TV dinner {Downton Abbey}

ladygreymacarons1 I've had my heart broken many times... by Julian Fellowes. After the last season of Downton Abbey, I vowed I was done with the show. No more Downton. No more Lady Mary. Not even the Dowager Countess.

After Sybil, there was just too much of this...

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and last year's season finale that aired on freakin' CHRISTMAS caused even more of this...

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I was too frustrated and exhausted to continue. But now that I've had almost a full year to recover, the scars are slowly starting to heal. Now for us non-UKers, the new season has yet to premiere in the States. Yet somehow I've been watching the new episodes online (don't worry, I'll watch them when they air on PBS too!) and of course I find myself, once again, wrapped up in the storylines of Carson and Branson and wily Thomas... even Edith! I will not give away any spoilers for my fellow American fans. Instead I'll provide you with a delicious recipe!

If this was season 1, I'd likely be making Mrs. Padmore's (salty) raspberry meringue or perhaps some Turkish delights? But let's be honest, I watch the show for Lady Mary. She is my pale complexioned, elitist, English counterpart. And a refined lady deserves a refined dessert. These are my Lady (Mary) Grey Macarons. A delicate French dessert inspired by my favorite tea, Lady Grey. This tea, named after Lady Mary Grey (seriously, this was a real person) is an Earl Grey with hints of orange and lemon. Perfect for afternoon tea!

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This was my first attempt at making French macarons. I'd been too intimated and terrified to make them before, having heard such horror stories of cracked macarons, overwhipped macarons, underwhipped macarons, mutant macarons. But for this being my first attempt, I think they turned out pretty well and were not nearly as hard to make as I thought.

Macarons are perhaps my favorite dessert and I loved the texture and flavor of these cookies-- the floral Earl Grey with the fragrant citrus was honestly di-vine. I will be utilizing this macaron recipe as a base for all other variations in the future. Essentially, the difficulty in making macarons is that they are composed of only a few, simple ingredients that must be handled very precisely. Almond flour, egg white, sugar, water. That's all you need to make the cookie parts. That's why it's so important to get the best, freshest ingredients. And I'm sorry to have to say this, but you're gonna need a scale (and thermometer) for this recipe. I wouldn't trust myself to make this recipe without one. They're like $10 and don't take up much space... a pretty worthy investment if you're crazy enough to make macarons in the first place!

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I really liked the look of the speckled tea leaves in the macaron cookies. The tea I used was extremely fresh (my sweet coworker Christina got me a cannister on her recent trip to London) but if you decide to use crushed leaves from tea bags that's fine too, just don't be afraid to amp up the flavor!

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Two things I would change the next time I make these: (1) Don't whip the egg whites as much. Once they are glossy, stop! I think my macaron batter was a tad on the thick side. (2) Grind the almond meal/powdered sugar mixture in the food processor before sifting. I had a few chunks in my almond meal which I didn't discard and resulted in a some lumps in the final cookies. Luckily, the flavor was perfect so I'll be a little forgiving on the presentation. As my friend Katherine said, 'these taste like HEAVEN!' (I have really hungry friends.)

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The filling was something I came up with on-the-fly. I wanted something very light but super smooth and luxurious. Since Lady Grey tea gets its distinction from the flavors of orange and lemon peel, I wanted to incorporate this into the macaron without overpowering it. Curd is one of my favorite things. I could/do eat it straight out of the container with a spoon. So a curd filling made from the zest and juice of orange and lemon seemed like the way to go. Mixed with some (more) butter and powdered sugar, it was really the ideal companion to the Earl Grey.

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If you use the template correctly, all your macarons should be around the same size. Yet I find that some halves match up better than others. Make sure each macaron cookie finds his/her soulmate. Just like Mary and Matthew... [insert sudden spurts of sobbing]

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mary and matthew

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It's alright-- chin up! Here's to the weekend. And to Lady Grey macarons.

