Momofuku Milk Bar’s Crack Pie

Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie ~ Savory Simple

I met Christina Tosi earlier this year at a pastry event in DC and was totally smitten. Full blown girl crush. She is so incredibly creative! Talk about inspiration. I wanted to hang out with her all night but also didn’t want to be a weird stalker chick. So I let her do her job after sampling everything on the table. All of it was delicious.

Just me and my BFF Christina Tosi hanging out

I’ve been making recipes from her cookbook for quite some time and they’re all amazing. The corn cookies and the blueberries and cream cookies are to die for. And I’m so excited that I’m finally going to visit Momokufu Milk Bar in November when Jeff and I head to NYC for 3 days. When a friend requested that I make her Momofuku’s crack pie, I was happy to oblige. It’s ooey, gooey, sweet and exactly what I’d expect from someplace called Milk Bar.

Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie
Oat Cookie Crust
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 5½ tablespoons (packed) brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 6½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar (for dusting)
Prepare the crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat 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.
  2. Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1½ tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
Prepare the filling
  1. 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 pie 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 pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight.
  2. Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.

Happy baking!  (Or you could always just order the pie online.)

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  • This pie looks amazing!! Wish I had a slice right now, in fact!

    There’s a quote I like that says something like “love what you do and you’ll never have to work another day in your life.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with living your passion and doing what you love!

  • Being dull is the only sin in a blog. Sincerity and passion can be two of the most boring virtues. Make some money, that’s cool, as long as people are enjoying your blog because it’s engaging, creative and (if necessary) authoritative. . Google search is pretty authoritative, so I’d stick with engaging and creative.

  • Oooh this pie looks so good!! I think it’s important to be authentic…to be yourself in all that you do. For me that means, only doing what I love and only blogging food I actually love and eat and that includes only working with companies I love and respect.

  • I have no problem with people blogging professionally or making money from it but I only bother reading posts where I feel like I connect with the author. There are so blogs which purely seem like money making machines and I might as well be reading a recipe in a magazine. I don’t tend to visit those sites again. There are others which still manage to feel intimate and personal, no matter how successful the blogger is and those are the blogs that I really respect and admire.

    When we were in NYC over the summer, I couldn’t resist a slice of crack pie. It was *so* good (although probably not an everyday treat…). I bought the cookbook too although I haven’t got round to trying to recreate it at home. I really should!

    • Interesting perspective! I’d be curious to see some comparisons of money making machines versus intimate/personal professional blogs. But I don’t see how to do that without being rude. I will say that I don’t like floating ads on blogs. I (obviously) don’t mind them on the sidebar, header and footer but they’re not interrupting the reading process.

      On a side note, any restaurant recommendations from your trip to NYC? Most of the ones on my list are fancy pants and I think we’re aiming for casual this time.

      • Oh yeah, those floating ads drive me a bit crazy. And the video ones that pop up and start without giving you any warning!

        I went to a great place called Westville with Lauren from Keep it Sweet and Tara from Chip Chip Hooray for dinner. There are a few locations in the city and it focuses on fresh market food with a daily changing menu. Really loved it. Other than that, we went to quite touristy diners which were fine but nothing out of the ordinary. We weren’t very organised…lol.

  • So you went with corn powder after all? What else could we use? Corn starch?
    I just like good recipes, I don’t care if you profit from it as long as the profiting doesn’t effect the quality…

  • i don’t have a problem with blogs making money, the extra income is nice for exotic ingredients like corn powder! i do have a problem with bloggers who have pop up ads and/or send out emails promoting their blogs & giveaways. i realize that it’s a marketing necessity sometimes, as well as smart to do since we’re required to leave our email (that are promised to never be published but never promised to be not-spammed at) and they’re just utilizing their own resources, but it’s annoying. i find the extremely successful blogs, when i do visit them & it’s rare that i do, they are admittedly very personable, they provide a glimpse into their day/life and makes you want to be their bffs or be them. but then it stops there. i find that i do relate to them, i leave a heartfelt comment so that they can that we are connected, that we should be bffs, and nothing. the experience becomes fractured, and i realize that they’re too big for me, even tho they appeared to be little like me, and i’m back to my little space trying to chug along, provide the same kind of personable anecdotes but with better connectedness.
    this isn’t to say that those Big Blogs aren’t authentic, they’re just too big to connect with everyone fairly and i know this.
    i know this comment is all over the place but the moral of the story is: being real, being accessible and being relevant are what makes a blog authentic (at least, to me). being different can be good, but only if it comes from a good place, and there’s a reason for the difference.
    now, for the pie. this pie reminds me of the Kentucky Derby Pie, which is one pie that i am willing to go thru severe stomach lactose-induced pain for, tho glancing at the recipe i can see where i would be able to dairy-free it.

