the momofuku perfect 10 cookie (karlie’s kookies.)

momofuku perfect 10 cookie.

Bonus track! Bonnie, this one’s for you.

We talked about this on Facebook a few weeks back, when I asked if you knew about Momofuku Milk Bar’s new mini-line of healthy cookies. Dubbed “Karlie’s Kookies” (after supermodel Karlie Kloss, who is, incidentally, from right here in St. Louis), they are a gluten-free cookie line containing healthy, wholesome little ingredients, and are perfect for snacking on and still feeling good about yourself. I know most of us snack on cookies and still manage to feel pretty okay about ourselves on a semi-regular basis, but this cookie will truly do your body good.

I was apprehensive at first; I don’t do a ton of gluten-free baking, limiting myself to recipes that sort of organically fall into the category (like these almond macaroons) versus taking a regular thing and twisting it around to make it so. Simply put, it’s not easy to do, and requires some patience in figuring out how everything works together. But I have a wee relative who has Celiac’s, so I’ve started making her a little something when I know she’ll be at a family gathering. She’s six, so way too young to accept that none of the desserts at a party are for her; I’ve made it my mission to make sure she always has dessert if I’m around. It’s a tiny mission, perhaps, but I know she likes it.

momofuku perfect 10 cookie.

So these cookies are fantastic. I mean, really quite fantastic; I was very impressed. They’re not cheap to make because they’re full of almonds and almond flour, but I simply cut the batch in half to make it, and I think it actually makes the recipe much more manageable in terms of cost, so that’s how I’ll give you the recipe. A half batch still yields 15 cookies (made with a 2-ounce ice cream scoop), so if you’re just making them for around the house, that’s more than enough.

momofuku perfect 10 cookie.

This also solves the problem of storage; the only issue these little things have aside from cost. These cookies aren’t the most structurally sound things, and although they stay together when held, there’s nothing in them to really tighten the ingredients to one another. If you don’t store them in one layer on a flat surface, gravity takes hold by the second day. Stacking them is a no-no: they will succumb to their weight and break where there was less support. They’ll stay incredibly delicious, however, so not to worry there. The only technical thing that can be tricky is the scoop factor: it’s not as much a dough as a loose, wet mix, so you really need to press the mixture into the ice cream scoop to get a nice, firm ball on your baking sheet. If you don’t, this happens:

momofuku perfect 10 cookie.

So an ice cream scoop is indeed a must for these; I threw some tips in the recipe on how to accomplish a satisfactory ball without getting frustrated.

I made some substitutions from the original recipe: most notably substituting honey for the agave, which I don’t detest, but have never been a huge fan of. I switched the olive oil for vegetable oil, because every time I make something like this with olive oil, I can taste it. I see nothing wrong with substituting the olive oil for a flavorless oil like vegetable or grapeseed for these.

In terms of specialty ingredients, yes; there are a few, but I found them at the market I always go to, and I didn’t need to make any special trips or order anything online. There’s of course the almond flour, which I think is pretty widespread by now, but if your market doesn’t carry it, it’s just as easily made by grinding blanched almonds in your food processor. Gluten-free oats are new to me, but if your store has an organic or “whole foods” section, or if they carry a good variety of Bob’s Red Mill products (they are wonderful, right?), you should be able to find gluten-free oats.

momofuku perfect 10 cookie.

Would I make these again? Absolutely, yes. I’m actually thinking about making another batch right now, because they remind me of a really good house-made granola, only with just enough liquid to bake into cookie shapes. If you’re as much a fan of granola as we are in this house, you may want to run to the store right now to get the ingredients you need. I’ve already thought of a few spinoff cookies I may be able to make with this as a base, so stay tuned.

Because I know at least one of you will ask, because I’m raving about these: yes, I did try to make the other Karlie’s Kookie (the 5Boro). It is not delicious. I was as disappointed by that one as I am thrilled with this one, which is sad, because I wanted to like that one so much. It’s a chocolatey one, and in my opinion, the 5Boro is a case of using many ingredients for a cookie and then having it be inferior to a chocolate GF cookie with way less ingredients, like this one from King Arthur Flour. One of you made this a few days ago (why can’t I remember…I am totally blanking right now, although I feel like it was Wendy or Monica*); coincidentally, I’ve made this recipe several times and loved it just as she did. If you’re looking for a chocolate cookie that’s gluten-free, I’ve not had a better one, and it’s a breeze to make. So you won’t see the 5Boro here, but it’s not because I didn’t try.

*it was Eva at Adventures in Cooking who made these cookies! Thanks for reminding me, Brianne. Girl, you are GOOD with the memory.

momofuku perfect 10 cookie.

So here it is: the Perfect 10 Cookie, or at least my version of it. It’s amazing, and worth every penny you spend on it. Honestly; I would not lie to you, especially about that.

