Friday, March 30, 2012

cornflake chocolate-chip marshmallow cookies

Lets talk about where I'm coming from today. I'm coming from a place where I woke with a start at 5am. Because it was raining. In my apartment. Through my ceiling. When you're awake in the wee hours of the morning and struggling to maneuver your bed out of the path of a deluge, there's one of two things you can do: you can totally freak out, or you can laugh. Somewhat uncharacteristically, I decided to do the latter. Partly because my very responsive super came over at 5am to freak out for me, and partly because my panic is somewhat alleviated by the fact that I'm moving at the end of next month.

Moving in Manhattan brings its own special set of challenges (though hopefully none as great as the middle of the night leaking ceiling).  This time, I'm adding a co-op board package to the mix. I found an apartment that's bright, spacious, and in a great location. It's also in a co-op, which means that along with my application, I had to provide all sorts of information to the co-op board, including letters of recommendation from my friends and coworkers. Let me give you a tip: if you're ever feeling low--say you've been working around the clock, haven't had time to do your hair let alone your taxes, and are seriously considering wearing lululemon leggings to the office--I suggest that you ask your friends to write you some recommendation letters.  Because nothing cheers you up like reading nice things about yourself written by some of your favorite people.

I also suggest making your friends and coworkers these salty, sweet, and totally addicting cornflake chocolate-chip marshmallow cookies to thank them for taking the time to write the aforementioned letters. Given the mass hysteria these cookies induced when I brought them into the office, I think it's safe to say that they will ensure your friends stay in the recommendation writing mood for a long time. It also ensures that you'll have something to stress eat should the ceiling of your old apartment open up and start pouring down water at 5am. Oh well, nothing that can't be fixed with a little spackle and a lot of chocolate. 

Cornflake Chocolate-Chip Marshmallow Cookies
Just barely adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi

For the Cornflake Crunch
5 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup milk powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 275. Use your hands to crush the cornflakes in a large bowl until they are about 1/4 their original size. Stir in the milk powder, sugar, and salt. Pour the melted butter over the cornflake mixture, and stir until it's incorporated and clumps begin to form. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Cool completely before using. (Note: you will have extra cornflake crunch, which can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week at room temperature, or for up to a month in the freezer.)

For the Cookies
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups cornflake crunch
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows

Beat the butter and sugars in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, and add the egg and vanilla.  At this point, Christina Tosi recommends beating the mixture for 7-8 more minutes to ensure that the butter and sugar are well bonded. This creates a cookie that is crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside. Your mixture should be pale yellow and voluminous. Turn the mixture speed down to low and add the dry ingredients until just incorporated--do not over mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and, with the mixer on low, add the cornflake crunch and chocolate chips, beating until just incorporated (around 30 seconds).  Add the marshmallows, and beat until they are just incorporated as well.

Scoop mounds of cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Christina Tosi recommends scooping your dough using a 2 3/4 ounce ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measuring cup. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup because I was afraid of making cookies that were too large, and I thought they came out well. My cookies were big but not humongous. Flatten the tops of the cookie dough mounds, and wrap the cookie sheets tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. (Refrigeration is necessary, as Tosi says the cookies will not hold their shape if baked from room temperature). 

Preheat the oven to 375.  Remove the cookie sheets from the fridge, remove the plastic wrap from the cookie sheets, and make sure that your cookie dough mounds are spaced at least 4 inches apart. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies should be browned on the edges and should have puffed up, cracked, and spread out. The middle of the cookies should be just beginning to brown. If they don't look quite done, leave them in the oven for another minute or so. Cool the cookies completely on the cookie sheet. Stored in an airtight container, the cookies will keep for 5 days (or up to a month if stored in the freezer). 

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