Christina Tosi packs tons of fun into ‘Milk Bar Life’

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Christina Tosi gained fame as the pastry chef for Momofuku and Momofuku Milk Bar, but she’s expanded on that career by writing cookbooks and as a judge on “MasterChef.” Contributed photo.

Christina Tosi’s profile just keeps rising. The pastry chef became well-known in culinary circles for her work at New York City’s Momofuku and Momofuku Milk Bar, but her pop culture cred grew when, earlier this year, she joined the judging panel on “MasterChef” and “MasterChef Junior” on Fox.

She also published her second book, “Milk Bar Life: Recipes & Stories” (Clarkson Potter, $35), which appeals to cooks who aren’t quite ready — or are just unwilling — to take on the complicated, high-end pastries in her earlier books.

She shares recipes for only a handful of cookies and cakes; the rest are comfort foods that remind her of her childhood or that she and her staff enjoy today: cocktail meatballs, chicken pot pie, zucchini Parmesan, Cheez-It knock-offs called Kimcheez-its, a tutorial on how to throw a shish kebab party and even how to make a salad or two. It’s a fun book, bursting with Tosi’s joie de vivre but without the stuffiness of — and difficulty in skill required to use — her first book.

milkbarlifeHijacked Biscoff Cookies

When I taste something good out there in the real world, I can’t help but pick it apart, turn it upside down, and find a way to re-create it in my kitchen. These are my from-scratch, or “hijacked,” Biscoff cookies.

Raise your hand if you don’t know what a Biscoff cookie is. Come on, people. I first encountered Biscoffs as the in-flight cookies on Delta. (I am usually the girl making a scene on the plane, begging for three more packs.) They’re a variation of speculoos. Still nothing? OK, head to your nearest 7-Eleven11, because I recently saw them for sale next to the cash register. Actually, forget that. Just make these. Biscoff cookies are the most delicious spiced shortbread cookie known to man — and they’re slowly taking over the world.

— Christina Tosi

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Scant pinch of ground allspice

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Put the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking soda and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix on low until just incorporated, about 45 seconds.

Remove the dough from the bowl and roll it into a log, 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch rounds and arrange 1 inch apart on a greased or lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until fragrant and dark auburn brown. Cool completely on the pan. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

— From “Milk Bar Life: Recipes & Stories” by Christina Tosi (Clarkson Potter, $35)


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