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Compost Cookies

Recipe for Compost Cookies by Christina Tosi from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York.

By Christina Tosi
  • Serves 20
Compost Cookies
Compost Cookies

"When I was a baker at a conference centre on Star Island, 12 miles off the coast of New Hampshire, I learned to make this kind of cookie from one of the best bakers I know, Mandy Lamb. She would put different ingredients in the cookie each day or each week and have people try and guess what the random secret ingredients were. Because we were on an island in New England, when storms blew in, we were trapped. No one travelled to the island, and, more important, no boats with food on them came our way, either. We had to get creative and use what we had on hand. We might not have had enough chocolate chips to make chocolate chip cookies, but if we threw in other mix-ins as well, the 700-some guests would never notice the shortage of one ingredient - and the cookies would always feel brand new, because they were different every time. I found after many batches that my favourite compost cookies had my favourite snacks in them: chocolate and butterscotch chips, potato crisps, pretzels, Graham crackers and coffee."


  • 225 gm butter, at room temperature
  • 200 gm white sugar
  • 150 gm light brown sugar
  • 50 gm liquid glucose
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 gm bread flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150 gm mini chocolate chips
  • 100 gm mini butterscotch chips
  • 40 gm rolled oats
  • 2½ tsp ground coffee
  • 50 gm each potato chips and mini pretzels
Graham crust
  • 80 gm Graham cracker crumbs or crushed digestive biscuits
  • 10 gm milk powder
  • 15 gm white sugar
  • 15 gm butter, melted
  • 30 ml pouring cream


  • 1
    For Graham crust, toss cracker crumbs, milk powder, sugar and 1/8 tsp salt with your hands in a bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients. Whisk butter and cream in a small bowl to combine, add to dry ingredients, toss until small clusters form and set aside.
  • 2
    Beat butter, sugars and liquid glucose in an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, scrape down sides of bowl, add egg and vanilla and beat until very pale and fluffy (7-8 minutes). Reduce speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp sea salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute (don’t overmix). Mixing on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Graham crust, oats and coffee and mix just until incorporated (30 seconds). Add chips and pretzels and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or break too many of the pretzels or potato crisps. You deserve a pat on the back if one of your cookies bakes off with a whole pretzel standing up in the centre. Scoop portions of cookie dough with a 70ml ice-cream scoop onto trays lined with baking paper. Pat tops of cookie dough domes flat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to a week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature – they will not bake properly. Preheat oven to 180C. Arrange the portions of chilled dough 16cm apart on oven trays lined with baking paper and bake until faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the centre (18 minutes). The cookies will puff, crackle and spread. Cool completely on trays. Store in an airtight container for 5 days or in freezer for a month.