These famous Compost Cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar are loaded with everything but the kitchen sink… perfect for those who love the sweet and salty combo!
If you’ve heard about Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC, then you’ve likely heard about some of their staple recipes, like crack pie, their birthday layer cake, and these compost cookies.
These cookies are in the vein of “everything but the kitchen sink” type of recipe. It’s the perfect cookie for using up leftover ingredients that are hanging around your pantry. I’m talking oats, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coffee, pretzels and even potato chips! I know it sounds absolutely crazy, and I was totally skeptical before I made them, but they just work.
A few years ago, I would have never entertained the notion of chocolate being combined with potato chips. Then, my husband and I went on a tour of the UTZ potato chip factory and, after a visit to their store, came home with chocolate-covered potato chips. I was surprised that I actually liked them; I truly thought that they would be repulsive, but it’s that whole sweet/salty combination that kills me each and every time.
(Since then I made my own chocolate-covered potato chips, which are obviously to-die-for!)
As with most Milk Bar recipes, this one requires following the mixing technique precisely and also includes some very specific ingredients, which I’ve linked to below. Christina Tosi uses glucose in many of her recipes, and you can find it on Amazon, but light corn syrup can be used as a substitute.
You can certainly adapt these cookies based on what mix-ins you have in your pantry and your personal taste preferences. What would you throw in a “kitchen sink” cookie?
If you’ve been to Momofuku Milk Bar, what are some of your favorite things on the menu?
(You know that graham crumb mixture used in these cookies? It inspired me to whip up a fantastic summer-themed Milk Bar layer cake that I’ll be sharing tomorrow!)
One year ago: Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake
Five years ago: Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sandwiches
Six years ago: Blueberry Muffins
For the Graham Crumb Mixture
- ⅓ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon milk powder
- 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
For the Cookies
- 1⅓ cups bread flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons glucose
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup mini butterscotch chips
- Prepared graham mixture
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2½ teaspoons ground coffee
- 2 cups potato chips
- 1 cup mini pretzels
- Prepare Graham Mixture: In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt. Whisk together the butter and heavy cream, then add to the dry ingredients. Toss with a fork until the mixture is evenly moistened; set aside.
- Prepare the Cookie Dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- Combine the butter, both sugars and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and continue to beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. 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, butterscotch chips, graham mixture, oats and coffee, and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels and again, mix only until barely incorporated, 15 to 20 seconds.
- Using a 2¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-cup measuring cup), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. 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.
- Bake the Cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans (should be about 6 cookies per sheet).
- 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's not the case.
- Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before serving or storing. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.
- You can substitute 1 tablespoon light corn syrup for the glucose.
- Do not use instant coffee or espresso powder in place of the ground coffee, as it will dissolve into the cookies, which it is not intended to do.
- Pretzel recommendation: Snyders mini pretzels.
- Potato chips recommendation: Cape Cod potato chips.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This recipe was originally published on October 22, 2013.
I usually make cookies from milk bar once a year to give as x-mass gifts. The recipes for their cookies are very time consuming to say the least. I think everyone that is having issues with the cookies spreading should look into either a muffin top pan or english muffin rings. It will save you alot of heartache after investing all your time and energy into making these. I use both, I grease and flour them first. I do use a digital scale and weigh each to 3 oz . Bake at 350 / 11-13 minutes or you can use a digital thermapen if you are unsure when to take them out..
After reading all of the comments about “too much spreading” during baking I decided to toss the dough in a jelly roll pan and bake it as bars instead of individual cookies. Add 6 to 8 minutes of baking time depending on your pan/oven etc. These are FOOD PORN!!!
Although the cookies came out thin and crispy, they did not disappoint. I will make these again and again. Our family could not get enough of these. I did t use Cape Cod Kettle Chips as is suggested. I will next time. I used Utz and they are not as thick.
These have become my absolute favorite cookies ever. However I am late to the game- I’ve just found them and am in love! I didn’t care for the butterscotch and just added more chocolate chips- got toffee bits for next time! Love these!
