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Compost Cookies

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Compost Cookies are one of the trademark items on the menu at the world-famous Momofuku Milk Bar in New York – combining cookies with potato chips, pretzels, coffee, chocolate and butterscotch chips, oats… I’ve never tried the real thing but they sound pretty nuts, no? It sounds like it shouldn’t work. At all. Like licking the bottom of your larder. So of course I had to give them a go.

I didn’t go the whole hog – these are a streamlined, compost-lite version just taking the caramel, pretzel and chocolate from the original and using my favourite, go-to cookie base. I chose the combination to reflect my favourite flavour combination du-jour: salted caramel. And anyone who doesn’t love a chocolate covered pretzel doesn’t really like food at all. Salt, sweet, crunchy, soft… It’s got it all going for it!

I always turn to the chocolate chip cookie recipe in Edd Kimber’s The Boy Who Bakes – it’s fab just with dark chocolate (or I love them 75% dark and 25% white chocolate combined) and is a magnificent foil for other flavourings – I made a Christmas-themed version last year with white chocolate, dried cranberries, orange zest and nutmeg which went down rather well.

Anyway, so here’s my version of Compost Cookies – well worth a try (even if it’s just for seeing the look on peoples’ faces when you tell them what your serving them).

Makes about 40 (yes, I know, it’s a huge batch).

  • 500g plain flour
  • 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 225g of butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 220g Caster sugar
  • 220g Light soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten slightly
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g dark chocolate (decent but don’t bankrupt yourself, moderate cocoa content)
  • About 100g of cheap toffees (just the basic ones from a supermarket will do)
  • About 75g of salted pretzels

Chop the chocolate into chunks, chop the toffees and crush about 2/3 of the pretzels into big chunks leaving the rest whole (just because it looks interesting!). Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs a little at a time and then add the vanilla. Fold in  the flour mixture (gradually) until just combined and then fold in the chocolate, toffee and pretzels being careful to keep some of the pretzels whole. Wrap the dough and put in the fridge for at least an hour or two but overnight if you have time (I’m really not that organised).

When you’re ready to go, preheat the oven to 180 degrees (C, 160 fan) and start making the dough into 45g balls – roll them with your hands or with a tablespoon or something. 45g is a good-sized cookie but if you want monsters, 60g is a good size too. You chill the dough and form into balls so that the cookies don’t melt too much in the oven – you end up with a thick, chewy cookie rather than a mean, thin, snappy thing. Line 2 baking trays with parchment and  bake the cookies in batches of 8 to a tray. They’ll probably take 15 mins or so but keep a close eye – they want to be a light gold around the edges but they’ll be very soft until they cool down so don’t use firmness as any indication of done-ness. Cool on the paper until they’re firm enough to slide onto a wire rack.

These are seriously good. Eat them warm (even with a scoop of ice cream if you’re feeling particularly wanton) and serve up to universal admiration.

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