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

b
Bite_Me Nov 1, 2011 11:40 AM

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:

Silpat

#16 NSF scoop

Glucose

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

Pretzels

Potato Chips

grapefruit juice

plugra butter ($4 for 16 tablespoons)

local milk

local eggs

Keebler Graham crumbs

etc

etc

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

  1. biondanonima Nov 1, 2011 12:20 PM

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima
      j
      jarona Jan 27, 2012 07:41 AM

      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. Hey..as 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
        Caitlin McGrath Feb 1, 2012 11:27 AM

        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. l
      laststandchili Nov 1, 2011 12:26 PM

      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
        b
        Bite_Me Nov 1, 2011 04:59 PM

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

        1. re: Bite_Me
          l
          laststandchili Nov 2, 2011 07:07 AM

          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
          mtoo Nov 2, 2011 11:21 AM

          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
            Becca Porter Nov 2, 2011 11:28 AM

            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. babette feasts Nov 1, 2011 05:11 PM

          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
            b
            Bite_Me Nov 2, 2011 12:09 AM

            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
              babette feasts Nov 2, 2011 09:26 AM

              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
                Becca Porter Nov 2, 2011 11:17 AM

                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
                  cowboyardee Nov 2, 2011 11:30 AM

                  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
                    Becca Porter Nov 2, 2011 12:12 PM

                    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
                      f
                      freia Nov 2, 2011 12:25 PM

                      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
                        Becca Porter Nov 2, 2011 12:41 PM

                        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
                          f
                          freia Nov 2, 2011 12:59 PM

                          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
                          cowboyardee Nov 2, 2011 12:41 PM

                          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
                    b
                    Bite_Me Nov 2, 2011 01:33 PM

                    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
                      m
                      mahalan Nov 11, 2011 12:59 PM

                      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
                        roxlet Nov 11, 2011 01:15 PM

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

                        1. re: mahalan
                          babette feasts Nov 11, 2011 04:00 PM

                          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
                      f
                      freia Nov 2, 2011 07:43 AM

                      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...
                      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                    3. c
                      Claudette Nov 1, 2011 11:55 PM

                      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
                        b
                        Bite_Me Nov 2, 2011 12:11 AM

                        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. Becca Porter Nov 2, 2011 07:31 AM

                        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
                          b
                          Bite_Me Nov 2, 2011 01:11 PM

                          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
                            Becca Porter Nov 2, 2011 01:21 PM

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

                          2. re: Becca Porter
                            sbp Nov 2, 2011 01:35 PM

                            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: Becca Porter
                              a
                              angelsmom Nov 11, 2011 12:41 PM

                              Where do I locate milk powder?

                              1. re: angelsmom
                                Becca Porter Nov 11, 2011 12:53 PM

                                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
                                  a
                                  angelsmom Nov 11, 2011 02:29 PM

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

                              2. re: Becca Porter
                                miss787 Jan 10, 2012 12:36 PM

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

                              3. mtoo Nov 2, 2011 11:50 AM

                                We don't usually keep potato chips in the house, but I have bought them a couple of times thinking I was gonna make compost cookies.

                                Then we eat the chips and say to each other, "man, potato chips are good" and the cookies never get made.

                                Repeat cycle.

                                1. Becca Porter Nov 4, 2011 10:45 AM

                                  The corn cookies are chilling in the fridge right now! I am beyond excited.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Becca Porter
                                    f
                                    freia Nov 4, 2011 10:53 AM

                                    OOOH let us know how they are! I'm intrigued!:)

                                    1. re: Becca Porter
                                      emily Nov 11, 2011 08:51 AM

                                      Becca, how were the corn cookies?

                                      1. re: emily
                                        Becca Porter Nov 11, 2011 09:48 AM

                                        Amahzing, lol. My husband has been craving King Vitamin cereal for years, and he was thrilled to discover that these taste a lot like it.

                                        The texture of the cookie is so chewy and wonderful. One of my favorite cookies ever...

                                    2. dryrain Nov 4, 2011 12:45 PM

                                      What are peoples views on the cook book? I have never been to milk bar before so with that in mind is it worth getting the cook book.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: dryrain
                                        Becca Porter Nov 4, 2011 01:49 PM

                                        I happen to love project recipes. I love tracking down ingredients, and making lots of components. I love delicious results. This book offers me all of that. I would not recommend it for someone who prefers easy baking, but it is perfect for me!

