Pg.70 – Lucky Peach Issue #2 – The Sweet Spot
This post ain’t no joke. I solemnly swear that this is the recipe I’ve repeated the most from Lucky Peach. I love these cookies. These are Christina Tosi’s famous corn cookies and you can actually get the OG originals at Milk Bar in NYC (along with several other great treats that will make you gain 5 pounds just looking at them). This famous cookie has made me famous in many circles here in Los Angeles, and I hope none of those people read this post so they can go on thinking I’m the only amazing, wonderful and talented person that makes them. They are really that damn good.
I think the secret to their deliciousness lies in a few different areas – the use of freeze-dried corn powder, the Plugra butter, and the whole 10-minute creaming process that Christina says is “the secret to any great Milk Bar cookie.” But what do I know, really? I’m learning as I go, and I intend to learn it all from Lucky Peach.
Let’s get started. Here’s what you need:
So, Plugra anyone?
I never used this before. Even in all the times I made pot butter, I never used this (I should’ve). It’s 82% butterfat, which is fattier than the average butter. It’s a cultured butter which means it’s made from a fermented cream. During fermentation, the cream naturally sours as bacteria convert milk sugars into lactic acid. The fermentation process produces additional aroma compounds, which makes for a fuller-flavored and more “buttery” tasting product, a more deeper flavor than regular butter (or so says Wikipedia, fuck, that means it’s probably wrong). Anyway, you can buy this at upscale fancypants grocery stores. I think I picked it up at Whole Foods, a place I try to avoid, but that’s another story. One block of it (8 oz) is good for this recipe.
Break out your KitchenAid (I called it a mixer and got made fun of by a biker, so get the name right). You’re gonna mix the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on med-high for 2-3 minutes. Use a timer for this recipe, it helps so you don’t fuck anything up with your ADD.
It turns a nice fluffy pale yellow color. Then add the egg at a low speed, then pump it to med-high and set the timer for 8 minutes. This is some science shit happening (the 10-minute creaming process). “We’re forcing a whole bunch of sugar and fat together. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become a pale white color, and the creamed mixture will nearly double in volume.”
And, so it did. Looks good, right? I got this shit down.
Okay, now for the freeze-dried corn powder talk. You gotta either order this online or hopefully find it at your health food store, or maybe in a good grocery store (try the kids food section if they have one). Again, I got mine – called Just Corn – at Whole Foods. The recipe says don’t bother with the organic stuff, it’s not as flavorful for some reason. Sharon and I had a good laugh once at Whole Foods asking if they could see if they had it non-organic. So grind it down in a food processor and there you have your freeze-dried corn powder.
I actually stock up now so I have my own jar of it handy.
So, after the creaming, take the speed down to low and add all of the dry ingredients (that’s right, there is corn flour and all-purpose flour). Only mix for like a minute, the dough will come together nicely for you that quick.
Then, the next part sucks. You get to spoon it all out on cookie sheets (and use parchment paper on the sheets) but then you have to let the dough chill for at least an hour (no longer than a week) in the fridge!
You can’t bake these at room-temperature because when you make a cookie with this much butter (I know!) you want it to be cold so the butter will not melt out too quickly. So, wrap the sheets with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge and take a ride on your motorcycle for an hour, that’s what I did.
After that hour, bust them out of the fridge life and bake them in the oven at 350 for 18 minutes. Use that timer!
They will get a nice soft brown around the edges and that’s it – they’re done!
Bake as many as possible. Everyone will want them as soon as they know you’re making them – I Instagrammed a pic of the dough and I got this text dialogue reenactment later in the day from my neighbor Sharon:
Me: Trina’s making cookies
Stu: Holy Shit
I actually mailed most of these to a friend right after I baked them. He should be getting them in the mail tomorrow. He’s a lucky guy.