I first made these by precisely following Christina Tosi’s recipe. Result? Tasty but hard and flat. I had the same result when using the recipe above. I have experimented with the recipe a few times and have found a formula that results in a tasty, chewy, and thicker cookie that looks like the cookies in the photos above we all hope for. I did the following:
1. Used whole wheat flour (increased cookie density and reduced spreading)
2. Used regular-sized chocolate and butterscotch chips (I consider mini-sized to be a personal preference)
3. Used instant coffee grounds (Dissolves in cookie? Yes. Ruins cookie? Nope)
4. Used regular table salt
5. Used thick-style potato chips and pretzel snaps (pretzel looks like a tic tac toe grid)
6. Used non-fat milk powder
7. Original recipe calls for 1/4 cup heavy cream. I substituted that for 2 Tbsp real maple syrup (reduces water content and also adds to the sweetness)
8. Used light corn syrup
I followed the directions above with some exceptions:
– I did not chill the dough prior to baking. The ingredients I used result in a dough that does not need to be thickened via refrigeration. Besides that, refrigeration nullifies the chemical reaction of the leavening agents.
– I reduced the cookie size by substituting the 1/3 cup measuring scoop for a 1/4 cup scoop.
– I reduced oven temperature to 350 degrees to account for the maple syrup which may brown the cookie too quickly at higher temperatures.
– I baked the cookies for 14 minutes which resulted in slightly browned edges and a chewy center. Baking time may vary depending on your oven and baking sheet, but you simply watch for the edges to brown before removing the tray from the oven.
Hope that helps. Happy baking!
Made these cookies with a slight variation on the mix ins and turned out perfect i did end up baking at 350 for 18 minutes and they were perfect. My suggestion to anyone that are having issues with the cookies spreading it to make sure you use bread flour and make your cookies big enough. I have a regular size cookie scoop so i doubled them up to make these cookies which came out very large only 6 per cookie sheet and to use parchment not silicon baking mats for these cookies. I also omitted the milk powder and heavy cream in the gram mix because i didn’t have any and just used regular milk and butter.
I also made these and completely flat and crisp. I like them but expected something a bit thicker. I actually put them in the fridge overnight too. I’m thinking of putting more flour in?
I tasted some raw cookie dough and was so excited because I thought these were going to be the bomb!! Chilled the dough and followed the recipe exactly… but the first pan spread super thin and were dark brown, crunchy texture. Next tray was similar at less baking time but not as bad. Third tray was the best at 350 and only about 14 min. But I still feel that they spread too much. Any tips out there? More flour? Would love to make these again if I knew how to improve the end results!
made them and good BUT 18 min definitely too long cook time more like 10 or 12 minutes with a modern oven, they spread way out paper thin so I think nextime I’ll add half a cup of oats and half a cup of flour to get them a wee bit thicker and chewier maybe half a cup more sugar. Christina Tosi’s seem thicker and chewier…. what do you think?
Hi! I just made these cookies, and they came out perfectly! I had tried compost cookie recipes from other sites, but they never turned out as they should. My question is…how did you get more than one cookie sheet in your refrigerator at a time? You must have a large fridge.. I had to do mine a bit differently..scooping the cold cookie dough instead of having the mounds on a cold cookie sheet. Thank you!
Too much butter I think, spread out all over the place Look like lace cookies, added more flower & chilled 2 hrs, no different. Cooked in 14 min. Too hot – too long – too much butter ??
love these cookies, tho 1/3 of a cup of dough is far too big in my opinion. i halved that amount and just kept my eyes on them near the end so they wouldn’t burn.
Do you transfer refrigerated cookie dough onto a room temperature cookie sheet before baking or put the cold sheet from the fridge directly into the oven?
Hi Cathy, I put the cold sheet from the fridge right into the oven. Enjoy!
Hmmm. I followed the recipe and mine spread out and burned on the edges.
Hi Cyndy, Do you have an oven thermometer? It’s important the oven temperature is correct. Did you pat them down too much maybe? Did you chill them for at least 1 hour?
Hello I just made a batch and followed directions and they spread out horrible! What did I do wrong ??
Hi Doris, They do spread when they bake, but if they spread too much, try chilling the dough for a longer period of time.
