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Nov 1, 2011 11:40 AM

Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook for $500 vs Online ordering for $300

I debated ordering $150 worth of cookies, pies, truffles from Milk Bar's web site. But when I saw $180 for shipping on top of the $150, I said screw that and eagerly picked up the new Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook for $18 from iBooks. I said I'm going to stick it to the UPS man and use that shipping money towards a stand mixer

Luckily found a Kitchen Aid 5 qt. artisan stand mixer for $150 on sale from Macy's

But then realized to make these delicious treats I had to get:


#16 NSF scoop


Special plastic wrap

Airtight containers

Valrhona white chocolate ($17)

Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whole Milk Powder

citric acid

King Artur Bread flour

Red food dye


Potato Chips

grapefruit juice

plugra butter ($4 for 16 tablespoons)

local milk

local eggs

Keebler Graham crumbs



Ended up spending over $500 on equipment and ingredients and I'm having a little buyer remorse. Is the $500 entry fee worth it?

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  1. Absolutely. That KitchenAid will be with you for decades if you treat it right.

    2 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      I've had my kitchenaid for 28 years. 28 years and it is still working like a charm. Although I will say that it isn't as pretty as it used to be. I'm thinking of getting a new one--the one with the "arm" that enables you to lift the pot --and then I'll pass my old kitchenaid to my daughter. When she moves out. an aside: we made the Momofuku Compost Cookies and got the recipe from the internet. They turned out great! I cannot see spending that much money on Momofu@ku's book anyway. JMO

      1. re: jarona

        I might think twice about replacing your old KitchenAid, because my understanding is that the current ones aren't as well made. They have plastic internal construction where the older ones have metal, and are more prone to breakage. They won't necessarily be in great shapes decades on like the older vintage is.

    2. Don't forget the freeze dried corn. My wife just bought 5 lbs online after our preordered copy of Milk arrived late last week. Along with new cake sheets, ring forms, and a wide array of other essentials for some of the recipes.

      I am looking forward to some crack pie once we finally settle on, order, and recieve a new ice cream maker.

      4 Replies
      1. re: laststandchili

        Ha. The freeze dried corn was $8 for 2 bags but they helped make some slamming corn cookies

        1. re: Bite_Me

          Based soley on the fudge (deep dark chocolate with a pretzel crumble) that she made yesterday the little woman can spend as much as she needs on equipment and ingredients. As long as we have enough leftover to by some larger pants.

        2. re: laststandchili

          I've made the crack pie. It was easy. It really doesn't need ice cream, just a sprinkle of powdered sugar and it's good to go.

          1. re: mtoo

            The recipe for Crack Pie is different in the book than the ones I have seen previously. There is dried corn powder in it. Plus, maybe a few other tweaks. I can't wait to try it again when I get my corn tomorrow.

        3. Hyperbole much?

          You didn't already have airtight containers, milk or eggs? Where are you paying $8 a pound for plugra and why? It's good butter, but .... Chocolate is something where brand makes a difference, but graham cracker crumbs aren't something I'd pay a premium for.

          Good luck with all that, I hope you can put all that expense to good use, and not end up regretting it.

          14 Replies
          1. re: babette feasts

            No bullshitting! My pyrex containers were all being used to make crack, not like crack pie, but real crack...j/k

            The going rate for 8oz of Plugra is $4, which makes it $8/lbs. Why? Christina motherfucking Tosi told me go Plugra or go home.

            Funny enough I ended up getting my semisweet 55% chocolate chips from Trader Joe;s. Got good word that it is really Callebaut chocolate repackaged.

            And the graham crackers were Keebler so no biggie.

            Thanks. I made a shit load of goodies and don't know what to do with myself. I feel disgusted with myself for eating 1000 grams of butter and for spending exorbitant amounts of money on food just to fill the void in my life but what's new

            1. re: Bite_Me

              Tell Christina motherfucking Tosi to take her plugra and shove it. Yeah, on the one hand follow the recipe, use the best ingredients blah blah blah, on the other, I doubt using whatever butter you're normally happy with is going to ruin her precious genius recipe. I think you should use the best ingredients you can afford, which may not always be the best available.

              I have to admit that the whole cereal milk thing makes me gag just thinking about it, and the crack pie sounds way too OTT sweet, but I will have to check out that book if only to see what all the hype is about.

              But I don't think you really need a stand mixer unless you are making a long kneaded bread (like brioche or a big heavy batch) or really big batches of things. Or marshmallows/nougat. Nice to have, though.

              So did everything turn out wonderfully?

              1. re: babette feasts

                I would usually agree on the stand mixer thing, but she says in the book that you cannot make her cookies without a stand mixer. She creams the butter/sugar for almost 10 minutes.

                1. re: Becca Porter

                  You can use a hand mixer and elbow grease. There's nothing magical about a stand mixer. It just means you don't have to stand there the whole time.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    Right, I am just repeating her claim. She said you can certainly make cookies with a hand mixer or by hand but to not expect them to be like Milk Bar's cookies.

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      Becca, that makes sense -- I know I get a much different result when I use a hand mixer to cream butter and sugar vs my KitchenAid stand mixer. I think it has to do with the paddle size and the consistent speed/power of the mixer that gives a different aeration to the butter vs using a small hand mixer. Those stand mixers are powerful! Besides I just don't have it in me to stand there for 10 minutes with a hand mixer, and usually recipes like this have you using a stand mixer while you are doing another 350 steps in their recipe.

