Greetings, sleepy bakers. It’s confession time, here on ye olde bloggity-blog.
I have, shall we say, not the greatest relationship with food. In fact, I have a fairly twisted and awful past with food. So it seems a bit silly that I should want to celebrate indulgences and dysfunctions of every stripe with my Insomnibaking. But strangely, the process of writing this thing has been wonderfully fulfilling, and not just because I’m full of cookies. It’s been so gratifying to make things, to talk about making things.
All my life, I’ve pretty much been a workhorse. And I’ve always been much more comfortable toiling on someone else’s projects than giving a second thought to my own. I’ve been writing the same two-screenplays-and-one-play for over a year now. This blog, in fact, has been one of the few things I’ve been able to follow up with regularly just to churn out some words on a screen. It’s a good thing. For my, I’m also less likely to spazz out around food that I’ve created myself tenderly and lovingly.
This has been your after-school-special moment, brought to you by the Sleepless Baker.
Anyhoo, onto tonight’s recipe. I’ll be seeing my good buddy Paul (if you don’t read his blog, you really, really should) at a shinding I’m throwing for work tomorrow evening, and asked him if he had any requests for tonight’s baking session. He asked for “something with chocolate chips”. I though, chips, eh? How about chocolate chips . . and potato chips? Yes!! This is an excellent plan!! COMPOST COOKIES.
For those of you who have never experienced the wonder that is David Chang‘s Momofuku restaurants, I feel sorry for you. Your lives are shrouded in darkness. Here is a picture of me celebrating my birthday at Ssam Bar, eating the Bo Ssam Feast; 8 pounds of slow-roasted pork butt served with lettuce wraps and lots of delicious chili sauce. The Compost Cookies were created by Christina Tosi for Milk Bar, and they are jaw-droppingly delicious. My research revealed to me that in order to make these cookies, you must beat the butter with a stand mixer for 10 minutes. This . . may not happen. I’ll try. I don’t have a stand mixer, and 10 minutes of beating is perhaps a bit much (“THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID”). But your Insomniblogger will do her very best.
There are a ton of recipes online for Compost Cookies, and apparently some of then didn’t turn out so well. I’m baking as I blog, so I can’t tell you what works and what doesn’t but let us walk together on this journey anyway, okidoke? Essentially, I’m using this recipe from Adam Roberts on Amateur Gormet.
- In a large bowl, I creamed together 1 cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup light brown sugar. I didn’t have any corn syrup, so I didn’t add any. I’m a rebel.
- I added in two eggs (one had a double-yolk! bonus!), and scraped in the insides of two vanilla pods, because I am a Fancy Lady.
- I worked that batter like you wouldn’t believe. In a perfect world, you high-falutin’ types with your expensive stand mixers would let this just mix for 10 minutes, until the mixture was a pale white color and all the sugar granules had dissolved. Well, I didn’t. I stirred, and stirred, and stirred until I could stir no more.
- Okay, so this next step involves some more stirring.
- Folding, really. Let’s just say I was folding in 1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and many, many grinds of sea-salt. It folded in easy.
- Next, more stirring. I got a smallish package of both 60% and 70% Sharffen-Berger baking chocolate chunks.
- Now we get a little nuts. I took a bag of salted, kettle-cooked potato chips, and stirred that in too. Believe that miracles are possible.
- After portioning out the dough onto some cookie sheets into 1/3 cup monster size balls and covering the lumps with plastic wrap, I put the sheets in the freezer to ruminate on their coming demise for a full hour.
- Rather than Netflix it up, I actually put my mind to writing this post. Aren’t you glad that I did? Lucky you.
- I also preheated the oven to 400 degrees. Yet another example of how courteous I am.
- I removed the sheets from the freezer, and even managed to remove the plastic wrap before popping them in the oven. DAMN I’m polite.
- Despite my persistent politeness, my cookies done melted. Just like the internet warned me!! What else does the internet know?!?
- I managed to let the cookies completely cool, somehow. It’s because I care.
- That’s kind of a lie. I tried one after they had been setting about 10 minutes, and it just disintegrated.
Verdict: while these cookies certainly could have stayed in the oven for another few minutes, and they weren’t particularly “compost-y”, they were still pretty darn good. And I give myself many pats upon the back for trying a difficult recipe even when I didn’t have the equipment, and for failing gracefully in front of y’all. I would love to hear from other bakers who have tried this successfully. In the mean time, I still have the real Milk Bar to get in my Compost Cookie fix.
Until next time, I wish you all sweet baking.