Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Naptime Post from Disney World: Compost Cookies



While the little one naps and the rest of the family chills by the pool on our afternoon break from Disney attractions, I thought that I'd post a recipe that I made with my daughters last Saturday. Let me begin by explaining why this recipe was SO perfect for us:

One of my oldest daughter's great passions in life is creating recipes. I'm not kidding. This has been going on since the age of three. If she can sneak into the kitchen and raid my pantry, spice cabinets, and utensils, she will. We went through a stage where she would sneak out of bed in the morning and head straight for the kitchen, pulling out pots and pans and filling them with all sorts of ingredients. She always raided my spice cabinet, dumping a fragrant array of whatever (expensive) spices she could get her hands on. Often, I'd hear the clatter of pots and pans and shuffle down to the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from my eyes, and arrive on the scene of a first-class mess. On a few rare occasions, she was quiet enough that I didn't hear her. She awakened me with a tray, proudly displaying her concoction (which had sloshed all over the stairs on the way up). I tried to persuade her, "Just cook with me. Help me make this recipe." No dice. We tried to encourage her to just "pretend" to cook. She has a play kitchen in her toy room. Our pleas fell on deaf ears. Finally, my husband purchased some very cheap spices just for her and she was allowed to use them with the promise that she would no longer steal my spices. While we have curbed her early morning kitchen experiments for the most part, last week she served a "Banana Surprise" breakfast to her sister's crib. This consisted of about a cup of peanut butter with a full (very ripe) banana mashed in and topped with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. Luckily, I hustled to the room when I heard, "Here, sister. I made you a delicious breakfast." through the baby monitor. My toddler was already two bites in, but luckily not completely covered in peanut butter and bananas. At least her baby sister appreciates her skills, shouting "Ummmy! Ummmy, Mommy!" through a mouthful of Banana Surprise.

Sometimes my daughter mixes together "cookies" and begs me to bake them. Last month she came up with a cinnamon cookie that would better serve as potpourri than a tasty treat. Her grandparents were good sports about them, smiling as they tried to swallow them down. When I first saw this Compost cookie recipe on Sinful Southern Sweets, I immediately thought of my daughter. This is just the kind of recipe that she would put together, using up everything within reach and calling it a cookie. I remember thinking, "We'll have to try this." Of course, I shut my laptop and completely forgot about it until....

6 weeks later, I was unloading my groceries and realized what a mess my pantry had become. I started piling stuff on the table to organize: Three or four bags of cereal- just the stuff in the bottom that no one seemed to want to finish, some pretzels on their way to being stale, a crushed bag of potato chips, an opened sleeve of butter crackers, 3 opened bags of baking chips that didn't hold enough to make a recipe (white chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter), and lots of Easter candy. It was time for a Spring cleaning! Then I remembered something...a recipe that used up junk food like this. What was it? The words Compost Cookies popped into my head. I thought harder. Could that be right? Compost Cookies?! Yep, that was it. I did a search and found that the creator of the recipe, pastry chef and owner of a New York sweets eatery Momofuku's Milk Bar, Chrisina Tosi had appeared on the LIVE! with Regis and Kelly show. I got the recipe off of their website. As I read through, I suddenly remembered where I'd seen this recipe re-created: Sinful Southern Sweets! Do check out this blog for some decadent treats!

I announced to my daughters that we would be making cookies the next morning. "Okay." my oldest answered, and then turned back to her coloring book at the kitchen table. Then I tapped her on the shoulder and gestured to the "junk" that I'd pulled from the pantry. "With this...."



Holy cow! You should've seen her eyes light up. "Really?" she asked in disbelief. "Really." I promised. She was totally into this. Just what she loved to do, but perfect, because this was a "real" recipe that gave her creative license and we'd actually want to eat the finished product.



We started after breakfast on Saturday morning, by crushing "stuff". My kids always love the crushing step in recipes. We began with leftover Robin's Eggs from Easter.



Then my toddler attacked the potato chips with a meat mallet.



Simultaneous smashing. They loved this!



When the pounding ceased, we had a nice little bowl of crushed Trix, Apple Jacks, potato chips, pretzels, and crackers.



We also had another bowl of crushed and chopped Easter candy and baking chips.



Now we were ready to make it all come together. I let my daughters dump in the cup of softened butter, the sugars, and the corn syrup. Beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color.



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. Thank goodness for my new KitchenAid mixer. 10 minutes is a long time with a handheld!



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. I used my 1/3 cup measuring cup for this step. My ice cream scoop left something to be desired when it came to scooping cookie dough. Wrap the scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week. I think ours sat in the fridge for about two hours. Don't bake it right away! The cookies will not hold their shape. I wonder if you could freeze the scooped dough and pull it out to bake later...maybe one or two cookies at a time? These are some big cookies and they are SO good. Baking just one at a time to share with my daughters might be a good idea for me.




When it was time to bake them, I put 6 on a sheet.



They spread out quite a bit.



I underbaked the first batch, then returned them to the oven after seeing this:



Then ended up burning the whole tray because I forgot about them. Grrr.



My next tray turned out just perfect and they were SO good. Addicting. Dangerous to have in my cookie jar, in fact. After my first cookie, I promptly began giving them away to friends and neighbors and anyone who would take one. They all cursed me in between their "Oooohs" and "Ahhhs" and "MMmmmm's". Who knew? Compost Cookies. I highly recommend these.



Momofuku's Milk Bar Compost Cookies
Recipe from Regis & Kelly

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
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 baking ingredients!(mini chocolate chips, raisinettes, rollos & cocoa krispies)
1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc)
(goldfish, ritz, & fritos)

DIRECTIONS:
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.

7 comments:

Kim said...

Krista- What a cute story about your daughter. Me and my friends used to make a mess in my kitchen doing the exact same thing. I remember seeing those compost cookies when they were posted on SSS. Sounds like a super fun idea with the kiddos. They look delicious to me!

Hope you are having a wonderful time at Disney! Naptime is also a much needed break for Mom and Dad:D

Kim said...

Just a note to tell you that I just found your thin crust pizza post! I don't know how I missed that one. I left you a comment there, but thanks again for the shout out! They look like they turned out awesome:D

teresa said...

oh how fun! i want to make these with my little girl! sounds like you are having a wonderful time!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Haha, your baking sounds like mine 90% of the time, underdone, overdone, distracted. That's why you don't see a whole lotta baking going on with me. Oh well, sounds like you had fun. On the other hand, I can't believe you are blogging!! Disney wears me out - doubt I'd have the energy for it after a day in the heat, cuz I don't care that it's not supposed to be hot, it always seems to be hot there. Last time we went it was at the end of October and I thought I was gonna die from the heat!! I LOVE Disney, so I am so totally jealous!! I'd say to have fun, but of COURSE you're gonna have fun!! :) Say hello to Mickey for me.

Chicago Mom said...

Wow, how creative! These sound SO decadent! Love it!
Hope you are having a blast at Disney!

怡逸凡君 said...

may the blessing be always with you!! ........................................

dinnersanddreams.net said...

Lobe the blue m&m's in the cookies-so much fun!

Nisrine

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