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Lady Grey Macarons based on Bouchon Bakery makes 30 mini macarons

  • 212 grams almond flour/meal
  • 212 grams powdered sugar
  • 82 grams + 90 grams egg whites, separated
  • 4 grams loose leaf Earl Grey tea, finely crushed
  • 236 grams + a pinch granulated sugar
  • 158 grams water

special equipment:

  • pastry bag with ½-inch tip (#12)
  • digital scale
  • candy thermometer 

(1) Because the cookies will be sandwiched, it is important that they be as close in size as possible. Even if you are proficient with a pastry bag, we suggest making a template, as we do. Use a compass or a cookie cutter as a guide and a dark marking pen, such as a fine-tip Sharpie. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the work surface with a long side closest to you. Trace 5 even spaced 1½-inch circles along the top long edge, leaving 1 inch of space around them. Trace 4 circles below them, spacing them between the first circles. Continue with another row of 4, followed by another row of 3. Turn the parchment over and lay it on a sheet pan. Lift up each corner of the parchment and spray the underside with nonstick spray to keep it from blowing up while the cookies are baking. Repeat with a second sheet pan and piece of parchment paper. (2) Preheat the oven to 350°F. (3) Place the almond flour in a food processor and pulse to grind it as fine as possible. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl and whisk together. (4) Mound the almond flour mixture, then make a 4-inch well in the center, leaving a layer of the flour at the bottom. Pour in the 82 grams egg whites and combine with a spatula. Add the tea grounds to the mixture, stirring until evenly distributed. Set aside. (5) Place the remaining 90 grams egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (6) Combine the 236 grams granulated sugar and the water in a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high until the syrup reaches 203°F/110°C. (7) Letting the syrup continue to cook, add the pinch of sugar to the egg whites, turn the mixer to medium speed, and whip to soft peaks. If the whites reach soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248°F/120°C, reduce the speed to the lowest setting, just to keep them moving. (8) When the syrup reaches 248°F/120°C, remove the pan from the heat. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and slowly add the syrup, pouring it between the side of the bowl and the whisk; the meringue will deflate. (9) Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes, or until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Although the bowl will still be warm to the touch, the meringue should have cooled; if not, continue to whip until it is cool. (10) Fold one-third of the meringue into the almond mixture, then continue adding the whites a little at a time (you may not use them all) until when you fold a portion of the batter over on itself, the “ribbon” slowly moves. The mixture shouldn’t be so stiff that it holds its shape without moving at all, but it shouldn’t be so loose that it dissolves into itself and doesn’t maintain the ribbon; it is better for the mixture to be slightly stiff than too loose. (11) Transfer the mixture to the pastry bag with the ½-inch tip. Hold the bag upright ½ inch above the center of one of the traced circles and pipe out enough of the mixture to fill in the circle. Lift away the pastry bag and fill the remaining circles on the first pan. Lift up the sheet pan and tap the bottom of the pan to spread the batter evenly and smooth any peaks left by the pastry bag. (12) Place the sheet pan in the oven, immediately lower the oven temperature to 325°F, and bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until the tops are shiny and crisp. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. If using a standard oven, preheat it to 350°F again. (13) Pipe the remaining meringue mixture into the circles on the second sheet pan. Feel free to decorate these halves with some sprinklings of more tea grounds.  Bake as directed above. Let cool completely. (14) To fill the cookies, transfer the orange lemon buttercream to the pastry bag with the ½-inch tip. Remove the macarons from the parchment paper. Turn half of them over. Starting in the center, pipe about 2 teaspoons of the buttercream in a spiral pattern on one upside-down macaron, not quite reaching the edges. Top with a second macaron and press gently to spread the buttercream to the edges. Repeat with the remaining macarons and filling. The macarons are best if wrapped individually in a few layers of plastic wrap and frozen for at least 24 hours or up to 2 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator for 3 hours, then bring to room temperature before serving. They can be served the day they are made or stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Orange Lemon Buttercream makes 1½ cups

