Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Erika's Compost Cookies

Wanna know more about me and my NY? Well, I compost. Yep. In a huge city where hardly anyone has a yard or garden, I contribute to making soil out of "trash." It's so easy. Here, come along on a quick pictorial tour of the process.

I keep items that can be composted in my freezer - egg shells, pears and apple cores, a squeezed lemon...
Once I have a bag full, I take a ride on the subway down to Union Square Farmer's Market...
 And dump my bag of compost in a garbage bin...
Which is found surrounded by other bins ready to receive compost as part of Lower East Side Ecology Center's Composting program.
I can even put my plastic bag with other plastic bags being recycled! :)

Then, JUST as cool, I turn around and donate clothing and scraps of material to GrowNYC's Clothing & Textile Recycling Program.
That's my jean capris I haven't worn in a year and an old race shirt! GrowNYC will either resale/donate good usable clothing or will send them to recycling markets where they will be made into insulation etc.

After having completed what I came for, I enjoyed Union Square's Holiday Market. There are great wreaths being sold...
Along with bangles and bobbles galore!
At this cute and eco-friendly shop...
I bought this angel for the top of my Christmas tree.
It is made out of banana tree husk and a dried nut that can be dried and carved to look like ivory. (See the hanging birds in the previous picture.)

Since I am into composting (and hey! It's not just a holiday activity. It's a year round thing!), I figured I would dabble with Momofuko's Compost Cookie Recipe to make my own type of Compost Cookie.

Erika's Compost Cookies (base recipe found at The Amateur Gourmet)
1 cup butter (that's two sticks, unsalted)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients (options: chocolate chips, Raisenettes, Rollos, Cocoa Krispies)
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc.)

To make Erika's Compost Cookies variety, use a mixture of mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and crushed up Ritz crackers.

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for two to three minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
2. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.
3. When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix 45 - 60 seconds just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
4. On the same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30 - 45 seconds until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.
5. Using a 6 oz. ice cream scoop and portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
6. Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or up to 1 week.
DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.
7. Heat the oven to 400 F. Take the plastic off your cookies and bake 9 to 11 minutes. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread. At 9 minutes, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
8. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, they'll keep five days.
Erika's Extras: I was skeptical about baking the cookies at 400 degrees. The first batch burned on the bottom and then I lowered the temperature to 375. This created bottoms that were baked a little more than the tops, but not burnt. Maybe it's because I don't use parchment paper.
Bake well and prosper!


  1. the freezer!! that's genius.

    i've been wanting to start composting, but very hesitant to leave kitchen scraps on the counter or under the sink. this is great. thank you!

  2. That's very kind of you to be get involved all sort of recycling. I like compost cookies. It's a great idea to create a cookie according to whatever I want.

  3. i enjoyed going on a compost and clothing donation tour with you in this post! good on ya for doing your bit for the environment :D

    those compost cookies look great...yummm...gotta love rolos!

  4. Thanks all! Composting is so easy (and it's always fun to go to the Union Square Farmer's Market.) :)


Thanks for taking time to leave a message! xo - EB