When I was a kid, I ate copious amounts of rice krispie treats, chocolate chip cookies, cornflake clusters and s'mores - the microwaved and campfire type (this was back when I had to do compulsory camping in high school - it was torture, except for the s'mores bit). These were the treats that would disappear quickly off the tables of bake sales, paying HK$5 for a baked treat. Those were the days.
This cookie is all my favorite school bake sale goods wrapped up in one long hyphenated name. The tag of 'Momofuku' means you should expect something special, singular and loaded with butter. This recipe definitely doesn't fail on any of those fronts.
Here's a little disclaimer: I've never been to the US. I haven't had a chance to try genuine Momofuku Milk Bar cookies as yet and it's definitely on my foodie bucket list. The fact that I am in possession of their cookbook will have to satisfy me for now. I haven't got any knowledge (or any knowledgeable tasters) to compare this cookie to so I really couldn't say whether or not these are anything like the original. (I really don't even know if these look like they're supposed to - maybe my US readers can help me out?)
What makes this cookie different is the inclusion of the cornflake crunch, which is part of Momofuku's infamous collection of crunches and crumbs. The crunch is baked separately, first, until it's crisp and cooled and sweet and sugary, then it's added to the cookie dough along with the other two shining stars of the cookie world - mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.
The cookie dough ended up very pale, almost white, and very soft, quite different to what my experience of a typical chocolate chip cookie dough looks like. I'm not at all sure if this is what the dough is meant to look like, there's a large possibility we may have creamed the butter and sugar for too long. As a result, our first batch of cookies ended up incredibly flat, like pancakes, and burnt on the bottom edges far before the baking time was up. We froze the rest of the dough and decided to finish baking it the next day, hoping that the freezer will help make a thicker cookie that's less liable to burn.
Fortunately it worked. The cookie we ended up with was still quite thin and very chewy, but it didn't burn (much). We ended up baking it at 180C for about 11 minutes only. In hindsight, the first batch probably failed because our cookie dough portions were a lot smaller than what was called for in the recipe - we scooped 1/4 cup measures of dough instead of 1/3 and still ended up with pretty big cookies.
These cookies are sweet - really sweet, and that was after dialing back the sugar almost by half. We had accidentally added in too much salt to the cornflake crunch but once in the cookie I found that it balanced out the sweetness quite nicely. Kids would probably love these cookies. I generally prefer thicker, fluffier cookies, but I enjoyed these despite the fact it's the thin and chewy sort because it reminded me so much of the sweet junk food I
used to eat. I'm still a kid at heart.
I hope you'll try these - they're a bit more effort than your regular chocolate chip cookie, but I think they're worth it. Or of course, if you live in New York, you can just pick one up from Momofuku - and then perhaps pick up an extra one and mail it to me. I'm just kidding... sort of.
Momofuku Milk Bar's Cornflake-Chocolate-Chip-Marshmallow Cookies
Adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook
Makes about 30 (medium-sized) cookies
Note: As said above, these cookies are really sweet. We cut the sugar content quite a bit. I've also slightly adjusted the baking temperature because our cookies tended to burn at 190C - but that may just be a mistake on our part, so go with your guts. Also, the cornflake crunch in the recipe is meant to have made about 4 cups, but for some reason we only ended up with a little more than 3, so we just threw it all in the dough. Can't have too much of a good thing!
For the Cookies
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar (originally: 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup brown sugar (originally: 2/3 cup)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt (coarse salt)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 cups cornflake crunch (recipe below)
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
Make the cornflake crunch, and set it aside to cool. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugars with an electric mixer until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes on high. Add egg and vanilla and beat for 7-8 minutes.
With the mixer speed on low, add flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix until the dough just comes together. Add the cornflake crunch and chocolate chips, mixing until just combined. Finally, stir in the marshmallows.
Using a 1/4 cup measure (use 1/3 cup if you like bigger cookies), scoop out portions of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Squish the tops of each cookie dough slightly so they're flat. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour (up to 1 week). Alternatively, put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Just make sure you don't bake the cookies at room temperature because they won't hold their shape.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 180C/360F. Arrange the chilled cookie dough portions at least 3 inches apart on a baking sheet and bake for 11-14 minutes, or until puffed, cracked, spread and browned at the edges. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Cornflake Crunch
5 cups (12 oz) regular cornflakes
1/2 cup milk powder
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
9 tbsp (127g) butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 135C/275F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Put cornflakes into a bowl and, using your hands, crush them up, leaving some big pieces and some crumbs. Stir in the milk powder, sugar and salt. Add butter and toss everything together.
Spread the cornflakes in an even layer on the baking sheet and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes (note: this took us a lot longer, closer to 40 minutes), or until clusters have formed and the cornflakes are toasted and crunchy. Remove and let cool.