Got Cinnamilk?

By Morgan Raum
December 11, 2019 02:25 PM
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Credit: General Mills/Milk

With all the end-of-decade lists popping up as we approach 2020, it’s easy to feel a little sentimental this time of year—and now Cinnamon Toast Crunch and chef Christina Tosi (founder of Milk Bar) are adding to the nostalgia with a tasty collaboration that really takes us back to childhood.

The cereal brand and award-winning pastry chef have concocted multiple new treats, including a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Marshmallow Cookie and a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Milk Bar Pie, that are exclusive to the Milk Bar Rockefeller Center truck and to its flagships in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and now New York City.

They have also released a limited-edition Cinnamilk mix, which gives you instructions to recreate the best version the milk that’s left in the bowl after you eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Tosi is famous for her cereal milk, which is made with toasted cornflakes and sugar, so this collaboration was definitely a logical next step.

“I was a very picky eater when I was a kid, and my mom was like, ‘Alright, I’m not going to get her to eat her vegetables, but I can get her to drink her milk to make big strong bones,” Tosi tells PEOPLE. “I would go to the grocery store with my mom every week and when I hit the cereal aisle, she would just let me loose. On some level this collaboration has been in the works for…37, 38 years.”

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Marshmallow Cookie is made with the cinnamon cereal, gooey marshmallows, butterscotch chips, and white chocolate chips tossed in cinnamon. Tosi explained, “You have to think about which flavors will help lift the [cinnamon and sugar] flavors up on a pedestal, and those are some of the flavors and textures that do it.” The cookie goes for $4 and will be in stores December 19-22.

Credit: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The second dessert, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Milk Bar Pie, is a twist on the bakery’s signature Milk Bar Pie (formerly called Crack Pie before undergoing a name change in April). This version is made with a Cinnamon Toast Crunch crust under a buttery and rich filling, swirled with cinnamon and sugar in tandem, “so that your taste buds kind of go in and out of cinnamon being the star, and then sugar being the star…each of them will have their moment on the menu,” she explained. Unfortunately, the pie was only available in stores December 5-8. If you missed it, just know that we’re also hoping it returns to stores one day.

Lastly, the Cinnamilk Mix is available online and in stores while supplies last. The bottle contains crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and suggests you combine with 1/2 gallon of cold whole milk, stir, steep for five minutes, strain and enjoy. According to Mindy Murray, the cereal brand’s senior marketing communications manager, “The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamilk Mix amplifies the delicious cinnamon-sugar flavor fans know from our cereal.”

WATCH: Christina Tosi’s Oatmeal Cookies

Tosi is known for taking simple supermarket ingredients and elevating them into something innovative. “There’s a nostalgia to what we do because I think it is so much more of a challenge to take ingredients that have been in our lives and create and innovate around them,” she said. “Our taste buds and our heartstrings that are attached to our taste buds already know what cinnamon and sugar are. Rather than trying to bring in a brand new ingredient or trying to force a flavor combination, [using classic ingredients] is the spirit of how I like to look at dessert.”

Credit: General Mills/Milk

The Cinnamilk collaboration is the first of its kind for the New York City Milk Bar flagship, which opened up recently in NoMad. According to Tosi, it took about a year and a half to put together the idea for the location, find the right space, and then build it — but the idea for the flagship was always there.

Tosi has definitely been hard at work in the flagship herself. On Tuesday, she posted a photo of herself and a team member lugging a large piece of furniture down the stairs. “Opening a new store = all hands on deck ? #PIVOT !!!” she joked on Instagram, referencing the iconic Friends episode in which Ross and Rachel attempt to carry Ross’s new couch up the staircase of his building.

“The way I work as a person and the way Milk Bar works as a company…is that when we have a challenge, we share in the challenge together. We do whatever it takes to excel, to succeed in that challenge…to crush it, basically. So when it’s time to move furniture, it’s time to move furniture. There is no such thing as a role too big or too small when something needs to get done,” she says.

Credit: General Mills/Milk

As for Christina Tosi’s life outside of Milk Bar? “We work a lot. And then we play a lot,” she says of life with her husband Will Guidara. “I spend a lot of time at work in general, but I do what I love and I think that’s a peril of doing what you love for a living.”

Still, Tosi puts her talents to use for their family holiday celebrations. “I always make cinnamon buns on Christmas morning; that is my tradition, no matter who’s invited me or where I go, that is how I show up!,” she says. ” I’m the kind of person that’s like, ‘There are six cinnamon buns in the fridge, I can’t go to bed until they’re all eaten.’ And I feel better about it when I send them home with people.”

Tosi also revealed that she sends every single neighbor in her building a tin of cookies from Milk Bar during the holiday season. “It’s those little things that count, and I think that dessert is really the secret weapon this time of year.”