Moo Milk Bar
Moo Milk Bar is a "milk n' cookies" type bake shop — quite literally. This new Beaches spot touts flavoured milks and homemade cookies as its main sell, with an unabashed focus on bringing food back to basics.
The woman behind the shop is Danielle Oron, who is perched behind the barn board bar when I stop by. Poised to whip up a batch of ice cream for her homemade ice cream sandwiches ($3.00), Danielle sets her equipment aside and we get to chatting about her experience in the industry.
"I used to be a chef in New York," Danielle says, adding that she moved to Toronto after marrying her husband about one year ago. A New York native, Danielle studied at the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Institute), before moving on to work at various city restaurants.
But when Danielle moved to Toronto, she wanted to leave French cuisine behind. "In this industry," she says, "it often seems like everyone's trying to outdo the next person; trying to make things more complicated."
"I wanted to bring it back to basics," she continues. "And how can you get more basic than milk and cookies?"
Moo Milk Bar's cookies come in classic varieties such as chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut, and oatmeal raisin, as well as Danielle's own creations, including brown sugar toffee, her "party" cookie (a sugar cookie with chocolate sprinkles), and the "cowgirl" cookie made with "a little bit of everything."
"There are chocolate chips, toffee, pretzels, espresso — pretty much whatever is around here," Danielle says. The cookies can be enjoyed on their own ($2 each, or six for $10) or paired with one of Moo Milk Bar's naturally flavoured milks ($3.50, or a cookie and milk together for $5).
The milks come in flavours such as banana chocolate, banana, strawberry, "Bottom of the Bowl," and vanilla, made using ingredients such as actual fruits, Dutch cocoa powder, and in the case of Bottom of the Bowl, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. All flavours are available in both 2% and almond milk.
I sample a few of the cookies and am blown away, especially by the white chocolate macadamia nut (full disclosure: it's my favourite cookie, and far too rarely produced). The cookie has a soft, chewy texture, big chunks of white chocolate, and best of all — whole nuts. For that reason it's quite substantial, and leaves me wanting nothing more than something cold and fresh to wash it down.
I wash it down with some banana chocolate milk. I anticipate a texture similar to that of a milkshake, but this drink is very much a "milk" — a good thing, too, after tackling a chunky cookie. The flavour is pronounced, but not overpowering with seemingly little more sweetness than regular milk. In terms of dunking, you can either request one of Moo's wide-rimmed mugs, or else tap into your patience reserve and wait until you get home (which probably makes the most sense, since Moo Milk Bar does not have seating).
As mentioned, the shop also offers homemade ice cream sandwiches, as well as freshly pressed lemonade and espresso drinks. Danielle also bakes specialty cakes for birthdays and weddings, using skills honed at Bonnie Gordon College. But for that often-needed taste of nostalgia, it's milk and cookies all the way.
Photos by Morris Lum