                                        1. re: dryrain
                                          b
                                          Bite_Me Nov 4, 2011 02:22 PM

                                          The cookbook is one of the best. Self admittedly I am a momo milk bar fanboy. However, this book is not for the meak or lower class. You need to invest hours into each recipe and spend hundreds of $ on ingredients and equipment. The techniques are explained well with a few exceptions but make no mistake the techniques are advanced. If you really really love cooking get the book. You will gain a real appreciation for cooking and what they do at milk bar on a daily basis. But if you don't have time, money, and a strong passion for cooking, then just go to Milk Bar and order some cookies. In some ways, I wish I went the easy route

                                          1. re: Bite_Me
                                            s
                                            sibaik Nov 8, 2011 01:36 PM

                                            I just made her Cornflake/Chocolate Chip/Candy Corn cookies (not in the book, but in October Food and Wine magazine), following the directions for smiliar cookies from the cookbook. They were amazing. I'm about to try the recipe for the chocolate chocolate cookies and, in agreement with Becca and Bite_Me, just spent $35 on Valrhona chocolate powder and Valrhona chocolate for these. Have had no luck finding glucose powder except online, but able to get acetate strips from local cake decorating place. I've made her Crack Pie 2-3 times and it really is addictive. I would say her taste runs toward super sweet combined with salty--and I share that love.

                                          2. re: dryrain
                                            roxlet Nov 11, 2011 10:36 AM

                                            I just got this book today, and admittedly, I haven't made anything from it yet, but I think it is one of the most completely original baking books that I have ever seen. This is not the well-tred path. Tosi is an innovator, pure and simple.

                                            1. re: roxlet
                                              Becca Porter Nov 11, 2011 11:45 AM

                                              Exactly! I was thinking that today as I was turning my grapefruit supremes into grapefruit threads for the grapefruit pie. This cookbook and it's results are just so different from all the other ones out there. It is very exciting.

                                          3. j
                                            julesrules Dec 20, 2011 01:35 PM

                                            I'm pretty sure I would never follow through on making any of these recipes but want the cookbook anyway. Have half-convinced myself that even if I can't cook from it until I have an empty nest in 15 years +, it will then be out of print (like Claudia Fleming's book) so I really need to order it RIGHT AWAY. Any more reports I can drool along too? I'm intrigued by the grapefruit and passionfruit recipes in particular, because most of the famous recipes seem to be super-sweet and more kiddie/nostalgia oriented (and nothing wrong with that!), but those fruits are more adult.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: julesrules
                                              j
                                              julesrules Jan 9, 2012 01:39 PM

                                              Anybody? I'd love to hear how the grapefruit pie turned out. I made the compost cookies per the recipe on the Oprah site which seems to be the true recipe, but without the graham crumbs and then forgot the oatmeal. Still turned out very tasty, although I'm not sure the texture is that special ie. worth the extra fuss of forming and chilling the dough balls.

                                              1. re: julesrules
                                                mtoo Jan 10, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                I made the compost cookies too and didn't love them. The coffee grounds made them smell kind of burnt too, which I didn't like. My coworkers thought they were great though. Also made the blueberries and cream cookies and the cornflake crunch/marshmallow chocolate cookies which were both really good.

                                            2. junglekitte Jan 11, 2012 04:16 PM

                                              Was it worth it to you? I went to Momofuku Milk bar and bought one of everything to try since it all sounded so yummy! WRONG! All was disgusting except for the crack pie. The rest went in the trash after one taste. :(

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: junglekitte
                                                miss787 Jan 12, 2012 08:51 AM

                                                I'm glad to hear of a different opinion. I plan to go this weekend to see what the hype is all about and taking my BF along, he's way more into sweets than I am (although I love to bake).

                                                1. re: miss787
                                                  junglekitte Jan 12, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                  My advice would be to buy one cookie first to try right then and there before you invest in a whole lot of them like I did. If I would have just bought one I would definitely have walked out after and saved myself $20.

                                                  1. re: junglekitte
                                                    babette feasts Jan 12, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                    Can you expand on what you found disgusting? Textures? Too sweet? Flavor combos? Because of all the hype, I've looked at the cookbook a few times but nothing really appeals to me. It all looks super sweet and trashy, and since I have no childhood nostalgia for the usual American junk food (you know, twinkies, cap'n crunch.... ) I don't get the appeal. I thought I might be the only one!

                                                    1. re: babette feasts
                                                      emily Jan 12, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                      I've found the cookies to be super greasy and not that exciting flavor-wise. Corn cookie was good the first time, but not when I mail ordered them. The only items I really like are the crack pie and candy bar pie.

                                                      1. re: babette feasts
                                                        junglekitte Jan 12, 2012 08:07 PM

                                                        The blueberry cookie was not blueberry-ish at all. The corn not corn-ish. The compost cookie you couldn't differentiate between the fun add-ins of pretzels, chips, etc. All was mashed so tiny it just seemed like a regular (but bad) chocolate chip cookie. All of the cookies were extremely greasy, lacked flavor, and seemed so processed tasting to me.

                                                        The cereal milk ice cream had an off taste (I'd rather eat real cereal milk after I've eaten a bowl of cereal!) and the texture was that of a bad quality ice cream. In the trash that went and I am an ice cream FIEND!

                                                        The only decent thing was the crack pie, but it wasn't aaaaaamazing.

