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Anderson Cooper’s Favorite Cookies: Compost Cookies

Okay, I promise this is my last Anderson Cooper post for the month. You guys are probably sick of it, but I promised I’d talk about the cookies I brought him and the production crew!

Well, here they are! These compost cookies are Christina Tosi’s creations. She’s the pastry chef at Momofuku’s Milk Bar in NYC. She has the most insane creations and they all are like crack, I mean, she has a pie that’s called “crack pie.”

It’s definitely all in her process. You’d think it’s crazy but beating the wet ingredients for 7 minutes is really necessary. If you’re pressed for time or you have no patience, these cookies probably aren’t for you. However, I do think you should spare some time for these babies. They’re the most ridiculous yet most well-made cookies I’ve ever tasted.

When I was deciding what cookie to bring Anderson Cooper, I decided to use my trusty friend, Google, and figure out what his favorite cookie was. He’s the world’s pickiest eater. In fact, he eats the same thing every day, and on the show when I was there, he admitted to just ordering off the children’s menu whenever he’s at a hotel or restaurant because it’s simpler. I don’t really blame him – I mean, chicken tenders and french fries are total comfort foods for me, haha

Anyway, so after searching Google, it was said that when Anderson was filling in on Regis & Kelly, he brought the audience his favorite cookies, which were Christina Tosi’s compost cookies.

Anderson, for being a picky eater, you have great taste, my friend.

These cookies have EVERYTHING in them.

Pretzels, potato chips, oatmeal, coffee grounds, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham cracker crumbs…

I feel like I should be saying, “and then I threw in gummy worms and skittles!” haha

Again, the recipe has ingredients that you probably aren’t used to in regular baking but don’t omit them. You’ll ruin the cookie. Milk powder? Go get it. Beating the batter for 7-8 minutes? Do it. Chilling them before baking? Do it. Following the directions to a T? You better believe it!

Ok, so I’m going to now photobomb you with how I packaged these cookies for Anderson Cooper. If you want the recipe, it’s below the cut. And yes, you’re gonna WANT the recipe. You HAVE to make these and see for yourself why everyone raves about them!

I individually wrapped each cookie & stuck my business card in each one.

Then to protect these precious babies, I placed them in two bubble wrappers and sealed them with my personalized stickers.

They fit perfectly in this box.

And the box fit perfectly in this brown kraft bag I bought at the craft store. Stuck more of my stickers on there and of course, I didn’t forget the twine ;)

Anderson Cooper's Favorite Cookies: Compost Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups bread flour (you may use AP flour instead if you don't have it on hand)
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup of graham crust (see below for recipe)
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2½ tsp. ground coffee
  • 2 cups plain potato chips
  • 1 cup mini pretzels
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugars, and corn syrup on medium-high for 2-3 minutes then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until everything is just about coming together, no longer than 1 minute.
  5. Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and ground coffee, and mix for 30 seconds.
  6. Then add the potato chips and pretzels until just incorporated.
  7. Using a medium sized cookie scoop, portion out dough onto your prepared baking sheets. Pat the top domes of the cookies flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for up to one hour. Do NOT bake your cookies at room temperature. They will not bake correctly.
  8. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Take the cookie sheets out of the refrigerator and place inside oven. Bake for 18 minutes. They should be faintly brown on the edges but still yellow in the center. Give them an extra minute or two if that's not the case. The idea is to have the outside edge a bit crispy with the insides chewy and soft.
  9. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or up to 1 month in a freezer.

Graham Crust for the Compost Cookies
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup dry milk powder
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ stick unsalted butter (4 tbsp.), melted
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  1. Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk the melted butter and cream together and pour over your dry ingredients. The mixture should hold its shape if you squeeze it in the palm of your hands. If it doesn't, it's not moist enough, so add another 1 tbsp. or so of melted butter.
  3. Use required amount in compost cookie recipe and store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Source: Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook



  1. Nicholle C.
    02/04/2013 at 7:59 am

    I would never think of trying this recipe because of the oddball ingredients, the fact that it’s very precise and labor-intensive, and I’m no gourmet cook/baker. But – given that you’re raving about how good they are, and I’ve heard nothing but crazy-good things about momo fuku’s recipes….I think I’ll have to give these a try. Just so I can say I made ‘Compost Cookies.’ *LOL*

  2. 02/04/2013 at 8:04 am

    Just found your blog recently, I am really enjoying it. I love to cook! I am from new orleans and, as you know, this is the “food” city!
    We own a very small family business wherein we manufacture snack foods, Elmer’s chee wees, a cheese curl product in five different flavors. I would love to send you some Of our snacks ! I contacted The Happy Homemaker about a year or so ago , the exact same way, i found her online through recipe searching, etc. and she gave our snacks rave reviews, just FYI! In fact I may have found you from clicking around on her site.

