Regis and Kelly Compost Cookie — Only Read This If…

Only read this post if you had disastrous results with the Regis & Kelly compost cookie or if you area a big baking geek.
Yesterday I returned from vacation to find lots of complaints about the compost cookie recipe on Regis & Kelly. This morning between rounds of laundry, I tried to analyze the recipe on paper and figure out what was going on. C. Tossi of Milk Bar is a baking genius, so I’m pretty sure things just got lost in translation. I’ve noticed when chef recipes get posted on big name websites, the typos never get altered. Maybe it’s a legal thing? I don’t know, but a good example is Food TV. There are a few recipes where reviewers point out an obvious typo, fix it in the review section, and that’s that. It never gets altered by the editors at the website.

Case in point, Rob’s Radicals. You have to read all the comments before you get to the one with poor Rob himself saying the correct amount of sugar.

Anyhow, that’s what happens. I wish I’d spent more time reading the Regis & Kelly compost cookie recipe before I left for vacation. First off, the proportions are suspect. The proportion of flour to butter and sugar is way too low. The amount of salt is also a little crazy – it doesn’t indicate unsalted butter and it calls for 2 teaspoons of salt to only 1 3/4 cup of flour. I suppose they’re using coarse crystals, but that should be indicated because it’s the downfall of a lot of chef to TV/web recipes. They use Diamond crystals while a lot of home bakers (perhaps most?) use Morton Kosher which measures more like table salt.

And here’s the biggest glaring error. The recipe says it makes 15 (6 oz) cookies. That means the dough should weigh AT LEAST 90 oz. If you add up the weight of the ingredients in the dough, you get about 43 oz.

1 cup Butter (8)
1 cup Sugar (7)
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar (6)
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup (.5)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs (4)
1 3/4 cups AP Flour (7.8)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups Your favorite baking ingredients! (6-9)
(Kelly used mini chocolate chips, raisinettes, rollos & cocoa krispies)
1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc) (1 /2 oz to 3 at most)
(Kelly used goldfish, ritz, & fritos)

Even if you add what seems to be missing, a full cup of flour to make 2 ¾ cup flour, you get less 50 oz. So the yield doesn’t make sense at all. The only thing I can come up with is that whoever typed the recipe meant “Makes 15 6 oz volume” cookies which would seem logical to someone who doesn’t know baking weights and volumes vary since the recipe calls for a 6 oz ice cream scooper, but who measures cookies by volume? So really, it’s not logical at all.

Sorry to all the people who baked this recipe and had big disasters. A few people have suggested the pastry chef is trying to confuse everyone, but I don’t buy that. Someone said she is coming out with a book, and I will be the first in line to buy it.

Until then, a while back, I made my own compost cookie clone which involves candying the potato chip pretzel mixture in a butter/brown sugar mixture before adding them in. It keeps the add-ins from getting soggy. That version uses a pretty high proportion of butter, which if you’ve ever eaten the original cookie, you taste the butter. I only made it a couple of times and can’t promise it will work for you, but it should! I should probably re-test it, but I got so tired of experimenting that I just moved on when I realized I lived thousands of miles away from the bakery and couldn’t keep doing the side by side comparisons necessary for cloning.

In the meantime, I might try to makes sense of the Regis and Kelly recipe and will post it in a different post.

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  1. says

    Fate spared me from making those cookies! Yeah!! Plus, I spent hours reading recipes trying to decide between Compost Cookie clones vs. Levain CCC clones. Then I decided I just had to move on, and I should just schedule a trip to NYC.

    I’m so glad I went with the bundt cake you mentioned for Valentine’s Day. It was GREAT!

  2. Louise says

    Anna couldn’t help herself. Just had to try what’s supposed to be the “real” recipe. 🙂 Snack food is really salty too which makes the recipe suspect. Also, when I first read the recipe I thought “you know they always use exactly the same quantities of your favorite snack foods” or the cookies would vary too much.

  3. Priscilla says

    Hi Anna,

    I watched the show that day and saw them making the cookies. I tried to scribble down a few of the ingredients as they went along, and I noticed the unusually low amount of flour for the butter called for. Christina definitely said 1 3/4 cups, so It is not a typo. I don’t like flat cookies, so I decided right there to not try them myself. I thought some of the add-ins might replace some of the flour, especially the Ritz crackers, but when theirs came out of the oven, they were still flat puddles. I know some people like flat cookies, so if you know that going in, a person might like these. If I ever made them myself, I would try adding 1/2 cup more flour.

  4. sweetie says

    hi anna- yes, i find martha’s site is famous for typo’s from famous-chef-appearing-on-my-show recipes.

  5. Reba says

    I made them after watching the show and the only complaint I have is that they were way to salty for me. I thought the dough tasted pretty salty but thought I would try them just the way they printed it. I should have trusted myself. I am going to make them again and use 1 tsp. of regular salt and unsalted butter. I added pretzals and chips, chococlate chips and rolo’s they were good and big and not real flat.

  6. says

    Hi Reba,

    Thanks for the review! I think the salt issue is this. They use coarse kosher (like Diamond brand) while most people use a less coarse Kosher like Morton. So 2 teaspoons of the salt they (they being fancy NYC pastry chefs!) use isn’t nearly as salty as 2 teaspoons of Morton brand Kosher or table salt.

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