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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just Laying Around

Don't worry, I do realize Easter's over, and no, I wish I was just laying around lately. I've seen recipes for Momofuku's infamous compost cookie lurking around the last year or so. When I saw them originally I was amused at the novelty, but never got around to trying them. I haven't been to New York since I was a sophomore in high school, which is to say it was a little before Mr.David Chang's time, so, although I love the salty sweet combination, I had never experienced said cookie and was just never motivated to try to make them.

But. While taking a break from writing, reading, and staying awake during my own lectures about the joys of business letters, I came across another version of it from one of my favorite bloggers, and thought, wouldn't that be a fun break to take with some Easter candy. Then Easter came and went (hope everyone had a wonderful holiday by the way). No time for said break. A week of half-off stale Peeps and Easter candy passed. No break. And another...

Luckily for me however, I have the sweetest husband who spent the better part of his day off this week proof reading and editing one of my drafts, leaving me time to bake and blog and say hello. As I headed to the store, passing the coffee shop that has become my permanent reading writing space for the month, I remembered wanting to try these, but felt quite certain no gimmicky deeply-discounted Easter treats would be left. To my surprise though, I did indeed find some left over Easter candy. COOKIE TIME!!

But nonetheless, just in case you aren't familiar with the cookie, the idea is that you throw whatever ingredients you have around (half salty, half sweet), into a very sweet dough, half salty ingredients, half sweet. For mine, I grabbed four different "eggs" filled with candies, that conveniently hold about 1/4 a cup each. Two were pastel M&M's, one with Milk Chocolate eggs, and one with Starburst jelly beans. The chocolate was kind of an obvious choice, other than the candy coating on the eggs being ridiculously hard to try to cut in half. I was torn between peeps and jelly beans to highlight the latent Eater status of the cookie. But then I remembered one of my roomates as an undergrad blowing up discounted post-Easter Peeps in the microwave. I realize its probably totally different, but went with jelly beans nonetheless. I'm not a huge jelly bean fan, but I was hoping by choosing the fruity flavored Starburst ones that I remember my grandmother loved, and the absence of the licorice flavored black beans of death would work well. The salty part was a little trickier. We never have chips or snack food in the house. If we want tortilla chips, nine times out of ten we bake some using corn tortillas. I didn't want to buy three bags or boxes and use only half, but I still wanted some variety of textures (most people use a combination of chips, pretzels and cracker). I ended up opting for a bag of Chex Mix and just crushing it all up as best I could. It worked.

We have yet to purchase or check-out David Chang's book yet, so I don't have the actual recipe. Looking through a bunch of blogs, I found a ton of variations; some much more complicated; some for people trying to make a harder/softer version. Our preference is a softer cookie, which is what you'll get following something like this:.

Compost Cookie
3/4 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1-1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1-1/2 Cups Crushed Salty Ingredients
1 Cup Sweet Ingredients
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter and sugars until pale brown and creamy. Add vanilla and egg, mix well until fluffy. 
3. In a separate bowl, combine flours and baking soda. Add salty and sweet ingredients to flours, mixing lightly to incorporate.
4. Add dry ingredient to wet. Stir to combine. Cover dough and refrigerate 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, line baking sheet with non-stick mat or parchment paper.
5. Remove from fridge, drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet leaving 1 inch around. 
6. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown color. Remove from oven let cool 2-3 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

This is probably a much more timid first attempt, and although these are quite honestly the weirdest cookies I've ever made, I already have three much more daring and creative variations in mind to try. Not only should these work as a nice thank you for someone who you are deeply indebted to as I am, but would work well to get rid of any extra snacks or candy you may have laying around. Enjoy!


Fresh Local and Best said...

I've seen this recipe floating around recently, and I didn't know that there was discretion with the types of ingredients added, it makes a lot of sense given the name. I like the pastel colors of the Easter M&Ms. And what was your college roommate thinking when he/she microwved those peeps?! What a funny memory!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I so want to make some compost cookie.Thanks for the recipe!

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

I too have seen compost cookie recipes floating around the food blogosphere the last half year or so but never really found them appealing. But I like the way yours looks - a gentler, ease-yourself-into-it kind of compost cookie LOL The colours are soft and pretty unlike the more garish, brazenly colour packed ones I've seen. I like this!

Ana Powell said...

Excellent idea.
Delicious cookies, lovely pictures too.
Wishing you a great weekend x

Rick said...

Those look SO good. Like the whole wheat flour in it. Makes it a little healthy. A little.

grace said...

a timid attempt? perhaps. however, they still look amazing and are a fabulous way to make all that easter candy more appealing! i'll be looking forward to your twists on this now-famous cookie recipe!

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

haha, love the cookie name. ;) glad it all worked out - a salty and sweet cookie is the best!

Anonymous said...

These cookies look truly amazing! I like the combo of salty & sweet flavors!

Stella said...

These cookies are pretty-the dark brown sugar must help with that rich color. I like the compost cookie idea too, but it is reminding me that I don't compost. Hmm? I need to get on that!

krissy @ said...

cookies galore! who cares if easter is over? i love how you make these cookies colorful with easter colors. sooo pretty!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

I love treats with more treats hidden inside! Great cookies!

I was also surprised to see some Easter chocolates still on sale in my local supermarket. Some were the lame novelty type that was unsurprising were still there, but some were good and I picked up a bargain to see me through the next few afternoons :)

Juice said...

Ugh! I have been craving cookies alllll day and these look so yummy:)

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