Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi On How She And Karlie Kloss Built A Better (Healthy!) Cookie
As if we didn’t already have enough evidence that Karlie Kloss is an angel from heaven—her bod, her brains, her wholesome cookie inventions, her work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation—she has also recently announced a new charitable milestone: as of this summer, Karlie’s Kookies has donated half a million school lunches to children in need. Half a million! If you lined up half a million school cafeteria trays, you’d get 2,500 football fields’ worth of nutritious lunches. Not too shabby.
Those football fields also count as a ringing endorsement for the cookies themselves, which are dairy-free, gluten-free and genuinely delicious. This last point is crucial, because only the strongest cookies can survive in an era where our hunger for cookie novelty is pretty much insatiable; we are living, after all, in a time of root-beer-flavored Chips Ahoy and candy-corn-flavored Oreos. In this context, the fact that Karlie Kloss' “Perfect 10 Kookie”—a HEALTHY cookie— is still going strong after two years is legitimately impressive.
Kloss' baking partner-in-crime is Christina Tosi, the founder of cult-favorite dessert laboratory Momofuku Milk Bar. A trained pastry chef, Tosi is the sugar-loving genius behind crack pie, cereal milk ice cream, and pickled strawberry jam, among other inventions. (Milk Bar is headquartered in NYC but—no need to panic!— ships worldwide, which means you’ll have time to pick up extra toothpaste/floss before your giant box of cake truffles arrives. Health, very important.)
After meeting via mutual friends, Karlie and Christina became quick pals and decided to stir up a cookie recipe of their own—a model-worthy cookie with real nutritional value and life-giving ingredients that might even contribute to glowy skin and hair. Because Karlie’s not quitting her day job any time soon...
Lucky: How did you and Karlie come up with the recipe?
Christina Tosi: You know when you’re with one of your girlfriends or boyfriends and there’s never a silent moment? When you’re just excitedly rambling and rambling and there’s barely even time to take a breath? That was us. We talked about recipes, textures, ideas, flavors, traditions, favorite baked goods. We covered the entire gamut before we honed in on the idea of an oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie.
Then my scientific mind started thinking, “How can we do this without granulated sugar, butter, and eggs? How can we make a cookie without the standard pantry items?" One thing we knew was that we wanted a really dark chocolate chip, and one of my favorite things to pair with dark chocolate is passion fruit, so we talked about binding it with passion fruit juice.
…but it didnt quite work. We also tried binding it with coconut oil, and then with applesauce, and then with agave. I think we tried pineapple juice, too.
You wound up using agave, right?
Trying to bind it entirely with agave was tricky because it became too sweet, which defeated the whole point. So we started playing around with a really nice extra virgin olive oil, and adding some almond flour to give it great texture and flavor—which made it possible to use even less agave. The final ingredient list is almond flour, oats, olive oil, almonds, chocolate chips, agave, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, and the secret ingredient...
What’s the secret ingredient?!
Tahitian vanilla extract! It’s the one element that really brings out the sensory note of “chocolate chip cookie” and makes it taste homemade.