Back to School Basics with Chef Addison Osta – Smith

Posted: August 30, 2017

With the last days of summer upon us, it’s time for kids and parents alike to start thinking about heading back to school.  Who better to share some of her favorite “Back to School” recipes than MasterChef Junior champion and BlueStar All-Star Chef Addison Osta – Smith.  Chef Addison entertained a packed house at Abt Electronics in Glenview, IL with the two recipes below that she says are staples in her house when the seemingly non-stop school season gets started.

Her first recipe was the “Compost Cookie” that she learned from acclaimed chef Christina Tosi during her time on MasterChef Junior.  The uniqueness of this cookie is that its ingredients are basically whatever is in your pantry so it could be different every time you make it.  In this version Chef Addison takes would be an ordinary chocolate chip cookie and adds some unexpected ingredients to create a simply delicious treat.  With the oversized oven capacity of the BlueStar Electric Wall Ovens she was baking on she was able utilize full-size commercial baking sheets and turn out more cookies per batch than she could with any other oven.

Addison Osta - Smith Cookie Video from Abt Electronics

Chef Addison’s second recipe was a homemade pizza that turned out perfectly due to the temperature controlled baking stone that’s built into every BlueStar Electric Wall Oven.  Between school, soccer practice and the rest of her busy schedule this is a great recipe to make when she’s looking to focus on some family time.  This quick dish lets everyone customize their own pizza with any toppings they want and allows for a much needed break from their busy schedules.

Addison Osta - Smith Pizza Recipe from Abt Electronics

Our youngest All-Star definitely has a unique perspective to “Back to School” recipes and certainly inspired the aspiring chefs that joined us at Abt Electronics.  Try these recipes with your own family and see how some time in the kitchen can bring the entire family together no matter how busy things seem.


Compost Cookie Recipe from Christina Tosi

  • 225 g (16 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150 g (2/3 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 50 g (2 tbs) glucose
  • 1 egg
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 225 g (1 1/3 cups) flour
  • 2 g ( 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
  • 4 g (1 tsp) kosher salt
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) mini chocolate chips
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) mini butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 recipe (1/2 cup) graham crust (recipe below)
  • 40 g (1/3 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 5 g (2 1/2 tsp) ground coffee
  • 50 g (2 cups) potato chips
  • 50 g (1 cup) mini pretzels


1. Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

2. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 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.) scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

3. Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and coffee and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. 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. you deserve a pat on the back if one of your cookies bakes off with a whole pretzel standing up in the center.

4. Using a 2 3/4 oz ice cream scoop (or a 1/3 cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. 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.

5. Heat the oven to 375°F.

6. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or silpat-lined sheet pans. bake for 18 minutes. the cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. after 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.

7. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. at room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

In a pinch, substitute 18 g (1 tablespoon) corn syrup for the glucose. for the “coffee grounds” in this cookie, we tested the recipe with freshly roasted and ground artisanal coffee from stumptown as well as with crap-tastic coffee grounds that you can find just about anywhere. we discovered that it doesn’t make a difference what kind you use; the cookie is delicious every time. just make sure you don’t use instant coffee; it will dissolve in the baking process and ruin the cookies. and, above all else, never use wet, sogalicious grounds that have already brewed a pot of coffee. we use cape cod potato chips because they aren’t paper-thin, and so they do not break down too much in the mixing process.


Graham Crust 

  • 190 g (1 1/2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
  • 25 g (2 tbs) sugar
  • 3 g (3/4 tsp) kosher salt
  • 55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted, or as needed
  • 55 g (1/4 cup) heavy cream

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. 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. if it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ table- spoons) butter and mix it in.

3. Eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. the crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. 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.