Pickles and Tea Adventures in Asian American Cooking

Chippy Condensed Milk Cookies

My friend Ivy is allergic to eggs. But she so loves her husband that I’ve witnessed her suffering through itchy eyes and swollen skin to make her husband’s favorite dessert, cheesecake. Bless her heart!

Ivy’s now a mother of two. Her kids probably don’t even realize what egg-filled treats they’re missing, but I was excited to discover an eggless cookie dough recipe on their behalf. And what joy, it uses a cherished childhood ingredient—sweetened condensed milk.

This is my failed attempt to capture a cute cookie-eyed monster photo

This is my failed attempt to capture a cute cookie-eyed monster photo

I drank Milo (the Asian answer to Nesquik) with sweetened condensed milk. I drizzled it over parathas (Indian flatbreads) and over white sandwich bread (I was a non-discerning eater). I insisted on extra thick dribbles over my shaved ice dessert.

Now that I’m all grown up, instead of cream and sugar, I stir sweetened condensed milk into my tea or coffee. I bake pies with it. And every so often, I’ll eat a spoonful of it just because no one tells me I can’t.

So you see, sweetened condensed milk has become an indispensible part of my life.

Last year, I spied organic sweetened condensed milk in a squeezable bottle at Trader Joe’s and my heart fluttered as I did a crazy, happy dance. Yay, no more messy cans! Unfortunately, I learned too late TJ’s only stocks them during “baking season” i.e. October to December. This year, I’ll be hording bottles to last the entire 2015!

Of course, if you don’t want to be beholden to store-bought, and you’re the DIY sort, you can always make your own.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled to discover a new way to indulge in condensed milk. And I’m dedicating this post to my friend Ivy and her kids, and to everyone with an egg allergy: you can now partake of that quintessential American treat—the chocolate chip cookie–symptom-free!


Chippy Condensed Milk Cookies

Cookie in hand

When PBS cooking show host Pati Jinich told me about her sweetened condensed milk cookie dough during a phone interview, my heart flipped! Pati’s original recipe uses everything but the kitchen sink because she included all the treats her sons love. I decided to keep mine simple (only two types of chips!) and made it a little less buttery and a little less sweet. But you should do whatever your tastebuds dictate!

Makes: 3 dozen
Time: 25 minutes (15 minutes active)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the butter and condensed milk. Add the flour mixture to the bowl about 1/2 cup at a time and mix until incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  • Gently fold in the chips.
  • Scoop up teaspoonfuls of dough, roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bottoms turn golden-brown.
  • Remove cookies with a spatula and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!


  • Filed Under

    October 31, 2014
    Comfort food
    Course-type    Sweets/desserts    
    • Posted By

      Born in Indonesia and raised in Singapore, Pat Tanumihardja writes about food, travel, and lifestyle through a multicultural lens. Pat especially enjoys covering topics that converge on food, history and culture and has been published in numerous international, national and regional publications. Her cookbook, The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook—Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens is a treasury of family recipes and stories spanning over a dozen Asian cultures.

      More about