Compost Cookies

by Kelly on May 17, 2011

Chicago Food Blogger Bake SaleDespite the rainy and unforgiving weather here in Chicago, our contribution to the National Food Blogger Bake Sale to benefit Share our Strength was successful.  Over $1,000 was raised and 30 people (bloggers and non-bloggers) volunteered to make it happen.   (I’m including links for the other bloggers that came in case you want to check out their recaps or snag a recipe for their tasty treats.)  Thanks again to the fantastic Maris of In Good Taste for hosting.

I baked three treats for the sale and am going to share the recipes with you this week starting with some fantastic Compost Cookies, of Momofuku fame.

Compost Cookies-5I’ve been salivating since I saw these cookies on Amateur Gourmet.   They caught my eye because they’re made with unorthodox mix-ins.  And no, not bacon (Though it may be featured in one of the other bake sale treats I’m sharing this week.), but…

Compost Cookiesbroken pretzels, oats, potato chips, graham cracker crumbs, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips.  This combo struck me as amazing because weirdly I’ve always been more of a savory girl than a sweets girl.  It’s not unusual for me to opt for chips or french fries over a cupcake.  It just seems to be how I’m wired and perhaps it’s genetic as my father is the exact same way.  Because of this, I don’t bake a lot of sweets unless I’m sharing them with others.

Compost Cookies-3So to me, a cookie that could win over my salty tooth = pure genius.  And these cookies weren’t just good in theory.

Compost Cookies-4They were amazing in person with sweet and salty intermingling in every bite.  What I loved was how well balanced this cookie was.  The pretzels and potato chips kept the sugary dough and chocolate chips from being cloying and also added a nice crunch to offset the softer dough.  Honestly I know this combo sounds odd but just trust me on this (or trust Christina Tosi, Momofuku’s pastry chef and the mastermind behind the recipe), these are addictive, a bit as if you’re having a cookie for the first time

They are also very versatile.  In researching this recipe it seems that bloggers have thrown all manner of mixins into the dough including Rolos and peanut butter pretzels.  To customize, just replace the chocolate chips through pretzels with 1 1/2 cups mixins.  I tried to keep it close the original minus the coffee grounds they also add, because those didn’t sound appealing to me.  But whatever you choose to throw in, these cookies are definitely a winner.

Compost Cookie

Adapted from Cookie Madness – there are countless variations of this cookie on the web, but she made some adjustments to the recipe after there were complaints that the original, which was posted on the Regis and Kelly website (though it doesn’t seem to be up any longer) spread too much. Her recipe worked beautifully
Yields 7 giant cookies


-4 oz cold unsalted butter, chopped up
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
-1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 large egg
-4.5 ounces flour (measured by weight not volume)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/4 cup butterscotch chips
-2 tablespoons old fashioned oats
-2 tablespoons crushed graham crackers
-1/4 cup crushed plain potato chips
-1/4 cup broken pretzels, plus additional whole pretzels for topping if desired


In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, cream the cold butter, both sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Add eggs and vanilla and stir to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and run mixer for 10 full minutes. During this time the sugar granules will dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and mixture will double in size.

Meanwhile, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

By hand or using lowest speed of mixer, stir in the flour mixture – don’t beat it in or the cookies won’t be as tender. Stir in the remainder of the ingredients

Using about a heaping 1/3 cup measure or a large cookie scoop, scoop up dough and form rounds onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or over night before baking. (DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake 9-13 or until lightly brown on the edges and just about to brown in the center.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage.

Other participating bloggers included:

  • Marvi  (
  • Beth (
  • Kate (
  • Anna  (
  • Joy (
  • Sarah (
  • Blair (
  • Matthew  (
  • Jackie  (
  • Richard  (
  • Caroline  (
  • Vanessa  (
  • Emily  (
  • Kristin (
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    Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 17, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I have so desperately been wanting to make compost cookies, and your compost photo is so incredible looking that I want to leave work, go home, and make them now. Probably not a great career move.


    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen May 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I’ve made triple-chip cookies before, where one of the chip varieties were those of the potato persuasion…and I love chocolate covered pretzels. Never thought to just throw caution to the wind and put ’em all together!


    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living May 17, 2011 at 10:04 am

    These cookies are so much fun! I’ve come to appreciate a salty component to desserts, and the pretzels are a great flavor – as well as aesthetic – addition to the cookies.


    Roz May 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Kelly. Great looking recipe, even great NAME for the cookies. Love it! Have a great day.


    Shannon May 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    yup, these definitely sound like they’d be amazing with the salty-sweet combo. i can’t seem to get enough lately 🙂


    Kate @ FittingintotheWindyCity May 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I can’t believe I missed this! Those cookies look awesome, definitely going to give them a shot!


    Carolyn Jung May 17, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    These must be based on the famous Momofuku Milk Bar compost cookies. I love those, especially because of the eclectic mix-ins and the crunch factor. 😉


    5 Star Foodie May 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Awesome cookies, such a terrific mix of ingredients!


    Reeni May 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time! I’m inspired! I love the sweet and saltiness of them and the surprise of biting into a piece of pretzel or potato chip.


    Cara May 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I love hearing the creative ways bloggers put their talents out there for great causes. We truly are a force! I am a sweets gal, but these cookies sound incredible – I think for me it’s the graham crumbs and butterscotch chips that do it!


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