Thursday, December 15, 2011

Momofuku Milk Bar's chocolate chocolate cookies and Momofuku Milk Bar book review

I cannot believe I let so much time go before I finally got down to writing about this book. It was on my wishlist for the longest time before it came out because of an article I had read in Bon Appetit and all the blog hype surrounding the crack pie.

The book tells the fascinating story of how Christina Tosi, the mastermind behind the Momofuku Milk Bar creations (in New York), came to fame with her childhood inspired desserts. Most recipes have sprouted from her love of baking and her use of cupboards staples to achieve crazy concoctions.
You love the funfetti cake mix? Eating pretzels with chocolate? Imagine a giant cheesecake-filled cinnamon bun? It's all in there. Instead of using cake mix, you're going to learn the hard way how to make your own, how to use milk powder as a flavour enhancer for sweets, how to turn cornflakes into what they were meant to become after a century of kitchen evolution, how to make the crack pie, etc.
If you're into easy baking, then this is not the book for you. Most recipes have many steps or recipes within recipes. There's some assembly work involved for the layer cakes and some special ingredients required for some, like glucose in cookies, passionfruit purée, citric acid, pistachio paste and so on.

I received it as soon as it was published in late October, and tackled what I had dreamed of for a while : the candy bar pie. It is a 7-step recipe, and by step I don't mean just adding one ingredient at a time, I mean almost 7 recipes within the recipe.
To make the pie crust you must make the chocolate crumb recipe first  so that the crust is a 2-recipe step.
Then you make the salty caramel.
Then you toats your pretzels.
When you have spread the caramel over the crust, you must make the peanut butter nougat and use it immediately.
Then you melt chocolate and spread it on top and cover in pretzels covered in more chocolate. Here you go, 7 steps. Not counting all the cooling times (and let's face it, the inevitable washing up).
Was it worth it? Yes. I ate almost 3/4 of it on my own, then I hate to admit that I chucked the rest.

Next I tackled the compost cookies. I changed a couple of things because I don't like coffee. I added the leftover chocolate crumbs. I overbaked the cookies and didn't like them.

This is one of the things I have noticed with the book, besides the recipes being complicated for normal mortals (called softbodies in the book, ha ha). The temperatures are totally off the mark as far as my oven is concerned. This became evident when I prepared the cereal milk and almost burned the corn flakes. The cereal milk tasted like brunt cornflakes but you could tell that with acceptably toasted flakes it would have been nice - I drank it anyway!

 I made the cornflake crunch with the intention of making the marshmallow cookies but this was so good and not burnt that we ended up eating the crunch as it was for breakfast or as a snack.

So it took me a while to get down to the chocolate cookies and once more I almost burned the chocolate crumbs and had to toss part if them. (This is another two-step recipe because you have to make the chocolate crumbs before you make the actual cookies, and don't wait too long because those crumbs are delicious on their own...)

I live, I learn, so I baked them at about 160 °C (fan) for the requisite 18  minutes and they turned out perfectly . crisp edges, fudgy centers, with a really deep chocolate flavour. Delicious!

Milk Bar’s chocolate-chocolate cookies (makes 10 to 15 cookies)

Recipe adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi

  • 225 g (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
  • 100 g (1/4 cup) glucose (or 35 g corn syrup) - I used 50g of a golden syrup type thing.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 g (2 oz) 55% chocolate, melted
  • 200 g (1 1/4 cups) flour
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 3 g (3/4 tsp) baking powder
  • 1.5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
  • 7 g ( 1 3/4 tsp) sea salt - I used half because I don't like to eat over salty sweets
  • 1/2 recipe chocolate crumbs (recipe follows)
  1. Cream the butter, sugar and glucose together for 2 to 3 minutes then add the egg, vanilla and melted sugar. Mix on for 7 to 8 minutes on medium high.
  2. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed until just mixed.
  3. Add the chocolate crumbs and mix until just incorporated
  4. Shape the cookies with an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Leave in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour or up to a week.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 160 °C (on fan heat).
  6. Place the cookies 10 cm apart and bake for about 18 mins. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then leave on a rack.
Chocolate crumb recipe
  • 105 g (2/3 cup) flour
  • 4 g (1 tsp) cornstarch
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 65 g (2/3 cup) cocoa powder
  • 4 g (1 tsp) sea salt
  • 85g butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven on 180 ° C.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the butter and mix until small crumbs start forming
  4. Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.
PS : You can watch Christina make these cookies here.


Norm said...

Wow, this sounds like a recipe book for when you're feeling up to a culinary challenge! I'm guessing it might be something I'd use occasionally when I had a spare day and wanted a baking project... I do like the look of that Candy Bar Pie!

julie said...

Thanks, Kate! It is indeed full of time-consuming recipes that will keep boredom at bay ;-)

Kelly-Jane said...

I've got this one, not sure if I'm that gone on it, but your cookies do look gorgeous, mmmm.