Saturday, October 22, 2011

Momofuku Milk Bar’s Incredible Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies

I generally don’t buy cookies – store- or bakery-bought ones almost always disappoint me, as homemade ones are so much better. Unless, of course, you are talking about cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar, where baking genius Christine Tosi whips up some pretty amazing treats. She has developed a 

cult following for her desserts – particularly her Crack Pie – and is now sharing her recipes in a new book. Momofuku Milk Bar (Clarkson Potter, 2011; $35) is a collection of recipes for the bakery’s favorite items, from savory to sweet. The book includes recipes for Momofuku classics such 

as the addictive Crack Pie, Compost Cookie, Cereal Milk Ice Cream and Kimchi and Blue Cheese Croissants. Christine Tosi’s road to baking fame began several years ago when Momofuku founder David Chang asked her to make a dessert for service at Ssäm Bar one night. 

Just like that, the pastry program at Momofuku was born, and Christina’s lighthearted desserts helped Ssäm Bar earn three stars from the New York Times and Ko two stars from the Michelin Guide. Soon enough, Christina and company opened their own bakery, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

One of my personal favorites among the Milk Bar repertoire is Tosi’s Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies, which are big, moist, really chocolaty and a bit salty. Like her Crack Pie, they are very addictive.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar (Clarkson Potter, 2011)
Makes 16 cookies

Chocolate Crumbs
6 tablespoons (52 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (2 g) cornstarch
¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (32 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
½ teaspoon (2 g) kosher salt on
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted

16 tablespoons (225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (100 g) glucose or light corn syrup
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon (1 g) vanilla extract     
2 ounces (60 g)          55% chocolate, melted
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons  (200 g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups (100 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
¾ teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1.5 g) baking soda      
1 ¾ teaspoons (7 g) kosher salt

Make the Chocolate Crumbs:
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until mixed.
3. Add the butter and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
4. Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will dry and harden as they cool.
5. Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or eating. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

Make the cookies:
6. Combine the butter, sugar, and glucose in the bowl of 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, vanilla, and melted chocolate, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
7. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
8. Still on low speed, add the chocolate crumbs and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
9. Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1⁄4-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes 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—they will not bake properly.
10. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
11. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. (I put 6 dough discs on a sheet at one time.) Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. It’s tough (kind of impossible) to gauge if a cookie that is this dark with chocolate is done. If after 18 minutes, the cookies still seem doughy in the center, give them another 1 minute in the oven, but not more. 
12. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.