Momofuku MilkBar Confetti Cookies

If you weren’t already in love with Christina Tosi from Momofuku MilkBar, you will be now.

Before owning Momofuku Milkbar Cookbook or even going to Milkbar in NYC, I was fascinated by Christina Tosi. I want to be her friend. Her style in the kitchen has a childish and whimsical flare to it, but in the best possible way possible. She is known for her cereal milk creations, crack pie, and compost cookies… frankly the woman is a genius.

I could talk about her and that cookbook for hours, but if I tell you any more about her I’ll sound like I have a crush.

I was given this cookbook as a gift right when it came out a few months back, but was a little intimidated by it. I wanted to make everything in it, but each recipe calls for special ingredients that the average baker doesn’t really keep in the pantry, such as gelatin and milk powder. Even if you aren’t a baker, this book is beautiful and if I had a coffee table, I’d put it on it.

The first recipe I tried was for the Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip cookies. I did everything perfectly and according to the instructions, I even patiently waited while they chilled in the fridge for hours, which is generally something I try and skip due to lack of patience. But when it came to actually baking them, they spread out 3 times their size! Something was oh so wrong.

Tosi’s cookie recipes all have this special “creaming” process. Instead of just whipping together the butter and sugar until combined, like most cookie recipes, this recipe goes for 7 minutes! I thought that maybe it was because of this oh so special process that the cookies spread out so much.

After doing a little reasearch, and re-reading the intro to the book where she talks about her ingredients, I found that my solution to the problem was bread flour! Bread flour has a higher protein content, or a higher gluten content, which kept everything together and made for a chewy delicious cookie.

Funfetti cake was THE cake/sweet/dessert of my childhood. You know, straight from the box with a can of frosting, and it tasted damn good! And honestly, I probably would still love it if I made some today. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I haven’t made Funfetti cake from the box in maybe 5 years or more, but these cookies sent me back to those box cake years in a second.

Colorful. Sweet. Smile inducing. Addictive. Crack-like. Perfection.

Enjoy!!

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

Tuesday night, the music was up loud, the kitchen was warm from the long hot day, and there I was…dancing and singing into a cookie scoop. Part of me wishes that I had a video blog just so I could share a glimpse of how hilarious it was…but then I think about a camera following me around the kitchen and I’m like….no thanks!

Everyone is always surprised to hear that I get shy when it comes to public speaking and being on camera. Probably because I’m very loud and chatty (in the most elegant way of course) when I am with my friends. Every time I imagine being on camera, all I can think about is making an instructional video on how to make a quesadilla in spanish for a class. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have no idea what happened to that video, but the memories are definitely still there. It was bad. And not even in that, oh look at those cute girls making a quesadilla…it was more of a oh god look at those girls speaking in valley girl spanish. Baaaaaad.

As for the public speaking bit…I’m in a speech class right now, and let me tell you, I feel like I’m going to pass out every time I go up there and speak. After my 5 minutes of torture are up I go and sit down and I literally could not tell you what I had just said. It’s like I black out, give a speech, and then come back to life. And I know what you’re thinking “the more you get up there the easier it will get.”

My response to that? I don’t believe you. It’s painful every time I go up there.

So until I get over my irrational fears of public speaking and being on camera, you’re stuck with me here folks!

In honor of trying new things, I branched out from my usual peanut butter cookie recipe and tried out Joanne Chang’s recipe from her amazing cookbook Flour. What I like about this recipe is that is just a straight up peanut butter cookie. The ingredients are wholesome and simple…ie: no extra trip to the store. My other recipe uses half butter and half shortening…I know, shortening, yuck – but trust me they’re pretty damn tasty too.

Why did I chose such a weird looking cookie to take a picture of? To show you guys how a real cookie should look, like a human made it. When I see perfect cookies it just makes me question what the heck they’re doing in their kitchen, because I use a cookie scoop and I still get gems like this guy. Either they are robots or I’m really sloppy. (Don’t answer that)

It’s rustic. That’s a thing, I swear.

Also, with the amount of peanut butter in this recipe, I will allow this an acceptable form of breakfast. I mean seriously, if you think about it the amount of protein you’re getting…it’s probably better for you than the cereal you’re eating! Okay, maybe not, but cookies for breakfast!!

Enjoy,

Madeline

Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Hi! Remember me? I’m sorry for being MIA the past few weeks but lots of exciting new things have been happening! Well, maybe not lots but it feels like lots!

This fall, yours truly, will be attending UCLA to finish up my environmental studies/geography degree!

Every day since I received the lovely news, I wake up and think to myself “hey remember that time you got into UCLA?” and then I smile REALLY big. You’ll even find me smiling at really awkward times. I’m just…happy. So I have been off smiling around town. I know that doesn’t really seem like an excuse for being so absent…but it’s true.

So stay tuned, Thursday Night Baking is moving to Westwood! Woohoo!

I also went to Chicago to visit my Granny with my Mom! We did some site seeing, ate food, took pictures – it was a lovely mini vacation, despite the 40 degrees and raining weather.

The pretty Jellyfish at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

So in honor of my exciting news, I made you guys something super good. This recipe has been bookmarked and drooled over for many months and now that I’ve made it I can’t believe I waited so long!

My oh my, these bars are little bites of sugary goodness! The buttery shortbread can stand proudly on its own, but wow add the gooey caramel, chocolate coating and oh of course the fleur de sel and this will leave you with a huge smile on your face.

Oh fleur de sel, you steal my heart. I’m having a hard time figuring out what doesn’t taste good with fleur de sel on top.

This recipe makes an entire 9×13 inch pan which means lots of goodies to share with friends! And trust me, this is an impressive recipe that you’ll want to show off to your friends.

Enjoy,

Madeline