I don't know how many of you have heard of Momofuku Milk Bar but it's one of the most genius places in the world. It's not a kosher place, but it's a bakeryish kind of place in Manhattan (and Toronto). Christina Tosi is the brains behind it all. With the revolutionary idea to put milk powder in her products, she has created a cult-like following that has people from around the world flocking at her doorstep. Her amazing creations range from Cereal Milk Ice Cream to Compost Cookies with miles of delicious innovation in between.
I would never have known what I was missing, and worse than that never would have added this recipe into my monthly cookie round up had it not been one of those late night-scroll-through-the-internet-instead-of-sleeping kind of searches. I magically found these cookies and, though I'm not sure what possessed me to try them, I put it on my ever growing to do list.
The truth is I'm pretty shallow when it comes to food. I'm one of those people who believes you eat with your eyes first. It's always super important to me to wipe the plate, arrange artfully, and sprinkle something green and necessary on my food (herbs or spices). I know I'm not the only one. The entire basis of Instagram is eating with your eyes. Until they invent Instagram smell you are all guilty of judging books by their covers! So ha!
The crazy part is, it's such a big part of human nature to "eat with the eyes" that food photographers actually have a challenge creating the vision our mind expects to see in a photograph. In reality, milk isn't pure white and thick and maple syrup isn't super drippy and golden colored when it's poured. Food photographers actually have to replace milk with Elmer's glue and maple syrup with motor oil to create the image we want to see so that we want to buy or make that product. It's a waste of a perfectly good pancake in my opinion.
The point of all of this is that these cookies, as crazy delicious as they are, are ugly. Butt ugly! the first time I made them the house smelled unreal! My entire building had this heavenly aroma of butter and caramelized sugar and I couldn't wait to try these cookies!!! Until I saw them. They were these flat puddles of brown almost burnt looking messes. ugh! I was tempted to chuck them but the smell convinced me otherwise. I kept them but didn't try them. I sent them to my sister (who sick at the time) as a get well present. (Ya, I'm evil like that.)
The next day, I got report back from my family, "What were those amazing cookies and when could we get more?" As shocked as I was, I decided I should at least try the cookie and see what the hype was about. I did. I nearly died.
My favorite cookie texture isn't usually crispy but the crunch of this cookie was both delicate and hearty at the same time. The flavor, don't get me started on the flavor. The carmel-malted milk-with-a-hint-of-chocolate flavor is unreal! It's like all I want to do is put these cookies on top of and into everything I've ever made.
For a while I would walk around with bags of these cookies in my purse and share them with friends. I loved watching their faces as they bit into this unassuming cookie and their eyes would go wide with surprise. One friend told me she loved that they were so ugly because that way no one even asked for one and she didn't have to share it, until someone tasted it.
Despite the long weird name and the ugly first impression, these cookies have earned me loads of late night request texts and a few stalkers. If you aren't ready for that, these cookies aren't for you. But if your ready for a whole new world of delicious indulgence like you have never had before, I suggest you double the cornflake crunch recipe and keep it in your freezer. I don't lie when I say these cookies run out fast!!
Note: These cookies use milk powder and therefore can only be made dairy. You are welcome to substitute powdered coffee creamer but I have not yet tried this and cannot vouch for the results.
Cornflake Crunch Cookies
5 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup milk powder
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
In a medium bowl, use hands to crush cornflakes to a quarter of their original size.
Add milk powder, sugar, and salt, and toss lightly.
Add butter and toss to coat (the butter acts as the glue and will create small clusters).
Spread the cornflake clusters onto a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes tossing midway so they don't burn-until they look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch when cooled slightly.
Cool completely before storing or using in a recipe.
2 sticks (equals 1 cup or 16 tbsp. or 8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature (Must be full fat! Don't try to substitute here)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 cups Cornflake Crunch (recipe above)
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add egg and vanilla extract and beat 7-8 minutes.
On low speed, mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until just combined (1 minute max.). Don't step away from the machine/over-mix!
Scrape down sides and, still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch and chocolate chips until just incorporated (30-45 seconds), then stir in the marshmallows as well.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Measure 1/3 cup portions of dough (using a 2 oz. ice cream/cookie scoop) onto the pan. Rolling them with wet hands will help them stay together better. Pat tops of dough mounds flat. Wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. (Do not bake at room temperature!)
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and arrange the chilled dough onto parchment/siplat lined baking sheet(s) at least 4 in. apart.
Bake about 15 minutes, until browned around the edges and beginning to brown in the center. Cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. If they seem pale and doughy on the surface, leave in the oven for about 1 more minute.
Cool cookies completely on pan before moving them to a plate or an airtight container. At room temperature, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days-in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.