Friday, October 17, 2014

Momofuku Milk Bar Chocolate Chip Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies: Problem Solved

Google the word Momofuku and you will discover a whole society of zealots who have devoted themselves to recreating and perfecting the New York City bakery's Chocolate Chip Cornflake Marshmallow cookie. 

I found this out as I searched the Internet for a cookie I could bring to my college son's cross country meet. I wanted the cookie that would have the team hoisting Sean on their shoulders while they sang "For His Mom's a Jolly Good Fellow." 

The Momofuku Milk Bar's Chocolate Chip Cornflake Marshmallow Cookie is basically a chocolate chip cookie with marshmallows, but the thing that grabs your attention is that you make kind of a cornflake cluster thingy and mix that in. It's unique enough to make you have to try them.

The problem, you find out soon enough, is that the cookies tend to spread and flatten, and while they still taste great, they look horrible.

So people have devoted many hours and wasted sticks of butter to getting them to stay cookie-like and presentable. There are various methods of chilling the dough, freezing it, making smaller or larger cookies, adjusting the oven temps, etc.

So I bought in. I made a batch, and chilled the dough for an hour before I baked it. Here is the unhappy result:

I then made a special trip to the grocery store for more butter, chocolate chips, sugar and a head of cauliflower so the cashier wouldn't judge me.

I made a new batch of dough, chilled the whole damn thing overnight, then popped 6 raw cookie balls in the freezer for 15 minutes. I baked them at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. The result: a raw center and equally flat and spread out edges.

Determined to show these cookies I was boss and if I said "Don't spread" I meant it, I threw (close to literally) the dough into muffin tins and baked those at 350 for 14 minutes. 

Not too bad actually, but pretty greasy and the marshmallows stuck to the side of the tins. Plus, I'm pretty sure cookie muffins would result in Sean sitting alone in the seat just behind the driver on the bus ride home--you know, the one where the driver stares at you in his giant rearview mirror the whole ride.

Then it dawned on me. Really, the great part of this recipe is the cornflake crunch. Why is everyone jumping through hoops to make the dough work, when it really is just a basic chocolate chip cookie dough with a way-too-high butter to flour ratio? So I decided to make my tried and true Neiman Marcus cookie recipe and add in the cornflake crunch and mini marshmallows. 

Can I get an amen? No chilling, no staring at them through the oven door to make sure I get them out at the exact right second, and most importantly, no more trips to the store for another head of cauliflower.

Neimanfuku Chocolate Chip Cornflake Cookies
(a hybrid adaptation of Christina Tosi's recipe in the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe)

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. mini chocolate chips
3 cups cornflake crunch
1 cup mini marshmallows

Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream butter with sugars; add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cornflake crunch. Place one-inch balls of dough at least two inches apart on silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

Cornflake Crunch (recipe by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar)

5 cups cornflakes
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
9 tbsp butter, melted

1/2 cup milk powder
Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Pour the cornflakes into 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. Spread the mixture on a parchment-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.
Cool completely before using. It will keep for a week; up to a month in the fridge or freezer. Makes 4 cups.