Monday, January 16, 2012
As kids, after giving up on feeding us just bread with peanut and jam for breakfast, my parents began introducing to my brother and I what most other parents did - cereal with milk. I didn't care much for Honey Stars, on the fence with Kellogg's Corn Flakes and addicted to Koko Krunch. When I was old enough to buy my own food, not a single cornflake came anywhere close to my bowl of cold milk. Koko Krunch, on the other hand, was the fall back when-there's-nothing-else-to-eat snack at the dorm back in university days (we had no fridge in the hostel, so fresh milk was out of question, too). By the time I started working, cereal options went up a notch to things like Post's blueberry almond and banana nut crunch plus various other combinations of granola and muesli.
Cornflake packed cookies, however, remained on my radar till this day. By cornflake cookies, I'm referring to actual baked cookies - cooked in the oven along with flour, eggs, sugar, butter and perhaps some sultanas - not just scoops of cornflakes mixed with some other things, drenched with honey, thrown in with chocolate chips then dumped into mini cupcake liners. These cookies typically will fill cookie jars during Chinese New Year and Eid ul-Fitr. The salty flakes in each bite of sweet cookie dough make them quite addictive, a far better application of the humble cornflakes than being eaten with just milk, if you asked me.
So when I saw Anh's Momofuku chocolate chip version, along with that buttery toasted
cornflake crunch, I had to make these for Christmas. Yes, yes, I know. It's Chinese New Year in exactly one week, why am I still talking about Christmas? You can make these as part of your cookie repertoire, just reduce the size. Scooping with a teaspoon or a 1/2 tablespoon would be just nice, I reckon. Just because Chinese New Year cookies all have this mini bite-sized affliction. I strongly believe they are shaped and sized such so that you pop them continuously while making merry with friends, losing count after cookie number 10. In contrast, if you were caught holding these 4-inch ones, you and everyone else in the room would be aware of the cookie for at least 5 minutes, rendering it unlikely for subsequent engorging.
Don't be put off by (what seems to be) a lot of work to come up with 'just another batch of chocolate chip cookies'. The cornflake crunch takes minutes to stir and then largely ignored while in the oven and out to cool. The dough need to be portioned and chilled, but like these cookies, good things don't come too easily. At least, these are not as finicky as the can't-live-without-them pineapple tarts, which I'm sure by now you're already making, if you're like me. I still have another 100 or so of those little devils to roll tonight, so if you decide to make this instead, I do envy you.
Momofuku's Cornflake Chocolate Chip Cookies [Printer Friendly Version]
Adapted barely from Anh Nguyen's A Food Lover's Journey, original recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar.
Yield: 18-20 4-inch cookies
Note: Like Anh, I omitted the 65 grams marshmallow (added last to the dough) and reduced the sugars from the original recipe. If you have the book, the original recipe uses 1 1/2 cups flour, equivalent to 170 grams in weight. There are complaints from most reviews online that the cookies spread too much and are burnt around the edges after 18 minutes. While I weighed the flour (240 grams is slightly over 2 cups), the cookies still spread a little too flat for my liking (possibly due to Singapore's heat and humidity) but since I do like the texture of the final result, I may just portion them using a smaller scoop the next time rather than changing the recipe.
- 170 grams cornflakes
- 40 grams milk powder
- 40 grams sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 130 grams butter, melted
Cornflake chocolate chip cookies:
- 225 grams/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200 grams granulated sugar (original recipe uses 250 grams)
- 120 grams brown sugar (original recipe uses 150 grams)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 240 grams plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 270 grams/3 cups cornflake crunch
- 125 grams chocolate chips
Make the cornflake crunch: Preheat oven to 130°C/275°F. Place the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them gently into smallish pieces. Add in the milk powder and sugar, mix well to combine. Add in the melted butter and mix well. Spread the cornflakes onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake for about 20 minutes or till the flakes are golden and smell buttery. Remove onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Once cooled, store the crunch in an airtight container.
Prepare the cookie dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars till fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla, then beat for about 7-8 minutes until pale. Scrap down the side of the bowl from time to time. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix until just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer, fold in the chocolate chips and cornflake crunch. Using a 1/3 cup measurement (I used an ice cream scoop photographed above, just about 1/3 cup), portion out the dough on a lined baking pan. Pat the top of the cookies dough domes to flatten slightly. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake the cookies: Preheat oven to 190°C/375°C with the rack centered and line baking sheets with parchment. Arrange the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the cookies just begin to brown. (Cookies will puff, crackle, and spread.) Let the cookies rest on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool off completely. The cookies will keep for 5 days in an airtight container (mine lasted for more than 1 week).
Do ahead: The cornflake crunch can be made ahead up to one week, store at room temperature in an airtight container. In the freezer, it can keep for up to 1 month. Like most drop cookies, the dough can be mixed and chilled up to 5 days ahead and frozen up to 2 months.
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