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.


11 Responses to “Compost Cookie Bars (AKA Break Up Cookies)”

    blueviolet on 1 June 5th, 2011 9:59 pm

    Those look completely delicious!

    Miriyummy on 2 June 5th, 2011 11:50 pm

    Sorry to hear about your breakup, unless it was a good thing, and then I’m happy to hear about your breakup. But the loss of a guinea pig is catastrophic! I hope you find one soon! Your cookies look like what I call PMS cookies, and your recipe looks like it would go so well with white chocolate chips and spicy Dorito chips. Toss in a few craisins and it’s PMS heaven.

    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets on 3 June 6th, 2011 4:27 am

    Sorry to hear about the breakup but glad the recipe went well!

    shelly (cookies and cups) on 4 June 6th, 2011 5:28 am

    yummy cookies! I last time I was in NYC I stopped by Momofuku and ordered pretty much one of everything!!
    These look like a super yummy adaptation!

    Sorry to hear about your break up 🙁
    Saw your name on the Wilton list…you’re going, right?

    Seanna Lea on 5 June 6th, 2011 7:54 am

    I’ve made compost cookies before and for me the key was some time in the freezer and the cookies on a silpat. Mine don’t spread into a thin sad cookie mess.

    My favorite flavors have been Fritos (which I cannot normally eat) and rolos. So awesome!

    Hilary on 6 June 6th, 2011 8:41 am

    Thanks everyone! Break ups just suck in general.

    @shelly (cookies and cups) – Yes, I will be there!

    Nicole (Cake & Heels) on 7 June 6th, 2011 10:12 am


    IMHO, I’d take these over Momofuku any day. They look ooey & gooey & delicious :-). Plus, not that break-up’s are any fun, but if this is the result, then here’s hopes for more break-up’s and then calling me for post-break-up baking fests!

    (p.s. I think he’s an idiot for letting you get away)

    Chaya on 8 June 7th, 2011 8:59 am

    I have never seen these before and they look like fun as well as delicious. I invite you to link this up at Bake with Bizzy. It would be a terrific addition to the links.

    So Very Domestic on 9 June 10th, 2011 6:25 am

    I love your blog! I too, am head over heels in love with my Kitchen Aid and these cookies look great!!

    Shelly on 10 November 13th, 2013 6:01 pm

    HI…I just found this recipe and would love to make it….I have made the compost cookies..but they are a lot more time consuming than bars…what size pan did you use? Thank you…I love your site especially your holiday recipes. I recently made the Jewish apple was lovely.

    Hilary on 11 November 13th, 2013 10:26 pm

    @shelly sorry! 9×13. Thanks for pointing that out, I will edit the post. And thank you for the kind words! Enjoy the cookies!