The Milk Bar's - Compost Cookies


Comfort food

· Shared by

Peter Johnston

My spur: story

My first interactions with spur: forever changed my life. It was 2009 and I was walking home from Sydney to Brisbane, a short 1000km in an effort to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Sarah Moran, a newly found friend at the time, was part of our incredible support team where her support connecting us with news and media, reached 4 million people. When returning to Brisbane and looking for a space to build my production company, Sarah’s support continued, offering to share spur:’s office at Visible Ink - at the time approximately 5ft x 10ft, no windows and bright pink - with me and my small team. The walls might’ve been close but the potential was limitless, it was at Visible Ink where friendships flourished and collaborations ensued. It was in 2010 after working with Lee on a passion project (I just happened to be living with Will at the time #Brisbane), when I saw spur: really take shape and grew from an idea into an organisation. Burning the candle at both ends, Lee worked hard to build the spur: team and establish a strong brand with big campaigns. Wanting to support where I could, I would help out on the film front here and there, but most of my time was spent admiring the dedication and passion of the team. Watching Lee and Will’s friendship form, was like watching two stars colliding, full of passion and energy, and I knew nothing would stop spur: now. I knew, with these two at the helm - they’re both stubborn enough and talented enough to build spur: into what ever they wanted it to be. The last 10 years is a testament to their character as people and I couldn’t be prouder to know them. Inspired and motivated by spur:'s mission and moxie, bonded by kindness, friendships and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, my connection to spur: will always remain one that changed my life.

This recipe

Someone gave me a homemade compost cookie once, it looked weird and had a little bit of everything in it... but tasted so damn good. It's now my go-to cookie to make. A tad of this and a tad of that. Like life, you just have to put in a little bit of everything to make it work... but balance is important.


· 16 tablespoons (225 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature

· 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

· ⅔ cup (150 grams) tightly packed light brown sugar

· 1 tablespoon (18 grams) light corn syrup

· 1 large egg

· ½ teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract

· 1 ⅓ cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour

· ½ teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder

· ¼ teaspoon (1.5 grams) baking soda

· 1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt

· ¾ cup (150 grams) mini chocolate chips (I use regular size chocolate chips)

· ½ cup (100 grams) mini butterscotch chips (I use regular size butterscotch chips)

· ⅓ cup (40 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats not instant oats

· 2 ½ teaspoons (5 grams) ground coffee not instant coffee

· 2 cups (50 grams) potato chips (I recommend Cape Cod potato chips)

· 1 cup (50 grams) mini pretzels Graham Crust

· 6 tablespoons (48 grams) graham cracker crumbs

· 1 tablespoon (5 grams) milk powder

· 1 ½ teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar

· ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt

· 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter melted, or as needed

· 1 tablespoon (14 grams) milk or heavy cream


To make the Graham Crust:

1 · Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.

2 · Whisk the butter and heavy cream together.

3 · Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. The mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand.

4 · If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 grams (1 to 1 ½ tablespoons) butter and mix it in.

Stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

To make the Compost Cookies:

1 · Combine the butter, sugars, and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes.

2 · Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

3 · Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4 · Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk over mixing the dough.)

5 · Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

6 · Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and coffee and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

7 · Add the potato chips and pretzels and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips.

8 · Using a 2 ¾ ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓ cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.

9 · Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly.

10 · Heat the oven to 375°F.

11 · Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment-lined sheet pans (no more than 6 large cookies per half sheet pan).

12 · Bake for 15 to 16 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. They should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center.

13 · Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage.

14 · At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Notes: Coffee Grounds: Do NOT use instant coffee, but any brand of ground coffee will work fine otherwise. Just make sure they are not wet, brewed coffee grounds. Use it fresh from the canister. Rolled Oats: Use rolled oats, not instant oats.

Peter Johnston

Recipe shared by

Peter Johnston


Peter's a passionate filmmaker with a love for telling important stories. Peter has run Fade In Productions since 2005, and works on an array of projects across film, television and corporate productions.

Recipe attributed to

My go-to cookie to make. Recipe from

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