Sunday, January 26, 2014

Giant Cornflake Crunch Cookies

It's funny how things start to "trend" on the old world wide web. One person "Pins it" or "Blogs it", or "Tweets it" or "Posts it" or  "Instagrams it" or simply mentions it in an email and suddenly its "Trending". On Monday no one has heard of it and by the time you mention it to a friend on Friday, it's old news. And when I say "it" I mean anything. Celebrity gossip, world news, recipes, crafts, you name it. So what seemed to be trending the last week or so was recipes from the Momofuku Milk Bar. Which apparently is a very popular restaurant/bakery in New York. I'd never heard of it before. But it's no secret that, on trending web topics (and popular New York eateries for that matter), I'm often the last one to the party. But at least I got to the party. And what I found was a interesting, eclectic bunch of recipes. Ones with all kinds of wierdo ingredients that I couldn't help but want to try. So I did. I started with the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies, and next on my list is the Compost Cookies (I can't resist a cookie recipe that calls for potato chips). Check out the cornflake cookies:

Start by making the cornflake crunch: cornflakes, sugar, butter, and nonfat dry milk powder. (The recipe also says to add salt but it was too salty for my tastes so I would leave it out. Your choice.)

Put the sugar, cornflakes and milk powder in a large bowl and mix together crunching the cornflakes as you go. You want them to be about 1/4 their original size.

(The recipe says to crunch up the cornflakes and then add the other stuff but I just did it all in one step, using my hands and it worked just fine.)

Melt a stick of  butter over low heat in a small saucepan. (The recipe calls for 9 tablespoons of butter. A stick of butter is only 8 tablespoons and I just went with that.)

Drizzle the melted butter over the cornflake mixture and toss to coat well.

Spread out on a Silpat or parchment lined and buttered rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 275°F for 20 minutes or so.

When they are done they should look toasted and smell buttery. When cooled it's pretty crunchy. I had to go 30 minutes total to get them to this stage. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. (You won't use all of this for the cookies, you'll have a bit left over. Makes a great topping for ice-cream, yogurt or sprinkled back into the cornflake cereal. Use your imagination.)

Now on to making the cookies. You'll need: butter, sugar, brown sugar, an egg, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, the cornflake crunch, mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. (The recipe calls for 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt, but again, that was a touch too salty for me so I would recommend reducing that to 1 teaspoon.)

Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until very light and creamy. About 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides as necessary to incorporate all the sugar.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium high for 8 minutes. Go the full time, no shortcuts here.

Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until combined. About 1 minute. Do not over mix.

Use a spatula to stir in the cornflake crunch and mini chocolate chips. Go gently and avoid overworking the dough. (The recipe says to use the mixer for this but I didn't want to risk mutilating the cornflake crunch and felt I had more control with the spatula.)

Lastly gently stir in the mini marshmallows.

Separate the dough into 1/3 cup portions. Form into a ball and flatten slightly. I used a #20 disher/ice cream scoop which was just under 1/3 cup. It worked just fine.  Also, when forming the cookies, be cautious not to have a lot of marshmallows on the edges. Try to push them into the interior of the cookies. I didn't do this and you'll see the problem in a bit.* Lay the cookies out on a rimmed cookie sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least overnight or up to 1 week.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay dough balls out about 4 inches apart on a lined cookie sheet. You can only bake about 5 at a time. Don't be tempted to crowd more in, these cookies really spread out. (Note that the recipe says to cook them at 375°F for 18 minutes. This was way to hot and long for my oven and my first batch came out too dark, too crunchy and really overdone. They worked much better for me at 350°F for 12-14 minutes. You'll have to judge based on your oven.)

Here are my cookies after 14 minutes in a 350°F oven. The edges are crispy and light brown and the centers are set but still soft. Let the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet and then remove to a rack.

These were really good. A little more stout than a Florentine-style cookie, they are crispy, chewy and buttery. You won't specifically taste the cornflake crunch or the marshmallows and the chocolate is complimentary but not a standout. All the flavors of the cookie kind of meld together and the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. This cookie is hard to describe other than it's D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

*As to why you don't want too many marshmallows on the edge, because they tend to melt and scorch and leave a "voided" space on the cookie edge. See that bit there at about 5 o'clock, that's a melted marshmallow.

Here is a link to the original recipe: Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies
Here are the changes I made:
- Reduced the salt in the dough recipe to 1 teaspoon.
- Baked the cookies at 350°F for 12-14 minutes.
- Removed the salt all together from the Cornflake Crunch.
- Reduced the butter in the Cornflake Crunch to 8 tablespoons.

From what I've read on other blogs that have tried this recipe you can add about 1/4 cup flour to get a cookie with a bit more body that spreads less. I may try that next time. Although, each time I suggested making a change to this recipe my husband made it very clear that he liked them just the way they were. I dare say he "put his foot down" on the matter. But, maybe I'll try it anyway. Hee, hee, hee.

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