Holidays cookies: Milk Bar, Magnolia Bakery, and a classic snickerdoodle [RECIPES]

This year, I opted out of sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. I wanted to try something different and ended up recreating cookies from popular bakery recipes… but I did sneak in one traditional cookie: the snickerdoodle. Here are the three cookie recipes and photos of how they turned out. What kind of cookies are you baking this year?

Enjoy… and Happy Holidays to you!

1. Momofuku’s Milk Bar: Cornflake-Chocolate-Chip-Marshmallow Cookie

This popular New York bakery released a cookbook at the end of the year. Flipping through the pages, I noticed the ingredients were simple, however, I did get a bit intimidated because most (if not all) recipes want you to use a stand-up mixer with various paddles – which I don’t own. But I didn’t let that discourage me. And by looking at the photo above, I think I did a pretty good job. These cookies are sweet and salty – my favorite combination for a dessert.

The marshmallows add a great gooey comfort food familiarity to the cookie, the prepared cornflakes ad a great crunch and a gritty textures, and the mini chocolate chips add a hint of sweetness. Definitely use the mini chocolate ships – not your regular sized chocolate chips.

This is a two-part recipe so it does take more time than your average chocolate chip cookie. Why? You have to prepare the cornflakes first and let it cool, then you start the dough for the cookie — then you let the dough chill. This is key because if you don’t want the cookie to fall apart. These are not puffy soft cookies – the cookies will spread and have a nice crunch.

TIPS: I noticed when I was baking these cookies, the ones I cooked on a air cookie sheet turned out better and the ones I cooked on the regular cookie sheet burned some of the cookies. Also, don’t skimp on the parchment paper – this makes it easy to get the cookies off the cookie sheet – don’t forget you’re working with marshmallow and marshmallow can get messy and sticky.

RECIPE: Milk Bar’s Cornflake-Chocoloate-Chip-Marshmallow Cookies

2. Magnolia Bakery: Chocolate Crinkle Cookie

For those Magnolia Bakery fans, this is the recipe for their popular chocolate cookie. If you are a chocolate and brownie lover – you will love this cookie. It’s the best part of the brownie – soft center and toasted edges – mixed with the best things about a cookie – easy to transport and no mess! I regret not making more of these.

TIPS: Don’t make the cookies too big because it’s harder to tell when they are ready in the oven. Don’t over-bake these cookies – you don’t want them to be hard and crunchy – the key is to get the center soft and the round edges lightly toasted. And don’t be afraid to be generous when rolling the cookies in powdered suger!

RECIPE: Magnolia Bakery’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookie

3. The classic: Snickerdoodle

I love this cookie because it’s simple and when I smell it baking – it reminds me of winters. You can’t go wrong with cinnamon and sugar… and everything nice. Some recipes ask for shortening and I try to stay away from that because I’m already adding butter – I don’t need all that extra fat.

TIP: A friend told me several years ago the key ingredient is cream of tartar and he was right. What’s cream of tartar? It’s basically potassium hydrogen bitartrate – a byproduct of winemaking and a very fine powder you can find in the baking section with the rest of the spices. It is an acid that helps stabilize the sugar from caramelizing and actually makes the cookie taste creamier.

Try to bake this on the air cookie sheet too because these cookies spread and tend not to burn on the air cookie sheet.

RECIPE: Epicurious’ Snickerdoodle Cookie

Cookie Showdown at downtown LA’s art walk

The second Thursday of every month is the Downtown LA Art Walk. The historic buildings up their doors so artists can display their works and food trucks from around the county converge so people have something to eat while getting some culture in their brains. TIP: If you’ve been dying to try the gourmet food trucks in LA, Downtown LA Art Walk is THE one-stop shop for your stomach. Lines are much shorter than those food truck festivals that have been happening around town.

This past Thursday I was pleasantly surprised when my friend and I stumbled upon the Cookie Showdown 2010. For $5, I was able to taste cookies from 7 different Los Angeles bakeries, get free milk, and an additional ticket to get a free cookie at the end of the night. Oh yes, there was art and vintage pop up shops in the space too but the cookies were the main attraction for me.

My favorite cookie of the night was from Platine Cookies in Culver City. They were sampling their house speciality cookie – vanilla platino. It’s like a fancy oreo!

There are several flavor combinations but the vanilla one was made of two soft buttery dome cookies that sandwiched a subtle sweet cream. The best part is after your first bite of the sweet cookie and the cream, there’s a slight salty aftertaste which makes your tastebuds yearn for more. Hands down, this was my favorite of the night… however, they didn’t win the cookie-off. But my second favorite of the night did win!

The winner of the night was B Sweet located on Robertson in LA. The cookies were small but had the right amount of sweetness that wasn’t too overpowering.They served up their red devil cookie sandwich and angel chocolate chip cookie. I’m wondering if they won over their patrons because they went over and beyond by giving away two cookies.

The red devil cookie sandwich was basically a red velvet cookie sandwich that was partially dipped in chocolate with a whipped cream in between. And the angel chocolate chip cookie were chocolate chip and white chocolate chip cookie with chocolate syrup drizzled on top. I think if the cookies were bigger than this, it would have been far too sweet but because they were mini – it was just right.

Cookies and art… a great Thursday evening in Los Angeles. I wonder if next time someone will host a macaron tasting!?!