Monthly Milk Bar: Corn Cookies + Blueberry and Cream Cookies by Chelsea Zwieg

It's back! That thing where I make a recipe from Milk Bar and then tell you all about it, whether you care or not! And if my recipe posts this month have been any indication, you know I was going to make something corn related. Can't stop, won't stop. But, since there is nothing better than cranking up your oven on a 95 degree day, I made two cookies this month. And oh my goodness, where do I even start. 

I'll give you the good news first: Corn cookies. Greatest thing ever. I'm not even exaggerating. Think super soft sugar cookie with a slightly crispy exterior, chewy edges and a perfectly soft center. They use a combination of corn flour and freeze dried corn powder for flavor. Other than that, the ingredients are just the basic flour, sugar, egg situation. But the corn flavor is something I never really realized I wanted in a cookie until I realized it was everything I wanted in a cookie. 

Both corn flour and freeze dried corn are something you might not be able to find at your normal grocery store (lucky you, if you do). But they can be ordered online, which is actually 10x easier because you don't have to put on pants. I bought this corn flour and this corn powder. Totally worth every penny (and it wasn't even all that many pennies) for the summery, corn goodness that is this cookie. 

And on to Blueberry and Cream Cookies. Definitely not the best, but I actually think that it was all my fault. All the milk bar cookies use a special technique where the butter, sugar and egg are creamed together for 10 minutes. Which is like 5x longer than any normal cookie. However, since this takes so much time, the butter has plenty of time to get way too soft, separate or turn to total soup. All of it happened to me. But I did what the book said, stuck it in the fridge to cool it down and tried again. It ended up being semi-ok but still not quite right. So when I baked them the next day (24 hour chilling is a must when you cream the butter for so long) they spread out a ridiculous amount. Like almost see-through kind of thin. The flavor was ok, but it mostly tasted buttery to me and they were really greasy on the bottom. 

So, all of this is a super long way of saying, that had I pulled off the butter creaming process correctly, they would have been fantastic. Luckily, I learned from my mistakes when I got to the corn cookies and chilled my mixing bowl before starting. I also didn't soften the butter as much as I would for a regular cookie. Doing it this way kept everything cool enough so that the butter could turn into the fluffy, white, creamy cloud it was supposed to. 

Between the two, I would still say make the corn cookie. But both are definitely worth the time, even in the middle of the hottest days of summer. 

Corn Cookies

From Momofuku Milk Bar

Makes 13-15 cookies

| Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 2/3 cup freeze-dried corn powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

| Instructions

  • Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl, add the egg, and beat for 7-8 minutes. 
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until the dough just comes together, no longer than 1 minute. 
  • Using a 1/3 cup measure, portion out the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and pat the domes of the cookies flat. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 1 week. 
  • Preheat oven to 350. Arrange cookies on a baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Bake for 18 minutes, until faintly browned on the edges but still bright yellow in the center. 
  • Cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container. The cookies will keep for 5 days at room temp or 1 month in the freezer. 

Blueberry and Cream Cookies

From Momofuku Milk Bar

Makes 12-17 cookies

| Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup glucose
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 recipe milk crumbs (recipe below) 
  • 3/4 cup dried blueberries

| Instructions

  • Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until the dough just comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape the bowl. 
  • On low speed, add the milk crumbs and mix until incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Add the dried blueberries, mixing for 30 seconds. 
  • Using a 1/3 cup measure, portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pat the domes of the cookies flat. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. 
  • Preheat oven to 350. Arrange cookies on a baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Bake 18 minutes. The cookie will puff, crackle and spread. If they are not faintly browned around the edges, give them an extra minute or so. 
  • Cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container. The cookies will keep for 5 days at room temp or 1 month in the freezer. 

Milk Crumb 

| Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup milk powder
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. milk powder
  • 1.5 oz. white chocolate, melted

| Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250. 
  • Combine the 1/4 cup milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to mix. add the melted butter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
  • Spread the clusters on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point. Cool crumbs completely. 
  • Crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than ½ inch in diameter, and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the 2 tbsp. milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. Continue tossing them every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.

Scalloped Tomatoes with Cornbread Croutons by Chelsea Zwieg

You know those dishes that are just so perfect, so delicious, and yet words cannot do them justice at all? This is one of my favorite way to use tomatoes and yet, when asked to describe it, the most that comes to my mind is soggy bread in a good way. Wait, don't leave, it's better than it sounds. 

I first tried making scalloped tomatoes like 6 years ago, when Deb from Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for them that was from none other that the goddess Ina Garten. If I could be instant best friends with anyone, I think it would be Ina. We could just hang out in her fancy Hamptons farmhouse kitchen all day, make scalloped tomatoes and talk about the wonder that is crispy croutons soaking up juicy tomatoes under a bubbling layer of cheese. 

Scalloped tomatoes are essentially croutons baked with a whole bunch of tomatoes, some garlic, basil and parmesan cheese. It is one of the simplest and yet most fantastically summery tasting dishes I have ever had. But, since I made scalloped tomatoes the good-old-Ina-way a few days ago for an article I was working on, I decided to mix it up this time around. 

Instead of the normal french bread, I used leftover (and a little overbaked) cornbread, cilantro instead of basil and cheddar jack instead of parmesan. The cornbread gets tossed in the skillet first with some olive oil until it is perfectly golden brown and crispy on all sides. Then the tomatoes and garlic are added just long enough for the tomatoes to start to release their juice. Then the whole things gets topped with cheese and popped in the oven where you can forget about for 40 minutes until you pull out the most magical skillet full of cornbread chunks, bursting tomatoes and melty cheese. And then you'll never be able to forget about it again. But that's ok, because we are heading into August and there is no shortage of tomatoes happening. Praise. The. Lord. 

Scalloped Tomatoes with Cornbread Croutons

Note: I used some leftover jalapeño cheddar cornbread which was wonderful, but you can use any cornbread you want. Boxed, leftover, fresh baked because you're feeling ambitious....it's all cornbread and it's all good. 

Adapted from the flawless Ina Garten

Serves 4

| Ingredients | 

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (roma or cherry tomatoes work best since they have less liquid) 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups cornbread, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cheddar jack cheese

| Ingredients | 

  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Cut tomatoes into 1/2" pieces. Place in a large bowl and add garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a 9" cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the cornbread cubes and stir so that they are coated in oil. Cook, stirring gently and often, until they are golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.
  • Place skillet in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the cheese and tomatoes are bubbly, 35-40 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
  • This is good served on it's own or with cilantro, avocado, sour cream or even a fried egg on top.