Crunch. The word alone has a satisfying texture.
I have infinite love and appreciation for the crunch. No dish is complete without it, be it the floating croutons in a hearty soup, a sprinkle of crunch on top of salad or covering whatever dessert is with speckled of crunchy granules. Sweet on top of savory or vise versa, the crunch is like an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence.
Morning cereal is not about sugar intake. Its about the crunch. How can anyone sleep with all the noise and havoc munching away?
A quick look in my pantry I realize the wide selection of crunch enhancing foodstuff, from crushed toasted pecans, caramelized chickpeas and coriander seeds (these would be mind blowing on ice cream as well as salad), to homemade Graham nuts (an old Amish recipe) and several crumble toppings in the freezer.
It’s addictive and comforting, sensual and satisfying, it is the X factor, the oomph and the pazzaz. It deserves a celebration. It could think of an entire workshop dedicated to the crunch, its history, various forms, production methods, local & seasonal variations... in the meantime I keep hearing and reading about Momofuku’s milk bar, and its famous compost cookies. Any cookie that contains both sweet and savoury “has me at Hello”. What’s more, they’re basically all about various crunch-es stuck together with some cookie dough. I managed to track down the recipe and it did not disappoint.
The batter contains a bit of this and a bit of that, as the name suggests; compost, with dark chocolate chips, roasted coffee beans, salted pretzels, potato chips chopped peanuts and rolled oats (these more chewy then crunchy). This may sound random and over the top but in reality it all comes together nicely and it works. The contents spread evenly in the batter so every bite is different and unique with a balance of sweet and savoury, crunchy and chewy, coffee and pretzels, peanuts and chocolate.
Isn’t this all one ever wants of a cookie???
Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookie
By Christina Tosi
Slightly modified from this recipe
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp golden Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups a mixture of dark chocolate chips, coffee beans, rolled oats
1 1/2 cups potato chips, pretzels, and roasted peanuts, chopped.
cream butter, sugars and golden syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in colour. You can do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer.
Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white colour and your creamed mixture will double in size.
When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
On same low speed, add in the chcolate, coffee and rolled oats and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in the snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.
Using an ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a tray lined with parchment paper, a minimum of 10cm apart in any direction.
You can also arrange them in a container and keep in the fridge up to a week. they can also be kept in the freezer, ready to pop in the oven whenever you crave them.
Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.
At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the centre. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colours don't match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.
Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage.
At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.