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¾ cup orange lemon curd, recipe follows 

(1) Place the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer attached with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium for 3 minutes until completely smooth. (2) Turn the mixer to low and add the orange-lemon curd. Continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside until ready to fill cookies.   Orange Lemon Curd makes 1 cup

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

(1) In a small saucepan, whisk together egg yolk and egg until combined. While whisking, pour in sugar, lemon and orange juice, and zests, and continue whisking until creamy and well incorporated, about one minute. (2) Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 8-10 minutes. (3) Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, one cube at a time. Strain into a bowl or jar, cover surface with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

momofuku milk bar no. 12 {confetti cookies}

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These confetti cookies are a cause for celebration... say for a wedding, birthday, graduation, or perhaps the BIRTH OF THE NEW PRINCE OF CAMBRIDGE!

I admit, I have been completely overcome with royal baby fever. I know I know, all babies are precious and unique and AHHH Kate Middleton just gave birth and looks beautiful! Her hair! Her wedges! Polka dots! Am I obsessed? No no... AHHH royal baby's first princely duties are a-DOR-able!

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All joking aside, these cookies are really perfect for any occasion. They're chewy, buttery sugar cookies dotted with colorful specks of sprinkles. Definitely perfect for adults and children (and babies) alike.

I actually made these to congratulate a coworker on his recent wedded bliss. Make them for someone in your life to let them know how precious and unique (and adorable) you think they are.

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confetti cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar makes 15 to 20 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ (300g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (50g) glucose
  • 2 [large] eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) clear vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups (400g) flour [King Arthur's bread flour]
  • ⅔ cup (50g) milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons (9g) cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons (5g) kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (40g) rainbow sprinkles
  • ½ recipe Birthday Cake Crumb

(1) Combine the butter, sugar, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (2) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and rainbow sprinkles. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minutes. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. (3) Still on low speed, add the birthday cake crumbs and mix in for 30 seconds—just until they are incorporated. (4) Using a 2¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly. (5) Heat the oven to 350°F. (6) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes (Mine were done at 13-14 minutes). The cookies puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very lightly browned on the edges (golden brown on the bottom). The centers will show just the beginning signs of color. Leave the cookies in the oven for an additional minute or so if the colors don’t match and the cookies still seem pale and doughy on the surface. (7) Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freeze, they will keep for 1 month.

Birthday Cake Crumb makes for 275g (2¼ cups)

  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons (25g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ¾ cup (90g) cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) rainbow sprinkles
  • ¼ cup (40g) grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) clear vanilla extract

(1) Heat the oven to 300°F. (2) Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined. (3) Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. The wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue paddling until that happens. (4) Spread the cluster on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool. (5) Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or scarfing by the handful. Stored in an airtight container, the crumbs will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

momofuku milk bar exam no. 8 {cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookies}

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I have to admit something... this is not my first time making these cookies. It's actually my third.

The first two times were 'test runs' aka I was craving them too badly to bother documenting them. They are that good. Some may say they're addictive, but I swear I can totally stop at ANY TIME... I just like to keep some extra cookie dough in my freezer for emergencies only I promise. If you find yourself baking a batch to share/blog, and then needing to do this another two, three times that's completely normal. And once I get off this sugar high next week, I will totally explain to you why.

{cornflake- chocolate chip- marshmallow}

These are probably unlike any cookie you've ever had before. Before Momofuku Milk Bar, my idea of a cookie fell into the typical chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, or sugar cookie variety. Which I still love but they seem so simple now that I've tackled some of Tosi's recipes. In this cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookie, each component adds something utterly unique: the nuttiness/crunch of the cornflakes, the richness of the chocolate chips, and the gooeyness of the marshmallows. The cookies also have a nice salty-sweet balance which only adds to their habit-forming nature.

