Dominique Ansel’s cronut was so successful, he could have built a fleet of shops dedicated to just that sweet and ridden the mania he created straight into retirement. Instead, he continues to work to change the public perception of pastry, and last week, he debuted a new line-inspiring, madcap creation: the chocolate chip cookie milk shot.
This “after school” special is available at his tiny Soho bakery beginning at 3 p.m. each day, and the brilliance of the sweet lies not only in taste, but in the awkwardness of watching people trying to eat the cookie with dignity and grace.
This is not an average — or even above average — cookie. Ansel uses rich Valrhona chocolate as an inner shell; the outer layer is a mix of crunchy brown sugar and more chocolate. It’s buttery, rich, and well-textured: soft enough to break apart with a little pressure from your thumb and index finger, yet sturdy enough to grasp gently in your hand while taking a selfie. The milk, poured from a teapot that’s chilling on ice, is imbued with a touch of vanilla and sugar. If you eat two, you’re going to reach your limit. Thankfully, Ansel offers a package of six in a to-go box, sold with a container of milk and helpful instructions from the staff on how to chill and serve this treat at home.
It would be useful if that staff also gave some instruction on how to consume this cookie. If you suck down the milk in one fell swoop as it if were a shot of tequila, you risk leaving your throat in need of hydration once you polish off the cookie about two seconds later. If you could employ the sip and nibble approach, your cup might become soggy toward the bottom. Most effective is to take generous bites and follow with a quick dash of milk. You may still have to deal with a few crumbling shards of dessert, but that’s what napkins are for. Extra points, though, if you shotgun from the bottom or try to stuff the whole thing in your mouth at once. Let us know how that works out.
And for those of you wondering whether you should go join the line, know this: I spent more than an hour waiting for the cookie the day it debuted only to come up short (as with the cronut, Ansel’s making a limited quantity each day). And so I waited again this week. It was worth the lost afternoon.
See photos on the next page.