I made these today. Used a scale and did 2 ounce cookies. Barely flattened and refrigerated for almost 2 hours. Still spread out like a lace cookie. Not sure what else could of been done. I also found 375 way too hot especially for 18 minutes. So turned oven down to 350 and baked for 12 minutes. Came out flat but not burnt. They are very tasty that is for sure. But I think I just prefer a more formed cookie
These are awesome. Made a batch and my family loved them so much that I’ve made them 3x over and now keep the dough frozen for whenever someone wants it! I follow the recipe pretty exactly, but was hesitant to buy the glucose. Ended up using Aunt Jemima maple flavored syrup instead (which is pretty much just made of corn syrup) because I had it at home and it turned out great!
Thanks for the recipe!
The sides of my cookies burned quickly at only 10 mins, do you have any suggestions? Yours look very consistently baked! looks awesome!
Hi Makis, Did you chill them? Also, do you have an oven thermometer to ensure your oven isn’t running hot? (Mine runs 75 degrees hotter than the dial so I have to compensate every time I set the temperature!)
I chilled it in the fridge, not the freezer~ which one should it be? only the sides are burnt, minus those it tastes so delicious! I’ll use an oven thermometer next time.
Yes, the fridge is how you should chill them. I’m glad you still enjoyed the cookies!
Awesome cookies! I will try one……..
My favorite from Milk Bar are the corn cookies and the blueberries and cream cookies.
Ahh ha! So this is wha the picture was in your post yesterday. Never would I have guessed it was cookie dough. And never would I have ever thought to use ground coffee in a cookie recipe. But I suppose if one can eat chocolate covered coffee beans, ground coffee beans in a recipe with chocolate would work. Normally I do not keep potato chips stocked in my kitchen (that’s just way too dangerous for me), but grabbing a bag on the next grocery run might be what I do so that I can make these cookies.
What would I throw into a ‘kitchen sink’ cookie? Perhaps a bit of crunchy (rather than smooth) peanut butter. Perhaps some raisins since there is oatmeal in this recipe, and then maybe a bit of cinnamon, clove, & nutmeg?
These look really good. My only question is whether or not the coffee grounds would be gritty in the cookies? The flavors sound really good together.
Hi Ed, Not gritty at all!
Is your ground coffee same as instant coffee?
Hi Dianne, No, I used actual ground coffee beans, not instant.
I tried making these and followed your recipe. The cookies flattened out and were crisp. They didn’t look anything like your cookies. Any suggestions for what I did wrong? (I even made sure I bought King Arthur Bread Flour and timed myself so I didn’t over mix.)
I made these this weekend and I didn’t think that the graham cracker crust dough added much flavor. I think I’d omit that next time. Also, I added a tad bit of flour and walnuts to give them more body. They were great!
These sound amazing can’t wait to make them! I have a question about the milk powder….how important is that to the recipe? I have never used milk powder for anything before, and I hesitate to buy a container just to use a spoonful. Had anyone omitted the milk powder in this recipe? How’d the cookies turnout?
BTW – love your web site and the Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter icing…one of my all time fav cookies!! :-)
Hi Sharon, I would say definitely give the milk powder a go! I have a bunch of recipes that I’ve used it in – sweets, as well as breads. I have not omitted it in this particular recipe, so I can’t say how it would turn out.
I just mad a batch of these with milk chocolate chips instead of butterscotch—they are really good. I never would have thought to put potato chips in a cookie. Love It!
I’ve never been to Momofuku but between my cookbook and ordering directly from the bakery, I am totally obsessed. The crack pie, corn cookies, confetti cookies, and pb cookies are awesome. I have recipes for the latter two on my blog. Those are by far the best pb cookies I’ve ever had. Hope you try them!
Yum! Have you tried the ones with the cornflakes and the marshmallows? Mine did not turn out right, the batter tasted AMAZING but the cookies fell apart/melted completely in the oven..
hi! my husband was in NYC recently and brought me back a BUNCH of momofuku treats. now, i LOVE chocolate chip cookies and most of their variations, but the cookie i enjoyed most from my prize bag was their corn cookie. the sweet corn milk flavor was so Right On. i’m glad you had success with these cookies. from reading a lot of the online responses to their recipes, i was also hesitant at trying any of them. and i’m with you on the butterscotch flavor. i like the chips, but as a subtle, background flavor. they easily overpower other yummy flavors with their crazy, over-the-top sweetness.
I love these cookies! Momofuko is definitely very high on my list of restaurants/bakeries to visit!