    jen, i want you to know that i adore your space and what you’ve done with your career. i may not visit as often as i could, it’s mainly due to my own dietary constraints or desires, but i am always a fan. don’t let stuff bog you down, or compare yourself to someone else’s best (tho a good wallow is necessary sometimes). remember: Take a lesson from cats and show your butthole to the haters.

    • I really appreciated this comment! Especially your thoughts on authenticity relating to accessibility. I’ve had the same frustrating experience of feeling connected, but knowing that really you’re not. I really want my site to foster a sense of community and friendship that goes beyond the typical…nice picture! I’m drooling…etc. etc. How do you foster that sense of community? Any ideas for making real connections across these fiberoptic cables?

      • Can you do plugins on your site, Courtney? I’m not really familiar with blogspot. But one thing I set up recently is a comment reply notification plugin. If I didn’t have that installed you might not know I responded to you. By alerting commenters that you’ve responded, it allows the conversation to continue in a meaningful direction. I’m really happy to have it.

        • Thank you! That’s really helpful. I’m actually setting up a WordPress site right now so I will definitely add that in. Just one question. Does the plug in email you all follow up comments or just specific replies to you? The only ones I have seen subscribe you to all comments. What is the name of the plug in you use?


          • This one has a few customizations but it doesn’t subscribe you to all comments. You don’t receive an email unless I respond to you directly. But it makes a big difference in the conversation!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Lan. I think you’re dead on about the larger blogs. It’s just not possible to connect with all of their commenters. I don’t have time to respond to everyone and I’m small potatoes. But that connection is part of what makes blogging special. And I definitely don’t feel that when I try to comment on some of the larger sites. But that’s not their fault and I admire their accomplishments.

      I’ll never let haters get to me! With regards to commenters, I’ve only ever had to block a few nasty ones but I’ve heard horror stories from others about the venomous comments people can leave. I try to find inspiration from everyone. Heck, this post was inspired by some negativity and I’m very happy with the results :)

      I think crack pie would be fun to turn dairy-free but the one ingredient I’m not sure how you replace is the milk powder. It gives the pie a VERY distinct flavor.

      • how about powdered coffee creamer? coffeemate is usually dairy-free and i have used it in lieu of powdered milk when i used to bake rose levy Beranbaum’s breads to no problem in texture or taste…

  • This pie has been on my radar for years but I could never get my hands on some corn powder. Thanks for finding a recipe that’s doable! :D

    If someone writes from their heart, it shows. That’s what I look for most when visiting blogs. As long as a site/blog does not have a lot of “flashing” intrusive ads, I don’t mind that they’re making money by doing what they obviously love. Blogging, especially food blogging, can be quite pricy. I completely understand and respect the need to help pay of ingredients, cameras, batteries, baking supplies…the list goes on and on. :D

  • You asked some great questions and they come at an interesting time for me. I’m actually working right now to get my site to a place where I can make money doing it. I think a lot of people make money doing what they love–it’s why we go to school and actually specialize in something that we like. It would be silly for us to tell a banker or a teacher or a lawyer they aren’t authentic because they actually enjoy what they do. Why should blogging be different? The hardest part about authenticity for me is not comparing my blog to other blogs. Sometimes I’m tempted to emulate a style or voice of another blog that I really love. But then I always have to remind myself that the reason I love that blog is because it’s uniquely theirs. It has a distinct voice. It feels real. And if my blog lacks that “me” factor, if I try to hide who I really am or skirt around the tough stuff or never get past the surface level, no one is going to want to read my blog anyway. I read blogs because they not only share delicious food, but they also share themselves. There’s community there. Friendship. And that’s what I feel makes blogs authentic. Whew! This got way too long. Guess I had more to say than I thought! Thanks for starting the conversation!

    • I think it’s a topic that we all connect with. I had the same issue for years- looking at a blog I loved, seeing their success and wanting to emulate it. I think the big turning point for me was realizing that I had a distinct voice but was scared to use it for some reason. I’m not good at opening up about my life, but I’ve slowly started doing it and it’s incredibly rewarding. People really respond.