    Anyhow one question about this delicious looking recipe, do you use fresh coffee grounds where it says ground coffee?

    Have a great day

    Lori Elmer

    • 02/04/2013 at 8:25 am

      It doesn’t matter. I used coffee grounds from a can. You’re more than welcome to ground beans and use fresh coffee grounds too, though!

  3. 02/04/2013 at 8:16 am

    I adore your packaging, Julie. So perfect for taking along with you for your big visit with Anderson Cooper. How could he NOT love them. Perfect!

  4. 02/04/2013 at 8:40 am

    I’ve wanted to try these cookies for ages! I’m so excited about this recipe!

  5. 02/04/2013 at 8:49 am

    If you were to bring me one of these cookies, no question you’d be in my heart forever! I seriously am obsessed with all that is baked and Milkbar, and now I have this addictive recipe at my finger tips. Whoo hoo!
    Congrats again on your awesome opportunity Julie. It really seems that you made the most of it!

  6. 02/04/2013 at 8:52 am

    These are perfect Julie, and how adorable is the packaging! Love it all :)

  7. 02/04/2013 at 8:55 am

    Those do look and sound amazing… I’ve never even heard of a cookie with all those ingredients in them! I’ll definitely be making these (and following directions to a T)! Hope Anderson loves them too! :)

  8. 02/04/2013 at 9:00 am

    These are my all-time favorites too. Glad everyone liked them!

  9. 02/04/2013 at 9:07 am

    LOVE potato chips in cookies!

  10. 02/04/2013 at 9:11 am

    I love me some compost cookies! Yours turned out beautifully and that packaging is to die for!

  11. 02/04/2013 at 9:13 am

    OMG. I love the silver Fox, and I am pretty sure I am going to love these cookies!!

  12. 02/04/2013 at 9:26 am

    ohhh what I wouldn’t give to have some of these right now! I mean potato chips and pretzels IN my cookies… it’s just insane and I LOVE it! Christina Tosi sure know her stuff, but these shots make me want to bake up a double batch!

  13. cherie
    02/04/2013 at 9:28 am

    Those are our favorite cookies too – Christina Tosi is a genius LOL – my kids call them ugly cookies – they’re easier to make than they seem . . .

  14. 02/04/2013 at 9:31 am

    Very cute, Julie!!! These cookies sound stunning!

  15. 02/04/2013 at 9:38 am

    I would never have guess these where Anderson’s favorite; his picky eating seems to cry out for a shortbread cookie doesn’t it?

    I’ve made these but they and Denver’s altitude did not make for good friends; that beating business probably needs to be adjusted for success here but yours look terrific. I’m jealous. I LOVE Anderson!

  16. 02/04/2013 at 9:56 am

    Haha-love the title! I have a recipe I call compost soup and it’s everyone’s favorite. :)

  17. 02/04/2013 at 10:05 am

    I just saw the picture on Pinterest and I knew I had to get the recipe to make these cookies. You can’t go wrong with chips and chocolate :) Thanks!

  18. 02/04/2013 at 10:10 am

    Those cookies look so good! Great Packaging!

  19. 02/04/2013 at 10:25 am

    Wow…this really is an unusual recipe. But if a picky eater loves them they must be amazing!

  20. 02/04/2013 at 10:25 am

    These cookies sound SO. FREAKING. GOOD. Love the adorable packaging, too!

  21. 02/04/2013 at 10:32 am

    I love everything about this cookie!!

  22. 02/04/2013 at 10:55 am

    I wanted to make these a few weeks ago but felt like the ingredient list was going to make me broke. But now! I definitely have to make these. YUM!

  23. 02/04/2013 at 11:30 am

    These cookies look awesome. I have to admit I have never had a cookie with potato chips in them but I wouldn’t say no! Wonderful packaging too.

