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BITE: Crack and Compost
Pay Chen explores the sweet wonders of Momofuku Milk Bar and Toronto's love of blueberry cream cookies


Last Friday will be known as the day the city went crazy for crack and compost. Crack pie and compost cookies, of course. Momofuku Milk Bar finally opened a little “cube” on the second floor of the restaurant. It’s a small, clear, walk-in fridge where cookies, pie slices, and cake truffles are packaged ready to go, along with milk bar merchandise. Where’s the bakery? In Williamsburg, Brooklyn. All items are flown in daily.

My first experience with the Milk Bar was baking from the cookbook because the book was closer — and cheaper — than the Milk Bar locations in NYC. The crack pie recipe produces two pies so incredibly sweet that I wanted to stop at one bite, but the need to sustain an obscene sugar high made me eat more. The real crack pie ($6/slice, $48/whole) is a buttery, sugary sliver of butter tart-like sweetness.

I don’t care what anyone says, the recipes are work.  They are not quick and simple. I will not bother to make that crack pie again. I will also never make their corn cookie again. Not when cookies sell for $2 each or six for $11 at the milk bar. Also, the corn cookie was a lot of work for something I wish had chocolate in it. The pride I had in making something from the Milk Bar book has been shoved away by the convenience of stuffing it already packaged into a shopping basket.

Chef, owner and founder of Milk Bar, Christina Tosi, stayed in Toronto over the weekend to conduct demos of b’day cake truffles and answer questions.  She was grateful people showed up for an 11 a.m. session, saying, “we heard Torontonians like to sleep in so we weren’t sure if this was too early.” It was not too early for b’day cake truffles (box of 12/$16). Essentially, they are little balls of funfetti cake broken up and crumbled, and mixed with Christina’s “vanilla soak” (whole milk with vanilla) just until the cake crumbs hold together in a ball. The cake balls are rolled in a very thin layer of white chocolate (Christina does not enjoy thick chocolate coatings), then rolled in cake “sand” (dryer cake crumbs). Ta da! Cake truffles.

Toronto did well on Milk Bar’s first day. The compost cookies and crack pie were the best sellers, but the team from New York were surprised the blueberry cream cookies sold as well as they did. They’re usually a third-place cookie in terms of popularity, but not in this city.

If you’re a Milk Bar fan, you won’t find all of your favourites here. No soft serve or whole cakes will be flown in because they don’t ship well. So there’s still a reason to visit a shop in New York.

Follow Milk Bar on Twitter: @momomilkbar


Pay Chen is a TV and radio host, writer, and producer who puts a lot of things in her mouth. If you have a favourite spot in the city to share, follow her on Twitter at @PayChen.

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