  • The only thing that drives me crazy when I’m reading blogs is pop up ads, or so much happening on the page that the pics and articles are hard to get to. I stopped visiting some of my favorite people just because of that. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with profiting from doing what welove. This is America, after all. We are such hypocrites.

    Oh yeah. the pie looks rad.

  • Things I can’t stand about money making food blogs:

    1. obtrusive ads
    2. freebie product reviews and giveaways
    3. staged blogger food event recaps

    There are a lot of bloggers out there who do, frankly, “whore themselves out” as you say, feeling all special and enthusiastic when a brand invites them to something or gives them free stuff. They don’t always notice that they are being used and are in turn using us as their readers. How many people read advertorials in magazines in depth? Notice how they’re designed to look like a normal article so that you, oops, read them? Crudely manipulated – that’s how I feel about a lot of money making blog content

    • Christine, I really appreciate your honest comment. I guess the question becomes- where is the line drawn between earning a living and whoring ourselves out? With regards to the giveaways, I’ve always felt like it’s a win/win situation if I like the product. I get to give a gift to those who follow me and I’m not paying for it (because as others have mentioned, blogging gets expensive.) For me it’s about finding a balance (not posting sponsored giveaways too often) and staying honest by only pitching products I use. When I first began blogging, I pitched products I used and liked without any brand involvement just because I liked sharing the information. I don’t feel like I’m changing things too much by working with the same brands.

      Then again, I’ve lined up an unusually large amount of holiday giveaways because I got a bit over-excited. So don’t judge me too harshly during the holidays :}

      • I think every person has to find that line themselves – and of course there will always be people who are not interested in even looking for it ;-) Personally, I am very sensitive to the subtle ways that hobbies and passions can be corrupted by consumerism, often through the accumulation of small gestures or events that influence how a person enacst or associates value with the activity/hobbie/interest/passion. I don’t think you’ll be whoring yourself out by having giveaways all through Christmas (it’s the holidays, for pete’s sake!) but I do think you have excellently pointed out how these tactics work – the giveaways got you excited and actually influenced your decisions about your scheduled blog content such that you will now be reinforcing messages of consumption during the holidays. So when I talk about the things I dislike about money making blogs, I am thinking about their cumulative effect on the blog, writer, readers and the feedback loop into culture. I am very happy to meet another blogger who likes to dig into tough and interesting questions like this AND who doesn’t get offended in the process! Hooray!

        • I’m reading all the comments today as this topic interests me! :) Like Jen, if I like a company/product, it is a win win to me. For me that has really only meant cookbooks and OXO products, both of which I adore. Christine–does it always annoy you or is it more when it takes over a blog that it annoys you?

          • I share info about restaurants and products that I like as I experience them, so I’m not opposed to the notion of reviewing – but I get disappointed when I can tell that product reviews, freebie, and giveaways have started to be a prominent or driving source of content for a blogger because, for the most part, people get drawn into blogs by the person’s voice or passion or strong writing ability or interesting perspective on life…..and shifting that balance can just feel like the commodification of one’s life, and that makes me sad. It can end up being a bit of a crutch. I would rather a blogger just blog higher quality content less frequently.

  • Oh my goodness all their pies look amazing! I’ll have to check them out when I’m in NYC next month too :)

    I don’t blame people who accept products from companies and do reviews and what not…I would probably do it too…But I do usually read those kind of posts for what they are: a paid endorsement.

    I recently realized that WordPress hosts ads on my site, and decided to sign up for their Ad program because I don’t feel like it’s right for WordPress to profit from ads that are placed next to my content, if that makes sense. Granted, I’ll only be making a few dollars a month…But hey, that’s one drink at Happy Hour, right?

  • Great question for thought. According to, “authentic” is “…not false or copied; genuine; real”. I’m sure that can be interpreted different ways by different people. Each one of us is a unique individual with unique experiences. And what we bring to our own individual blogs should be that reflection and extension of those experiences. It’s our own unique voice. Sure, we can try emulating another blog’s success, but it has a chance of sounding forced and contrived. Not everyone will like what we have to say or how we choose to say it, but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s “you”. It’s genuine and real – it is authentic.

  • Christina Tosi and Elizabeth Faulkner are my total Baker Girl crushes.
    And I can relate to the writing aspect of blogging. It’s a hard line. I’m often criticized for being far too reserved and not opening up enough, but that is who I am, if I try to force it, that will be inauthentic. And, I’ll gab all day if we meet in real life, so people better watch out when they meet me in person, but online I’m just more reserved.

