Gluten-Free Compost Cookies – Milk Bar Mondays

“I love you, Christina Tosi.”

“I hate you, Christina Tosi.”

This went on for a while as I scooped cookie batter onto Silpats and wrapped each sheet with plastic wrap. I couldn’t stop eating tiny nibblets of dough. Dough that was most likely the unhealthiest thing to ever come out of my kitchen. Dough housing chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, granola, potato chips, oatmeal, cookie crumbs, coffee grinds and a crap-load of sugar.

I love food, obviously. And, for the most part, food loves me. But maybe you’ve noticed that I’m trying to behave a bit more for various reasons.

Enter, these damned cookies.

Luckily, they’re so big and indulgent that one is all you need before you’re shivering in your shoes. There are so many fun flavors and textures happening inside, all you know is they make you obnoxiously giddy. I made it through one half and then had to step away. They should be called Compost Crack Cookies.

This recipe is part of Milk Bar Mondays, where a ridiculously lovely group of lady bloggers is baking our way through the Milk Bar Cookbook. I’m the gluten-dairy-free adapter of the group. In general we don’t change anything about the recipe – rather, we’re learning how to be better bakers by getting into Tosi’s world, and sharing our varying opinions as we go. Other than the gluten and dairy thing, I don’t alter.

Except that this recipe gave us a tiny bit of leeway.

The Compost Cookie was created to be endlessly adaptable, depending on what was around to be loaded up. I had a limited amount of cash in my wallet for the bodega and not enough time to run to Fairway for gluten-free pretzels, graham-crackers (I normally make my own), etc. So I used all of Tosi’s proportions and then had a little fun.

  • Instead of butterscotch chips, I used raw cocoa nibs
  • Instead of graham-cracker crust, I used some crumbled cranberry chocolate cookies that were chilling in my freezer, the result of a not-perfect recipe that still tasted really darned good
  • Instead of popcorn I used granola

It’s a scary-good cookie. The base and proportions will forever be one that I’ll use when needing some really big, chunky cookies and when feeling creative. My recipe’s below.

For the original recipe, head over to this week’s host Krissy of Krissy’s Creations. Her site is truly stunning.  And then check out what the rest of the ladies are up to, and come back on May 7th for my pick – Chevre Frozen Yogurt with Pistachio Crunch and Beet-Lime Ganache. Yes, I’m excited.

Meet the Ladies!

Krissy of Krissy’s Creations

Erin of Big Fat Baker

Meagan of Scarletta Bakes

Cassie of Bake Your Day

Audra of The Baker Chick

Nicole of Sweet Peony

Averie of Averie Cooks!

Follow the group on Twitter!

Compost Cookies

Adapted from the Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi

Makes about 20 cookies

Note: I go back and forth between weighing and measuring – depending on if I need ease or accuracy with the ingredient. When adapting recipes with gluten-free flour blends, 90% of the time I weigh – otherwise I can’t be sure as to the proper quantity. Hope this isn’t maddening; it’s just my method.


  • 16 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 75g brown rice flour (soft, fine and a good base)
  • 75g arrowroot flour (the starch that pulls it together, corn-free)
  • 50g millet flour (it’s golden and sweet!)
  • 25g white rice flour (to soften a bit and make more flavor-neutral)
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum (to help bind together)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  • 150g bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 25g cocoa nibs
  • 125g gluten-free granola
  • 85g gluten-free cookie crumbs (I have a stock in the freezer of leftover cookies I crush for this purpose – this batch was some sort of chocolate cranberry I think? Mysterious….)
  • 40g old-fashioned gluten-free rolled oats
  • 5g decaffeinated espresso or coffee grinds (unused, not instant)


  • 2 cups potato chips
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds



In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, paddle the butter, sugars and molasses on medium/high for about 3 minutes, until smooth and light.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 8 minutes. This creaming method is somewhat unique to Tosi and gives these cookies incredible lift and chew. If you don’t cream long enough, they’ll spread and crisp too much.

Meanwhile, measure out your flours and dry ingredients, whisking to combine.

With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix until it just comes together, about 30-45 seconds (don’t overmix).

With the mixer on low, add all ingredients but the potato chips. Spin for about 30 seconds, until everything is evenly dispersed.

Dump in the potato chips and stir for 5 seconds, just so that they’re here, there and everywhere.

Tosi suggests measuring with a 1/3 cup measuring cup – these make HUGE cookies (awesome, but huge). I did 1/3 and 1/4, and found that the slightly smaller ones worked more for me. Drop onto Silpat or parchment-lined sheets, and press/shape into circles with slightly flattened domes. Wrap each sheet in plastic and stick in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours (do NOT put directly into the oven, or they’ll just fall into a flat, nasty mess).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°. Bake each sheet for 18 minutes, until lightly browned at the edge but soft-looking in the center. Cool for a few minutes on sheet before removing to rack.

I crumbled about 4 of these to have on hand in the freezer. The rest went to craving friends (big, big hit).


  1. Pingback: Milk Bar Mondays: Compost Cookies

  2. BigFatBaker says:

    Oooh the granola and cookie crumbs sound like delicious additions! I also want to try your popcorn suggestion…mmm… And I TOTALLY agree. These are crack cookies! I couldn’t stop eating them!

  3. arthurb3 says:

    What’s up with this ‘g’ measurements? I am a silly American. Don’t know nuthin’ about the metric system. But I will be a good sport and break out the scales for this because they look expecially good!

    • I stand by weights when it comes to most gluten-free recipes. Changed my perceptions and accuracy when I got a scale, and they’re totally not an expensive addition. I highly recommend it – makes adapting recipes exponentially easier.

  4. Wonderful job Jaqueline! These are pretty perfect if I do say so myself. They look puffy and soft and you really stuffed them with an amazing array of stuff. I can’t wait for your choice! :)

  5. ahha! I see why they are called compost cookies – I’m so dense. However, OH MY GOD THESE LOOK SO GOOD. I want one. The top photo is also most incredible. So impressed, Dusty :D

  6. rosemarried says:

    I’ve been meaning to make these cookies! Gosh, I just adore every recipe from this book. Your version looks FANTASTIC. Have I ever told you that I have no clue how you bake the stuff you do (especially considering that it’s all GF?). You are one talented lady.

    • Aw, thanks darling. It’s second nature now. If I take a new chef gig I’m going to have to remind myself how wheat flour and cow’s milk work!!!

  7. RisaG says:

    My question is – did you use the glucose and what does it do for the cookies? I can’t get it and don’t feel like ordering it just for one recipe. Can I use honey instead since it is also a mixture of fructose and glucose? Isn’t it similar enough? Or can I use agave nectar?

    • I used molasses instead and corn syrup is listed as an option. I’d suggest trying glucose at some point just for the fun of it. It’s thicker than corn syrup and does provide a different texture. I was so happy with the way these came out though that I’m sticking with this recipe.

  8. thespicyrd says:

    Wow! These cookies are a MUST! At first thought, the potato chips are a little strange, but I can imagine the little taste of salty goodness they bring to each bite. Can’t wait to make these!!

    • They.Are.So.Good. I have a bag of frozen cookie pieces in my freezer for a future recipe and even just two little nibbles sends me flying in a sugary, cracked out state of ecstasy.

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