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar’s original recipe for The Perfect 10 Cookie, which I found on the Lucky Peach Tumblr. If you like Milk Bar stuff, look it over; there’s some recipes which show up there from time to time that you won’t find in the book.

Perfect 10 Cookie

  • 3 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (or grapeseed)
  • 1 cup good-quality honey
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, oats, salt, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, almonds, and chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix with your hands until everything is evenly distributed. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, honey, and vanilla extract until homogenous. Don’t cheat this step, as honey has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the bowl and settle. If you have to leave your work, whisk again just before adding it to the dry ingredients.

Dig out a well in the middle of your dry ingredients (much like you would dig out a well in your mashed potatoes for your gravy) and pour the wet mixture into the center. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon (or the best of both worlds; a rubber spoonula), stir your wet and dry ingredients together thoroughly, and probably for several minutes, until it is completely incorporated and there are no dry patches. Watch this carefully, as this isn’t as easy to mix as a straightforward cookie dough. Your end result will be a shaggy, dough-ish, damp mix of goodness which will look very similar to a wet granola (for those of you who make granola). It will also be delicious, even before it goes into the oven. I think this works better if you can let it sit on your counter for about 20 minutes or so: it’s not necessary, but it will allow the oats and the almond flour to get some moisture going, which results in a more “together” cookie once it has baked. Makes scooping easier as well.

Using a 2-ounce (1/4 cup) ice cream scooper – mandatory – scoop out the mixture and press, press, press it tightly into the bowl of the scoop. Really squeeze it in there; it’s going to need that pressure to hold its shape. Once the ball is ready, eject it onto your prepared sheet pan gently, holding your scoop as close to the pan as possible. Most of the balls should hold together, but for the ones that start to fall to the side, use your hands to gently press them back into  balls. Once all your balls are down (leave about 2 inches between each one), use the center of your palm to do two things at the same time: to lightly press the dough down into a cookie shape, and to maintain the roundness of the cookie by using the outer ring of your palm, slightly cupped, to keep it together. Your end result should be a thick cookie with a very slight dome in the center.

Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes, checking at the 12-minute mark. Your cookies should be very lightly browned around the edges, and the centers will still be basically the same color as when they went in. They should look a little wet still, but baked and soft. Remove them and let cool on the sheets; they’re very delicate and will fall apart on you if you try to move them before they hit room temperature.

Store these carefully: although they do last for up to 5 days in an airtight container, stacking them will mean they break apart. No problem for eating, but if you’re serving them and want them all intact, store them in a single layer in an airtight container.

Makes 15 cookies.

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25 Comments on "the momofuku perfect 10 cookie (karlie’s kookies.)"

  1. Good information and nice to know. Lucky Peach magazine is definitely unique and fun to read! Will have to get to trying these!

    • shannon says:

      Lucky Peach is really fun to read: i have a few hard-copy issues here, but the Tumblr always has some great stuff on it. Hope you like these as much as I did!

  2. Ashley says:

    You’re so very considerate to accommodate my inability to resist any cookie within (relatively) easy reach! (I know I’ll go into search and destroy mode if the cookie is even marginally good.) Halving the recipe, filling it with healthy things…you’re too good to me! And you’re truly thoughtful to your young friend with Celiac’s. I always feel so much for my friends who are, since I am such a gluten fiend. Way to make the world a little better!

    • shannon says:

      ashley, i feel like i shouldn’t get that much credit, as I’m the same way with cookies in my general vicinity. Although these backfired on me a little bit: they make you want to eat, well, all of them. at once. so…maybe THAT part isn’t healthy.
      my little GF niece (or she’s somehow like a second cousin’s daughter, etc, however you figure that, but i stop counting and just call her my niece because seriously) is a sweetie. I always feel bad for kids with Celiac’s because they get it, but it’s still hard to not eat what everyone else is eating. I had a friend growing up who had all sorts of food allergies, and as kids, you just don’t get why someone isn’t eating the sandwich you are, you know? So i like to include everyone when i can. I’d appreciate the same if it were me. :)

  3. Faygie says:

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for you to post this! I’d make this right now, except that I don’t have almond flour (or enough almonds to make some). I have everything else.

    Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try these sometime soon.

    • shannon says:

      i know you were! They were so delicious…like SO much. Very granola-like, and I know you love homemade granola. I was sad about the 5boro version….after this one, i expected big things, but that’s okay; this one makes me totally happy all by itself.