    • I was very reserved for the first couple of years I was blogging. Opening up publicly felt very uncomfortable to me. But I’ve taken baby steps this year with regards to speaking my mind and letting people in. I have to say it feels great and the response has been moving. But if I didn’t feel comfortable it would definitely sound forced.

  • I’m obsessed with Momofuku’s Crack Pie. I’ve mail ordered it twice and can’t wait to make it. I also ordered their corn powser and loved baking with it; I’m pretty sure my cookbook calls for the powder. As for blog authenticity, I think it’s super imporant to be true to yourself. Bake and share things you love, write from your heart, sharing your honest opinions even if not everyone will agree. As you know, I’m a writer, and while I wait to have a novel published or screenplay turned into a film, I need to start making money, so I’m waiting to be approved for an ad program. Putting ads on my blog won’t change anything about it other than the fact that there will be ads. I hope and think having a quality blog and making money are not mutually exclusive.

  • being a food blogger myself that makes money on the side on top of my regular job, i don’t think i’m inauthentic just because i make money off my blog. the blog started out as a hobby and then since it’s translated to something more, i believe that i deserve to earn money for all the hardwork i’ve put into the blog and i don’t believe i should be judged for that or say that i’m whoring out. idk, it’s a touchy subject, but blogging is my passion and whatever i say on my blog is 100% real me and i do want to make food my 100% job one day so i don’t believe that making your blog a money factor makes you inauthentic if that’s your way of life.

    • Thanks for the comment. It’s definitely a touchy subject and I’m always nervous about posts such as this one. Clearly I’m advertising on the site with BlogHer and sponsors so I’m hardly against making money. I hope one day I can do this full time (a combination of blogging and freelance work). It’s unfortunate when people pass judgement but as we both know, people can be… well, assholes.

      Even though I get anxious before the post goes live, I kind of like addressing uncomfortable topics because I find the responses so insightful. If you read the comments, it’s something everyone has thought about whether they’re the reader or the blogger (or both). I like when people have opinions other than “this looks delicious!”

  • Such a great discussion here!
    One piece of blogging I happen to love is working with brands I love. I used to have a fairly high level executive job and left all that behind to be a stay at home mom. Blogging and now freelance writing and photography have become my outlet, but working with brands is what keeps that “professional” side of my brain engaged. There are times when opportunities come along one after the other (which is great and I appreciate them) but I also feel like I have to cram too much brand content into one singular period of time. I don’t love that.

    I like the balance I feel when I have posts that are 100% my own and then have a few brand posts thrown in as well. Since I only work with brands I love, it still feels authentic to me.

    PS – this pie looks amazing!

  • I’m going to have to bookmark this post to go back and read what others have said – the few responses I did read are very interesting!! My take – I think we – as bloggers – are really hard on other bloggers. If people didn’t like to read, or if they were turned off because we make money, they simply will just not read. I know that by far the majority of my readers are not other bloggers. I’m very transparent about the fact that my blog is my full-time job, and I don’t think that bothers 98% of people out there reading. I would think that other bloggers would be more understanding – knowing how much time and energy it takes to write a blog – but it often seems like they are the biggest critics. But I do have to add, at the same time, some of my blogging friends are my biggest cheerleaders. Anyway – the moral of the story for me is to just do what I love, and do what I feel is authentic. I know readers would sense if you were selling out and wouldn’t read anymore. But I don’t think making money from blogging changes anything!

    And this pie – I definitely need a slice or two!!

    • Thank you so much for the comment! What you’ve said really hits home, though I’ve never thought about it from this angle. That’s why I love having these conversations. I’m in a weird place right now where I think most of my (regular) readers are other bloggers and I’m trying to figure out how to reach more non-bloggers. I feel like non-bloggers are more likely to make the food because the rest of us are busy developing our own recipes. Bloggers are my biggest supporters but they’re also the only ones I’ve really heard opinions from regarding what we should and should not be doing. Certain things are appropriate and acceptable while others are not. And you know, that’s sad. This is a tough market to make a living in and I wish we could all just support one another. But no community is perfect.

