I Paid: $16 for a 1-pound, 5.5-ounce box (prices may vary by region)
If you're not already aware of (and in awe of) the David Chang/Momofuku Ssam Bar/Noodle Bar/Ko/Milk Bar empire, you're unlikely to like the idea of giving 16 of your hard-earned dollars to Williams-Sonoma for the right to make 9 to 12 fancy cookies.
But if you have heard of Chang—and, more to the point, Christina Tosi, the pastry chef behind his Milk Bar—then Momofuku Milk Bar Cookie Mixes might seduce you. The mixes come in brightly but tastefully colored Asian takeout boxes, in three of the most famous cookie flavors from Milk Bar: Blueberry & Cream, Corn, and sweet-and-salty "Compost."
And the results are mostly terrific. The Corn cookies were found to be a bit underwhelming by a group of dinner guests (they wanted more corn flavor), but by the next day the cookies had hardened up and essentially become delightful corn biscotti, perfect for coffee-dunking. The Compost cookies—which include chocolate and butterscotch chips, coffee, oats, and graham crackers—were, by contrast, a massive hit. The underlying coffee note was palpable but balanced, and the little bits of soothing sweet-and-salty flavor were outright delightful. (I will raise this objection: Compost cookies are billed as containing pretzel and potato-chip pieces, but you're expected to provide your own. That crushed pretzel and potato-chip pieces couldn't be provided as part of the $16 price tag is a minor outrage. Incidentally, I had neither on hand, and used Ritz crackers, which tasted good.) Finally, the Blueberry & Cream cookies—which featured a caramelized crunchiness from the precooked crumbs, a richness from melted chunks of white chocolate, and a natural blueberry acid and sweetness—were creamy and original-tasting.
One of the real selling points of these cookies is, if you're paying attention, that they contain tricks and tips that will take your old Toll House snoozers to another level. For example:
• Prebake some sweet crumbs mixed with butter, then mix them with melted white chocolate, refrigerate, and add that to your cookie dough.
• Sprinkle in crushed-up salty mix-ins like pretzels and potato chips.
• Use teeny-tiny chips and other mix-ins to give a finer texture and distribute the flavor more evenly and widely throughout your cookies.
• Dried blueberries totally rock.