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
1 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 38 mins

These cookies have a little bit of everything in them!

Servings: 2 dozen
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3  cups bread flour, you may use AP flour instead if you don't have it on hand
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup of graham crust, see below
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground coffee
  • 2 cups plain potato chips
  • 1 cup mini pretzels
For the graham crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted, 4 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  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.
For the graham crust:
  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.
Recipe Notes

Source: Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook


Posted on February 04, 2013

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 02/05/2013 at 8:06 pm

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

  4. 02/05/2013 at 11:33 pm

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

  5. 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!)

  6. 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 :)

  7. 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! :)

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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!)

  10. 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!

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. Michelle
    04/15/2015 at 6:41 pm

    For the ground coffee, do you use instant coffee, or just regular coffee grounds ? Please respond asap, I’m dying to make these. They look awesome. Thanks :)

    • Julie
      04/16/2015 at 7:33 am

      I just used regular coffee grounds.

      • Dawn
        06/27/2015 at 9:53 am

        Coffee grounds as in what you have after your morning cuppa?

      • Julie
        06/28/2015 at 5:35 pm

        No, as in the dried coffee grounds that you scoop out from a bag for your morning cuppa :)

  15. Daisy
    02/29/2016 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve been looking forward to making these for days, but am disappointed in the results. The butterscotch chips overwhelmed almost the other flavors. I looked at Christina Tosi’s recipe on another site, and there should have been only 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips (and they’re supposed to be minis). The recipe also called for 2 T glucose. I don’t know how much difference that would have made.

    The other problem was that, when I checked these after only 15 minutes, most of them were already burned. I ended up having to throw away most of them.

    There used to be a restaurant in town that made these, and they were wonderful. I’m not sure if I’d make these again, but they’d probably be fine with a couple of little adjustments.

    • 06/04/2016 at 8:25 pm

      I lowered the oven to 325 with better results. I agree way too much butterscotch chips. That’s all you taste and smell.

  16. Daisy
    03/02/2016 at 1:02 pm

    This is an update to my comments of a few days ago. My family loved these cookies. They do usually like things a little sweeter than I do, so the amount of butterscotch chips didn’t bother them as much as it did me. It sounds like I’ll be expected to make these again! Will definitely cut back the butterscotch and reduce banking temp to 350.

  17. 06/04/2016 at 8:23 pm

    These look like such yummy cookies. First off the oven should be at 325 not 375. The first batch sound like a stone, they were so hard. There is way to much sugar in total. The cookies should have a savoriness to them. All you get is sweet upon sweet. I will be making these again with a few tweaking, I love the idea of potato chips and pretzels in a cookie.

  18. Saloni
    06/10/2016 at 12:24 pm

    How many cookies do you get in this batch? It says yield 2…

    • Julie
      06/10/2016 at 1:14 pm

      sorry, I converted recipe plugins and I guess it didn’t convert correctly. It should be 2 dozen :)

  19. mahina
    07/24/2016 at 11:45 am

    I’m confused to when & where do you put the graham cracker crusted mixture????

    • Julie
      07/24/2016 at 5:03 pm

      You add it in step #5. The instructions from step 11 and beyond are for the graham cracker crust that you add into step #5.

  20. Tara Fields
    02/16/2017 at 9:43 pm

    I don’t understand how the graham crust is incorporated?

    • Julie
      02/17/2017 at 7:48 am

      It’s added in in step #5

  21. Leigh Anne Siebert
    03/16/2017 at 9:32 am

    I made these cookies exactly to the recipe. It was minus 6 Celsius here in Ontario, so I covered them and put them in the garage for 4 hours.
    They spread out way too much and became hard. Cooked them in a 375 convection oven.
    I made a second batch the next day. Changed the Flour to 2 cups, decreased the white sugar to 3/4 cups, increased the chocolate chips to 1 cup and decreased the butterscotch chips to 3/4 cup. Only because I found them too sweet. Froze the cookies for a couple of hours
    Way better cookie, Holds it`s shape and not as sweet. I also used whole wheat flour, only because I wanted to use it up. Soft cookie.

  22. smita
    07/09/2017 at 7:56 pm

    do you know what is the difference in the cookie between using bread flour and all purpose flour in this recipe? I know that these two types of flour very differently in baking but how in this complex cookie? I have both so wondering what I should use? Thanks!

    • Julie
      07/10/2017 at 10:40 am

      I actually don’t know the difference for this recipe. I think it might make a softer cookie? Sorry I don’t have a good answer for you!

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