                                                        1. re: junglekitte
                                                          j
                                                          julesrules Jan 13, 2012 05:25 AM

                                                          I've made the compost cookies and enjoyed them, but I agree, the add-ins were mostly indistinguishable. Although to be fair my pretzels were not whole but broken leftovers from another recipe. The chips made for the odd salty crunch but I think something similar could be achieved with large salt crystals. I saw one blogger say they used thick, old-fashioned style chips so they wouldn't break down as much, but I was trying to use up pantry leftovers per the spirit of the recipe. All that said they were pretty good cookies and I will make them again. Despite my earlier comment about the texture not being worth it I made a basic tollhouse recipe with some fun add-ins this week and kinda wished they were more Momofuku.
                                                          I did get the cookbook and I'm enjoying reading it but it's definitely a certain style not for everyone.

                                                2. j
                                                  julesrules Jan 27, 2012 07:18 AM

                                                  I would still love to hear from anyone baking from this book or even just reading it, which is all I am doing so far :) I can't even find many bloggers testing the recipes. I guess January is not the right month for over-the-top sweet treats! About to order white chocolate disks for the milk crumbs and clear fake vanilla since I am online getting some other supplies anyway.

                                                  1. a
                                                    adido Jan 27, 2012 07:43 AM

                                                    Momofuku and Williams Sonoma must have read this thread and saw an opportunity. WS is selling Momofuku Milk Bar cookie mixes - no need to buy bulk freeze dried corn any more. There is a supertaster review of them on this site as well.
                                                    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/momofuku-milk-bar-cookie-mix/?cm_src=hero
                                                    http://www.chow.com/food-news/103548/...

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: adido
                                                      j
                                                      jarona Jan 27, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                      You know....I'm sorry but I simply cannot justify purchasing those williams-sonoma mixes. Ina Garten has mixes...now Momofuko..it's crazy. Just make them from scratch--even if I have to spend more money on ingredients, the amount of ingredients will stretch the amount of whatever it is I'm baking. It's wrong. Just wrong.

                                                      1. re: adido
                                                        j
                                                        julesrules Jan 27, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                        I can see the appeal for the corn and blueberry mixes, for people who can't try the real thing. No need to buy the cookbook or source the trickier ingredients. For the compost cookie, not so much.

                                                      2. j
                                                        julesrules Feb 6, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                        I made the carrot cake and would rate it good, but not great. Granted it wasn't the most appealing recipe to me, I chose it for practical reasons, but I probably won't make another cake from the book soon, since they have a lot of steps and don't appeal too much (for example, I would just as soon have apple pie a la mode as apple pie cake, ya know?)
                                                        There are 4 components to the carrot cake but they were all easy and I have leftovers for some future recipes. The modular nature of the compound recipes actually works for me since I often have just half an hour to spare at a time and all the components were easy to make. I was not sold on the milk crumbs based on their ingredients or description (I think white chocolate chips would do the job) and I am not convinced by the results either. With one big caveat that I realized my Canadian kosher salt is way too salty (I actually had to remake the milk crumbs with less salt). I will have to seek out Diamond Crystal, assuming that is the brand they used to test the recipes, she does not specify, which bugs me - salt is a huge factor in her recipes.
                                                        The graham frosting, made from the graham crumb, was tasty and a fun idea but kind of receded in the actual cake. The liquid cheesecake I may have overbaked slightly, but I followed her directions. It simply reminds me of very soft cheesecake.
                                                        The cake overall is extremely rich and people only wanted very small slices - my kids immediately asked for milk to wash it down.

                                                        1. j
                                                          julesrules Mar 4, 2013 01:37 PM

                                                          Since I last posted I have made the blueberries n cream cookies, the compost cookies a few times, and the grapefruit pie.
                                                          I don't like the milk crumb and actively *disliked* the blueberry cookie with it. I have never before hated a cookie, they might be "meh" but not "BLEH". They were greasy and had an odd flavour note. I think vanilla would help a little?
                                                          I made the compost cookies very faithfully to her recipe since I had leftover graham crumbs from the carrot cake. They totally disappeared into the cookie, not worth making them just for this, I have enjoyed less faithful and even somewhat thrown-together versions ie/ using peanut butter chips and chopped chocolate bars more - and that is in the spirit of the recipe. The graham crumbs were however delicious in key lime ice cream.
                                                          The grapefruit pie is actually quite easy (once you have the passionfruit puree). As with many of her recipes each component seemed almost too salty on its own, but it comes together to have a good balance. I made the grapefruit threads easier on myself by simply cutting the fruit in half and scooping out half segments like you do at breakfast, no paring required. People liked it, there was silence followed by compliments at the table and I think it was an unexpected delight "Wow! Grapefruit pie?!", but having spent so much time anticipating this one I wasn't as impressed and probably won't make again.
                                                          So far, the only keeper recipe is the compost cookies, they are pretty tasty, and they make sense for NYE when I have chips and pretzels on hand, and a bunch of baking leftovers.

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