Can a cookie made with childhood faves give us all the feels? Oh yes, it can...
Last year I visited New York for the first time and on my list of must-try places was the legendary Momofuku Milk Bar in the East Village. I’d just finished lunch, but knew I had to go all out so I ordered the OG Crack Pie, Cereal Milk Soft-Serve and the famous Compost Cookie. There I was, standing on the sidewalk with a trio of sweet treats in the middle of a snowstorm, which had actually shut down a lot of the subway throughout the city. I know what you’re thinking: ‘minus 10°C and you’re eating ice-cream on the side of the road? Are you mad?’ Slightly, yes, but when in New York you’ve got to go for it.
I was completely blown away by how delicious the Compost Cookie was, so I created this playful recipe to make a Singapore version using local ingredients (think salted egg potato chips) and treats we all had as kids growing up. Have fun with this recipe – your cookies should be salty, sweet and loaded with your favourite snacks. Get creative with your baking!
Note: If you want to take things to the next level, try my method of smoking the chocolate with tea leaves – you’ll need a smoking gun for this option.
Ingredients (makes approx 16 cookies)
- 1 ¾ cup (215 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (220g) dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (100g) white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup (85g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, chilled
- ½ cup (85g) dark chocolate, chopped and chilled
- 1 tbsp lapsang souchong tea leaves (optional)
- 2 cups salted egg chips
- 90g chocolate-coated biscuit sticks – I went for the crushed almond option
- Sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a tray with baking parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
3. In a saucepan, add the butter and melt over medium heat. The butter will start to toast and go slightly brown, so stir it constantly so that it browns evenly. Once done, take it off the heat and pass it through a fine chinois or sieve into a small metal bowl.
4. Set aside to cool to room temperature. To help speed up this process, you can place the butter in the fridge for 15 minutes. You want to make sure the butter is still liquid when you’re adding it to the dough later on, so make sure to remove it after 15 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, add the sugars, vanilla and cooled brown butter. Use an electric mixer to cream together for around two minutes until light and fluffy.
6. Add the egg, additional yolk and beat until incorporated.
7. Add the dry ingredients, half the mixture at a time, and beat between additions until just incorporated. Do a scrape down around the edges before moving on.
8. If you won’t be smoking the chocolate with tea leaves, skip to Step 9. Otherwise, place the chilled semi-sweet and dark chocolate on a plate. Take the smoke gun, fill the chamber with the tea leaves, then turn on the machine and light the tea leaves. Once the smoke starts to come out, direct it at the chocolate and immediately cover it with a cloche, trapping in as much smoke as possible. Keep the tea covered with the cloche for at least 2 minutes.
9. Tear the chocolate-coated biscuits into thirds or quarters and fold them together with the chocolate into the dough. Follow immediately with the potato chips, which can be roughly scrunched into the dough. Don’t make the pieces too fine – a few chunkier bits will add a visual pop to the cookies.
10. Scoop the dough onto the lined baking sheet in 3-tablespoon-sized mounds (roughly the size of a golf ball). Evenly space the mounds 8cm apart from one another. You might need 3 or 4 baking trays depending on the size of your oven, or simply cook in batches.
11. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes for a chewier cookie, or 10-12 minutes for a crunchier cookie. Continuously check their progress and pull them out when the edges start to go brown and there’s a lovely golden finish on top. Remember, all ovens bake at different speeds.
12. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the cookies when they’re still hot: this amps up the flavour like you wouldn’t believe!
1. When placing the chocolate on a plate to be smoked, evenly distribute the chocolate to form a single layer to maximise the surface area and contact for the smoke to penetrate and impart flavour. If a cloche isn’t available, place the chocolate in a large saucepan and cover the top with a double layer of clingfilm.
2. Halfway through the bake I like to switch the cookie trays around (top to bottom and bottom to top) and turn them 180° to ensure there’s an even browning on all the cookies. Consistency is key!