Pretty Perfect: Milk Bar Life Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

milk bar life chocolate chip cookies recipe

COOOOKIES. I’m not blue and fuzzy nor am I a total maniacal pig monster but if you get me close to a pile of fresh-out-the-oven perfect chocolate chip cookies, I really do tend to tornado-devour ’em. I can’t stop. It’s been a lifelong search for the superior chocolate chip cookie recipe. Crucial requirements: non cakey, non puffy, crisp at the edges yet chewy elements, not too crazy sweet with a generous salty vibe … and of course that melty creamy chocolate in every bite. I thought I had found it before … but these cookies… these cookies take the CAKE.

momofuku milk bar life cookbook

I was finally craving cookies on the weekend, and I even felt like baking… and Milk Bar Life got to me just in time (thanks Auntie for the book!) I had gotten through my first round of chemo in early April. It felt too surreal to be true, sitting there hooked up to an IV, my bags of drugs dripping down into a vein in my hand, sitting there as the clock ticked by (we were there 8 hours in total!). Me – a healthy woman with colour in my cheeks and muscle on my body, knowingly filling my body up with poison. It was like waiting for a bomb to go off as I waited for those dreaded side effects to kick in and they finally rolled in like dark clouds. A haze of achy discomfort – my body twitched in tiny spurts of inside-pain and I imagined all of those happy good cells dying off and floating away, drowned in drugs. I felt feverish, itchy all over – my face flushed red – I felt like I had eaten a poison apple in a fairy tale gone awry. I was bedridden but couldn’t get comfortable and my mind was a muddy fog, but I laid on my side and glazed through the Mindy Project, Say Anything, Beautiful Girls – shows and movies that felt light enough to watch. Teddy would jump on my bed and entertain me and show me silly things, and I’d read him stories before bed, one of my favourite things. However, by day 5 the side effects were subsiding – my energy was crawling back and the sun was out. My appetite came back, and my mind was on fire with all the things I wanted to eat but my stomach was saying “oh hell no, lady!”. Fried chicken, pizza, banana splits … after a week of Digestive cookies and watered down Gatorade, I was feeling pretty ravenous! So yeah. Making, baking and EATING freshly baked chocolate chip cookies – it was a good feeling all around!

milk bar life chocolate chip cookies recipe

I didn’t mess with Tosi’s wicked simple chocolate chip recipe much at all. I didn’t have chocolate chips (huh!) so I chopped up some Lindt “Surfin” (I always think of Weezer when I use this chocolate) dark chocolate pieces and I used good old flakey crystal-y Maldon sea salt because I love the teensy salty crunch it gives cookies… yum. The Milk Bar Life cookbook itself is an exercise in bonkers wacky wild supermarket ingredient fuelled recipes, from a Ritz cracker, grape jelly and Cool Whip icebox cake to fish cooked in pickle juice. The book pays homage to some grand old gals of middle America, and for a little Chinese Canadian Vancouver girl like myself, reading it is like an anthropological study of what white kids in America might’ve grown up eating… Fascinating. Milk Bar sounds like a fun place to work if you ask me! Jokes, snacks, cool ladies, blasting tunes, camaraderie, hard work and churning out wildly delicious products – good stuff.

Milk Bar Life Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

18 medium cookies

For The Cookies

  • ½ pound (2 sticks, also known as 1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and just warm to the touch
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk powder (crucial!)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons Maldon salt flakes
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups chopped high quality semi sweet or dark chocolate pieces (or 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips!)

Make The Cookies!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep baking sheets with parchment paper.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugars with a wooden spoon until mixture is combined and homogenous.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, stirring until combined.
  3. Mix in the flour, milk powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until just combined – don’t overmix!
  4. Fold in the chocolate pieces or chocolate chips. The dough might seem a bit wet but it baked up nicely.
  5. Dole out the cookie batter using a 2 ¾ ounce ice cream scoop, or use your hands. Keep the balls 2 to 3 inches apart! Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely on the pan (if you can wait that long to chow on them).

happy boy with lollipop

Teddy and me, Easter weekend in Victoria, BC. We walked by a barber shop and looked in and waved – and the owner came running out with a bowl of lollipops.

kid iron maiden tshirt

Teddy going Hulkamania on me in his Iron Maiden tshirt!

black and white photobooth vancouver

This past Sunday – some energy, and sunshine outside called for a little trip to River Market in New Westminster, where there is a wicked analogue black and white film photobooth! I’m totally into my bowl cut now – however, last night I noticed my hair was starting to come out! Wahhhh! Oh well. Being a bald lady will be an experience, hopefully a character building one. Chemo pretty much sucked a big hairy boar’s testicle – but I’m happy I’ve completed the first round and know what it’s like for the next one. And … I am praying it destroys every last trace of cancer in my bod and I will never ever have to deal with it again. I hope all my cake pals out there are doing well – thank you for the continued well wishes, emails, messages, prayers and thoughts! It really means a lot! xo Lyndsay 

21 Responses to “Pretty Perfect: Milk Bar Life Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe”

  1. Cindy

    I’ve seen family members deal with chemo and it is such suckage!!! I’m so glad you have cookies and a cute baby boy to make you laugh.