  24. 02/04/2013 at 11:38 am

    Yeah, I’m a fan of Christina Tossi as well. And these are killers!

  25. 02/04/2013 at 11:45 am

    Whyyyy have I not tried these yet?! They look outrageous!

  26. 02/04/2013 at 12:08 pm

    Woah. Just woah. These look crazy good!

  27. 02/04/2013 at 12:09 pm

    I’ve had the compost cookies from Milk Bar and was totally obsessed – so glad I can make them at home now!!!

  28. 02/04/2013 at 12:31 pm

    well I can sure see why these cookies would be a favorite!

  29. 02/04/2013 at 12:42 pm

    Love the cookies and the packaging!

  30. 02/04/2013 at 1:03 pm

    I can totally see why these are Anderson Coopers favorite cookies and I have feeling they will be a favorite of mine as well.

  31. 02/04/2013 at 1:10 pm

    I want these. I have the week off with the new puppy!!! I will have time to make these. yes!!!

  32. 02/04/2013 at 1:22 pm

    HIGH-FIVE!! The cookies and packaging are da bomb!! Seriously, potato chips?! Can you say epic?!

  33. 02/04/2013 at 1:28 pm

    You really just are the cutest person ever to exist in the world. These are incredible!!

  34. 02/04/2013 at 1:41 pm

    Awesome packaging! Way to go on figuring out his favorite cookie, I am sure it got you some points.

  35. 02/04/2013 at 1:50 pm

    Yay, you! I’m so excited for you, what a fun opportunity :)

  36. 02/04/2013 at 2:30 pm

    Love how profesh your packaging looks!! Haha Im surprised there isnt any gummy worms in here either, but they still look amazing to me! I want to make them now! PS, thanks for being so great! Youre the best! XOXO

  37. 02/04/2013 at 4:04 pm

    lol I guarantee you’ll mention something about the show or the trip at least once more in the next month. Should totally bet on it. I really am curious what everyone thought or said about them. Have you heard from anyone?

  38. 02/04/2013 at 4:07 pm

    I was amazed when I found out what a picky eater Anderson Cooper is and now I’m shocked to find out that he likes these cookies so much. Not that there is a reason to not like these cookies though they look fantastic!

  39. 02/04/2013 at 4:07 pm

    Ok you are seriously so sweet to bake cookies for everyone! And to find out what Anderson’s favorite cookie was and actually make them? Best guest ever :) These sound amazing! Every time someone posts a recipe from this book I immediately want to make it!

  40. 02/04/2013 at 4:29 pm

    These cookies look incredible!

  41. 02/04/2013 at 4:42 pm

    OMG – I just need to make these into ice cream sandwich! Love all the ingredients, and hello potato chips.

  42. 02/04/2013 at 5:53 pm

    These sound amazing…and bread it a gluten thing? Also the coffee grounds…finely ground…coarsley ground?

    • 02/04/2013 at 8:19 pm

      I just put bread flour in cause Cassie and her friends who were baking out of the book did. I think it gives the cookie a softer texture :) and the coffee grounds – finely ground. I just scooped mine out of a coffee can so I think it was finely ground!

  43. 02/04/2013 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve never wanted compost in my mouth so bad in all my life.

  44. 02/04/2013 at 6:43 pm

    You’re seriously the cutest, Julie! And OMG I love these cookies.

  45. 02/04/2013 at 8:40 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make these for a while. And if you & Anderson Cooper say they’re amazing, they really must be! I’m pinning this!

  46. 02/05/2013 at 9:08 am

    Oh those cookies sound amazing. coffee grounds? YUM.

  47. 02/05/2013 at 12:50 pm

    Julie, you thought of everything down to the twine and your adorable business cards and stickers :) I’m sure Anderson was in cookie heaven when he tried these bad boys–omg, I am drooling! A little bit of everything makes one helluva delicious cookie!!

  48. JULIE!! You are so adorable! I love that you packaged them all up! I am pretty sure he must have gone nuts for these cookies cuz they look delicious!

  49. 02/05/2013 at 2:48 pm

    How cool of you to make his favourite cookies! And Anderson Cooper is definitely a man with very good taste because compost cookies are the best.