      My fingers and toes are crossed that one day I can do what I love full time, just like you. It’s a work in progress and I’m so excited about the future :)

      • I’ve loved reading through all these comments, and this one really struck home – I love the support and love from fellow bloggers, but am realistic about the fact that they are unlikely to try any of my recipes when they all have minds like mine buzzing with ideas they want to create themselves :) So the question is how to reach more non-bloggers who love food…and I definitely think to do that authenticity is absolutely crucial. I often struggle with how much personal info or personal photos to post on my blog, but I feel it helps make me seem like a real person, not just a recipe machine, and I actually love writing the non-food posts too so I don’t want to give that up even if it means the audience changes.
        It does seem like giveaways/sponsored posts have been exploding lately, but maybe that is just me? I’ve seen a few articles about how companies are realizing the influence of food bloggers and how nice they generally are in their reviews of just about anything they get, and it’s made me very leery of that kind of thing.
        Wonderful post, I’m just catching up on your week and it was a good one!! I can say I don’t think you have to worry about authenticity – I love your blog for the recipes and the personality and the writing, and will definitely keep coming back :)

  • I made Crack Pie and did not use corn flour. I halved the entire recipe (didnt need 2 of these!) and so for my purposes, used a whopping 1.5 tbsp all purpose flour. It was NOT worth buying corn flour for 2 tbsp of it. Seriously. I have the recipe from the cookbook, which I purchased Feb 2012 on my site, here – also with lots of thoughts and commentary on the pie.

    Regarding your post at large, Jen, I am loving these deeper thoughts and discussions you’re having the past few posts. I think it’s a free country and people should be able to make a living doing whatever they want and if others dont want to read their blog, so be it. However, I refuse to read blogs anymore where I feel zero connection to the author; big, small, or otherwise. They have been purged from my Reader. It’s the author’s choice to disconnect if she wants, but it’s also my choice not to read :)

  • I really like this post Jen & the previous one as well. I went back and read it. I sometimes am too guilty of skimming. What I find it most difficult is finding the words to produce real writing post after post. I eventually did it in my last one. That is more me but I don’t like feeling the pressure of producing, though self imposed!

  • Well we took away a slightly different impression of the EWR talk–I think–although I suspect we end at the same place. I thought he was arguing that we have a conflict because we are selling intimacy which means that we MUST be endorsing any ad on our blog. Or maybe that is what you are saying? I personally find that view to be silly. I don’t assume Oprah (who definitely sells intimacy) personally uses and advocates every commercial on during her show. Maybe I am wrong–although I cannot decide if it is naivete (sp?) or cynicism on my part. So no I could not care less if a blog is also making money. The only time I care is if the site is so cluttered I cannot find the actual content. Hopefully mine is not lol!

  • Hi Jen! Enjoyed your post, as always! I love the momofuku crack pie – been wanting the cookbook for a long time, and just may go ahead and get it now after seeing how delicious this looks! Love the photo of you and Christina, how cool was that! Being new to blogging, I think I’m still trying to find myself. The suggestion to me from my 26 year old daughter, a teacher, was to just let it flow and be genuine. :)

  • I went back and read the comments on the other story first! It’s an interesting topic and I think being different just for the sake of being different is not good, nor is it really authentic :) And yes there will be some people that will judge if you make money but as you say, if you are doing something that you love, then you are the luckiest :)

  • I cannot explain how much I adore that Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook, and I can’t decide what I loved the most of everything I’ve made (the corn cookies are definitely up there, and I’m obsessed with the chocolate cookies too). Now it seems like I have to make this pie as well! As far as blogging goes, I think it’s all about passion. If you love it then it shows in your work and that’s all the authenticity you need.

  • Ah, so THAT’S why you needed freeze-dreid corn! I’ve been scratching my head over that one. :)

    “I’ve always believed that the luckiest people alive are those who make a living doing what they love.”

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s why I do what I do, including blogging and freelancing. There’s nothing wrong with making money from the things you love to do. I think it’s all about the way you do it. A few tasteful ads in the sidebar or a review of a product you were provided gratis here and there are fine, IMO. Flashing pop-ups and more ads than content are not. I’m also not a fan of paid reviews, at all.

  • Honestly, I am sick to death about the topic of how to blog, why we are blogging, what’s right and wrong and who’s doing what. I think it’s great to talk about it and get ideas and inspiration from one another. but all this analyzing and strategy takes the fun out of it (for me, anyway). Which means that I actually blog less, and in turn, make less money. Being different doesn’t automatically translate into being inauthentic. It just takes a bit more creativity.

