Lockdown Cookies

Guys, not to sound alarmist, but what the hell is happening right now? This virus is spreading like mad, yet there are some absolutely shit people who are still walking around and gathering in lines around stores trying to hoard and stockpile and taking away precious resources that will just turn into food waste in their fridge chiller drawers because there’s no way you can use all that parsley in time.

I get the fear, I get the concern. But I wish we can channel it into a more productive way to address what’s happening right now. I’m scared for myself, for my parents, for my kid, my grandmother. And yet, there are also people in my direct circle who are pretending this isn’t happening.

So I’m staying home. I also recognise my privilege that I work in an industry and company that is very capable of working remotely (and in fact, we’ve already been practicing flexible working arrangements in my team for the last year or more). I am concerned for those who cannot afford to cover the cost of being on lockdown, and I wish and pray fervently that those in the position to do something about helping them will focus their attention on them too.

And what do I do when I’m anxious and homebound? I bake. I cook. I do Youtube led yoga, I paint with my kid, and… I actually get more work done because I need to fill my hours!

So for those of you who have an itch to bake, or want a simple activity to fill time with your kids who are stuck home from school… here’s a simple recipe for Compost Cookies from the Momofuku Milkbar cookbook, or kitchen sink cookies, or in these times – pantry leftovers cookies. I used a bunch of leftover bags of chocolate chunks and bars, peanut butter chips, half eaten bags of potato chips, some pretzels. There are add ins listed in the cookbook that are made especially for this, but you don’t have to do that – just throw in what you have and like. It’ll work.

Compost Cookies
Recipe from the momofuku milk bar cookbook, by Christina Tosi, 2011

  • 225g butter, room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 50g glucose (can be substituted with 18g corn syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla bean puree (I only have this on hand, the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 225g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Mix ins:

  • 150g chopped dark chocolate chunks
  • 100g mini peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup Graham Crust (recipe to follow)
  • 40g old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground coffee (not instant, and not used ground coffee)
  • 50g salty potato chips
  • 50g mini pretzels
  1. Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of your stand mixer and cream on medium-high with the paddle attachment for 2 – 3 minutes.
  2. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat for 7-8 minutes.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then mix just until the batter comes together, no longer than 1 minutes (the book says not to walk away!!!) Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
  4. On low speed, add the mix ins except for the potato chips and pretzels. Then mix until just incorporated, ~30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels and incorporate on low speed for a very short time. You want the chips and pretzels to still have large pieces and not break too much.
  5. Use a small-medium ice cream scoop to portion out the dough onto a lined baking pan, cover with plastic and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour (book says up to 1 week).
  6. Heat oven to 190C, arrange the chilled dough 4 inches apart and bake for 18 minutes. Take them out when edges are browned. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before removing to an airtight container for storage.

Graham Crust

  • 190g graham cracker crumbs
  • 20g milk powder
  • 25g sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 55g butter, melted
  • 55g heavy cream
  1. Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute the dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk the butter and heavy cream together, add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute.
  3. Use 1/4 of this for the recipe, you can store the remainder in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. I have just made these cookies every weekend in the past month to use this up. Worth it!

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