  4. Brianne says:

    Eva at Adventures in Cooking made the flourless fudge cookies last week! She’s one of my faves. You’re one of my faves, too (DUH!), because you do so much legwork (thumbwork? There’s some major ice cream scoopage going one here) to make sure that the recipes you post are positively foolproof. I like that you always tell us what to expect at each step. I’m always so anxious when trying a new recipe! I enjoy almond flour from time to time, but it really is prohibitively expensive to use on a regular basis. And I’m too cheap to buy an ice cream scoop, for real. I use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop my Momofuku cookies, but I can see that clearly won’t work for these. These sound good enough to make a couple of splurges, though :) Also, boo on those 5boro cookies with pineapple juice in them. I’m sorry, that just sounds gross.

    • shannon says:

      thanks! :) that was some palm-pressing work you see there: you really want to shove these things into the scooper to get a nice, un-fall-aparty ball. Not as easy as regular batter, but worth the extra pushes.
      Same! i get nervous reading a recipe when i have no idea what i’m going to be expected to do next, so i don’t like to do that to people. Certainly you don’t want anyone to psych themselves out or ruin a recipe because of nerves. Agree: almond flour is pretty expensive, and i could never use it on a regular basis except in small quantities. Sometimes Trader Joe’s or other natural food stores have good deals on bulk blanched almonds which makes grinding them a little more cost-effective than buying pre-ground, but it’s still not cheap, no matter which way you purchase.
      Purchase the ice cream scoop! I know i had a big scoop disappointment with that Wilton one a few weeks ago, but OXO makes a great one ($15) and both Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table sell wonderful ones ($19-$24). it’s hefty in terms of cost, but you’ll use it all the time…like i use mine on a near-constant basis; it’s great for portioning dough, muffins, ice cream (obviously), etc.
      i know…i don’t get it. pretty sure i didn’t taste the juice, so maybe it was there for sweetness versus using sugar? perplexing. I”m still at a loss.

  5. Sarah says:

    I love that you bake gluten free treats for your relative. I try to do the same thing with a friend who can’t have chocolate – not nearly on the same level as a kid who has celiac, I know. :) I will be making these! You had me with all the granola references. I love, love, love homemade granola. Thanks!

    • shannon says:

      I feel bad taking credit for that: certainly those cookies were devoured by all, and they’re just a solidly good cookie to make. I said this just now in another comment, but it bears repeating: i had a friend growing up who must have had Celiac’s or something very much like it (although i don’t remember it having a name at that time, and neither does my mom) and she just couldn’t eat ANYTHING with flour, wheat, etc. and i felt for her, because her lunches consisted of “safe” foods for her, which – in the seventies – was like, basically nothing. So many great strides have been made for GF people today, so it makes it easier to bake as there are such great recipes and sources for ingredients now.
      you can’t have chocolate! oh no! hey: maybe it’s not the same, but it’s still a “can’t” and that is never fun. I hope you love these! And i guess you could sub carob chips for chocolate, right? or honestly, they would be lovely without, as well.

      • Oh, horrors! :) I’m not the one who can’t have chocolate, I have a friend who can’t. I did think it was a migraine trigger and avoided it for about eight long months. Thank goodness that wasn’t it. I did manage to find a lot of other desserts to eat and make! Carob makes a decent substitute, but it is never the same. I love carob on its own merits.

        I had a friend like that when I was growing up – no wheat, milk or eggs. Her lunches were interesting, to say the least. And her mom had to make rice flour bread, with none of the additives available now that make gluten-free breads a better texture.

        • shannon says:

          oh whew! it can be a migraine trigger in some people i know (or even worse, so can sugar; imagine!!) so i’m happy it’s not for you. I agree with your carob assessment: it’s great when you can use it voluntarily for things it works best in, but when you HAVE to use it…different story. it’s like tofu: when it’s great, it’s awesome, but i wouldn’t want it to be the only thing i could eat.

          did she also have rice cake “sandwiches?” that’s one memory i distinctly remember about my childhood friend; pb and j on rice cakes. so nice how far the GF stuff has come since then, right? it’s amazing what can be done with it compared to 30 years ago, for sure.

  6. Monica says:

    I’m much the same way…I don’t look for gluten-free recipe because I have the luxury not to need to but I’m so glad you are finding these great treats for your “wee relative”. These look very tasty and full of texture. I’m so glad I’m not the only person who doesn’t like agave. I still have most of a bottle left in my pantry because I used it once to make a tapioca pudding and it was just too strong (or something) for me. I keep thinking I need to give it a chance and try again but, frankly, I just don’t feel like it. : P I also agree that a neutral oil is a safer bet when in doubt. Have a great week!

    • shannon says:

      It’s definitely been interesting to see GF baking recipes in books and in magazines, etc; gives baking a whole new level of challenge, i think! certainly GF baking is not something i’d want to do all the time, so i’m grateful i do not have to, but it’s interesting to attempt it when i can.
      I just can’t do agave. i admire those who can, and i wish i DID like it? but i don’t. i like honey. period. and honestly, they work about the same, and it’s nice b/c with honey you can sort of choose the flavor based on the strength and flavor of the honey, which is fun. Agave to me just has a “flavor” or something….like you said; something “strong” or standout about it. You too!

