Archive for the 'Cookie' Category

Christina Tosi’s Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

“This cookie is the reason I learned to bake,” writes pastry superstar Christina Tosi in her latest book, Milk Bar Life. If you’ve ever tasted any of her daring and delicious Momofuku Milk Bar creations (See: Crack Pie! Confetti Cookies! Salty Cucumber Soft Serve!), then you’ll understand that this is a very bold statement.

While The Astronomer and June were on a long walk last weekend, I dusted off my Kitchen Aid and got to baking these life-altering cookies. Aside from having to bring the butter to room temperature, this recipe is as low maintenance (and fast!) as they come. Butter and two kinds of sugar are creamed until fluffy, eggs and vanilla are added in, then finally, the “dry” ingredients are incorporated just so.

Following 10 minutes in the oven, Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies baked up crispy along the edges and moist throughout. The combination of rolled oats and sweetened shredded coconut brought a double punch of flavor and texture, while a good hit of salt kept all sweetness in check.

While these cookies are certainly solid as is, the batter is an excellent base for a more complex cookie. Classic oatmeal cookie add-ins like dried fruit, chocolate chips, and nuts would work great here, or more Tosi-esque ingredients like popcorn, potato chips, and pretzels. Go crazy because Christina Tosi would definitely approve.

  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.

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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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