  50. 02/05/2013 at 4:15 pm

    These look and sound amazing! I would mess them up somehow though! I can dice an onion like nobodies business, but baking has never been my thing. I may have to break out of my comfort zone and give these a whirl!

  51. 02/05/2013 at 5:19 pm

    this is like THE MOST LEGIT cookie recipe I have come across. Such unique ingredients and for a picky eater like him – I am sure this cookie is worth every bite. Loved how you packed those cookies!

  52. Janet from Vancouver
    02/05/2013 at 6:50 pm

    Just tried the recipe, followed the directions closely. The oven temperature was too hot, the cookies are a little sweet, didn’t really puff up that much, I would recommend not flattening them in order to have a thicker cookie.

    My family didn’t love it.

  53. 02/05/2013 at 8:06 pm

    these cookies look crazy good…and so cute how you packaged everything!!!

  54. 02/05/2013 at 11:33 pm

    These cookies look incredible! I love all the goodness stuffed in!

  55. 02/06/2013 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve eaten the compost cookies at Milk Bar and wasn’t all that impressed, to be 100% honest. Yours, however, look amazing! I think it’s got something to do with the huge chunks of chips and chocolate. THESE I could easily see myself getting addicted to! (And I love Anderson Cooper! I’ve been geeking out over your posts!)

  56. Lynne
    02/07/2013 at 7:46 pm

    I made these today, and because we are a family of two, shared them with the family across the street. I am now their favorite neighbor. :-)

    Very high maintenance recipe, but boy are they delicious!

    • 02/07/2013 at 8:36 pm

      Haha, this comment made me laugh. So happy they turned out well for you :)

  57. 02/08/2013 at 11:15 am

    I made it and loved it. The only thing that they were flat

    • 02/08/2013 at 11:27 am

      So glad you loved it! They’re supposed to be flat so no worries! :)

  58. Kat
    02/09/2013 at 11:53 am

    I was wondering about the pretzals & potato chips. Are they to be added whole? Not chopped or crushed in any way?

    • 02/09/2013 at 1:05 pm

      Added whole. It’ll all get crushed up with the mixing and dispersed throughout the dough :) you’ll have some bigger chunks of pretzels and some bigger chunks of chips – that’s what you’re looking for! Don’t overmix :)

  59. 02/25/2013 at 6:36 am

    Loved this unique recipe. I made them this weekend and although they kind of melted into each other and I had to cut them up later like brownies, they tasted awesome. I love the salty-sweet combination and everyone who tried them raved about them too. So, definitely making them again :) (Since I still have some of that graham crust left over, it’s only good sense!)

  60. 04/15/2013 at 2:48 pm

    These sound so delish, I love salty/sweet combo. I am a crafter, so I love your packaging too! I can’t wait to bake these!

  61. suzanne
    04/17/2013 at 5:18 pm

    i’m so excited to make these! looking to bake something special for a very special aunt that always makes unique dishes. she will LOVE these! quick question – regular coffee grounds or instant?

  62. Jayde Herriford
    06/01/2013 at 12:46 am

    I am so excited to make these this weekend for my husband’s 35th birthday! With that said I’m a little worried as I recently sold my kitchenaide stand mixer, do you think I will be able to accomplish this dish with just a hand-held? Next do you crush up the pretzels at all or just mix them in whole? I can’t wait to comment on how they turned out.

    • 06/01/2013 at 9:38 pm

      Hi Jayde – I’m not sure if the hand-held will work too well with this particular recipe because it doesn’t have as much motor power as the stand mixer or a big enough blade to whip much air into the butter mixture. You can certainly try, though! You mix the pretzels in whole.

  63. Sue fish
    12/13/2013 at 3:00 pm

    Question, if you don’t have a refrigerator big enough to handle numerous cookie sheets, what do you do with remaining dough between batches?
    First time trying these. Does chilling the dough in refrig count if not out on cookie sheet?

    • 12/14/2013 at 6:48 am

      Hi Sue, I highly recommend portioning out the dough into balls and then putting them in the fridge because if you just put the entire bowl of dough in the fridge to chill, it becomes SO hard that it’s impossible to scoop (while I was testing this recipe, I did that the first time – not fun!). If you don’t have a fridge big enough to handle cookie sheets, you can always line a plate with parchment paper and place dough balls onto them that way to chill and then transfer to a baking sheet when ready. Hope this helps!


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