High Action Baking with Booktrack
by Nic Boshart
There’s a strong correlation between those who work in start-ups (like Booktrack), those who bake from the Milk Bar cookbook and the contemporary action hero. All three share a relentless tenacity, the kind of deep will power that keeps you running through a hail of bullets, chasing strangers through alleyways, driving 120mph through the rain in the dead of night, or gritting your teeth while cranking your mixer up to eight for 12 minutes, praying your baby stays asleep for just a few more minutes. High tension stuff!
And that is why A.D. Starrling’s ebook Soul Meaning inspired my Booktrack Baking recipe, Blueberries and Cream Cookies. In Soul Meaning, Lucas Soul is an immortal warrior on the run from a band of ruthless hunters. Soul has a tenacious drive that only a true hero or devout baker could have. Like Soul Meaning, Christina Tosi’s fantastically sweet and salty cookies contain a dynamic, bullet-dodging range of flavours.
This recipe is actually two recipes, which is a very basic recipe compared to some of the 11-layered-cakes included in Milk Bar. It includes the cookie itself, as well as the milk crumb – the salty sweet chocolate chip that really makes this cookie.
You can find the recipe and a few more on the Milk Bar website.
Before you begin, I would like to make a couple of recommendations. First, Milk Bar recipes give you the option of using a scale for gram measurements, or cups and tablespoons. They reportedly work well both ways, but measuring with a scale will pretty much guarantee good results and is way, way easier than getting out a million cups and things to measure.
Blueberries and Cream Cookies
Step 1: Milk Crumb
This recipe is said to make about 2 1/4 cups of crumb, though I found it made about a half cup less.
- 40 g (1/2 cup) milk powder
- 40 g (1/4 cup) flour
- 12 g (2 tbs) cornstarch
- 25 g (2 tbs) sugar
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- 55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted
- 20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
- 90 g (3 oz) white chocolate, melted
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees
- Mix all the dry ingredients together with your hands, then mix in the melted butter with a spatula. Everything should come together in small clusters.
- Spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or Silpat. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely.
- Toss the crumbs in the second bit of milk powder. Melt the white chocolate (remember to use a bain-marie (aka a water bath) or you will wreck it. Yes, I forgot to use one. But then I remembered and it worked fine. By remembered I mean my partner told me.) The Milk Bar directions tell you to enrobe the clusters with chocolate, but in reality just mix them together as well as you can. It’ll all work out.
- Your crumb is done. Don’t eat too many of them.
Step 2: The Cookie
- 225 g (16 tbs) butter, at room temperature
- 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 150 g (2/3 cup) light brown sugar
- 100 g (1/4 cup) glucose- you can substitute 35 grams (2 tbs) of corn syrup
- 2 eggs
- 320 g (2 cups) flour
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) baking powder
- 1.5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
- 6 g (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- 1/2 recipe milk crumbs (or the whole recipe. Go for it!)
- 130 g (3/4 cup) dried blueberries
- Mix the butter, the sugars, and the glucose or corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. This creaming of the sugar and butter is integral as it gives the cookies the chewy on the inside texture that makes them so great.
A warning – if you’ve never worked with glucose before, be warned that it’s really sticky, and if your kitchen is cold it’s going to be hard to mix. Also don’t add it first as it will stick to the bowl of your mixer and it’s pretty much going to stay there.
- Reduce the mixer to low and add in the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes for about a minute – don’t go much longer than that.
- Keep mixing, adding in the milk crumbs and then the blueberries just until they’re evenly distributed.
- Measure out the cookies with an ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup, but a very spare 1/3 cup. I find the 1/3 is a bit too much, so closer to ¼ is what I would aim for. Measure them out and place them on a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper and flatten them just a bit.
- Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour. If you don’t the ingredients melt too fast while and they cookies spread all over the place.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the cookies for about 18 minutes. You know they are done when the edges are a crispy brown. Remove them immediately and let them cool.
- Eat all the cookies. They will stay in the fridge or freezer for a month, but if you keep these cookies in the fridge or freezer for a month, you have no joy in your life. Eat them all right away.