I don’t like to travel. I know it’s pretty much everyone’s favorite thing to do, but it’s just not in my DNA. I love to be out and about and have fun, but at the end of the day, there’s nowhere in the entire world I’d rather be than home sweet home. However, my love of food TV has been established, and it’s tough to watch program after program of amazing food and not crave a good deal of what I see. The good news is I can get my hands on at least some of it through mail order offerings of many well known bakeries. For the most part it’s not cheap, mostly due to the high cost of shipping, which almost always has to be overnight to ensure the quality of the baked goods remains high, but for the occasional treat it’s worth the price. And much, much cheaper than traveling to whatever bakery has struck my fancy at the time.
Momofuku Milk Bar with several New York locations is one of those wonderful bakeries that ship many of their products. I can’t begin to name or even remember all the places I’ve heard about Milk Bar. It was Anderson Cooper’s rave reviews of Crack Pie when he was co-hosting Live with Regis and Kelly a couple years ago that finally got me to click over to their website and place an order. With my chocolate allergy there were only a handful of things I could have, and I’m pretty sure I ordered them all. Anderson did not oversell this amazing pie. Each bite I took from each thing I ordered was better than the last.
Just a couple weeks ago, my Momofuku craving came back with a vengeance, so I placed an order and wanted to share the awesomeness that ensued with all of you. My order: Crack Pie, peanut butter cookies, corn cookies, and corn powder for my future baking from the Momofuku cookbook I received for Christmas, signed by Christina Tosi, the genius behind Milk Bar and a huge inspiration to me every time I step into the kitchen to whip up something sweet. Since the pie was part of my order, it did require overnight shipping, but it was worth every penny.
Crack Pie is a good place to start. I have to be honest; it looks a little humble, like it could never live up to all the hype surrounding it. Rest assured it does. Even though I’d had it before, I was just as amazed at its deliciousness this time around. It’s a pretty thin pie with a rich, thick, gooey custard like filling. For me, it’s the crust that really makes the whole thing. Made of an oat cookie, the crust is buttery, rich, and chewy rather than crispy. Together, the filling and crust may just be the single best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Though there’s no doubt in my mind I could eat the crust by itself.
Then there are the cookies. I’ll start with the peanut butter. I think I like these better than the corn cookies, though my mind is liable to change. They’re big; they’re soft; they’re chewy. The base of the cookie is spectacular with a little bit of a raw sugar / cookie dough thing going for it, even though it is fully baked. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cookie with this texture before; more cookies should definitely have that soft, yet almost granular texture. Then there are the tiny pieces of peanut brittle melted into the cookies. They aren’t crispy; instead, they only add a little sweetness and complexity. Momofuku’s peanut butter cookies are not only the perfect peanut butter cookie, but also the perfect all around cookie. Yum is really all I can say.
Moving on to the corn cookies. Even if I like the peanut butter ones better, the corn ones are perhaps the most unique cookies I’ve ever had. The texture is similar to that of the peanut butter ones, with a raw sugar /cookie dough feel and the addition of a little grit from the corn. They are just as soft, but with this amazing sweet corn flavor. It’s a wonderful and unique flavor that is quite hard to explain, but the best way would be to say it tastes like cornbread in cookie form. Even my dad who isn’t much of a sweet lover thought the corn cookies were stellar.
While it would be nice to have freshly baked goods from Momofuku in the mail to me on a regular basis, it’s just not possible. So, like nearly everything else on this blog, they are great when frozen. I cut the Crack Pie into eight pieces, eat as many as I can without feeling guilty, then individually wrap the remaining pieces in parchment and foil and place them in a zipper bag, before stashing them in the freezer where they will hold for about three months. The cookies come in their own little plastic bags, so I just wrap them as is in foil and put them in zipper bags. They should hold up in the freezer for four or five months easily. Thaw all of them at room temperature for an hour or so, and they really taste just as good as the first day they arrived.
There are a lot of bakeries that I like, but I can’t think of another one where I have nothing but good things to say about everything I’ve tasted. If you can’t already tell, I love Momofuku Milk Bar. Any time you don’t feel like baking, but are looking for the perfect sweet treat, visit Momofuku if you’re in New York, and if you’re not check out www.momofukustore.com. Until you get the chance to taste the amazingness straight from the source, I’ll be working on recipes from the Momofuku cookbook, which I hope to post before too long.