{still love my stand mixer, Dolly}

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Now, these aren't the prettiest looking cookies, but let's face it cookies aren't really the beauty queens of desserts. Yet what this no-frills cookie lacks in looks, it makes up for in the ability to envelop you in a cookie haze. The recipe does require a little extra work as opposed to your standard cookie dough but that obviously  has not deterred me from making it multiple times.  I think you'll find the extra effort worthwhile as well. Make sure to add a couple extra marshmallows to the tops of the cookie dough mounds before baking... trust me. Just, YES.

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cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar makes 15 to 20 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (150g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (240g) flour [King Arthur bread flour]
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5g) baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons (5g) kosher salt
  • ¾ recipe (3 cups, 270g) Cornflake Crunch
  • ⅔ cup (125g) mini chocolate chips
  • 1¼ cups (65g) mini marshmallows

(1) Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (2) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. (3) Still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch and mini chocolate chips just until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 to 45 seconds. Paddle in the mini marshmallows just until incorporated. (4) Using a 2¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not hold their shape. (5) Heat the oven to 375°F. [I found this too high, 350°F for mine] (6) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes [Way too long; check at 12-13 minutes]. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. At the 18-minute mark, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Leave them in the oven for an additional minute or so if they aren’t and they still seem pale and doughy on the surface. (7) Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Cornflake Crunch

  • 5 cups (170g, ½ of a 12 ounce box) cornflakes
  • ½ cup (40g) milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons (40g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) kosher salt
  • 9 tablespoons (130g) butter, melted

(1) Heat the oven to 275°F. (2) Put the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters. (3) Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed. (4) Cool the cornflake crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.

momofuku milk bar exam no. 4 {corn cookies}

corncookies_1 Corn is genetically modified. Corn is nutritionally empty. Corn is the devil's carb.

If you agree with any of these statements, stop reading and start making these cookies. You will change your ways, I promise. Because corn is delicious. Seriously guys, these cookies are THE BEST. If you like corn muffins or corn pudding, you will love these cookies. Add to the hitlist of Momofuku Milk Bar Exams thus far.

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The corniness in these cookies comes from corn powder and corn flour.  I got the corn flour at Whole Foods but the corn powder was a little harder to find. Christina Tosi makes her corn powder by grinding freeze dried corn in a blender... but the two Whole Foods I went to surprisingly didn't have freeze dried corn. It can be found pretty readily on Amazon but only in multiple packs and I don't really need 3 pounds of freeze dried corn. So when I found a packet of freeze dried corn at Fairway, I jumped for joy (literally, it was on the very top shelf). You can also buy them online on Just Tomatoes or just buy the corn powder straight from the Momofuku Milk Bar website. Just buy them somewhere, anywhere, for the love of God. Because I really want you to make these cookies.

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Once you track down the ingredients, this corn cookie dough was one of the easiest recipes to put together. Less than 10 ingredients and only uses one bowl.

Upon finishing a sample cookie I had baked, my friend Anne Larimer proclaimed, "I'll take five more please!" I consider that a corn cookie conquest.

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{corny corn love}

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corn cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar makes 13 to 15 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1⅓ cups (225g) flour [King Arthur bread flour]
  • ¼ cup (45g) corn flour
  • ⅔ cup (65g) freeze-dried corn powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (3g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5g) baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons (6g) kosher salt

(1) Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (2) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. (3) Using a 2 ¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly. (4) Heat the oven to 350° F. (5) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 [12-13 for me] minutes, they should be faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute if not. (6) Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

momofuku milk bar exam no. 1 {blueberry & cream cookies}

blueberrycreamcookies1 This cookie was actually the first item I ever tried at Momofuku Milk Bar (thus starting this obsession). For a place known for its eccentric Crack Pie® and Bagel Bombs, these blueberry & cream cookies look deceptively simple. Ohhh but think again! Imagine a chewy, buttery cookie dotted with blueberries and white chocolate and multiply those flavors by 1000! You're gonna love this cookie.

