The other day, my husband and I disagreed over an important subject: the flavor of a particular type of cookie I had just baked.
“They taste like a cookie-version of buttery corn on the cob, or maybe a corn muffin in cookie form,” I mused.
“I’m getting more of a Cap’n Crunch thing, but, like, with butter poured over the cereal, instead of milk,” he countered.
The source of this disagreement? My gluten-free version of Christina Tosi’s corn cookies from her Milk Bar cookbook.
For months, I’d wanted to make the cookies. I just couldn’t find the freeze-dried corn kernels needed for what Tosi calls “freeze-dried corn powder.” Not to be confused with cornmeal, corn flour, or cornstarch, her corn powder is made by grinding freeze-dried corn kernels in a food processor or blender. Honestly, before I saw this recipe, I didn’t even know freeze-dried corn kernels were a thing.
To make the recipe gluten-free, I swapped the wheat flour for white rice flour, since I didn’t want the flavor of the flour to compete with the corn flavor in the cookies. Then I bumped up the amount of corn flour (finely ground cornmeal) just a little. I left everything else alone. For this recipe, I didn’t use xanthan gum. Since these are drop cookies, I figured that they didn’t need the shape-strengthening properties that xanthan gum brings to a gluten-free recipe.
For my first tray, I followed the recipe and used 1/3 cup of dough for each cookie. I knew that much dough would make really big cookies, but when first converting a recipe to be gluten-free, I like to follow the creator’s directions to remove any extra variables, at least at first. The cookies were so big, though, that they baked together into an ameba-shaped cookie-cake blob. So I reduced the size of the cookies from 1/3 cup of dough to 1 1/3 tablespoons. The baked cookies were about 3 1/2 inches across.
As for the flavor, I’ll let you settle the debate my husband and I had. For now, let’s just say they’re somewhere between buttery corn on the cob and a buttery bowl of Cap’n Crunch—at least we both agree that the cookies are buttery! And, dare I say it, they’re almost too buttery for me. So, if you don’t love a really buttery cookie, you can reduce the amount this recipe calls for. When you cut the butter down, the cookies won’t spread as much, but they’ll still be unusually delicious.
Momofuku Milk Bar's Corn Cookies (Gluten-Free)
- 1 1/4 cups white rice flour, plus more for dusting (5 ounces; 142 grams)
- 2/3 cup freeze-dried corn powder (see note above) (2.2 ounces; 62 grams)
- 1/2 cup corn flour (see note above) (2 ounces; 56 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 cup; 8 ounces; 226 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces; 297 grams)
- 1 large egg (about 1 3/4 ounces; 50 grams, out of shell)
Whisk together white rice flour, corn powder, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Turn off mixer and scrape down the bottom and side of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Add egg mix at medium-high speed until very light and airy, about 7 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and side of the bowl and the paddle attachment once more.
Add the dry ingredients and turn mixer to medium-low speed. Mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Scoop the dough using a #40 cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each) onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dusted with white rice flour, press down lightly on each cookie to flatten. Wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Center oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 6 dough balls about 4 inches apart on one of the parchment-lined baking pans.
Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Repeat with remaining batter, alternating baking sheets between each batch so that you are always baking on a cool sheet. Store cookies in airtight container on the counter for up to four days.