then add anything that will break easily (such as pretzels or potato chips) and manually stir with a big spoon.
  7. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, add heaping tablespoons of the dough, at least three inches apart from each other. Bake for 13 minutes and check for doneness; the cookies should be golden brown and crispy. Let cookies cool before removing them from the parchment.
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