Good morning. I have a quick question, do I actually make the coffee or do I add the ground coffee to the dough? Little confused:) thanks
Hi Sharon, My apologies for the confusion; ground coffee (not brewed grounds).
i am about to make these…my sil loves them didnt know milk bar has recipes
my question is about milk powder? can i just use powered milk from the grocery store? that is all i have so i guess i am going to use it but would love to know if there is a difference or what milk powder is?
I have whole milk powder from King Arthur Flour that I used, but I think dry milk powder from the grocery store would be just fine.
thanks michelle..did use the supermarket powdered milk…they are yummy but like jennifers mine were a little browner and needed less time.. i think my cookies were smaller to begin with perhaps? anyways they looked fine and tasted great…just didnt look like yours
These cookies are amazing! The cereal milk ice cream is by far the best item on the momofuko milk bar menu! If you ever go to New York you should definitely also try the momofuko noodle bar.. Their ramen is a must try!
Need help. Just made these and mine look nothing like the picture. The cookies have spread all over the place and began to brown immediately. I have had to pull them after between 12 – 13 minutes in order to not burn them. What is the reason for this? They taste great, but are not pretty enough to serve.
Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry you had some trouble with the cookies. Did you follow the mixing and chilling instructions exactly? Are you sure that your oven temperature is correct by using an oven thermometer?
I have searched all over the web and have read everything I could find in these cookies. Apparently this is not an uncommon problem (see momofuko book reviews). One person suggested replacing all purpose flour with cake flour. What do you think? I do know that my over runs hot. This has never happened to me before. I bake a lot. Another reviewer suggested that the butter is the problem. They reduced it by 1/4. Any advice would be helpful.
Hi Jennifer, The recipe actually calls for bread flour, not all-purpose flour. Did you use bread flour? It has more protein and gluten, which creates a sturdier baked good; this could have been the problem. I think cake flour (which is even finer) could exacerbate the problem.
Thanks. Meant bread flour. Sorry for confusion. When made first batch was looking directly at Momofuku’s recipe on the Milk Bar website. Doesn’t specify type of flour. Remaking right now with bread flour. Hope the fix is this simple. Will let you know.
You’re welcome! It’s not particularly clear. The recipe in the cookbook just says “flour”, but if you read through the lengthy section at the beginning of the book about the ingredients they use, they specify that they use bread flour for all of their cookie recipes. Incidentally, in the recipes it also just says “butter”, but in the ingredients section, they specify only unsalted butter.
I had the same problem as Jennifer until I read Michelle your comments about bread flout, so glad for your help. Just made these cookies again and they didn’t spread like before. However, they still spread a bit, maybe my oven temp. Thanks a million.
I had the same thing happen here tonight when I baked a batch. I did use ap flour and not bread flour. I’ll try again using the bread flour and perhaps hold back on the butter a bit too. Hopefully the next batch will be better. My cookies tasted good but they looked horrible…very thin and brown, some you could almost see through!
Made them again tonight with a little less butter and this time used the bread flour. They’ve turned out perfectly. Great recipe!
Hi, I have the Momo cookbook and have made the corn and compost cookies many times, actually forgetting to use bread flour. They come out perfectly. Will be interesting to make them with bread flour next time to see the difference. I bake them 14 minutes, 18 minutes way too long for my oven.
Oh, chocolate-covered potato chips are AWESOME! I had them for the first time at Old Kentucky Chocolates here in Lexington. They also have chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats. SOOOOO good. If you can cover it in chocolate, they’ve tried it and perfected it. :)
For the potato chips and pretzels, are you measuring them crushed or whole?
Hi Tracy, Whole, you should not crush them.
Hi BEB! I have recently discovered your website, I am enjoying reading it very much, it has great info! I hope we can begin to exchange some ideas! Thank you.
I used a lot of the same things in my cookies and called them kitchen sink cookies. The potato chips in them with chocolate anything and caramel were the bomb! Yours sounds ah-mazing!
I ave been there and st a great little shop. You have to wait on line but sooo worth it. These cookies are amazing. I bought the cookbook ad well, but have yet to make anything from it. It’s intimidating. Lol.
These look great! Thanks for sharing :)
I love the salty sweetness of these!
I love Milkbar!! My favorite cookie is the corn cookie, but the compost one is great too! Yours look amazing!
