momofuku milk bar exam no. 14 {compost cookies}


Of all the Momofuku Milk Bar cookies, this one is the most daring. If you love desserts that have a salty-sweet combination then this one is FOR YOU.


This cookie has EVERYTHING. potato chips… chocolate chips… pretzels… those chips that happen when butter and scotch have a baby…


Now, I love salted caramel and have been dipping my Ruffles chips in Häagen-Dazs since I was four but even I was a bit scared with how they would turn out. Not because of the components themselves, but because when I had this cookie from the actual Milk Bar store, I found it a bit underwhelming. The ingredients list on the label said there were potato chips (my favorite!) and graham crackers (another favorite!) yet I couldn’t taste any of these in the cookie. It was a bit disappointing but I still ate it… kinda like when you realize the Real Housewives episode you’re watching is a rerun but you watch it anyway because it’s still pretty entertaining.



So after I finished making these, I taste tested one of my cookies and realized, this is no rerun, this is the deluxe season set with director’s commentary! That analogy doesn’t really make any sense but essentially I’m trying to tell you that they are pure salty-sweet decadence. And you should make them as soon as humanly possible (after you finish that episode you’re watching of course).

The key to this dough is to not overmix the batter, otherwise the individual pieces of salty snacks become crushed in the buttery cookie dough and lose their beauty. I think that since the Milk Bar mixes their batter in such large batches, the machinery overdoes the mixing (I’m sorry Milk Bar, I still love you!). To avoid this, I even saved a handful of pretzels and potato chips to press into the top of each cookie dough mound before baking. Even compost should be beautiful.

{love watching cookies bake}

{love watching cookies bake}


compost cookies
from Momofuku Milk Bar
makes 15 to 20 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (150g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons (50g) glucose [can substitute with 1 tablespoon corn syrup]
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups (225g) flour [King Arthur’s bread flour]
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (150g) mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup (100g) mini butterscotch chips [I used regular because I’m convinced mini do not exist]
  • ¼ recipe (85g, ½ cup) Graham Crust, recipe follows
  • ⅓ cup (40g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2½ teaspoons (5g) ground coffee
  • 2 cups (50g) potato chips [Cape Cod recommended]
  • 1 cup (50g) mini pretzels [Snyder’s recommended]

(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) Using a 2¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-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.
(5) Heat the oven to 375°F. [I always do 350°F]
(6) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes [13-15 minutes is plenty]. 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.
(7) 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.

Graham Crust
makes about 340g (2 cups)

  • 1½ cups (190g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick, 55g) butter, melted, or as needed
  • ¼ cup (55g) heavy cream [can be omitted]

(1) Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
(2) Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as a glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. The mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ tablespoons) butter and mix it in.
(3) Eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. The crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. Stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

2 thoughts on “momofuku milk bar exam no. 14 {compost cookies}

  1. OOOOHHH.. They look spectacular!!! Chewy buttery insides, with crispy crunchy outside… salty potato chips and salt-crusted pretzel bites with bits of coffee grounds swirled here and there… melty butterscotch babies abound… and mini chocolate chipits, one (or three or four!) for every yummo bite of compost cookie gorgeousness. yeee.
    gorgeous photos!!! great post, a pleasure to read.

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