I don’t think I need to tell you that these were a blast to make. I’m nearing the end of my Momofuku Milk Bar cookie journey (only one more to go and I will have baked them all), and it’s getting easier and easier to whip out one of their incredible cookies. I’ve come full circle; where there used to be nervous measuring and meticulous timing, there is now laid-back whisking and incorporating. No more agonizing over baking time, either; I know what to look for, I know how to check them, I know when they’re done. Momofuku cookies for me are, in a word, relaxing to make now. And I am thrilled about that.
So these were my celebration cookie, of sorts. It’s a teeny bit premature, considering I still have the chocolate chocolate cookie to make, but I think that one may be the easiest of all. This is served as a prep cookie, as I am planning to make my sister the Momofuku birthday layer cake for her birthday in May, and this cookie uses the birthday cake crumb.
Lots of ‘birthdays’ in that sentence; I’m sorry. Here; have some birthday crumb.
Mmmm-hmmm…I know. Delightful. And hereby (in this post, at least) known as Confetti Crumb, if only to avoid confusion.
If you’ve had the Funfetti flavor cake mix, then you know what this tastes like. And you don’t. Because these are so far and away better than just Funfetti cake mix, I can’t begin to describe it. First, you have the confetti crumb, which is the confetti take on the classic milk crumb (and it rivals the pie crust crumb for the “Shannon’s Favorite Crumb to Snack On” award.
Then you have the cookie itself, which gives you more milk powder, more sprinkles, and more Momofuku, in-your-face flavor layers. And that’s really the essence of all of their cookies, I think; that crazy mess of flavor coming at you from every direction. You think a vanilla birthday cake with sprinkles is ho-hum? Boring? And that cookies inspired by vanilla birthday cake will be nothing special? Think again.
If there is one clear lesson I’ve taken from the Milk Bar cookbook (cookie, crunch, and crumb sections), it is that a liberal application of kosher salt and milk powder makes everything better. There’s something about the combination of those ingredients with otherwise relatively normal cookies that is simply magical. So magical, in fact, that I’ve started applying the same principles to otherwise innocent recipes to see if i can make them just as wondrous. It’s become a sport around here; I call it “Momofukuing.” As in, “I totally Momofuku’d that blueberry pie muffin for Brianne a few weeks ago.”
So thank you, Christina Tosi & Company, for making my life more colorful. And allowing me to experiment with your incredibly tasty recipes. I love both the challenge and the creativity of it.
I’m going to tackle the cakes next, and maybe some bagel bombs. My first cake, the carrot layer cake, went really well, and I’ll be telling you about that soon. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible either, and I’m going to help you through it, should you choose to make it. The bagel bombs I’m more apprehensive about; bread things and I don’t always play well together, so I’m hoping it goes okay. Currently, I’m in the midst of baking Movita’s birthday cake for her “Bake My Cake 2012” competition, so I’ll have more time to think about new things after that’s finished. So until then, you have these cookies to play around with.
OH! and I should tell you; I made a second batch of these after this one (I had leftover crumb; what was I supposed to do?) and upon making them, realized I didn’t have enough crumb. what I did have on-hand was leftover pie crust crumb from the blueberry pie muffins. And before you say it, I know: it’s a weird world I live in when I have two kinds of leftover Milk Bar crumb in the house. However; the cookies, with a half/half mixture of birthday cake crumb and pie crust crumb were spectacular. if you’re ever in the same leftover crumb situation, I highly suggest using these cookies as a way to clean out your pantry.
Adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi. A book which has left an indelible mark on my baking life.
for the birthday cake crumb:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract*
for the cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or 2 tablespoons glucose)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract*
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup milk powder
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (I may have used closer to 1/3 cup; I get excited about sprinkles)
- 1/2 recipe Birthday Cake Crumbs (from above)
*note: the book stresses the use of clear vanilla extract. I wanted these cookies. I didn’t have clear vanilla extract. So, I made them with regular vanilla extract. Do I believe my cookies suffered any ill effects from this? No. But at some point, I’ll try them using clear and I’ll tell you about the difference.
Make the crumb:
Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
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.
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.
Spread the clusters on to your prepared sheet pan and bake for 17-18 minutes, breaking the crumbs up and flipping them around occasionally. When done, the crumbs should be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool. Let the crumbs cool completely before starting your cookies. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
make the cookies:
Combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup (or glucose) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for 7-8 minutes. We have talked about this in previous posts: do not neglect the creaming process, or try to shortcut it. You will be sorry. Rather, use the time to get your dry ingredients and other things together. Trust me: it’s oddly relaxing. Scrape down the sides.
Whisk together the flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, kosher salt, and rainbow sprinkles. When the wet ingredients have been properly mixed, add the flour mixture to it, mixing on low speed until the dough just comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of your bowl again.
Still on low seed, add the birthday cake crumbs and mix in for 30 seconds, or just until they are incorporated. If at 30 seconds you think your crumbs aren’t even, do what I do: remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer, take a spatula, and fold in the crumbs by hand until incorporated. It works every time. And I have to do this every time I make their cookies.
Using a 1/3 cup ice cream scoop (or, if you’re me, using a serving spoon) portion out the dough into balls and place onto a wax paper or parchment-lined sheet pan small enough to fit in your refrigerator comfortably. You should get around 20-22 cookies, and they will be huge. Want more? See my tip below. When done portioning the dough, throw a sheet of wax paper over top of them and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.
When you’re ready to make your cookies, preheat your oven to 350˚F.
Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on a parchment-lined sheet pan. To give you an example of this, I have a half-sheet pan, and my maximum cookie capacity is 8 cookies, well-placed. Do not try to crowd them or you’ll have one giant stuck-together cookie. Bake for 12-13 minutes, checking at the 10-minute mark, or until the cookies are just done. In my opinion, because they are based on birthday cake taste, they should be slightly underdone and just barely browned on the edges. if you feel this way also, bake them for 11-12 minutes, checking at the 10-minute mark.
Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan and then transfer them to a plate, mouth, or airtight container for storage. At room temperature, they will keep fresh for 5 days. in the freezer, they will keep for up to 1 month.
bonus! confetti cookies for a crowd.
So you want more than 20 cookies? I get it. These cookies are really big, and that’s not a bad thing, but sometimes you need either a) more because the kids/adults will devour them or b) smaller ones because no one, let’s face it, needs this much cookie at once. to make them smaller, scoop out rounded tablespoons of the dough and form into balls; you should get around 50 or so cookies. Refrigerate using the directions above, and bake at 350˚F for around 11-12 minutes, checking at the 10-minute mark.