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compost cookies

March 9, 2010

You would think that after my experience with the famed Momofuku crack pie that I wouldn’t have been all that keen on making compost cookies.  You’d be wrong though.  I was in a baking mood.  Not because I had lots of energy, but because the weather willed it.  You see, spring had arrived early to Switzerland…at least that’s what everyone said.  We went for long walks outside, had drinks in the sun and took in views like this.

And then we were reminded as to why we don’t talk about an early change of weather.  When something seems too good to be true, it generally is.  As quickly as the beautiful weather seemed to appear, this showed up.

So, courtesy of Regis and Kelly who did a segment with Christina Tossi and the amazing compost cookies, I had something to occupy me during our white-out snow conditions.  Given that it was just a month prior that Anderson Cooper was on plugging the crack pie, you would think that someone at that show bought stock in Momofuku.   Works well for me though because it’s another recipe to try and this one seemed more tangible than the crack pie.

A cookie that involves salty snacks? I’ll take two.

KC word of warning:  These cookies are really good.  These cookies are really big.  These two things are not a good combination.  There’s not such thing as “I’ll just have a little bite” with these.  You blink and the next thing you know you’ve just eaten a cookie half the size of your head.  As long as you’re okay with this, proceed, but do consider yourself warned.

Momofuku’s Compost Cookies
ever so slightly adapted from the Christina Tosi recipe


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups your favorite sweet snacks*
  • 1 1/2 cups your favorite salty snack foods*

*When it comes to the snacks bit, apparently this is entirely up to you.  Oats, chips, crackers, pretzels, whatever you want.  I used pretzels, cheese crackers and the Swiss version of Sun Chips.  For sweets…chocolate chips, dark chocolate and chocolate and puffed rice covered caramels.


  1. Chop the sweet stuff up into little pieces.
  2. Next, throw all those chips into a zip-loc bag and hammer away.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, and sugars on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color.  (I used my hand mixed with the whisk attachment and everything turned out a-okay).
  4. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
  5. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes.  My mixer only has two speeds:  speed 1:  Cracked out, insanely fast and speed 2: oh-my-god-this- thing-is-going to blow fast.  Just “cracked out fast”, worked okay, but I had to give her a break halfway through to avoid smoke and overheating.
  6. 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.  See how nice and smooth it looks?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. On same low speed, add in the mix-up of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough.  At this point, I retired the ol’ handmixer and went with the manual mix.
  10. Now, add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.
  11. Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.  I completely guesstimated on this one since I didn’t have a scoop.  In hindsight, had I been a smarter woman, I would have just weighed the entire ball and then divided by 15 to come up with even balls.
  12. Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.  I chilled overnight and then baked the next afternoon.
  13. DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.  This is serious folks.  Christina is not messing around.  Only cold cookies  go in the oven.   No cheating.
  14. Heat the conventional oven to 400F (350F in a convection oven).
  15. Now here’s where I realized I did something stupid.  I realized I didn’t add salt with the flour.  Dumb, yes.  Irreparable?  Maybe not.
  16. Before putting the cookies on the baking sheet to bake, I dipped the tops into a little pile of fleur de sel goodness.  Can’t say what it would be like without it, but it sure was good with a little salt punch on top.
  17. 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.  Space is important here as these things really spread out.
  18. Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.  KC note: I found I needed to bake mine 12-13 minutes.  This is likely because of my oven, but the check-in point is crucial.
  19. At 9 min, check on the cookies.  They 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.  Do not be alarmed if your cookies look like this, they’ll flatten out in time.
  20. 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. If you actually have the will power to keep them around for that long, you’re a stronger person than I am.
20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 5:28 pm

    yummmmmm ! i love christina’s cookies and i think i would really really love yours here too ! 🙂 wow, cheese crisps even, that was ambitious ! love the touch of fleur de sel, reminds me cookies i loved when living in boston – salty oats they were called. it snowed again this morning, but i’ll take any excuse to bake up another batch of these, LOVE ! awesome post, really love your baking instructions – so easy to follow with photos, and always really entertaining too. awesome post ! um, any cookies left ?! 😉

    ps – totally wanted to dip my finger into the batter at step 6, it just looks divine !

