compost / kitchen sink cookies

This time of year always puts me in the mood to clean things out.  Closets, drawers, the pantry, the freezer.  The latter two came in handy for this particular recipe.

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These cookies were inspired by the Compost Cookie at Momofuku Milk Bar.  I haven’t visited NYC for 2 years and have been feeling some serious withdrawal for my favorite bakeries so making these helped ease the pain, and as I mentioned previously, it helped me do a bit of cleaning out at the same time!

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The original recipe calls for pretzels, potato chips, chocolate chips, ground coffee, butterscotch chips, rolled oats, and graham cracker crust but I only had a few of those items on hand so I improvised.  I used potato chips, semi sweet chocolate chips and chocolate chunks (yes, I often have both on hand), white chocolate chunks, ground up homemade vanilla wafers (left over in my freezer from a Thanksgiving pie crust), and ground up black sesame seeds (leftover from the last time I made black sesame ice cream and accidentally ground up too many seeds.)

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The results were a multi-textured cookie that satisfied both salty and sweet cravings and almost felt like a meal due to their robustness.  And better yet, I cleared out some space for more random leftover goodies from future baking projects!

Kitchen Sink Cookies (adapted from the Compost Cookies recipe in “Milk: Momofuku Milk Bar” by Christina Tosi)

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used a combo of milk, semi-sweet, and white chocolate chunks as that is what I had on hand)
  • 2 cups potato chips (Cape Cod brand are recommended because they are crunchy and don’t break down too much in the mixing process)
  • 1 1/2 cups of any other mix-ins you have on hand, I used ground homemade vanilla wafers I had leftover in my freezer from a Thanksgiving pie crust, as well as ground black sesame seeds that I had leftover from the last time I made black sesame ice cream; other recommendations are pretzels, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, ground coffee (2 1/2 teaspoons is the recommended measurement for ground coffee), old-fashioned rolled oats, but feel free to experiment

Combine the butter, and sugars in the bowl f a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips and any other mix-ins except for potato chips and pretzels, and mix just until incorporated.  Add the potato chips and pretzels (if using) and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated.  Be careful not to overmix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips.

Portion out the dough in approximately 1/3 cup measurements onto a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet.  Pat the tops of the cookie dough flat.  Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week.  Do not bake your cookies from room temperature as they will not bake properly.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 18 minutes.  The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread.  After 18 minutes they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center.  Give them an extra minute or so if that is not the case.

Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheets before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage.  At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Happy Easter from Baxter & Main!

Today I bring you a very simple (and delicious, duh) sugar cookie recipe.  This recipe came from my mom’s friend Judy and my mom has been making it for years much to the delight of any small child who is lucky enough to sample the results.  (Grown-ups enjoy them too.)

The ingredients are few and there is not much sugar in the cookie itself (the frosting is another story…) but they are soft and light and they have a hint of nutmeg in them which is a nice touch.  In short, they are delightful.

And better yet they can be easily rolled out and cut into all sorts of fun shapes!  I accidentally bought Easter-shaped “pancake molds” thinking they would be the same as cookie cutters but they are made of silicone and flimsy so some of my bunnies came out crooked and had wonky ears but they tasted just great and that is all that matters.  Happy Easter!

Judy’s Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Cream butter and sugar in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or handheld mixer; add eggs & vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add to mix.

Roll dough out, cut into shapes and bake at 425 degree oven for 7 minutes.

Simple Frosting for Sugar Cookies

  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, add more to thicken

Mix all ingredients in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or use handheld mixer on low until combined.  Stir in food coloring if desired.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Baxter & Main

I made heart-shaped gingersnaps for you!  Heart-shaped!  Isn’t that precious?

Even if you’re not so much a fan of this holiday I feel fairly certain you will be a fan of these cookies.  They are chewy and they kind of stick to the roof of your mouth a little bit, but in a good way.   A nice antidote to all of the overly sugary treats that seem to be ever-present on this holiday.  Enjoy!

Aunt Big’s Gingersnaps (from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman)

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 3 ½ cups (about 1 pound) all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Use an electric mixer to cream the butter, sugar, and molasses until smooth.  Mix the baking soda with 2 tablespoons hot water and beat into this mixture.

Mix together the flour, spices, and salt in a bowl; stir them into the butter mixture and beat well.  Shape into 2 long rolls, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the cookies as thinly as you can, place ungreased baking sheets, and bake about 10 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.  Remove from sheet when still warm and cool on a rack.  Store in a covered container at room temperature for several days.

If you wish to roll out the dough and use cookie cutters as I have here, take dough out of refrigerator 15 minutes before beginning to work.  Roll out thinly on wax paper using a rolling pin and cut shapes with desired cookie cutters.

get along little cowgirl

I’m a big fan of cookies that have the kitchen sink in them– you know, chocolate chips, marshmallows, peanut butter, pretzels, cornflakes– the more the merrier.  One of my favorite cookies from a bakery in New York even has potato chips in it.  Craziness.  So over the weekend when I was looking through cookbooks and found a recipe for Cowboy Cookies I felt like I hit the jackpot.  Better yet I found it in a cookbook that my aunt put together of my grandma’s recipes and there’s a funny photo of my grandma looking very uncomfortable on a horse next to the recipe.  So that settled it.

You start with a basic cookie dough recipe and then add oatmeal:

Chocolate chunks:

Toffee chips:

These are the mix-ins I chose, but this is a recipe you can get creative with.  Next time I think I’m going to add crushed pretzels, dark chocolate chips, and candied bacon.  Oh yes, I said bacon.

In honor of my grandma I’ve decided to re-name this cookie the Cowgirl Cookie.  Giddyup.

Cowgirl Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)
  • 1 package toffee pieces, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Cream butter and sugars in mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add eggs and beat until incorporated.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add vanilla.  Beat for 5 seconds.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder and beat until incorporated. 

Stir in oatmeal, chocolate chunks, and toffee pieces.  (Note: you could experiment with a variety of mix-ins.  Butterscotch chips, pretzel pieces, and peanut butter chips would all be great.  Go crazy!)

Put spoonfuls of dough on parchment paper-lined sheets.  Bake for 11 to 13 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

twist on a classic

This may look like your standard, run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookie but it is not.  Oh no.  In a belated nod to Cinco de Mayo I decided to make Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies.  What makes them Mexican, you ask?  Cinnamon and a touch of black pepper.

The cinnamon and pepper add a nice touch of spiciness.

As they might say in Mexico: delicioso!

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies (from

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla. Sift next 6 ingredients over butter mixture; beat just until blended. Mix in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake cookies until golden brown but still soft to touch, about 10 minutes (for crisper cookies, bake 12 minutes). Let stand on sheets 3 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.