I have made these before and they are so much fun. I put pretzels, popcorn, chocolate, and nuts in them (and if I remember correctly they basically collapsed on themselves because the dough wasn’t strong enough for all the add-ins…lesson learned!). They sound repulsive but taste absolutely amazing!
I tried chocolate covered edamame today and they were pretty awesome, so maybe those!
These sound AMAZING!! Definitely a MUST try!!
Over the years I have adapted a basic Chocolate Chip cookie recipe to include oats, corn flakes, coconut, nuts, espresso powder and dark chocolate chips. The result is fabulous and has become a family favorite – a variation on the Ranger Cookie. It’s everything I love in a cookie. The corn flakes make them especially crunchy but no one can ever identify that particular ingredient. I’ve never put butterscotch morsels in them, but I may try that the next time I make them. I’m like you – I don’t like to be overwhelmed by butterscotch.
These sound so unique with graham crumbs an all that salty goodness with the sweet. This is compost that I need in my life!
Do you use grounds from coffee you already made, or fresh coffee grounds?!?!?!
My question too!
Hi Lisa, Fresh coffee grounds.
I entered a very similar cookie (minus the graham mixture and the coffee) in last year’s State Fair of Texas and won second place. Now I want to make these with the graham! Thanks for sharing.
I made these cookies too…blogged about it here: (http://justcrumbs.weebly.com/1/post/2013/03/momofukus-milk-bar-compost-cookie.html
My daughter and I went to New York for her graduation and, both being foodies, we visited The Milk Bar. I was surprised how tiny it was! We had the cereal milk ice cream (great idea…you can totally taste the cereal milk!), the compost cookies and the crack pie. All were great!
These cookies are really good…I’ve gotten great reviews!
I loveee Momofuku Milk Bar, it’s one of my favorite places to visit. The crack pie is seriously addicting and their cereal milk soft serve has such a unique flavor, and it’s perfectly delicious. I really like their cookies too, although I find that they’re a bit on the large size; after finishing a compost cookie I feel like I need a huge glass of water and a nap! Aside from that, I love everything about Momofuku Milk Bar. These cookies look perfect!
I love their compost cookies! I took a few classes at Milk last summer with Tosi and we made a bunch of cookie recipes. Though my favorite thing to get there is the candy bar pie, it’s so good!
check out the above link…i have been baking these for years now & they are wonderful!
love your site & all your baking skills & recipes!!
I’m drooling! What a fab cookie! I wouldn’t mind these in my lunches!
This is great! Just further proof that pretty much anything stuffed inside cookie dough is bound to be addictive :)
Their Blueberries & Cream cookies and peanut butter cookies are outstanding. The Cereal Milk Soft-Serve Ice Cream is so good and the Bagel Bombs are delicious.
I’ve made Bagel Bombs and the filling comes out when baking or not enough of it remains inside. I have the recipe 4 the blueberry cookies and can’t wait to make them.
Glad U liked the Compost Cookies but I wouldn’t delete all the coffee from the recipe. It is essential and so is the butterscotch. They aren’t as good without.
I make these fairly often. The dough can be made and refrigerated in a log and u can have cookies any time. My best friend thinks that mine are better than Momofuku’s. I brought her some from a Milk Bar last year and she thought theirs had too much coffee in them that took away from the flavors of the other mix-ins. I agreed.
have been there and tasted hers …thanks , now i can make them too
I love a good “throw together” cookie like this! Awesome recipe!
I seriously love this cookie base. I have always used it when i want to highlight the add in more than cookie. So stable and crispy and chewy. It is hard to get that these days; I might just have to bake some tonight in honour of this post!
These look dreamy!
I was just hearing from someone tonight how incredible all the Momofuko places are! These cookies look excellent.
These cookies are definitely not meant for the rubbish :-) I love the combination of sweet & salty so I know I would love these. Thanks for sharing!! Xx
These sound AMAZING – the pretzels is an amazing idea xo
I made these cookies about a year and a half ago and blogged about them. I was in a group called Milkbar Mondays and we were baking our way through the book. Of all the cookies I’ve made of hers, these turned out to be the most successful (her cookies call for a ton of butter relative to the rest of the ingredients and most of us found our cookies were spreading, tons. Consistently.)
And I agree the salty and sweet thing is great and hard to not get you every time!