National Dessert Day

dessertmosaic Today, October 14 is National Dessert Day!

Who decides these things... fat people. Fat, happy, power-hungry people. If it's excuse to add just a little something sweet to your life... then why not! Here's some delicious inspiration of just some of my favorite dessert recipes. Make them to celebrate this glorious made-up holiday and spread some sweet sweet love!

While I am currently in Nashville, you know I will CERTAINLY be indulging in National Dessert Day today.

from top to bottom (L to R):

momofuku milk bar exam no. 14 {compost cookies}

compostcookie Of all the Momofuku Milk Bar cookies, this one is the most daring. If you love desserts that have a salty-sweet combination then this one is FOR YOU.

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This cookie has EVERYTHING. potato chips... chocolate chips... pretzels... those chips that happen when butter and scotch have a baby...

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Now, I love salted caramel and have been dipping my Ruffles chips in Häagen-Dazs since I was four but even I was a bit scared with how they would turn out. Not because of the components themselves, but because when I had this cookie from the actual Milk Bar store, I found it a bit underwhelming. The ingredients list on the label said there were potato chips (my favorite!) and graham crackers (another favorite!) yet I couldn't taste any of these in the cookie. It was a bit disappointing but I still ate it... kinda like when you realize the Real Housewives episode you're watching is a rerun but you watch it anyway because it's still pretty entertaining.

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So after I finished making these, I taste tested one of my cookies and realized, this is no rerun, this is the deluxe season set with director's commentary! That analogy doesn't really make any sense but essentially I'm trying to tell you that they are pure salty-sweet decadence. And you should make them as soon as humanly possible (after you finish that episode you're watching of course).

The key to this dough is to not overmix the batter, otherwise the individual pieces of salty snacks become crushed in the buttery cookie dough and lose their beauty. I think that since the Milk Bar mixes their batter in such large batches, the machinery overdoes the mixing (I'm sorry Milk Bar, I still love you!). To avoid this, I even saved a handful of pretzels and potato chips to press into the top of each cookie dough mound before baking. Even compost should be beautiful.

{love watching cookies bake}

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compost cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar makes 15 to 20 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (150g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons (50g) glucose [can substitute with 1 tablespoon corn syrup]
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups (225g) flour [King Arthur’s bread flour]
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (150g) mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup (100g) mini butterscotch chips [I used regular because I'm convinced mini do not exist]
  • ¼ recipe (85g, ½ cup) Graham Crust, recipe follows
  • ⅓ cup (40g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2½ teaspoons (5g) ground coffee
  • 2 cups (50g) potato chips [Cape Cod recommended]
  • 1 cup (50g) mini pretzels [Snyder's recommended]

(1) Combine the butter, sugars, 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 egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (2) Reduce the 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 chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and coffee and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips. You deserve a pat on the back if one of your cookies bakes off with a whole pretzel standing up in the center. (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 375°F. [I always do 350°F] (6) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes [13-15 minutes is plenty]. 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 an airtight container for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Graham Crust makes about 340g (2 cups)

  • 1½ cups (190g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick, 55g) butter, melted, or as needed
  • ¼ cup (55g) heavy cream [can be omitted]

(1) Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients. (2) Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as a glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. The mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ tablespoons) butter and mix it in. (3) Eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. The crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. Stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 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.

Autumn in New York

No, I'm not talking about that terribly sappy movie with Richard Gere and Winona Ryder. Though, I could never really bad-mouth Winona as Little Women has been, since 5th grade, my go-to rainy day movie.

Actually, the origins of my last name Choo (추) mean 'Autumn' or at least that's what my mom has always told me. Regardless, I like to think that's why I have such an endearment for the fall season. I love watching the weather cool down, the leaves change colors and the consumption of any and all fall desserts. Treats that incorporate the bounties of fall like apples, cranberries and of course... pumpkin!

This past week, one of my roommates made these delicious pumpkin chocolate chip & pecan cookies. They were so perfect for the crisp fall weather. When I asked her for the recipe, she told me she got it off this site skinnytaste.com. wait WHAT?! these cookies are delectable AND low fat?? Praise the pumpkin gods!

I decided to make a batch of these deceptively delicious cookies for my workplace, which seems to be riddled with all things mini-cupcaked and fun-sized. The only adjustment I made was to omit the pecans cause I'm not a huge fan of them (who eats pecan pie without the pecans?... guilty.)

Just check out the step-by-step photos for these Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 then ADD...

 math can be so fun.

Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (low fat) adapted from skinnytaste.com

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans (optional)

(1)     Preheat oven to 350°; line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat. (2)     In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice and cinnamon. (3)     In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed. (4)     Add the egg, followed by the pumpkin and vanilla extract. (5)     Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the chocolate chips. (6)     Drop 1 tablespoon of the dough at a time onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges. (7)     Cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 32 cookies, 1 tablespoon each

These were such a hit at work! not a crumb left in sight (unfortunately). I HIGHLY recommend making them. like NOW.