The thing I really appreciate about the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and Christina Tosi is that she's very clear with her directions as well as the specificity of her ingredients. I'm a recipe/cookbook connoisseur and I hate when chefs leave out the specifics-- Tosi keeps no secrets. She's very direct in the intro pages about EXACTLY what brands she uses for her butter, flour, sugar, chocolate, fruits, etc.  which is a tremendous help to an obsessive nit-picker like myself. I'm going to try my darnest to listen to her suggestions and adhere as closely as possible to each recipe. My new motto is: What Tosi Wants, Tosi Gets. She would probably be mortified and slightly disturbed by my cult-ish devotion but I've tasted her Kool-Aid (cookies) and I'm just not going back!

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What makes these cookies stand out are a handful of key changes. Since this was my first Momofuku Milk Bar endeavor for y'all, I was a bit nervous. Milk crumbs? Glucose? I've never baked with these ingredients before. But it all makes sense. The milk crumbs (a combination of mostly butter, milk powder, and white chocolate) give the cookies an additional oomph in the creamy, milky department. And the addition of glucose (which I previously only associated with my dreaded year of organic chemistry) is now my new best friend and the secret to what keeps these cookies nice and chewy.

Most of my ingredients I procured at either Trader Joe's, Fairway, or Whole Foods, but the glucose I actually purchased at Michael's. The directions say that corn syrup can be substituted for the glucose but speaking from experience now, I can say that glucose is WAY stickier and less sweet than corn syrup (and thus probably produces a better chewier texture).

{milk crumbs}

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As hard as it is, resist from eating all the cookie dough before baking. Or eat half then bake half. Compromise.

{ready to eat. or scoop.}

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blueberry & cream cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar makes 12 to 17 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature [preferably Plugra, I used Whole Foods brand-- sorry Tosi!]
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (150g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ¼ cup (100g) glucose [can substitute: 2 tablespoons (35g) light corn syrup]
  • 2 [large] eggs
  • 2 cups (320g) flour [preferably King Arthur bread flour]
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Milk Crumb, recipe below
  • ¾ cup (130g) dried blueberries [can be bought at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's]

(1) Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (2) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. (3) Still on low speed, add the milk crumbs and mix until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Chase the milk crumbs with the dried blueberries, mixing them in for 30 seconds. (4) Using a 2 ¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour [I did overnight], or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly. (5) Heat the oven to 350° F. (6) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes [Mine were done at 15-16 minutes, don't overbake!]. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case. (7) Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.  

Milk Crumb

  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder [non-fat dry milk]
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (6g) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon (12.5g) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick, 27.5g) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) milk powder
  • 1 ½ ounces (45g) white chocolate, melted

(1) Heat the oven to 250° F. (2) Combine the 20g (¼ cup) milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to mix. Add the melted buter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters. (3) Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point, and your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. Cool the crumbs completely. (4) Crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than ½ inch in diameter and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the 10 g (2 tablespoons) milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixtures. (5) Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. Then continue tossing them every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.

Pucker up!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what the heck do you do with limes?! That's precisely the problem I found myself in this weekend with a bundle of limes on my hands.

Luckily I love limes, possibly even more than lemons. Key lime pies, limeades, margaritas, mojitos :) With my limes, I decided to make these lime bars, a variation on my favorite lemon bar recipe. But honestly when you add butter, sugar, eggs and flour to anything, what wouldn't taste good?

Lime Bars adapted from Barefoot Contessa

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest (4 limes)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (6 to 8 limes)
  • 1 cup flour
  • confectioners' sugar, for dusting

(1)  Preheat the oven to 350° F. (2)  For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the flour and salt, with the mixer on low, to the butter until just mixed. (3)  Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9x13x2-inch baking sheet, building up a ½-inch edge on all sides. (4)  Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on. (5)  For the filling, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (6)  When ready to serve, dust the top with confectioners' sugar and cut into squares.