In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

Momofuku Style Compost Cookies : Recipe


A few weeks ago we got together for a feast of Momofuku themed dinner party.  Master baker Anne brought along some “Compost Cookies” from David Chang’s Milk Bar restaurant.   They were chewy and crunchie and salty and sweet and very very moorish.  I was stuffed full of pork, and there was “Crack Pie” to follow, but I couldn’t resist the cookies.

A bit of research under my belt, and a takeaway cup full of used coffee grounds from my favourite cafe to hand, I set about to bake some delicious treats.

I have adapted the recipe given by creator Christine Tosi on American TV recently.

It seems that most bloggers have omitted the used coffee grounds from the recipe, and so did Christina Tosi in the version of the recipe posted online.  I know it’s not unusual for published chef recipes of to omit something small from a recipe that will affect the flavour profile; but leaving out something so well know seems really strange.  Perhaps I’m just plain adventurous, but I think it makes a small but significant difference to the flavour.

I took them to work and bribed the boss, and a whole bunch of  the blokes in the office.  Even got my favourite barista on-side (compensation for providing the used coffee grounds).  I was upfront about the ingredients, and no-one thought they would be disgusting.  So perhaps my office is full of adventurous people too?  I do think they are a “blokey” biscuit, the savoury, crunchy flavour suits the men-folk.  I didn’t like my version as much as I liked Anne’s, I think I will try a different mix of “bits” next time.

So .. here’s the recipe.

Cream together:

225g (1 cup) butter

220 (1 cup) grams granulated (white) sugar

160 g (¾ cup) demerera sugar  (or light brown sugar – see note below)

1 tablespoon corn syrup

(I used the Kitchenaid, with the paddle attachment, cream for about 3 mins)

Add 2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

2 tablespoons of used coffee grounds

Mix on slow/medium until combined, then increase speed and beat for 10 mins.  Mic will be white and smooth and very airy.


Sift together the dry ingredients.

260 g (1¾ cups) plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons salt

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold through the dry ingredients.  You don’t want to overmix it.

Now for the fun!

Add 1½ cups cut,crushed or crumbled “sweet things”

AND 1½ cups cut, crushed or crumbled “savoury things”

I used Twix Pods and Peanut M&Ms for sweet, Pretzels, Doritos and Clix crackers for savoury.

Using a small icecream scoop (about 3cm across), or a teaspoon to divide into small mounds.

Pop these into the fridge for 30 mins, and leave them there while you preheat the oven to 190º

Place cookie “mounds” widely spaced on a silicon paper lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 15 mins. These will spread a lot so leave lots of space.

Bake for 9 mins, until bubbly and spread to about 7cm diamieter and lightly golden brown.

Leave them to cool for 2 – 3 mins before carefully transferring to a wire rack.  They will be quite soft for a while.

Makes about 60 cookies.

So, next time, I will add chocolate bits, and NOT coloured M&Ms, possibly a few bits of oat, and salty chips instead of the crackers.

The recipes I looked at called for Light Brown Sugar, but I only had dark, and had a packet of Demerera, so I substituted.   I think the light brown would be better.

I would love to hunt out butterscotch chips as well, so if you know where to get some, please let me know.

The coffee is definitely a must! It adds a base note to the flavour and a very subtle coffee aroma.


8 thoughts on “Momofuku Style Compost Cookies : Recipe

  • The pad thai version sounds ace. I was considering pork floss for mine, but wasn’t brave enough on the first attempt.. ikan bilis would be good.

    For mine, I had some Kellogg’s K, clinkers (chopped up), Mars Bar (chopped), Oreos, Twisties, “Lanka” mix (spicy Indian snack – we usually call it sev, I think) and wasabi peas.

    A vegemite version would be amazing – maybe you’d have to spread vegemite on bread and dry it out in the oven for a bit first, though.

    Comment from: Injera

  • Pad thai version: fried noodles (rice sticks to be totes authentic, except you’d have to fry them yourself), peanuts, tamarind candies, chilli flakes, palm sugar … Would fish sauce be a step too far? Maybe some of those delicious dried anchovies ikan bilis. Oh and dried prawn floss!

    We coukd have the united nations of compost cookies! Has anyone tried a vegemite version yet?

    Comment from: Eatnik

  • The coffee grounds are such a good addition! I wasn’t so brave, though, and used two (heaped) teaspoons. You’re right about the base added by the coffee. I’m really happy with the chilli/curry kick the Lanka mix has given to mine.

    Next – getting fruit tingles into the mix!

    Comment from: Injera

  • I used Sour Cream & Onion Pringles, Twisties and rolled oats as my savoury, and Kinder Bueno, Mars & Snickers as my sweet. I think the oats help. Make them seem more wholesome, somewhat unbelievably.

    Comment from: Anne

  • Well, I liked your overall salt/sweet balance better, but yes the coffee grounds do make a difference. Depth of flavour and light crunch. The colour is due to the coffee I think (and the M&Ms – never again with the coloured shells! – what was I thinking!), the demerara sugar I used wasn’t very dark.

    Like I say – no-one batted an eyelid at work, 40 gone in a few hours. What “bits” did you use? Pringles, pretzels .. something else?

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Did the coffee grounds make a difference? Was there more depth of flavour… or more crunch? They do look a little darker than mine, but that might be the dark brown sugar.

    Anyway, they look delicious, and I’m impressed with your coffee ground bravery. I’m definitely going to have to try that.

    Comment from: Anne

  • Well that is a vote of confidence if I ever I read one. Perhaps Compost Cookies (and Crack pie) should be banned? Too tempting. I’m doing the cherry choc cookies next.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Okay, I’m stuffed full of sour cherry chocolate biscuits (that I’m supposed to be taking to work for morning tea), chicken and bacon sausage rolls (ditto) and dan dan noodles (the official dinner tonight – complete with David Chang’s 45 minute boiled egg)… but I still want these!. If Foodworks was still open, and I didn’t have to get up tomorrow morning, I’d be hitting the confectionery aisle for sure.

    Will try making them this weekend…

    Comment from: Injera

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