One good thing about gray, chilly days, besides not being hot, is that they offer themselves up as cookie days. They kind of scream at you, “Perfect day to bake cookies!”, don’t they? Well, they do me. It is a damn good thing I don’t live in Seattle because I’d probably weigh 500 pounds! Last week we had a gray, chilly day so I decided it was high time to bake cookies. I love baking cookies. They make me happy. And generally everyone that eats them becomes happy, too. I mean who doesn’t love being greeted with a cookie? There’s a reason hotels leave them on your pillow at night.
Since I’d been to the library I was looking for an opportunity to bake something from the Milk, Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi cookbook. I love this book, not only for its recipes but for its stories. I love reading about chefs and how they ended up where they’re at. I love knowing what inspired them and how in the world they ever came up with that. And that’s the Milk Bar way. Read it and see how it got that name. Everything is so creative, so thoughtful, so well tested. And that being said, so homey. Not that I baked like this or did my mother, but it draws from the home experience. It takes those flavors and makes them not necessarily better, but different. More sophisticated, as my husband said. And he’s right. This cookie is a sophisticated cookie, but not too sophisticated or it wouldn’t be any fun to eat. This is still a cookie that deserves a giant glass of milk and then when it’s empty you find yourself reaching for just one more. It’s the kind of cookie that you want to share with a friend, but well, not really…because it is hard to part with something so good.
There are a lot of sites that write about this book. They cook from it on a regular basis. I will tell you that I am not that organized and I am not that skinny. But if you so desire check out Shannon at A Periodic Table. She writes well and bakes well and takes pictures well and she seems very organized. She even made the birthday cake from Milk Bar, one that my daughter has requested for her birthday. No more chocolate cake or Ilse’s nut cake for this girl. She’s become sophisticated. She wants a cake with sprinkles. And, I bet she gets it…
But back to cookies. Many folks have baked the blueberry cream cookie from Milk Bar. I’m not good with sticking to a book and besides I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. Remember, I’m not that organized. (Read that as she doesn’t plan ahead.) I’m kind of an in the moment kind of girl. As as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that to be even more true, which is sometimes good and sometimes not. But in the cookie world it meant I combined two recipes and then I added cherries. And no, I did not use glucose or Valhrona chocolate. I didn’t even use mini chips. I used what I had and these were good, GOOD, cookies. Good, not to chocolatey, not too sweet, just a bit salty, yummy with an interesting bite here and there, from sinking your teeth into a cherry. And given the ingredients these cookies got better with age. They would travel well. Maybe even to someone on their birthday…
These are not my vision of a picture perfect cookie. Not having ever had them from Milk Bar I’m not sure what they are supposed to look like. But Mrs. Fields they are not. And I adore Mrs. Fields. To me she makes the most perfect looking cookie. Thick and chewy, loaded with chips and nuts. They aren’t flat and thin. Well, this cookie has altered my perception. Milk Bar cookies are thin. But they are chewy and they are big. Wide, that is. So you get to eat a big cookie. An they tear apart. They don’t really break because they aren’t at all crisp. They kind of bend and then break.
When you make them it looks like you are mixing a big bowl of frosting. The consistency is like frosting. And you must chill them. When you make them, you will see what I mean. Now I don’t know if Denver’s altitude had anything to do with how flat this cookie was, but it doesn’t really matter because these cookies were so damn good. Loaded with butter and just enough salt and those chocolate crumbs. And the cherries. Ahh. This was one good cookie.
FIRST MAKE THIS:
2/3 c flour
1 t cornstarch
1/2 c sugar
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey’s)
1 t kosher salt
6 T melted butter
Preheat oven to 300.
Combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa and salt in mixer bowl. Paddle on low speed until mixed.
Slowly add the melted butter on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
Spread the clusters without breaking on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch. They will dry and harden as they cool.
Store in an airtight container. I sprinkled some in my yogurt this morning. They are good!
Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Crumb Cookies (using blueberry and cream cookie recipe)
Makes 24 using 1/4 c measure
2 sticks butter
3/4 c sugar
2/3 c tightly packed light brown sugar
1/4 c glucose or 2T corn syrup
2 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 recipe of the above chocolate crumbs
1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 c dried cherries cut into small pieces, if they are big
Combine butter, sugars, and glucose or corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add eggs and beat for 7-8 minutes. Really!
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. I always aerate the flour with a fork before measuring. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed, add the milk crumbs and mix until they are incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Now add the chips and cherries, mixing them in for 30 seconds.
Using a 1/4 c measure (They say a third), portion out the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan. ( I made about 24 cookies using the 1/4 c measure.) You will not bake on this so it doesn’t matter how close they are. I sprinkled some of the leftover crumbs on top and just gently patted them into the cookie. Pat the tops of the cookie domes flat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. (OK-I didn’t wrap.) I chilled half of them for about 2 1/2 hours and the others over night. Bake the cookies chilled.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Arrange chilled dough about 4 inches apart on parchment lined sheet pans. I baked 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for about 14 minutes. (They say 18.) The cookies will puff, crackle and spread, a bit like meringues. They should be faintly browned, but on a chocolate cookie, it is hard to tell.
Cool the cookies on the sheet pans. When cool transfer to an air tight container for storage. At room temperature they will keep 5 days. We are on 7 right now with two left!