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Suckage! Ha, yep… I (like you!) am indeed lucky to have that baby boy energy lighting it up around these parts… ^__^

  2. Natasha | Ok, Last Bite

    I drooled over this book when I was at the book store this weekend – it took some serious coaxing to put it down, but I know exactly what you mean about all the whacky ingredients she’s got in there. It breaks my heart to read about the chemo, but warms it to know that you’ve got such a lovely boy and an amazing attitude about it all. <3 <3

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      It’s a fun read and so pleasantly wackily different than most cookbooks! ^__^ Thanks for the kind note, Natasha xo

  3. Janger

    Thanks for being so open about the process of duking it out. When I hear cancer stories they are often either shrouded in sad mystery or protected by a forcefield of über positivity- neither of which provides an image of realism for me. I’m sure your honesty is appreciated by many others as well. I’m happy to hear you’re powering up on bake time and cookies. I’m always into your cookie gossip. Take care Sunger!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Aw man, thanks Janger! So nice to hear from you. xo

  4. Sue {munchkin munchies}

    I am glad that the chemo has worn off and you could get back to baking and eating some yummy cc cookies! I know chemo is difficult (my mom and sister both went through it), and wish you well. Your little Teddy is a doll!
    I am a big fan of your cakes! :)

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Hi Sue – thanks so much for the sweet note!

  5. Sarah // The Sugar Hit

    I think you might officially be my hero? And I also think we would get on like a freaking house on fire. These cookies look like heaven, I also want to work at Milk Bar (it sounds awesome), and that made me think of Weezer too. It’s so shit that you have to deal with that hairy boar’s testicle, but it sounds like you’re kicking it HARD. Just YES, you are doing this!
    PS, Teddy is too adorable.

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Haha! Aw, Sarah – that would be DREAMSVILLE if we got to meet in person one day! Congrats on all the super fun good things happening to The Sugar Hit these days! xoxo

  6. cynthia

    You are such a freaking rockstar. Just so in admiration of you, lady. I love that Teddy’s there to be a ray of sunshine — seriously, could he be any more precious? As for these cookies, they look CRAZY good. Milk powder, yesss!! So glad there’s Teddy and CCCs around, sending you all the good vibes in the world and cheering for you so hard!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Oh man. I am loving milk powder … going to stock up some more on my next trip to the grocery store… feeling your interweb vibes and the love, thanks cynthia…! xoxo

  7. steph

    yay for cookies, teddy, sunshine and kicking this bad old cancer in the butt :)
    you got this woman!

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      XOXO to you, my wonderful food loving bloggy BFF!

  8. tanja@the green mixer

    Glad to see you you are feeling better and making cookies and hopefully more lovely cakes. Found your blog recently and really want to try my hands at following one of your tutorial (although I have no experience with buttercream, or piping).


    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Hi tanja – aw I’m glad you found me and thank you for the note – and you will do great with piping! ^__^

  9. movita beaucoup

    Please tell me you’re going to rock an incredibly wild, superstar wig at some point during this journey. I mean, given that you are facing this whole cancer thing like a rockstar, shouldn’t you get faux hair to match? Of course, now that I think about it, you could go the Axl Rose route and bandana your way through this stage in your hair life… I’m sending you a pocket full of well-wishes and sprinkles from the East Coast! You got this.

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Hi Rachael – I just got a wussy black long haired wig with bangs, that looks exactly like my old hair … oops. I like the idea of the Axl Rose look … wait, maybe I should get a Slash style curly wig and a giant top hat?? ^__^ (Ps thank you for your sweet well wishes … xo )

  10. Caroline

    Lyndsay, if you haven’t watched the first season of PBS’s Mind of a Chef — with David Chang and a generous sprinkling of Christina Tosi — it might be a fun distraction the next time you’re having a hard day but not feeling too food averse. She seems terrific.

    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Aww I have indeed seen (and loved) Mind of A Chef … great tip though – thanks Caroline! I agree, what a cool gal!

  11. Kate

    Oh man! I’m so sorry you are wading through this pile of shit. But a little chocolate chip cookie can do a girl some good. I’m making these today, I’ll be thinking of you.


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