Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were wild and wonderful like ours. I am, as usual, suffering from the post-holiday hangover and have spent the week attempting to scarf down as many veggies as possible/avoid opening a new bottle of wine nightly. The veggies I’ve mastered. The wine? No comment.
Let’s get back in the swing today with a quick cookbook review and recipe. A few weeks back, I receivedMilk by Christina Tosi as a graduation present from my brilliant mother-in-law.
For those unfamiliar, Christina Tosi is the mastermind behind Momofuku Milk Bar, the bakery offshoot of David Chang’s Momofuku restaurant in New York City. She has become infamous for her retro-chic, yet inventive child-at-heart recipes including crack pie, cake truffles, compost cookies, among others.
Other than the bangin’ recipes (and the fact that Christina is a Virginia girl), there are two things that I really adore about this cookbook:
1) Essays: Christina scatters her insights into restaurant life and stories of her childhood throughout the book. They add such depth and personality that is all-too-rare in cookbook land. Milk is cookbook meets mini-memoir.
2) Weight & Volume Measurements: Weight measurements are the preferred choice of professional and savvy at-home bakers thanks to the precision and easy scaling (up or down) options they provide. However, Christina also includes standard volume measurements for the not-there-yet home baker, which makes this cookbook truly user-friendly, regardless of your baking level.
The only note of caution I will add is that some of the recipes call for special ingredients that you will likely not find in the aisles of your neighborhood grocery store. But the book includes an entire section on ingredients and the best places to order them, often easily on the internet.
This book really is a must-buy or must-gift for every Big Kid in the kitchen. And to prove it, here’s a little recipe sneak peak of Christina’s confetti cookies, which I made for New Year’s this year. These cookies are like birthday cake meets sugar cookie and will please all you funfetti devotees. Enjoy!
Summary: Reprinted with permission from Milk by Christina Tosi. I’ve adapted the baking instructions slightly to make smaller cookies.
- 2 sticks (16 Tbs) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 Tbs corn syrup*
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup milk powder*
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
- 1/2 recipe Birthday Cake Crumb (recipe below)
- Combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat on high for 7-8 minutes. (MM Note: This mixing method is Christina’s signature and she covers it in the book. You are really whipping the eggs to add air and develop the chew factor.)
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and rainbow sprinkles. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bow with a spatula.
- Still on low speed, add the birthday cake crumbs and mix in for 30 seconds — just until incorporated.
- Using a 1 to 1.5 inch cookie dough scoop, portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. 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. (MM Note: I had best results after chilling at least overnight.) Do not bake your cookies from room temperature — they will not bake properly.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 2 inches apart on parchment-lined sheet pans. Bake for 12-13 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 12 minutes, they should be very lightly browned on the edges (golden brown on the bottom). The centers will show just the beginning signs of color. Leave the cookies in the oven for an additional minute or so if the colors seem pale.
- Cool cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days, in the freezer, up to 1 month.
*Note: The original recipe calls for 2 Tb glucose, but I followed Christina’s suggestion of subbing 1 Tb corn syrup with no problem.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Cooking time: 12 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): Aprx. 3 dozen
Birthday Cake Crumb
Summary: Reprinted with permission from Milk by Christina Tosi. Like most of Christina’s crumbs, this stuff is delicious to snack on alone. I froze what I didn’t use and have visions of an out-of-this-world ice cream topping in my future. Yields: about 2 cups
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbs light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tb rainbow sprinkles
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 Tb vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. The wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue paddling until this happens.
- Spread the clusters on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool.
- Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or scarfing up by the handful. Stored in an airtight container, the crumbs will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or up to 1 month in the fridge or freezer.