How our collaboration with Milk Bar has its cake and eats it too.
Pairing a two century old porcelain recipe with a brand that’s known for 21st century innovation may seem like an odd match. But for the uninitiated, combining leftover cake and frosting to make a truffle probably sounds weird too.
We like to partner with the best—whether it’s chefs who share our passion for cooking or artisans who are equally dedicated to producing high-quality Cookware. Similar to our work with Chef Nancy Silverton, when we set out to make another piece of Limited-Edition Bakeware, we wanted a design that would evoke the style of our collaborator, while being a go-to for home bakers.
For nearly 15 years, Milk Bar has been serving up confections that blend nostalgia with originality. From cereal milk ice cream to their titular pie, there’s maybe no one who knows sweets better than Pastry Chef Christina Tosi and her dedicated team including VP of Culinary Anna McGorman and Culinary Creative Manager Hilly O’Hanlon.
The first Milk Bar opened in New York in 2008 and helmed by Chef Tosi, the sugary empire has expanded to multiple locations in the US and Canada. Both McGorman and O’Hanlon are part of Milk Bar Lab, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which focuses on small-batch seasonal creations and limited-edition drops, as well as recipe development. In November 2022, Chef Tosi published All About Cookies, and after many months in development, we’re proud to debut the Milk Bar x Made In Baking Dish following its release.
“When we were trying to dream up our favorite baking tools, we kept thinking: what’s our go-to?” says McGorman. We wanted something that showed off Milk Bar’s unique aesthetic, but also fit with our current line of classic French Porcelain Bakeware. Various color schemes and designs were floated, but as always, functionality came first. Despite the fact that this was going to be a very limited launch, we wanted a versatile shape that could be used for a wide variety of sweets.
“We were dreaming up what our ideal Bakeware would look like, and we landed on something that you can definitely bake in, but you don’t have to,” McGorman says. “It’s perfect for all the classics, from fudge to lemon bars.”
All of these desserts can fit into one shape—a square. We settled on the 8x8 Baking Dish, which conjures up images of bake sales and potlucks. It’s easily portable and just the right size for a small snacking cake or a pan of brownies. It can be a treat for yourself or it can serve a crowd depending on the recipe and how you slice it.
As McGorman mentioned, it can be used for baking but it doesn’t have to be. In the case of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Diamonds, a recipe straight from Chef Tosi’s new cookbook, the slices are pressed into the Baking Dish, blanketed in chocolate, and transferred to the freezer to firm up. It’s also the perfect pan for old favorites like cereal bars or magic cookie bars filled with a layer of condensed milk.
Sugary treats, especially ones involving caramel, like O’Hanlon’s recipe for Apple Cider Caramel Blondies, call for Bakeware that’s easy to clean. Thankfully, porcelain is naturally non stick, which means no hours of soaking in hot water. The singular flavors of these blondies is a testament to the creativity at play in the Lab. O’Hanlon employed the same technique Chef Tosi uses in brownies, but using white chocolate, yielding a rich, fudgy consistency.
When it comes to baking, there’s no better material than porcelain, which explains why the recipe we use for our French-made Bakeware has been around for over 200 years. All of our porcelain Bakeware is oven safe up to 650F and it’s also thermal shock resistant, meaning it can go from freezer to oven without cracking.
“I love porcelain because it’s such a wonderful conductor of heat,” says McGorman. “You get a beautiful bake with very high consistency, so no big pockets of texture or aggressive heat from the bottom that will lead to an uneven bake.” This means you can expect chewy edges and gooey centers from all of your favorite bars.
Finally, for the design itself, we wanted to incorporate Milk Bar’s vintage script logo in a playful way. Placing it on the bottom of the Dish lets you reveal it as the treats slowly (or quickly) disappear. The black rim is a nod to the classic design of our Bakeware. Just like a sprinkle of flaky salt, it gives desserts from your childhood a little grown-up flair.
In this collaboration, we aim to honor the values Milk Bar shares with us. They too are obsessed with perfection, always looking for new ways to innovate, and use food as a way to connect with others. After all, while it may be tempting to eat a whole dessert yourself, the sweet things in life—from cherished family recipes to delicious, happy accidents—are best shared with friends.
The Milk Bar x Made In 8 x 8 Baking Dish is now sold out, but you can shop our other porcelain bakeware at the link below.
Born out of a 100-year old, family-owned restaurant supply business, we work to ensure our Cookware is as detail oriented as the chefs who choose to use it in their kitchens.Learn More
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