Milk Bar Compost Cookie Recipe

I’m not a big fan of cookies that have a bunch of things thrown into them. I like order, balance and complimenting flavours when baking. So, even though Milk Bar Compost Cookies have claimed cookie lover’s hearts everywhere, I wasn’t so sure they would claim mine.

Like everything Momofuku, the Compost Cookie recipe is a little finicky with it’s 10 minute creaming process. Creaming the butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs and vanilla for 10 minutes allows the sugar granules to fully dissolved and incorporates a ton of air into the batter. It’ll be super fluffy and creamier than any cookie dough you’ve made before.

The fun part about these cookies is deciding what to throw in them. Pretty much anything goes; I went through my snack drawer and came up with: Vinta crackers (my favourite!), tortilla chips, chocolate with earl grey tea ganache, Oreos, and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

Everything gets roughly chopped and mixed in so you get a bit of everything in each cookie. My favourite bits were the Vinta crackers and the Oreos. I thought it was hilarious to be eating a cookie with cookie pieces in it.

I was doubtful, but these cookies were good: crisp, soft, salty, and sweet were all rolled into one flat cookie. Yup, you read it right: flat. I was expecting a thick, chewy, heavy-weight kind of cookie and I ended up with a thin, soft, crisp fragile cookie. It could be that I didn’t chill the dough enough, or maybe there just wasn’t enough flour.

A quick search on Google showed me I was not alone. The compost cookie at home has gotten mixed reviews. I found a adapted version of Tosi’s Regis & Kelly’s Compost Cookie recipe on Cookie Madness (scroll through the comments to find the recipe) that seems to work for most people, so if you’re looking for a cookie with a bit more body, give it a try.

Otherwise, here’s Tosi’s version from the Regis & Kelly Show, halved. I didn’t use a 6 oz scoop, just about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie.

Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie Recipe

1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Large Eggs
3/4 + 2 Tbsp cups AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Kosher Salt
3/4 cups of your favorite baking ingredients
3/4 cups your favorite snack foods

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

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. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.

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 the conventional oven to 400F. (350F in a convection oven)

When the oven reads 400F, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheetpan a minimum of 4″ apart in any direction.

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 before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

39 Comments add yours

  1. They look great! Too bad they weren’t more chewy :( Are the ones made at milk bar chewier? I really need to go experience the delights in person.

    Hahaha, I haven’t tried the ones at Milk Bar, but they look thick and chewy. These ones were thin and chewy, so good, but not what I expected.

    Thin and chewy happens with too much creaming of sugar and butter – 10 minutes sounds like too much! Play with the recipe and cream 5 minutes instead of 10 and see what happens (I’m a pastry chef and this little fact has helped a lot of my students when they say their choc. chip cookie recipe comes out different every time!)

    Thanks for the tip!

    steph on May 6th, 2010 at 10:05 am
    blachon on May 5th, 2010 at 6:48 am
    steph on March 25th, 2010 at 3:47 pm


    LOLO on February 24th, 2011 at 3:59 am
  2. The first time I made these I only chilled them for an hour and they came at similar to yours. The second time I chilled them for 3 hours and they were puffy and chewier. I think next time I make them I may go for a full 24 hours and see how they do.

    I’m going to have to try chilling the dough overnight. If 3 hours made a difference then hopefully overnight will be able to fix my flat cookies.
    Thanks for the tip!

    steph on March 25th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
  3. What an amazing recipe. Putting corn chips in a sweet cookie, certainly a novelty. This looks great.

    I would never think to put savoury stuff in a cookie; that’s Christina Tosi is one crazy genius!

    steph on March 27th, 2010 at 11:56 am
  4. Wow those schizo cookies look amazing. Btw, milk bar’s have about the same thickness.. maybe just a tad bit thicker. Too impatient to bake ‘em right now though… think I’ll have to drop by Milk Bar!

    Thanks for letting me know about how Milk Bar’s look. I wish I could just hop on by there and grab some instead of making them. You’re a lucky duck living in NYC!

    steph on March 27th, 2010 at 12:00 pm
  5. Yo uare not alone, my compost cookies are as flat as yours. I am yet to post up mine and I am glad to read you have the same conclusions and opinions about the cookies!

    They were flat but delicious. I definitely think it was a flour issue.

    steph on March 29th, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Milk Bar’s compost cookies are flat except the part with extra chocolate and stuff, but still nice and chewy because of all the buttery goodness!

    (Just had one last night… and was curious to see if anyone mastered the recipe.)

    E on November 24th, 2010 at 9:55 am
  6. I had this yesterday and I almost died. It was so naughty but GOOD! I must make some. It is too delicious not to.

