Compost Cookie Bars (AKA Break Up Cookies)

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Compost Cookie Bars Note: This post contains a very brief story of my recent breakup as well as what I did and did not eat while in NYC. If you’re only interested in the recipe, skip to here.

I found out on a Thursday that I would be going to NYC for a conference and to see clients the following Monday, so I quickly made a list of restaurants and bakeries I wanted to visit while I was there. On my list was of course Momofuku, home of the Crack Pie I made a while back. I’ve been curious to try their compost cookies which I had heard contain potato chips, pretzels, and much, much more. Seeing as how I’ve enjoyed Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack which has chocolate covered potato chips in it, I figured the compost cookies would be a no brainer.

Unfortunately, things then turned south. The day before I was to leave, my boyfriend/guinea pig and I broke up quite unexpectedly, and my body decided to go on a break up diet. The one where you can’t eat, not the one where you eat everything in sight. This did not bode well with my plans to eat my way through New York.

So. What I did not eat: Anything from Momofuku, soft pretzels, warm nuts, black and white cookies, macarons, cupcakes, good pizza. What I did eat bites of: Pizza from the food court at the Javits Center (blech), a lobster sandwich and french fries from The Mermaid Inn (apparently I do like lobster), a bunch of different things including salad, pita and spreads, and chicken from a Greek place called Kefi. Then just when I got hungry enough to eat a full meal, I realized my hotel was literally a foot away from Shake Shack, a place Nicole of Cake & Heels and I had just been talking about the week before. I had the best chicken hot dog (I don’t eat red meat) of my life and the shack sauce I got with the fries was insanely addictive. It’s seriously like crack for french fries.

Disappointed I didn’t get to visit Momofuku, and in phase two (wine, sweet, and salty) of the break up diet, I decided to make the compost cookies myself when I got back in town. After reading dozens of blog posts about flat cookies that spread, I figured I’d give them a shot baking them in a pan and slicing them into bars.

My attempt was a success! I brought these cookies to a get together on Saturday and they were gobbled up in no time. The cookie itself is chewy, salty, sweet, and the pretzels gave it a nice crunch. I think the potato chips were a little lost with all of the peanut butter, but the pretzels definitely added some wow factor.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients (I used peanut butter cups, peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods (I used potato chips and pretzels)

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for two to three minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix 45 – 60 seconds just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On the same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30 – 45 seconds until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

Spread batter into 9×13 pan. (I lined my pan with non-stick foil and used an offset spatula to spread.) Bake at 350 and check after 30 minutes. (I can’t remember if mine took 30 or 35 minutes to bake through, sorry!) Let cool then cut into bars.

Recipe adapted from The Amateur Gourmet.