    • March 9, 2010 8:21 pm

      There aren’t even crumbs left. I had to give some away to save myself from never buttoning my jeans again.

      And trust me, there was plenty of “dough testing” along the way. Had to make sure things were progressing well 🙂 They almost didn’t make it to the over because the dough was so insanely good. Even if the snow goes away (and I I really really hope it does go away), definitely give these a go they were great.

      • March 10, 2010 8:03 pm

        you *had* to give cookies away?! why oh why aren’t we neighbors ?! 🙂

        just checked sophia’s link below – never had cookies with instant pudding as ingredient, you ?

      • March 10, 2010 8:52 pm

        Haha, I’ll post some to Zurich next time.

        I’ve only used pudding in cakes–namely a rum cake that I make quite a bit. I’m not sure what the result is in cookies, but in the cake, it results in yummy goodness.

        Strangely enough, I called it crack cake when I wrote about it. Who would have guessed that a few months later, I’d be writing about crack pie. Go figure.

  2. March 10, 2010 2:45 pm

    c is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.

  3. March 10, 2010 5:22 pm

    Not only does the final result look so yummy, but I want a taste of every single picture. Especially that cookie dough. Thanks for sharing this. This is my go-to cookie recipe:

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • March 10, 2010 7:58 pm

      Thanks, Sophia. I will fully admit that I enjoyed tasting the dough along the way. That’s half the fun, isn’t it?

  4. Jaime permalink
    April 29, 2010 4:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made these cookies last night and they are so very yummy. My sweet snacks were 100 grand candy bars, health candy bar, and dark chocolate and my salty snacks were sun chips, pretzels, potato chips, and cheese crackers. I think I might have to put these on my list of favorite cookies, shhh don’t tell my doctor.

  5. April 29, 2010 7:11 pm

    Nice job picking the 100 grand. I actually had that candy in mind when I chose one here in Switzerland. And don’t worry, I won’t let your doctor know. 😉

  6. June 23, 2010 11:39 pm

    hey there !! i was just catching up on some delicious posts on your blog here. guess what – i’m heading to new york city tomorrow. and guess where i’ll be going… !! so not only will i be stuffing my face with momofuku’s cookies, but i’m totally going to bake up a batch of my own. and i’ll be following your pics here to do so. can’t wait ! hope all is well on your end !! 🙂

    • June 24, 2010 7:03 am

      How fun! I’m incredibly jealous. You’ll have to let me know how the real deal vs. the recipe cookie turns out. Have a blast–I hope the weather in NYC, turns out to be a bit warmer than it is here.

  7. July 19, 2010 2:42 pm

    so unhealthy, bet they’re good though! 🙂

    • July 19, 2010 4:04 pm

      Oh, they’re beyond unhealthy, but the taste makes up for that. After all, they better taste good if they’re going to be that bad.

  8. July 19, 2010 9:47 pm

    Post us some over, I feel my arteries clogging at the thought!

    • July 19, 2010 10:20 pm

      Don’t worry. Everything in moderation and your arteries should be just fine.

  9. Julene permalink
    February 11, 2011 12:03 pm

    Like thousands of others, I’ve had to switch to a gluten free diet and I’m learning to bake all over again. I substituted the AP flour, baking powder and soda for Pamela’s Baking Mix (which has leavening agents already included). I chilled them overnight and while they came out a little thinner than I would like, they worked and taste fantastic! I used Reeses Pieces, Heath Bar and Milk Duds for sweets and Kettle chips, GF pretzels and Corn Chex for salty. Yum!

    • February 11, 2011 12:23 pm

      Julene–delighted you were able to make the substitutions without too many issues. I wouldn’t worry about them being too thin. A few people who have attempted the recipe have had the same issue, so it may not necessarily be the substitution. When I tried making them smaller than advised, they seemed to spread out quickly and ended up quite thin. Since then, I’ve kept the course of making them on the larger side with great success.


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