Momofuku Milk Bar Corn Cookies
Have you ever had an "OH MY GOD" moment when you take the first bite of what is undoubtedly one of the best things you've ever eaten? To date, I've had exactly four of these experiences - (1) An outrageously rich order of Peanut Butter French Toast from Highland Bakery in Atlanta, Georgia. (2) Chicken & Waffles from Myers + Chang in Boston, Massachusetts an unexpected and incredible fusion of Asian and Southern. (3) A mindblowingly delicious Pulled Pork Sandwich smothered in the most perfect BBQ sauce from 4Rivers Smokehouse in Orlando, Florida and (4) The salty-sweet Corn Cookie from Momofuku's Milk Bar Bakery in New York City. Anyone who has these experiences thinks the same single sentence at the time - "I never want this to end." No matter how much room you thought you had left in your stomach, you will certainly make more to cram in each and every last tidbit left on the plate.
I first had the Corn Cookie from Milk Bar in January 2012 and spent the entire duration of consumption in silent mourning of the fact that the cookie would be gone soon. I asked myself how could something be this good!! When I got back to Florida, I immediately looked up the recipe and tracked down freeze-dried corn and corn flour - two necessary and difficult to find ingredients for creating my own corn cookie. I knew that my cookie would never be as good, but I had to try, I had to have another one. I waited for the perfect occasion to make such a perfect cookie, but one never came. In the summer of 2012 I went back to NYC and bought four corn cookies, hoarding them for the next few days and only eating them a half at a time. I remembered once again why I loved this cookie - the sweet-salty balance is sensational and it is so packed with butter that the cookie leaves a shiny souvenir on your fingers. It's like eating a piece of cornbread in the consistency of a sugar cookie. It is chewy, smooth, and unlike anything you've ever had before in a dessert. Christina Tosi, I bow down to you.
Not only does the Corn Cookie have unique ingredients, but it also employs baking technique to get everything just right. All of Tosi's recipes use King Arthur Bread Flour instead of All-Purpose; however, this means being precise as manipulating the gluten for even one minute longer than instructed will result in a sticky mess. The butter and sugar is whipped for 7 long minutes! It really made me wish I had a stand-mixer (KitchenAid if you're reading this, hint hint!). Also, the cookies are refrigerated before baking or else they will spread and become Corn Pancake.
I followed the recipe EXACTLY, even weighing my ingredients to the exact gram amount instead of cup measurements which is much more precise. You know what? I'm pretty darn proud of how they came out. Is it as good as the real thing? No, because it lacks the context that Milk Bar provides and nothing will ever be as good as the real thing. However, they were delicious, had a wonderful smooth, chewy consistency, and the subtle corn flavor I crave. My cookies were absolutely the next best thing. The best part? I ended up making a second unbaked batch of small 1/2oz dough balls that I keep in my freezer to bake at a moment's notice. I no longer need to wait for a special occasion to indulge in one of my all time favorite treats. I really hope you enjoy these Corn Cookies as much as I do.
Momofuku Milk Bar Corn Cookies
From: Milk Bar CookbookMakes 13 to 15 cookies
225 g butter, at room temperature OR 16 tablespoons (2 sticks)
300 g sugar OR 1 1/2 cups
225 g flour OR 1 1/3 cups
45 g corn flour OR 1/4 cup
65 g freeze-dried corn powder OR 2/3 cup
3 g baking powder OR 3/4 teaspoon
1.5 g baking soda OR 1/4 teaspoon
6 g kosher salt OR 1 1/2 teaspoons
1. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Using a 2 3/4-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), 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. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature-- they will not bake properly.
4. Heat the oven to 350°F.
5. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute if not.
6. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
Note: I used Just Tomatoes brand freeze-dried corn and ground it into powder in a coffee grinder. I used Bob's Red Mill Corn Flour, it is NOT corn meal, corn starch, maize, or P.A.N. Make sure you get the right ingredient! Also, for the most accurate recipe, use King Arthur Bread Flour and Plugra European Style Butter which has a higher fat content.
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography