By Hannah Han ’21
At first, Milk seemed promising. The shop itself is clean and modern, if not a bit sparse. The milky walls are interrupted by tall glass doors framed in black, and foil stars and golden fairy lights are threaded across the high beams of the ceiling. Glass display cases containing neatly arranged stacks of cookies and cakes dominate the cramped, warehouse-like space.
Although Milk is most well-known for its macaron ice cream sandwiches, the dessert shop offers a wide variety of confections and beverages, all of which are milk- or cream-based: cookies, ice cream, cakes, ice cream sandwiches, floats, milkshakes and pudding. Most of the desserts are overpriced in proportion to their size, with prices ranging from $2 for one cookie to $9 for a milkshake.
Milk’s most popular items include the Cookies & Cream macaron ice cream sandwich and the Fruity Pebble sandwich, both of which consist of thick hunks of ice cream nestled between two glossy macarons.
The Cookies & Cream sandwich is elegant and beautiful in its simplicity. The pale, clean flavors of the Cookies & Cream ice cream complement the smoky, decadent sweetness of the chocolate macarons. The sandwich is relatively easy to eat, as the smooth, dense ice cream is neither hard nor runny, and the macarons stick to the filling. The Fruity Pebble ice cream sandwich, however, is as dissatisfactory as the Cookies & Cream is delightful. Two rosy macarons enclose a slab of pink Fruity Pebble flavored ice cream; half of the sandwich is then dipped in condensed milk and encrusted with multi-colored Fruity Pebbles. The sandwich is striking in that the chewy macarons, velvety ice cream and brittle Fruity Pebbles combine to form a mosaic of texture. However, the dessert is nauseatingly sweet to the point where the flavors become muddled and indistinguishable, and the entire sandwich tastes like leftover milk infused with the artificial sweetness of Lucky Charm marshmallows. With that being said, both sandwiches are aesthetically pleasing and are not entirely disastrous, due to their textures and appearances.
Ice cream is also sold separately at Milk. Flavors vary daily but include both traditional ones, such as chocolate or vanilla bean, and unique ones, like Thai tea or red velvet. For the most part, each scoop of ice cream is imbued with bright, clean flavors and retains its thick, creamy consistency in warm conditions. However, the Thai tea is the exception; the moment it leaves the fridge, the ice cream becomes a glutinous, bright orange mess. On the other hand, the gingerbread ice cream is sublime, a nutty mix infused with the spicy, sweet essence of ginger. Unlike the other ice cream flavors and macaron sandwiches, the gingerbread ice cream has the perfect level of sweetness.
Generally, Milk’s cookies, also sold separately, are wonderfully chewy and savory, their snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookies being no exception. However, Milk’s Ooey Gooey cookies are a different story. Unlike their fellow confections, the Ooey Gooey cookies are chunky, extremely dense and almost brownie-like in texture. The molasses cookies are similarly dense but are littered with raw sugar crystals and frosted with a lattice of cloyingly sweet white glaze.
Although some of their confections and ice cream flavors are lovely, many are unsatisfying and even sickening in their sweetness. In the end, Milk’s overpriced desserts can be summarized in three words: too much sugar.