  7. Bonnie says:

    Cannot wait to make these!! Told you before, going to say it again, beyond thoughtful that you considered a recipe for those who want the good stuff out there such as Momofuku but can’t stomach the non-GF goodies (did I just type that? Sorry!). Anyhow… Shannon, I failed to mention on FB that a lot of food bloggers don’t go that extra step and I for one am incredibly grateful that you did! Not to mention, you didn’t comprise the recipe of convoluted ingredients, you kept it real and approachable. Many, many thanks again and kudos for another beautiful post!

    • shannon says:

      Bonnie, you’re a dear, and that was a lovely Facebook comment you left me; that’s so much for that, and honestly, thank you for being one of the people who inspired me to make this recipe! I know i told you a long time ago i was going to explore more GF baking, and it’s been a combination of things not working and also just making the time to shop for ingredients, etc uncommon from the ones i typically keep in my pantry. So I really, really hope you like these, and thank you again for being an inspiration for me in my own baking. I’m excited to try more things now and give you a few more recipes, hopefully. :)
      you are so, so welcome; i’m grateful for the feedback and encouragement you give to ME when i try things like this.

      • Bonnie says:

        Meant every word Shannon!

        I’m sure they are going to be over the top incredible! and as soon as I get everything unpacked and figure out how to use my gorgeous newfangled appliances, I’m going to make a whole bunch!

        Looking forward to what spectacular goodies you’ve got next on the horizon – GF or not :)

  8. Oooh, these look awesome! I love that they’re chock full of stuff and totally remind of of that granola bark you can buy (i think it’s at Whole Foods). It’s so thoughtful of you to make sure your little relative has something equally delicious to eat when everyone else gets dessert. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to be intolerant to ingredients that are in the majority of food :(

    • shannon says:

      They’re pretty terrific; like in the way that i was really blown away that something made from basically nuts and honey and oats and not a ton of other things tasted SO great and so much like an actual cookie.
      My wee niece (or like i explained earlier, it’s my husband’s cousin’s etc etc so that equals niece to me) has really got me thinking about the whole GF thing, because i think everyone knows the basics of it, but it’s amazing what gluten actually shows up in. At the party I brought the cookies to, she couldn’t even have the meats served because of the glaze having gluten in it; you NEVER think about that, or at least I don’t. I have a ton of respect for people who have to eat like that because it seems like an obstacle course of foods, and that’s hard.

  9. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find out that there are chocolate chips in there – not raisins.

    Like, seriously relieved.

  10. these look SO good. So so good. Are they still healthy if I eat the whole batch in one sitting?

    I’m with movita on the raisins… Chocolate = good, Raisins = ANGRY

  11. Wendy says:

    I am positive that not only are you endeared to your wee relative forever but to her parents as well. As you know, any one who makes a special effort for our children has a special place in our hearts. Lucky wee relative to have you baking for her! I have done quite a bit of successful baking with almond flour (not expensive at all at Trader Joe’s) for the low carb factor rather than the gluten free factor. There is a learning curve because in some recipes you wouldn’t know that there was no wheat flour in there and others it just doesn’t work. Those gummy glutens hold things together. Momofuku recipes are always a learning experience for me, whether I like the finished product or not. The Milk Bar cookbook was the first cookbook I ever read like a novel (and haven’t stopped since!). Almonds being brain food, make these cookies a great nibble choice for a study week/exam week care package. pinned. bookmarked. printed. (That way I am more likely to be able to find the recipe when I need it!) :)

    • shannon says:

      aw, well thank you: i know she loved the cookies, and i think maybe we get to see her again this weekend, so i’m going to have to do some searching for a good GF thing that’s kid friendly. I’m in charge of desserts again, so we’ll see what i come up with. everyone else gets a candy bar tart (!!). And thanks for the almond flour tip! i know their bulk nuts are so cheap there, but i didn’t know if they sold almond flour or not…it’s been awhile since i’ve been there. making a trip today to get some, i think. i was thinking of making some almond cookies, and that’s a decent excuse to go right ahead and do just that. :)
      That’s an excellent point: no matter if momofuku spells success or failure, it’s great learning the processes, and i’ve carried lots of them over to other “normal” recipes, with some pretty awesome results. For that reason alone i think the book is a must have/must read.
      they do make a good “snack” cookie. i did notice (and i need to update the post) that the few i scurried away to the freezer for a few days after they cooled did a nice job of hardening up and staying that way even when thawed. so if you need to prolong the life of them and/or firm them up, that’s a good way to go.

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