Milk Bar Compost Cookies are similar to kitchen sink cookies but with lots of salty snacks and ground coffee, which mimics the idea of making compost in your kitchen.

Close up photo of Milk Bar Compost Cookies on a cooling rack with some ingredients in bowls around them.

I’ll come right out and say it, I love trashed up cookies.  You know the ones I mean. 

The ones chocked full of mix-ins and add-ins that generally look like they’ll overwhelm the cookie dough but turn out to be pretty darn fantastic? I say, the more the better! 

And that’s why these compost cookies were utterly and completely up my alley.

Milk Bar Compost Cookies on a cooling rack with some ingredients in bowls around them.

Graham cracker crumbs, pretzels, potato chips, chocolate and butterscotch chips, oats, and ground coffee are all mixed into a fairly basic cookie dough and yield a giant compost cookie that made my sweet tooth so very happy.  

The flavor of the salty snacks did actually come through the sweet cookie, even if they lost a little of their crunch in the baking process, and the contrast of sweet and salty was, of course, delightful (for more proof of this, see also sweet + salty harvest salad). 

Milk Bar Compost Cookies on a cooling rack with some ingredients in bowls around them.

And if you’re curious about what unbrewed ground coffee does to cookies, I can tell you that the little coffee flecks throughout the cookies add a fairly strong underlying coffee flavor to the cookies – perhaps even more so than espresso powder does. 

Milk Bar Compost Cookies on a cooling rack.

All in all, these compost cookies were stellar and I can see myself adding all types of new mix-ins to future iterations of this recipe.

More Milk Bar Recipes for You to Try

In the past few years, I’ve fallen in love with the innovative recipes that Christina Tosi develops and I’ve shared a few of them here on the site.

The famous Milk Bar Birthday Layer Cake is probably my very favorite of them all. It’s a towering celebration cake that will make any birthday girl or boy happy!

I don’t make many pies but this fudgy brownie pie is an over the top and unforgettable recipe. Chocked full of chocolate, it’s richness demands an ice cold glass of milk.

And if you’re looking for another Milk Bar cookie recipe, these cornflake cookies are amazing! Another unconventional ingredient for cookies, crispy cornflakes add a great crunch alongside sweet marshmallows and chocolate chips. You’ll love them!!

Milk Bar Compost Cookies on a cooling rack with some ingredients in bowls around them.

Milk Bar Compost Cookies

Yield: about 18 very large cookies
Active Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Chill Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 38 minutes

Milk Bar Compost Cookies are another fabulous cookie recipe from genius Christina Tosi. Filled with sweet and salty ingredients as well as ground coffee, they'll easily become of your favorite cookie recipes. The overnight wait time for the cookie dough to set up and chill is the most difficult part about making these compost cookies but luckily, you can whip up the dough and refrigerate it for a week or freeze it for a few weeks and bake the cookies off whenever your little heart desires.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips (or substitute more chocolate)
  • ½ cup finely crushed graham crackers
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 ½ tsp unbrewed ground coffee
  • 2 cups potato chips (either wavy or rippled but not super thin chips)
  • 1 cup mini pretzels

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars, and corn syrup on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the egg and vanilla. Continue to beat for another 7-8 minutes. With the mixer on low, mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again.
  2. Stir in the chocolate and butterscotch chips, graham cracker crumbs, oats, and coffee on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels with the mixer on low and stir for just a few seconds to slightly break up the salty snacks. You don't want to crush them too much so go easy here.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large cookie scoop (about 2 ½" diameter), divide the dough into rounds on the baking sheet, squeezing them onto the one sheet. Using your hand or the bottom of a measuring cup, flatten the dough balls into disks - don't worry if they touch each other at this point. Wrap the baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap (I like to secure the wrap with rubber bands around the pan) and refrigerate at least overnight or up to one week; freeze for up to 1 month.
  4. Preheat oven to 375° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. After the oven has preheated, remove the dough from the fridge and divide it up between the two baking sheets, leaving about 4 inches between each cookie - they will spread quite a bit so make sure the dough is cold when you bake them off.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes (add 2-3 extra minutes if baking from the freezer), rotating the pans 180° and from top to bottom halfway through the baking time. They will spread, crack, and puff up while baking and should be just slightly browned at the edges when done, even if the middles look undercooked. Cool the cookies on the pans on wire racks completely before transferring to a serving plate or storage container. Store for up to 5 days at room temperature.

Notes

adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi via Leite's Culinaria

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