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Milk Bar Creator Christina Tosi's ‘All About Cookies’ Is a Delicious Baking Wonderland

Try the recipes for Pie Bars, Crunchy Confetti Cookies and Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Snaps

spinner image christina tosi holding cup; several ribbons with the words milk bar on them behind her
Henry Hargreaves

Cookies are always in season, but they particularly shine in December when they make appearances at holiday fetes. Those seeking inspiration for the holidays and beyond can find it in Christina Tosi’s latest cookbook, All About Cookies: A Milk Bar Baking Book (November 2022).

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Random House

Bake With Christina

Tosi shared three recipes from All About Cookies for AARP members to try:

Milk Bar Pie Bars

It’s no surprise that this dense, sweet, gooey monster is a deep part of Milk Bar’s flavor and textural heritage.

Crunchy Confetti Cookie

The sprinkles are the star of the show in these confetti cookies gone crispy.

Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Snaps

Snaps are a Milk Bar invention — cookie on the bottom with a spreadable layer on top, paired with something salty or crunchy then dunked in something to merge the flavors. And these are the very first snap in Milk Bar history.

Tosi, a chef, best-selling author and founder of Milk Bar, brings us into a cookie wonderland, sharing recipes from and inspired by Milk Bar’s fan favorites. The chain of dessert and bakery restaurants began in 2008 inside Chef David Chang’s restaurant, Momofuku. Today, Milk Bar has branches in multiple cities including New York City, L.A., Boston, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C.

All About Cookies contains some of the celebrated pastry chef and 41-year-old entrepreneur’s most coveted recipes, such as the crunchy corn cookies (a cornbread-like cookie “cranked up to an 11” by sugar and butter, Tosi writes in the book) and compost animal crackers. There are also gooey cookies, crispy cookies, bar cookies and even cookie cakes that bakers of all levels can make.

In true Tosi fashion, her cookies go beyond the ordinary, though she uses simple, accessible ingredients to create whimsical treats that delight. “Sometimes, even the most basic ingredients have an opportunity to contribute to the flavor story, or in this case, drive it,” Tosi writes of her jelly doughnut cookie recipe. This recipe relies on leftover fryer oil to imbue these cookies with a classic doughnut taste (no worries, if you don’t have leftover fryer oil, she has substitutions).

Similarly, the pumpkin dulce bars make use of ingredients often found in the pantry (surely you have a couple of cans of pumpkin left over from the fall tucked away). “I fell in love with the combo of pumpkin and dulce de leche when we dreamed it up as the star layers of a cinnamon-butterscotch sponge cake at Milk Bar,” Tosi writes in the book. Now, this combo is the star of its own bar cookie that’s probably best enjoyed with a cup of coffee.

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Cookies captured Tosi’s heart as a child. She shares in All About Cookies that she dreamed of opening a bakery dedicated to cookies. “Cookies were the secret to living my life on my terms,” she writes. “Decades later, not a single thing has changed.”

Today she’s a grown-up running a baking empire, but her cookies still have touches of the childhood whimsy that hasn’t left Tosi — something all readers baking from her book will benefit from because, let’s be honest, childhood treats are delicious. Put a Tosi spin on them, and they’re next level.

Take her cereal milk cream soda cookies. She found that her go-to ingredient of cereal milk (made by soaking cereal in milk and then removing the cereal) fell short in cookie recipes. “So I re-imagined it here with my childhood indulgence, cream soda,” she writes. “I never had the opportunity to pour a bottle of the good stuff over my cereal when my mom wasn’t looking, but I can certainly vouch for the flavor combo in cookie form.” Even s’mores, everyone’s favorite summertime treat, get reimagined in cookie form as marbled chocolate s’mores cookies. “Marshmallow fluff is one of those hilarious pantry items that can make any recipe feel elevated and playful at the same time,” she writes.

If anything, Tosi’s latest tome is a reminder not to take anything too seriously — and to be open to new combinations. “It’s simple,” writes Tosi. “Reach out and grab inspiration — or let it sneak up on you.”

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