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Quarantine Baking Continues: we tried Milk Bar's Compost Cookie Recipe

If you want to win the jackpot in Vegas, then here's our secret: place your money and double down on Milk Bar, on the third floor of The Cosmopolitan (you'll see the long line - and yes, it's worth the wait). Founded in 2008 by James Beard award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi, Milk Bar offers extraordinary sweet and savory desserts. Bon Appetit has referred to Milk Bar as "one of the most exciting bakeries in the country" and we totally agree. The cookies are exceptional, the cakes are phenomenal pieces of art, and we're obsessed with their signature cookie: Compost.

The Compost cookie is similar to "kitchen sink," "garbage," or "ranger" cookies where you mix in a hodgepodge of ingredients in your pantry. It's like adding vending machine snacks into yummy cookie dough to create the ultimate cookie.

So many chefs have posted their secret recipes online and we were beyond excited when Chef Tosi shared our favorite cookie on her blog site.

What's magical about this cookie is that there are so many special ingredients included: pretzels, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, oats, potato chips, and a graham cracker recipe (we didn't have graham crackers, so we substituted crumbled Biscoff cookies and crumbled frosted mini wheats)

We baked half the batter as a cookie bar (fabulous!) and made oversized cookies with the other half. The recipe is a keeper and so flexible. You can make substitutions to the mix-ins. We will definitely make these again! YUM 🍪

Thank you, Milk Bar, for your Compost cookie recipe!

Milk Bar Compost Cookie Recipe


  • ½ pound butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons glucose (you can use corn syrup -- we omitted for our batch)

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/3 cups flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cups chocolate chips 

  • ½ cup butterscotch chips

  • RECIPE: ½ cup Graham Crust (see below)

  • 2 ½ teaspoon ground coffee (we used Dunkin Donuts)

  • 2 cups potato chips (we used Utz)

  • 1 cup mini pretzels

Graham Crust recipe:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (we used Biscoff cookies and frosted shredded mini-wheat cereal)

  • 1/4 cup milk powder (we omitted since we did not have any)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter 

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Graham Crust directions:

  1. Toss all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

  2. Whisk butter and heavy cream together. Add to dry ingredients and toss again. Mixture should look like small clusters and will hold its shape if squeezed tightly into your hand.

  3. Set bowl aside.

Compost Cookie Directions:

  1. Combine butter, sugars, and glucose 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 vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

  2. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 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 over mixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

  3. Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and coffee and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add potato chips and pretzels and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips.

  4. Portion cookie dough with a 1/3 cup scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.* The cookies spread out, so make sure you space them 3" - 4" apart. Pat the tops of the cookie dough so that it's flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. DO NOT bake cookies from room temperature - they will not bake properly.

  5. Heat the oven to 375 F

  6. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. Give them an extra minute or two, if that’s not the case.

  7. Cool cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or airtight container. The cookies will keep fresh for 5 days at room temperature.

*You can also bake the dough as bar cookies. We divided the dough in half and placed the batter into a greased 9" x 9" pan. For the other half of the dough, we made 12 oversized cookies.

These cookies are phenomenal and they're exactly what we remembered from our last visit to Las Vegas. Happy baking, everyone!


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