Saturday, October 15, 2011

Momofuku Cookies

Hello friends! Sorry the for extended silence. But look, I've brought cookies! Blueberries and Cream Cookies, to be exact, from Manhattan's Momofuku Milk Bar, courtesy of Bon Appetit. They're a bit more involved than you're average chocolate chip, but definitely worth it, and are going into my usual repertoire for sure. The best thing about them are the milk crumbs:

They disperse throughout the dough and lend the cookies a pleasing crunchy and an intriguing creamy taste that make them pretty much irresistible. While I didn't mess with any of the ingredients on this first go-round (unusual for me), I did change a few things in terms of procedure.

First of all, I halved the recipe, which is enormous, and those are the amounts I give in the recipe below. The original made 35 cookies, which would have been the size of my face; I made the cookies an average size (about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of dough rather than the 1/4 cup called for) and still wound up with over 50 cookies in a half recipe. So be prepared for a lot of cookies, though they should freeze well. The original recipe has you form the dough balls then refrigerate them on the sheet pans overnight. Instead I stuck the whole mixing bowl in the freezer for about an hour (the dough was so sticky, as warned in the recipe, that I didn't even want to try forming balls before chilling it), then kept it refrigerating as I formed and baked the cookies two sheets at a time. I noticed that the first batch, still a bit soft despite its freezer time, spread quite a bit more than the later, more thoroughly chilled batches, so that's something to keep in mind. Next time I might go for the overnight chill just to experiment with the texture, if I can make myself be that patient (ha!). Also, try not to overbake them; one batch was a bit well-done and the cookies became crispy all the way through once cooled, rather than having that crispy-on-the-edges, soft-in-the-center cookie ideal (though my mom actually prefers them brown and crunchy, go figure).

Blueberry and Cream Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Don't be put off the by the extra step of making the Milk Crumbs - they come together in no time and cool down really quickly, so you can certainly bake the cookies on the same day you make the crumbs, or you can store the crumbs for up to a week for later use. They really add a unique something-something to the cookies, both taste-wise and texturally, and I'm eager to experiment with other flavors besides blueberry - dried cranberries might work well and would look pretty for the holidays, and chocolate chips would certainly be good. It might be fun to present them as regular old chocolate chip cookies and watch people's faces as they try to determine what's different. Also, I'm not sure how well this would work, but I want to try breaking up some Nabisco chocolate wafers and making a "cookies-n-cream" cookie. How great would that be?

For Milk Crumbs:

6 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 275F. Whisk milk powder through salt in small bowl to blend. Stir in melted butter with fork until clusters form. Spread mixture evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake until dry and crumbly but still pale, about 10 minutes. Store airtight at room temperature for up to one week.

For Cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3/4 cup Milk Crumbs
3/4 cup dried blueberries

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour through salt) in medium bowl. Combine butter, both sugars and corn syrup on the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, occasionally scraping down side of bowl, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat on medium-high speed until very pale and sugar is completely dissolved, about 10 minutes. Add dry ingredients; beat on low speed until just combined, occasionally scraping down bowl. Add Milk Crumbs and mix on low speed til just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in blueberries tile evenly distributed.

If you want to follow the recipe, now's when you should scoop out the cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 24 hours. I froze the whole mixing bowl for about an hour, then kept it in the fridge while baking each batch of cookies. Either way, preheat the oven to 375. Place 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon [1/4 cup if you want to follow the original proportions] portions of dough several inches apart (cookies will spread) onto parchment-line baking sheets and bake until golden about 20 minutes [mine took much less time, just a little over ten minutes, but I had refrigerated them for much less time than the recipe called for, which was probably a factor]. Makes at least 4 dozen cookies at the size I recommend here, much less if you go for the Momofuku giant version.

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