Judging from the Recipe Request submissions on the newly redesigned blog, you’d really like to make some of the recipes from Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook (Amazon affiliate link in there) into gluten free treats. On account of writing cookbooks myself and knowing how important cookbook sales are if you want to continue writing them, I do tend to buy a fair number of (non-gluten-free) cookbooks. I use them for inspiration, of course, not for the recipes (being gluten-filled as they almost always are), and to support the art and science of recipe development if you don’t mind my getting a little philosophical about it. I’ve been writing this blog for nearly 6 years now, and cookbooks for almost as long, and for me this is it. Developing recipes for the blog and for my cookbooks, plus doing some freelance writing, makes me happy. This work isn’t a stepping stone. I’m not looking to start a line of foods or flour, not looking to have my very own Food Network show. So helping you to make these gluten free cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookies, then, in the Momofuku Milk Bar style? Pretty neat.
When I first read through the Milk Bar cookbook I was a little *meh* on it. The cereal-this and cereal-that (cereal milk! cornflake crunch!) in the recipes proved to be a little too, well, kitschy for me—until you asked and I went for it with these cookies. It’s no real surprise that plenty of bakers who made these cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookies at home made them with straight-up cornflakes—without bothering to make the Cornflake Crunch recipe first. If you’re thinking of going that way, from what I’ve read it sounds like that works just fine. But I can’t lie—I adore the Cornflake Crunch. By the handful. Or sprinkling atop some plain yogurt. And, of course, in these cookies.
I’ve done a fair amount of adapting from the original recipe—both with the Cornflake Crunch itself, and even more so in the ingredient balance in the cookie recipe itself. I cut back on the butter in both recipes. I found that, by doing that, cutting back on the sugar and adding an egg white, plus a few other changes, I could still create tremendously lovely lacey cookie effect, but keep the cookies from being too sweet and from spreading in every single direction on the baking sheet.
Like most cookie recipes, though, the temperature of both the ingredients when you’re making the dough (room temperature!) and the dough before baking (cold!) matters quite a lot. So do follow the instructions carefully. Yes, the cookies really do benefit from allowing the dough to sit for at least an hour before shaping and baking. And yes, do make sure the shaped cookie dough is firm and cold before baking, or you’ll find you go from many cookies on a sheet … to one big cookie mess. But no matter how I handled the dough or balanced the ingredients, the miniature marshmallows melted and spread in the oven. Just coax them back into the cookies right after baking, and you’ll be rewarded with a truly delightful crispy-chewy-crunchy-malty-tasting gluten free cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie. Trust me. I’m in this for the long haul!
Momofuku-Style Gluten Free Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies
For the Cornflake Crunch
5 ounces (about 4 1/4 cups) unsweetened gluten free cornflakes (I used Erewhon corn flakes), crushed to about 1/4 of their original size (I pulsed mine in a food processor twice)
1/2 cup (48 g) nonfat dry milk powder
3 tablespoons (38 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the Cookies
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (145 g) packed light brown sugar
1 egg (60 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg white at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups (270 g) Cornflake Crunch
3 ounces miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups (63 g) miniature marshmallows (Kraft Jet-Puffed and Campfire brands are gluten free in the U.S.)
First, make the cornflake crunch. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. In a large bowl, place all of the cornflake crunch ingredients, and mix gently to combine well. Take care not to crush the cornflakes any further. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread into an even layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just beginning to brown (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before breaking into irregular pieces and storing in a sealed glass container until ready to use.
Prepare the cookie dough. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside. In a medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and baking soda, and whisk to combine well. Set the dry ingredients aside. In a large bowl, place the butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar, and beat with a fork until light, fluffy and very well-combined. Add the egg, egg white and vanilla, and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, reserving a couple of tablespoons of dry ingredients and tossing them in a separate medium-size bowl with the cornflake crunch, chocolate chips and marshmallows. This will help prevent the mix-ins from sinking to the bottom of the cookies as they bake. Mix the cookie dough until just combined. Add the cornflake crunch, chocolate chips and marshmallows with the reserved dry ingredients, and mix gently until just combined, taking care not to crush any of the cornflake crunch. The cookie dough will be thick. Cover the bowl of cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 1 hour. You can allow the dough to chill for a few days, but it will become quite firm in the refrigerator. Allow it to sit at room temperature until it softens enough to allow you to shape it.
Shape and bake the cookies. Divide the cookie dough into about 20 portions, each about 2 tablespoons’ worth. Press each piece of dough together tightly into a ball, and then press into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Try to avoid placing any marshmallows right on the edge of the dough, as they may “leak” out of the cookies during baking. Place on a plate and place the plate in the freezer to chill the dough until firm (5 to 10 minutes). Remove the pieces of cookie dough from the freezer and place 3 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown all over and crackled on top (about 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and, using a moistened knife or spoon, coax any melted marshmallow edges into a round cookie shape. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet until firm.
Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar.