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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.