    I say do what you want and how you want to do it. It’s YOUR blog and you should enjoy every moment as much as possible!

  • btw…I totally didn’t mean that to come off as harsh. I was speaking in general about how this topic seems to be coming up all the time, everywhere I go lately. I completely understand why you would want to think about and discuss it. It’s just it’s personally starting to drive me batty ;-)

    • Don’t worry, I don’t think you’re being harsh. Just honest. This wasn’t a topic I planned on jumping into but something happened the other day (not to be cryptic) and I felt compelled to address it as delicately as possible. I think Deborah really nailed it with her comment.

      All of the opinions about what we should and should not do come from other bloggers and the truth is that we’re only a small portion of the total audience. The general public doesn’t care about any of this crap; they’re just looking for good quality recipes. As a community, we all need to support one another instead of creating rules about what’s acceptable vs. inappropriate.

  • This pie looks amazing! And, I think there is nothing wrong with getting paid to do something you love. I think there are bloggers who blog just for fun, and those who blog to make money – and either one is okay with me as long as you’re authentic and up-front about it. I’m somewhere in between the two; the couple of ads I run are basically to pay for my web host and ingredient expenses so that I can have a self-funding hobby, and I’ve never had anyone tell me they’re upset about that. And, like Jackie @ The Beeroness commented above, I’m more reserved online – maybe that comes across as me not being authentic enough, but that’s just who I am, and I’m not going to force something different – that would defeat the whole purpose, you know?

  • I have the cookbook, and the book recipe is definitely different from the Bon Appetit one. I noticed that a while back when some of the bloggers were doing Milk Bar Mondays and shared the recipe. I remember seeing different versions and being confused. :)

  • Hi Jen! I’ve been away from blogging this week and I’ve missed two great discussions you had and I just spent last hour reading your posts and comments from your readers. Very interesting. Usually I’m way too busy with daily stuff (aka kids!) and I don’t get to reflect myself or even think too deeply about blogging in general but your posts led me think. For that I have to thank you. It is terrifying for me to share my opinion sometimes thinking if I offend anyone, etc. So I admire of your courage. I think there will be always people who have different opinions and views about blogging/food you cook/photography…anything you do. But at the end, you will be at peace when you are happy about it. I hear people advice to other bloggers “be yourself” and I now understand the true meaning of it. We can’t control what each reader/blogger think of your food/blog/photography/making money/anything, so it always come back to you how you feel about it. There’s probably no perfect answer as each one slightly feels differently. I think I’m going off topic… we bloggers are compassionate to each other as we experience the same/similar path and we feel sense of security when we feel we’re doing the right thing especially when we get lost sometimes… Be kind to each other, do what you like, challenging yourself, do your best (you already do amazing job!!)… can that make you authentic blogger? :) Passed midnight and I think I’ll end here before I confuse myself. haha. Thank you agian, and loving your pie~~~!

  • Hi Jen!
    What a elicious recipe! :) I can’t wait to try it at home…:)
    About the whole blogging-making money issue, well I’m with Roger here, the only sin of a blog is being dull. If you can do what you love and that path allows you to make money too, that’s great!! ;)

  • Hey Jen, just came back to read this again and saw your note about the recipe – the one posted on my blog is directly from my copy of her book if you wanted to compare. I’m intrigued to know now if there is a different version. The corn powder is a great addition! And I actually spotted freeze-dried corn at Target the other day!

  • Yum!! I had a slice of this last time I was in NYC, SO good! And a few birthday cake truffles, those recipes are addicting! Interesting read about blogging too, about to go check out your last post I missed. I think the most important thing is to just be yourself, no matter how that story materializes :)

  • I didn’t get a chance to go to Momofuku on our recent trip to NYC. Can you believe that?!? I’d love to try this crack pie someday :)

    In regards to monetizing blogs out there — I don’t mind it as long as it’s not a fully blown monetizing blog. There should be a personal story and if it’s all about $$$, you bet I won’t be visiting again. There’s a fine line between monetizing and connecting with your readers.

  • To your question: I don’t make any negative connection between a person’s more commercial or perceived success and authenticity of the original project. If I enjoy what someone is offering, I am happy for them if they’ve found a way to make it personally profitable. In fact, for some reason the line of thinking that it is in some way not an authentic writing voice feels dismissive and a bit demeaning to the reader–that would be me– because it indicates I am incapable of understanding how a person can blend enjoyment and passion with contributing to their own financial gain. I do wish you success.

