Be careful with these CRACK pie bars adapted from Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. The combination of salty sweet oatmeal cookie crust with gooey filling has exactly the effect that you’d expect from its name. Cut into small munchable squares, and share with others, if you can…
I have a lot of dessert cookbooks, but there are a few favorites I always find myself going back to. The Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi is one of those. Christina uses her creativity and classic pastry knowledge to take beloved American dessert flavors to a whole new level (you can watch a feature on her in the Netflix series Chef’s Table pastry season). I had first seen and read about her desserts online many years ago, and ogled from afar. When I was in medical school there was a Milk Bar pop-up where Christina had brought a bunch of her baked goods to LA so our coast could experience her delicious creations too. I quickly scrambled to the event and accomplished my goal of hauling home her famous compost and corn cookies. As a bonus, I got a chance to meet her, and got a signed copy of her cookbook that I’ve been treasuring ever since!
As a quick aside, Milk Bar is opening in LA this weekend!!
I didn’t intentionally plan the post for this, but coincidentally, is well timed for this great news! For all the LA-er’s, we’re lucking out and an actual Milk Bar location is here now and opening this weekend (did you see their menu has CRACK PIE LATTE?!!!!)! I won’t be able to make the opening (boo), but because I’m going to Denver for my bachelorette (YAY)! Speaking of which… we’re officially 1 month away!! Wheeeeeee =)
Okay, now back to the book and recipe!
All the recipes I’ve made from the book so far have been awe inspiring and drool inducing- carrot layer cake (with liquid cheesecake, milk crumb, graham cracker frosting), confetti cake cookies (with birthday cake crumble), and now… the crack pie. An oatmeal cookie crust, filled with gooey filling that is sort of a cousin to my beloved gooey butter cake filling (used as topping for my favorite baked french toast). There’s no other pie (or cookie bar) quite like it.
Steps for a CRACK pie:
1. Bake up huge oatmeal cookie
2. Crush up cookie and make into crust
3. Blend filling, pour into crust
I made these to bring in to the fiance’s office, where I had become an honorary employee this past year because of how often I visited when I wasn’t working (weird hospitalist schedule…). Instead of a regular pie I made it into little bars for easy eating and sharing. There was definitely much excitement that day, because… crack pie! Exclamations you may also hear if you make these and bring them to share with others- “Where’s the CRACK (pie)?!” and “Gimme the CRACK (pie)!”
You can make and freeze for up to a month! Maybe you should make two!
The original recipe in the Milk Bar cookbook actually makes enough for two pies. You can keep the pies in the freezer for up to a month. Think about it- at any moment that calls for a crack pie (many), you can easily whip out one of these babies.
I made the Bon Appetit version which was scaled for one pie, because I figured I didn’t really need two pies at the time. In retrospect, this was a mistake… it occurred to me that any extras would’ve been great as morsels mixed into or served on top of ice cream -> crack pie ice cream!! Regrets! Guess I gotta go make more… and go get that crack pie latte ;D
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crack pie bars
Be careful with these CRACK pie bars adapted from Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. The combination of salty sweet oatmeal cookie crust with gooey filling has exactly the effect that you'd expect from its name. Cut into small munchable squares, and share with others, if you can...
Oat Cookie Crust
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature divided
- 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar divided
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon generous salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted, cooled slightly
- 6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Oat Cookie Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Using electric mixer, beat mixture on medium-high until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.
Add egg; mix on medium-low speed until pale and fluffy.
Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat on medium-low until well blended, about 1 minute.
Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.
Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl (or you can use a food processor); add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together.
Transfer cookie crust mixture to 8x8 inch baking dish (or pie dish). Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of the dish. Place dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.
Pour filling into crust. Bake 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer.
Cool on a cooling rack until room temperature (you can cool in the fridge or freezer too if you're in a hurry). Then freeze for at least 3 hours (or overnight), to condense the filling for a dense final product. Per Christina, the signature technique and result for a perfectly executed crack pie.
Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into bars (or wedges) and serve cold.
- Adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, as well as Bon Appetit's version.
- Feel free to also just make this in a regular pie pan.
- DO AHEAD: Can be made in steps- cookie/crust can be made ahead and kept at room temperature for up to 5 days or up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Once entire dish made, will keep fresh in the fridge for 5 days, and up to 1 month in the freezer. Take out to defrost in the fridge for ~1 hour prior to serving.