The King of Cronuts was in Austin for SXSW this weekend, offering badge holders a taste of the famed pastry and a preview of his latest creation, the cookie shot, which will launch at his NYC shop on Friday. We met up with Ansel on Sunday afternoon - just as lines were starting to form for the midnight Cronuts - to talk about Americana like Oreos and peanut butter (the latter of which Ansel has always loved, unlike most Europeans).
Oh, and as a side note, what does a French pastry chef do when he’s in Texas for SXSW? This one headed to Franklin Barbecue, where he swapped four Cronuts for an entire brisket and then created a new sandwich with pitmaster Aaron Franklin; Ansel’s signature DKA (like a croissant but with a caramelized crust) and fatty brisket might just signal the end times. But before the apocalypse hits, let’s get to the cookie shots.
The Gist: After trying an Oreo for the first time a few weeks ago, Ansel decided to combine milk and cookies in a new way. He came up with a lighter, fluffier cookie recipe, which he forms into a tall shot glass (approximately the length of your hand) and fills with organic, vanilla-flavored milk. Many have harrumphed about how milk dissolves cookies, and how can you have a dissolving cup? Well, Ansel fortified the cookie glass with an inside rim of milk chocolate, which protects the pastry from the precious liquid.
The Taste: First, don’t worry about taking an entire shot of milk before eating the cookie. The tall yet small glass means you can take a sip of sweet milk, then a bite of cookie and repeat for at least a few bites. The cookie itself is a perfect, soft marriage of caramel and chocolate, and the milk gets almost chocolatey as it bathes in the inside layer. In fact, when you think about that inside layer of chocolate, it resembles another classic dessert from the Americana canon: the ice cream drumstick.
The Price: $3
The Verdict: Will it be another Cronut? We don’t know, and Ansel says he's not trying to create one. But the cookie shot is definitely delicious and fun. Next up, try them in NYC, where Ansel will have them starting this Friday as an “after-school special,” every day starting at 3 PM.