Cookies and Milk Jam Tart

I wanted to create a dessert inspired by my childhood favorite, cookies and cream. However, I didn’t want to just serve that. I have done cookies and cream inspired desserts in the past, but this time around, I wanted to play around with milk jam. For my milk jam recipe, I love using cornstarch, xantham gum, and flour to make almost an egg-free custard in texture. I wanted something that would embrace the flavor of the milk, and almost preserving that silky texture.

The crust is a pate sucre, using brown sugar and chocolate chips to mimic the flavors of a classic chocolate chip cookie. I garnish the top of the tart with a chocolate chip cookie made with a drop cookie batter. Drop cookies are made with batter instead of dough, so they spread out a lot more when they bake, and they’re super soft and gooey on the inside, but crisp on the edges. Granted, when I made the batter, I did anticipate smaller, perfectly circular cookies, no bigger than a half dollar, but I wound up with perfectly circular cookies the size of a DSLR lens, hence why I opted to use a cookie cutter to punch out a more desirable shape.


Chocolate Chip Pate Sucre:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped chocolate chips

Cream together butter, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla. Fold in the flour and chocolate chips. Chill down the dough. Roll out to about an 1/8th inch thick, and dust with flour. Transfer to either a tart tin or a ring mold, and cut off the excess. Cover in parchment paper, weigh down, and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove the weights, and continue baking again for another 10 minutes to guarantee that the bottom of the shell is cooked. You do not want a soggy bottom. Cool the tart shells completely before removing from their tins, just to guarantee that they won’t break apart.

Milk Jam Filling:
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine half your milk with the cornstarch, flour, and xantham gum, whisking slowly to remove the lumps. Pour through a strainer into the rest of your milk, and cook over heat with the granulated sugar, whisking continuously so that it does not burn, and so it thickens evenly. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove, strain, and chill to room temperature. Once the tarts are chilled completely, add the milk jam into the shells and continue chilling for another 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Cream together the sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder with the milk. Fold in the flour. On a parchment sheet, lay out one-teaspoon sized dollops onto the tray, making sure to space them at least a 1/2 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Should the cookies expand to more than 1/3 inch in diameter, use a cookie cutter to cut them out so that they are smaller.

Brown Butter Cookie Crumbs:
Brown butter (about 1 teaspoon per 2 tablespoons of crumbs)
Leftover cookie and tart shell crumbs

Prepare brown butter and allow it to cool to room temperature. Crumble up the crumbs from the cookies and tart shell and toss together with the brown butter. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 3 minutes, just to allow the brown butter to toast and caramelize each and every crumb.

Garnish the tarts with a cooled cookie, and a bit of the crumble.

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