Chocolate Compost Cookies, Gluten Free

Chocolate Compost Cookies, gluten-free

They aren’t very pretty, these compost cookies.  And they’re divisive. People either love them or hate them. Ever since I caught a glimpse of the cookie and the recipe in the Momofuku Milk Bar book I was curious. Not curious enough to make them right away. But curious enough to follow their reviews on the internet. 

Growing up,  I watched my brothers make compost heaps out of bowls of cereal, sandwiches and bowls of ice cream. This was nothing new. But still, the concept of the cookie was intriguing. And I filed it in my brain in that place that seems to lose the files at a rate of all of them every day (read: I’m over 40).

But one day rather recently, in a mood that can only be explained as a mood, I found the remains of a bag of potato chips and some chocolate bits (chips) in the cupboard and a small tub of buckeye filling in the freezer. I was going to just toss them all out but then the compost thing flashed.

I gathered all my unusual suspects and lined them up wondering what kind of cookie this would actually make. Foraging in the refrigerator, I found a remnant of cream cheese, a dollop of mayonnaise left in a huge jar, and a small amount of white chocolate chips. It was a free-for-all. If there’d been pretzels, or M&Ms or even mini marshmallows lurking, those would get have gotten tossed into the pile, too.

They aren’t exactly the Momofuku Compost Cookies, but those were certainly the inspiration. These are chocolate, gluten-free and have a slightly different cookie base. And they are quite the homely little cookie.

The base cookie recipe is straightforward – and the compost or kitchen sink additions are listed separately. Feel free to use your own wild imagination and add your own custom ingredients. Baking them in a muffin pan helps them keep a nice shape, though they may puff up slightly from the baking powder addition – which is there to give them a little lift because otherwise they’d be pretty dense.

The trick to these is what I always recommend (and so does Christina Tosi, the author of the original recipe) which is to chill the dough for a day or so before baking for the best flavor. Also, I found that this gluten-free version taste best the 2nd day after baking, so they’re great to make ahead of time. The potato chips will be soft on the day you bake them but the next day (if it isn’t 99% humidity outside) they will be crispy again. Changes the texture of the cookie.

If you want an unusual cookie, this would be it. And it’s a great way to use up the remains of the day(s) – which makes it a win. No waste, kitchen sink cookies – made my day but made Mr. Canteen reach for an apple.

Ugly, but really good. With chocolate.

Chocolate Compost Cookies, gluten-free

Chocolate Compost Cookies, Gluten Free
These are similar to, but different from the Momofuku Compost Cookies. They were inspired by them and the concept of including the remains of the pantry cupboard. I like that these are a deep dark chocolate cookie base which seems to suit the additions. Please feel free to use whatever lurks in your cupboard. The most important thing to remember is to let the dough chill and rest for a few days before baking for best flavor. And that these cookies taste the best a day or two after baking - the flavors blend better, and the potato chips became crispy again. The miracle of science takes on the kitchen sink. Whatever. It works.
Basic Chocolate Cookie
  • 130 grams Canteen Flour Mix (1 cup)
  • 150 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 50 grams unsweetened cocoa, sifted (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, slightly softened (8 tablespoons, ½ cup)
  • 115 grams cream cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 30 grams mayonnaise (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 extra large eggs
Compost or Kitchen Sink Additions
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter or buckeye dough
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee beans (not instant)
  • ½ lemon zested
  • 120 grams mini semisweet chocolate chips (2/3 cup)
  • 60 grams crushed (coarse) potato chips (1 cup)
  • 85 grams heath bar chips (1/2 cup)
  • 90 grams white chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl beat together butter, cream cheese mayonnaise until blended. Add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and beat until mixture is blended.
  2. To the batter add in peanut butter, ground coffee and lemon zest. Fold in remaining ingredients just until blended but don't over work the batter. Scoop one tablespoon sized portions onto a sheet of plastic wrap on a plate. Cover and refrigerate overnight and two days is even better.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cupcake pan (24-count). Place cold dough balls in the cupcake tin and bake immediately for 12-14 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the pan and use a small offset spatula or paring knife to loosen an edge to remove cookies - they should pop right out. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. These taste best on day 2. The potato chips will get crisper and the flavors will blend.
  4. Note: Canteen flour mix is 2 parts brown to one part each white and tapioca, by weight.