                      1. re: freia

                        Yeah, and I have read that you need to double the timing if using a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer. I can't see anyone standing there beating with a hand mixer for twenty minutes.

                        1. re: Becca Porter

                          Totally agree, Becca. I know with my peanut butter cookies I get one result when I use a hand mixer and another with my stand mixer. Both are good, but I do notice a difference in this particular recipe because they're all about the creaming process.. I'm sure it is the power output and consistency. At least, that's what works in my hands.

                        2. re: freia

                          I'm by no means an amazing baker. But my experience has been that it's really just the time spent creaming butter with sugar that matters, not really which power tool you use for the job.

                          My SIL who is a much better baker than I am has repeatedly made some of the best baked goods I've ever had with a hand mixer. Her stuff stands up very well to any professional bakery I've ever tried.

                          Can't absolutely rule out that the stand mixer adds its own voodoo to the process, but that hasn't been my observation.

                  2. re: babette feasts

                    It was beautiful baby!

                    Who doesn't love the milk that's left over from a bowl of cereal, cmon Babs?

                    btw re: stand mixer here is what Momo Milk Bar said on twitter " you would need hulk arms to pass our cookie creaming process sans mixer RT @CarlosAntonorsi Do I really need a standing mixer?"

                    1. re: babette feasts

                      babette, you may take your name from one of my favorite movies but don't dissuade someone from buying Plugra. Years ago, I bought about a dozen premium butters and did a blind taste test. The Plugra won hands down. It's really that good.

                      Unless of course you happen to know a local, organic dairy farmer.

                      1. re: mahalan

                        My husband buys huge containers of clarified Plugra at the Restaurant Depot.

                        1. re: mahalan

                          I didn't mean to say it's not good or worth a little extra, but if budgets are tight I'd go for expensive chocolate over expensive butter (and even dare to suggest alternatives to Valrhona). If the OP went out and bought a Kitchenaid etc just for a batch of cookies, hopefully s/he can afford it and isn't skipping a mortgage payment over it.

                          I believe that many of us would have the same results of a blind taste test of butters on their own or on a plain cracker. But what about when the butter is mixed with 6 other ingredients, some strongly flavored - could we still tell the difference?

                          Definitely use the best you can find/afford, but I wouldn't want to discourage someone from trying a recipe if they only have Darigold butter and Callebaut, because it will most likely still be pretty darn good. Margarine and Hersheys would be a different story. Sort of like what someone told me about wine once - for every dollar you spend up to $15 or 20 you're likely to get better quality according to price. Above $20, much of it is marketing. There are exceptions of course, but also plenty of good ingredients that aren't the most expensive. Valrhona may be thought of as the best, but Callebaut, Cacao Barry, Felchlin, and El Rey are still very good, and half or 2/3 the price. Very good is good enough for me.

                    2. re: babette feasts

                      Actually, here's a review that came out today on this cookbook, and the author clearly says that this is not a cookbook for those without advanced kitchen skills and a pimped out kitchen. I was going to get this cookbook too, but I'm giving it a second thought based on this review. I don't think its hyperbole, its pretty accurate...

                    3. Consider the $500 your admission to Pastry Playland!

                      And except for the glucose, corn powder, and milk powder, a regular baker would have everything else already. The rings and acetate are not necessary: just divide the batter into cake pans and skip the sheet pan/cake ring/smash cake pieces on the bottom routine. She does that so that the funky sides make a statement and render frosting unnecessary. If you want that look, though, buy acetate in bulk at TAP plastics and trim to fit.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Claudette

                        Ooh Pastry Playland...I wanna go.

                        I know I am such a half-steppin baker. Thanks for the knowledge. Will you be my pastry godmother?

                      2. I love this post! It made me lol because I am currently tracking down supplies. The biggest problem I have is finding passion fruit puree without spending $50+. I really want that pie.

                        I bought glucose at Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon. I need to go back and get acetate sheets. I also ordered the dried corn from Amazon after a disappointing try at dehydrating my own.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Becca Porter

                          Becca, re: passion fruit puree. Try your local whole foods or even ethnic market (just learn the local word for passionfruit depending on what type of market you go to). They should have it and much cheaper. If you can't find it there, passion fruit puree is $20 or so on Amazon from Boiron.

                          Dried corn also at whole foods if there is one by you. $4 a bag is all you need.

                          1. re: Bite_Me

                            Local Whole Foods... ha ha, I wish. The nearest one is hours away unfortunately.

                          2. re: Becca Porter

                            Good lord, I buy frozen pureed passion fruit at any of a dozen different local hispanic supermarkets for about $4/lb. Just made a passionfruit curd tart last week. I can't remember the brand name, but it comes in a fairly flat, rectangular plastic "brick".

                            Found it on the net: La Fe brand.

                              1. re: angelsmom

                                It is just like the Carnation dry milk powder in the white bag on the baking aisle...usually close to the evaporated and sc milk section.

                                1. re: Becca Porter

                                  Thanks that is what I assumed but I did not want to risk it.

                              2. re: Becca Porter

                                I've seen it in the frozen foods section before, especially on markets that carry international foods. The Goya brand has it for sure.