Christina Tosi Shares Her Favorite $4 Ingredient for Better Cookies

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Want to make the greatest version of your favorite cookies this holiday season? Of course you do. (Me too!) It turns out that the key to making truly outstanding and memorable cookies doesn’t involve a top-secret recipe, super-fancy chocolate, or expensive ingredients. According to Christina Tosi, the dessert genius behind Milk Bar, the secret is an inexpensive staple stocked in your grocery store’s baking aisle that you’re probably overlooking.

Nonfat Milk Powder Is the Secret to Even Better Cookies

I recently caught up with Tosi, and as we chatted about all things holiday baking and cookies, she was quick to mention her love of milk powder as a staple ingredient in her baking arsenal. “My hidden secret ingredient to make everything taste better is a tablespoon of nonfat milk powder,” she says. “It just makes everything taste so much better!”

(Image credit: Lauen Volo)

She recommends incorporating it into any and all cookie recipes (actually, all baked goods, for that matter). A little bit of this shelf-stable ingredient is all you need to seriously heighten the creaminess, give cookies another layer of flavor, and really intensify any chocolate. “It makes those dark vanilla notes of a chocolate chip cookie taste more magical,” she says. “It also makes regular chocolate taste more luxurious.”

You’re not likely to find nonfat milk powder in the ingredient list for most cookie recipes, but don’t worry — it’s fair game in all of them. According to Tosi, one tablespoon is all you need per recipe, and it can be mixed in with the dry ingredients.

What Is Milk Powder Exactly?

Milk powder is just what it sounds like — milk that’s been processed into a dry, shelf-stable powdered ingredient. Unlike its liquid counterpart, it has a very lengthy shelf life and doesn’t require refrigeration. Powdered milk is easily soluble in liquid and often used in baking.

Try Adding Milk Powder to These Cookie Recipes