One of my favorite things about baking is the structure. You are presented with precisely measured ingredients that you need to combine in a pre-set sequence, and bake for a defined amount of time at an exact temperature. If you follow all that, you’ll end up with something delicious, 9.5 times out of 10.
But then, there’s structure and there’s Christina Tosi. Tosi is the owner/chef behind Momofuku Milk Bar and the creator of some of the most delicious and inventive baked goods in recent memory. She is also probably the bossiest cookbook writer I’ve ever come across. And she’s not the most relatable, either.
She says things like, “Everyone thinks they know how to mix a cookie but I disagree,” and “Don’t mess around with cocoa powder. We use Valrhona brand.” She also requires you to make your own Concord grape juice from scratch, and prohibits you from substituting some of her ingredients.
So Christina Tosi is a bit of a b… Well, let’s just say a little inflexible, even by my rule-loving standards. However, she IS the genius behind Crack Pie and Cereal Milk, so bossiness aside, she knows her stuff. And despite her being a Nazi about her 10-minute creaming method and preferred size of chocolate chips (mini ones only, and not regular sized ones, mind you), I tried making her Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies.
The cookies are crackly on the outside, and chewy and sticky from the marshmallows in the middle. In one bite, you get a hint of chocolate, the salty-milky sweetness of the cornflake, and the toasted caramel flavor from the melted marshmallows. While they are not exactly like the ones I had from the actual Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC, they sure are pretty close, and are well worth the effort required by Tosi’s finicky recipes.
Three cookies with a side of bossy, please!
Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies from Milk: The Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook
Ingredients for the Cornflake Crunch
- ½ (12-ounce) box cornflakes (about 5 cups)
- ½ cup milk powder
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 9 tbsp (130 grams) melted butter
Ingredients for the Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ tsp coarse salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 3 cups Cornflake Crunch
- 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 ¼ cups mini marshmallows
Procedure for the Cornflake Crunch
- Preheat oven to 275 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
- Place cornflakes in a medium bowl. With clean hands, crush the cereal until the flakes are about a quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar, and salt. Toss to combine. Add butter and toss to form small clusters.
- Spread cornflake mixture in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until clusters are toasted and smell buttery, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before using for the cookies.
Procedure for the Cookies
- Cream together butter and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg and vanilla and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. At this point, the butter mixture should be pale yellow with a hint of brown from the sugar, and should have doubled in volume. The mixture should also be puffy and voluminous, with soft peaks.
- Reduce speed to low and add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix just until dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- With the mixer on low, add cornflake crunch and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined, 30 to 45 seconds. Add mini marshmallows and mix until just incorporated.
- Line an air-tight plastic container with parchment paper. Using a 2 3/4-ounce ice-cream scoop or 1/4-cup measuring cup, portion dough out onto prepared container. Pat tops of cookie domes flat. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. Do not bake cookies from room temperature, or they will not hold their shape.
- Preheat oven to 375 °F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
- Arrange chilled dough at least 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown at the edges and light brown at the center. The cookies will spread, puff and crackle and that’s what you want.
- I highly recommend making a full batch of the Cornflake crunch, even if the recipe only calls for about ¾ of the recipe. You will be snacking on it so much that you will probably leave just enough for the cookies.