Friday, January 21

Compost cookies

You may have noticed that I haven't posted so frequently on The Culinary Vampire lately.  I haven't abandoned it nor have I lost interest. If anything, I think about it almost daily.  However, recently, I've been wrestling with the direction and focus of the blog.  I love posting recipes and all, but sometimes I'd like to share some of our personal stories and struggles.  Tara's AIP is such a focus in our daily lives and I want to share some of that with y'all. It's nice to know that other people are in the same boat as you, you know what I mean?

All that to say, while the blog will still be food-based, there will be a shift in focus and you can expect to see posts on topics like:

  • preparing meals for a mixed (AIP and non-AIP) household
  • eating right for AIP and exercising
  • losing weight with AIP (we know what a struggle that can be...)
  • more onion free and garlic free recipes
  • recipe fails (Hey, nobody's perfect and maybe you can learn from my mistakes!)
  • aaaand, delicious recipes, of course!

I hope you'll continue to read AND participate!  If there is anything you'd like to see on The Culinary Vampire, speak up! I am always open to suggestions.

On to today's recipe...

This cookie is unfortunately named the Compost cookie.  But it sounds a lot grosser than it actually is, especially when you realize that it comes from the pastry chef at Momofuku.  Essentially, you're throwing in a whole mish-mash of sweet and salty food stuffs like pretzels, chips, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and dried used coffee grounds (maybe that's where the name comes from?).

The sum is definitely greater than it's parts.

It's hard to see the scale in this picture, but they're about 2.5 inches in diameter, at least.

Normally, I am very opinionated about my cookies.  I like them to be quite simple and not have too many ingredients, i.e. chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin (sans offending chocolate chips), peanut butter, etc.  But, I've seen these cookies around the food blogosphere and they're always described as Amazing and DeeeliciousMind-blowing and - well, you get the idea.  Since I can't get up to Milk Bar just yet, I decided I had to make them at home.

I even saved the ends of my pretzel bags (who wants to eat those crumbs anyway) so I could use them for these cookies.

Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies
Adapted from rainy day gal, who adapted it from Live with Regis and Kelly

Yield: 15 6oz cookies

I changed the ingredients based on what I had on hand.  Specifically, I left out the dried coffee grounds and butterscotch chips and I added Cocoa Pebbles (what?) and chocolate chunks with the chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is soy-free); also, instead of potato chips, I used tortilla chips. I actually had some graham cracker crumbs, but you could also crumble up some graham crackers in the food processor (soy-free versions are Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks and Annie's Homemade Cinnamon Bunny Grahams).  Finally, if you're corn syrup averse or don't want to go buy a an entire container for just 1 tablespoon, you could leave that out or substitue honey (not sure how that would work, though). 

A stand mixer is definitely recommended for this recipe.  I'm sure you could use a hand mixer, but make sure it's strong enough to handle the mixing required.  I would NOT recommend making this by hand!


  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Syrup (I used light)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups AP Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips mixed with Cocoa Pebbles or butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips and pretzel crisps
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons dried used coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup oats

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars, coffee grounds, and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size. 

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated.  Be careful not to over mix the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

On same low speed, add in the chocolate chip mixture (butterscotch chips and/or cereal, too), graham cracker crumbs, and oats and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in the chips and pretzels last, mixing on low speed again until they are just incorporated.

Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. (I don't have a 6oz ice cream or cookie scoop, so I just winged it by looking at rainy day gal's and Amateur Gourmet's pictures.) 

Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.  Do NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

Heat your oven to 400F.  Just before the oven is ready, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet a minimum of 4″ apart in any direction. (Trust me on this, they spread.)  Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.  At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center.  Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don’t match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.
Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan.  Transferring to an airtight container and store.  At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

Verdict and notes:

Tara and the rest of the softball team loved these.  I was just OK with them.  I wouldn't go through the trouble making them for personal consumption as I felt they were only marginally better than a good chocolate chip cookie.  I did, however, like the salty-sweet combo, so I might consider adding some chips or pretzels to my next batch of chocolate chip cookies.
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