Milk & Cookies Tart

April  1, 2019
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

This tart is such fun to make and to eat, and is a total crowd-pleaser. It starts with an easy-to-make press-in cookie crust, speckled with plenty chocolate chunks. Leaving out the chemical leaveners that would normally be in a cookie recipe (like baking soda and powder) helps the crust bake up flat, leaving room for the filling later. After the crust is baked and cooled, it’s filled with a simple vanilla panna cotta. Once the custard has set, this tart is the most incredible combination of milk and cookies in every bite. And if you really want to send it over the top, top it with piles of swoopy whipped cream and nestle some mini chocolate chip cookies on top, too. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Dear Milk & Cookies Pie: It’s Me, Your Biggest Fan. —The Editors

  • Prep time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes one 9-inch tart
  • Chocolate chip cookie crust
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (106 g) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 2/3 (201 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) fine chocolate chunks (or mini chocolate chips)
  • Filling
  • 1/3 cup (76 g) cool water
  • 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/4 cups (290 g) heavy cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup (66 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) whole milk
  • Topping (optional)
  • 1 cup (235 g) heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (38 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 to 15 mini chocolate chip cookies (such as Tate’s)
In This Recipe
  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. Make sure you have room in your freezer and fridge to place the tart pan later.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and mix to combine.
  3. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together and is uniform. The mixture should look like a stiff chocolate chip cookie dough - if it seems dry or crumbly, add a little milk (1 tablespoon at a time) until it comes together. Add the chocolate chunks and mix to combine.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan into an even layer - take special care to make sure the sides of the tart dough and the corner (where the sides meet the base) aren’t too thick. Using a small measuring cup can help you get into those corners and ensure it’s even.
  5. Place the tart pan into the freezer while you preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Press the tines of a fork all over the chilled dough to dock it. Bake until the crust is lightly golden brown and fully baked, 20 to 24 minutes. Cool completely.
  7. When the crust is cool, make the filling. Place the cool water in a small bowl, and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Heat 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and the vanilla bean and scrapings in a medium pot, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bloomed gelatin and heat until the mixture melts completely, about 1 minute.
  9. Place the hot liquid into a large vessel with a pour spout (such as a 4 cup liquid measuring cup), and stir in the remaining ¼ cup cream and the milk, stirring well to combine. Remove the vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract instead of the bean, stir it in now).
  10. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, and gently transfer to the refrigerator. Chill until the filling is totally set, at least 1 hour, and up to 8 hours.
  11. The tart is now ready to serve, or you can add the optional topping. In an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to medium peaks. Spread the cream on top of the tart, and decorate with mini chocolate chip cookies.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.

3 Reviews

Darian March 15, 2020
This was a big hit at my daughter's school for Pi(e) day this week! The downside was we didn't actually get to keep any, so I will have to make it again soon!
Lydia July 1, 2019
I loved this idea and it's an impressive dessert, but I also found the flavors a little bland. The cookie crust especially just tasted sweet, without the typical caramelly and brown sugar notes in chocolate chip cookies (ironic, I know, given that it's only using brown sugar in the crust). Maybe more sugar or toasted sugar? Or more vanilla? I did use Trader Joe's bourbon vanilla extract for both pudding and cookie instead of vanilla bean.
Ron April 20, 2019

Fairly easy recipe, okay flavor.

I used vanilla beans, Green & Black 70% Trinitario chocolate and Jersey cow dairy (more fat).
Crust proved to be the most difficult part- whose texture was somewhere between barely wet sand and sandstone, and wanted to easily crumble while using a measuring cup to level the base, build the walls and thin the corners. The walls also browned too quicky while the base had just reached color. The crust was very dense and near impossible to remove from the pan. It also dominated the flavor and mouthfeel from mid to end bite, the cotta and whip quicky disappearing.
Otherwise, nice flavors and a good crowd pleaser.
I had to rush the chilling, and did 30 minutes freezer and 40 minutes fridge- enough time to set up just fine.