    And the pie? Of course that’s a winner!

  • I don’t think there is anything wrong with making a profit on something you love so long as you don’t lose your perspective.

    This Crack Pie looks interesting, I might have to try it for Thanksgiving.

  • I have been reading about this pie for years and hopefully will get around to making it one day.

    I am at a point now where I am making a little money from my blog. I think if you stick to the brands and products that you really love or use you can be authentic. But I also love to try new brands and products and have the opportunity for that now. The problem I think starts when a blogger is just accepting any brand or product for the money. As a food and family blogger I steer clear of sponsored posts for things I would not normally buy or use. I hope that that shows through in my writing.

  • I am with you on the fact that I have always thought that the luckiest people are those who get to do something they love for a living. I personally don’t mind a blogger making money from their blog. I read blogs which engage me, the pictures and the cooking style are parts of it but the blogs I follow and try my best not to miss a post are those in which I feel like I connect with the author. The ones with a unique voice, the ones that make me think or make me feel that I am not alone in this or that experience. There are blogs that are almost like a cook book or a magazine, sure there are great recipes and stunning pictures but they are empty emotionally and mentally if you know what I mean

  • This conversation is like opening a can of worms! I am very thankful for these conversations … I always learn something. Personally, I believe that we must decide whether or not to share our personal life or receive product or get paid. We will never please everyone … no matter how hard we try. I started blogging 18 months ago and “assumed” that I could earn a little money and have fun … so far I’ve had fun. I am not a writer, I’m a talker, technology challenged, not a great photographer, forget to leave comments on other blogs, never have enough time to blog as often as I would like … I continue to blog because I enjoy it. Maybe someday I will make money (when I figure out how) and if that doesn’t meet approval … I’m sorry.

    The pie … I have had the recipe in my “to try” stack for a long time … you made me want to “try” it NOW!

  • I think it’s important to do what makes you happy. If you want to make money on your blog, then go for it. If people don’t want to read any more, then so be it. I’m a bit worried though that there seem to be hundreds of new people out there every day trying to do it. I hope it works out for you.

  • As a professional artist and floral designer I can say that I absolutely LOVE my career path. When I first began this journey I heard all of these same arguments about art and selling out….blah blah blah. I had just made up my mind that I was going to go for it no matter what when I ran across this poem. It is part of my being now, I know it by heart and I will never forget it.

    God help you if you are a Phoenix
    And dare to rise up from the ash
    for a thousand eyes will smoulder with jealousy
    while you are just flying past.

    Do what you love. Do what is right for you. Ignore those who would drag you down because they don’t have the courage to follow your path. BTW, just found your blog tonight via Pinterest and I love it! :)

  • I think a blogger loses authenticity when the brand (sponsor) isn’t a good fit for the blogger’s brand. Or even branding category. I don’t read a DIY blog for recommendations for a new car. And if I read a fashion blog because she is great at putting together outfits from Target and Kohl’s’, I don’t appreciate when all of a sudden she is pitching designer duds. I also see that creativity goes out the window with some sponsored posts. I think the way to be authentic is to be true to your own brand and turn down offers/sponsors that aren’t a good fit. Blogging is work and a blogger should make money but the blogger should be true to her self and her readers. Then authenticity isn’t an issue.

  • My boyfriend just got me this cookbook, and I am so excited to start baking from it! (And to visit Milk Bar next time I’m in the city.) Might just have to start with the crack pie!

    • Well for starters, you definitely shouldn’t credit me in your blog post, you should credit Christina Tosi and Momofuku Milk Bar. It’s their recipe :)

      I skimmed your recipe and instructions and see that you’re calling it “adapted.” Can you describe specifically what changes you made to adapt it? That would help give me an idea of what the issue might be. I make Momofuku’s exact version all the time without any issues.

        • When you say it tasted like straight butter, does that mean it wasn’t sweet? If that’s the case I’m guessing the layers separated. In this scenario alll of the sugar would have sunk to the bottom and you would have a buttery custard layer on top that was missing the sweetness. I’ve run into that issue with buttermilk pie in the past and this pie has several similarities.

          I never figured out why the buttermilk pie was separating but I’m guessing it had something to do with either the oven temperature being off or the eggs being over or under beaten. I would look into this. Google might be able to provide more detailed information. Sorry it didn’t work out for you!