Archive for the 'Cookie' Category

Momofuku Milk Bar Confetti Cookies

Momofuku Milk Bar Confetti Cookies

I have long believed that one of the happiest times in one’s adult life is the brief period between ending a job and starting a new one. Without the pressures of maintaining or finding employment, these days or weeks can hold such promise—a combination of carefree bliss and thrilling anticipation reminiscent of summer vacation during elementary school. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Or maybe it’s just me…

In recognition and celebration of closing one chapter and opening a new one, I baked a batch of the most festive cookies ever—Confetti Cookies from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi. Nothing says “Woo hoo!” quite like rainbow sprinkles, if you know what I mean. Plus, any cookie that calls for “Birthday Cake Crumbs” in the recipe is a winner in my book.

As far as cookie recipes go, this one is somewhat high-maintenance, although not as fussy as Jacque Torres’ “Perfect” Chocolate Chip Cookie. The aforementioned “Birthday Cake Crumbs” create an additional step, but every extra minute is worth it once you taste the crumbs’ sandy texture and salty-sweet profile. There’s also an hour-long pause required in between mixing and baking the dough, which can be irksome for those seeking instant gratification. Other than those two blips, these Confetti Cookies bake up like a dream—crisp on the outside and cuddly on the inside, a technicolor treat.

For cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (225 grams, 2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (50 grams) glucose or 1 tablespoon (25 grams) corn syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) clear vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (400 grams) flour
  • 2/3 cup (50 grams) milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons (9 grams) cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 recipe Birthday Cake Crumbs

For “Birthday Cake Crumb”

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (20 grams) rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) clear vanilla extract

Make  Birthday Cake Crumbs

Momofuku Milk Bar Confetti Cookies

Heat the oven to 300°F.

Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined.

Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. The wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue paddling until that happens.

Momofuku Milk Bar Confetti Cookies

Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool.

Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or scarfing by the handful. Stored in an airtight container, the crumbs will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

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Candy Cane Pinwheels

Candy Cane Pinwheels

Considering my enthusiasm for all things pepperminty at this time of year, I’m surprised that this recipe for Candy Cane Pinwheels didn’t catch my eye straightaway when I perused the America’s Test Kitchen “Holiday Cookies” special issue last year. Upon a more careful reading this year, these mesmerizing swirls of pretty pink peppermint demanded to be baked.

With peppermint candies and extract leftover from last year’s Homemade Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s experiment still fresh in the pantry and a standing mixer at the ready, the cookie dough came together in a relative snap. I was slightly worried about handling the dough due to the unseasonably warm weather in Los Angeles and my palms’ propensity for perspiring, but thankfully it was sturdy enough to handle all the ambient conditions with ease.

The resulting pinwheels were as delightful to eat as they were to behold. The pink swirls pumped up with peppermint candies were complemented by the buttery shortbread. These tasted best fresh from the oven, when the edges were crisp and the innards still soft.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup finely ground peppermint candies (about 20)
  • 6 drops red food coloring

Candy Cane Pinwheels

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Set aside.

With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until dough forms. Remove half of the dough (1 pound) from bowl and reserve.

Candy Cane Pinwheels

Add peppermint extract, candy, and food coloring to remaining dough and mix until combined.

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Salted Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies

Salted Cookies and Cream Cookies

A week before last winter’s Eat My Blog charity bake sale, I received a package from my cousin Timmy and his girlfriend Jessica who live in San Francisco. Inside was a plastic freezer bag filled with several dozen cookies baked by the thoughtful duo. The cookies looked like regular chocolate chips at first glance, but upon further inspection I found that crushed Oreo cookies were used in place of semi-sweet morsels. A most brilliant substitution.

Timmy and Jessica were hoping to contribute to the Eat My Blog spread, but unfortunately, they mailed the goodies a week too soon due to a date mix up. Rather than sell slightly stale cookies to our crowd, I made a donation in their names and ate the entire box by myself. It was a delicious and fair trade off.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Timmy and Jessica’s genius cookie-within-a-cookie creation since I polished off the final one months ago: brainstorming how to tweak it, refine it, and make it my own. These Salted Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies are the result of far too many hours spent dreaming up ways to punctuate simple cookie dough with sandwich cookies.

While Timmy and Jessica employed Toll House’s popular recipe for their mother dough, I decided to use Jacques Torres “Perfect” Chocolate Chip Cookie batter for the base of mine. Aging the dough for 36-hours might seem like an unnecessary step, but it helps the cookies to brown more evenly and imparts intense toffee notes.

I really liked how Timmy and Jessica crammed large Oreo chunks into their cookie, so I kept that element the same. And to top it all off, each cookie was sprinkled with gray sea salt, because sweet and salty always trumps plain ‘ol sweet in my world.

After thinking and rethinking this recipe for months, I was supremely happy with the results. The cookies struck a delightful balance between sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy. It’s an instant favorite in the Astro-Gastro household.

  • 8 1/2 ounces (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) cake flour
  • 8 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) light brown sugar
  • 8 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 13 ounces Oreo cookies (33 cookies)
  • Sea salt

Salted Cookies and Cream Cookies

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

Salted Cookies and Cream Cookies

Remove the dough from the refrigerator one hour prior to baking to allow it to soften some. Once the dough has come to room temperature (cooler is perfectly fine, just as long as the dough is malleable), incorporate the Oreo cookies using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  To distribute large cookie chunks throughout the batter, mix for 5 seconds.  If you prefer smaller chunks, mix for 10 to 15 seconds.

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Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Bits (or Homemade Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s)

Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Bits

Pumpkin is nice and gingerbread is lovely, but of all the seasonal flavors available at this time of year, it’s peppermint that really gets me in the holiday spirit. There’s something so festive and right about the cool burst of spicy peppermint, especially when it’s paired with chocolate.

I’ve been meaning to make these Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Bits (or Homemade Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s) ever since last year’s Eat My Blog charity bake sale. Valentina of Eastside Food Bites baked these for the event and I was fortunate enough to snag one before the hoards descended upon the spread. I dug into the cookie the following day and fell head over heels in an instant.

The star of the cookie is the pretty pink filling, with its clean peppermint flavor and crunchy bits of candy cane. The thin chocolate sables clasping onto the cream are crisp, buttery, and a touch salty, rounding out the sweetness just right.

Even though it’s sunny and snow-less here in Los Angeles, these cookies take me to a winter wonderland. Happy holidays!

For filling

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chips, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 15 individually wrapped peppermint candies
  • 2 drops red food coloring (optional)

For cookies

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 15 tablespoons (7 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, but into 3/4-inch cubes, at room temperature

Make filling

Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Bits

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the finely chopped white chocolate in a large bowl along with the peppermint extract. Make sure all the chocolate is covered by the cream. Let stand for 1 minute, then whisk the white chocolate until completely melted. Let stand at room temperature.

Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Bits

While the filling cools down, chop the peppermint candies in a food processor until no large chunks remain. Add the candy to the filling along with the food coloring once it is completely cool.

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