    Mmm…they are good, aren’t they?!

    steph on March 29th, 2010 at 12:50 am
  7. Mine weren’t flat! They came out thick and chewy (we used the Regis & Kelly recipe). I’m not a huge fan though. The texture is great – crisp outer layer, chewy in the middle, and crunchy little bits from the stuff we threw in. It’s the flavour I’m not so big on. The salty/savory flavour from the tortilla chips and pretzels overwhelmed the sweetness of the dough and chocolate. Next time, I’d use sweeter snacks (I want to try the mini ritz peanut butter sandwiches) and maybe a cut-up candy bar (twix or oh henry?). I like my cookies sweet.

    I’m glad your cookies didn’t come out flat! Too bad you’re not loving the salty-sweet combo. I bet you could load up on the sweet stuff and skip out on the salty all together if you have a sweet tooth! I think Twix would be awesome.

    steph on March 29th, 2010 at 11:48 pm
  8. Mine turned out flat too. I wonder if having the cookie sheet cold helps. I just chilled the dough not the sheet? What was the flour theory?
    I used Fritos and Reeses Peanutbutter Cups

    Some people have discovered that adding a bit of extra flour helps with the heft of the cookie. I’m sure chilling the sheet would help too, I think the spreading is mostly due to the butter melting too quickly.

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:34 pm
  9. Chilling the dough and having a cold cookie sheet when baking subsequent batches will definitely help the flat factor.

    For sure chilling the dough will help a lot, but I can never fit my cookie sheets in the fridge! (I have half-sheet baking trays)

    steph on June 1st, 2010 at 10:57 am
    Fairfielder on June 1, 2010 at 7:58 am
  10. I followed the recipe exactly and used dark chocolate covered pretzel and mini peanut sandwich cookies from Trader Joe. I chilled the dough for two days. But when baked my cookies only puffed less than double and didn’t spread at all. I end up using a spatula to press them down to make them flat like cookie. Other wise they look like scone. The cookies are crunchy rather than chewy.

  11. Just realized I left out half of the butter! They still taste great, though. I used goldfish, veggie crisps, chocolate chex mix, frosted flakes and chocolate chips.

  12. I’d rethink putting the word “Compost” into the name of a cookie. Or anything edible.

  13. This recipe is missing the coffee grinds…definitely makes a difference to the flavour.

  14. Oh, and the ones at Milk Bar are quite flat, but also very chewy. So good!

  15. here’s the ingredient list off the back of a compost cookie wrapper from momofuku:

    unbleached wheat flour,
    brown sugar,
    chocolate chips,
    butterscotch chips,
    graham crumbs,
    potato chips,
    glucose syrup,
    whole oats,
    cream milk powder,
    coffee grounds,
    baking powder,
    baking soda.

    to confirm what others have posted, the compost cookies sold at the momofuku stores in nyc are very flat and breakable, similar to the ones shown in photos on this page.

    ed anderson on July 20, 2011 at 9:06 am
  16. I don’t know what I did wrong, but I had three batches of the worst cookies I ever made. Mine were flat, brown on the edges, raw in the middle and broke in pieces when I removed them from the cookie sheets. I chilled mine, wrapped in saran wrap for two days. Throwing this recipe away!!!!

  17. Mine turned out perfect! I didn’t use corn syrup because I didn’t have any; I used a hand mixer and creamed the butter for the full 10 minutes; and my add-ins were dark coconut chocolate, Cocoa Crispies, pretzels, a peanut butter cup and corn flakes. I also ended up baking them for about 13 minutes because my oven runs coolish. Great success!

  18. I’m excited to try this at home. I was in NYC recently and had a compost cookie at Milk Bar’s booth at Madison Square Eats Festival. It was so good I went back the next day for another one. Your cookies look to be about the same thickness, size and consistency as Milk Bar’s cookies. Thanks for all your tips!

  19. so, the 3/4 cup is actually more like 1/4 cup of each thing you want to throw in if you want a lot of different items in the cookies?

  20. I have the milk cookbook and spent a lot of time researching these cookies. One problem with the philbin recipe is that it doesn’t include the graham crumbs. Also some oatmeal. Next I read that Rosie uses high butterfat content European butter. So a solution is to halve the butter in the recipe while keeping everything else the same. Also the flour she uses is king Arthur bread flour. If you do all this and use glucose, your cookies will come out perfectly. Promise. I make it all the time to perfect results. Undertake them and let them cool on the sheet for two minutes before removing them.

  21. I bought the cookbook after reading about it. Sadly the only recipe I have made (many times) is the compost cookies. The first couple of times I forgot something, coffee grounds, or used instant, over mixed, over baked. I now have it down to a science and EVERY-TIME I make them and someone new tries them they ask for more. They are time consuming to make, a bit too sweet for me but I am not very big on sweet . Everyone else loves them including my husband, they come out perfect and I will keep making them. Not sure if and when I will get around to making anything else from the cookbook.

  22. You really need to chill them a full 24 hours, there is also an involved crumb base that you are supposed to throw into batter that really gives these cookies a distinct flavor, its composed of milk powder and graham cracker crumbs, most of the internet recipes leave this out, but its important!

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