What Happens in Vegas, Comes Home From Vegas

We recently came back from Vegas.  While the kids are in overnight camp, we like to get away for a short vacay.  This year we decided to head back to Vegas where we went 3 years ago.  With a monumental birthday coming up for me this summer, we decided to splurge and book a room at the Cosmopolitan.  While, we don’t choose to stay in dumps, we generally don’t blow our vacation budget on the room. We would rather have our budget go towards food and entertainment.  Upon checking in to the Cosmopolitan, we learned our room was not quite ready and we got a free upgrade to a suite with a wrap around terrace.  Uhm, ok.  Upon entering the suite I couldn’t believe it.  It was two or three times the size of any apartment I ever had.  A living area!  A full kitchen!  A bar!  Two bathrooms!  Two big screen tvs!  Now the wrap around terrace didn’t have the best view.  One side overlooked the Vegas Strip which was ok and the other overlooked the HVAC system.  Ok, so maybe I’m not hanging around on the terrace, but it was 115 degrees there, so really no incentive to be outside.

Our hotel had some great restaurants to choose from.  One that had Brian’s eyes bugging out of his head was Milk Bar.  We have been to the one in NYC many times and have had several things.  If you haven’t heard of Milk Bar, its a dessert place that was concieved by Christina Tosi, who is a pastry chef with some mad skills. She loves junk food and incorporates that child memory taste in many of her creations. She puts an original spins on classics.  She is the creator of “cereal milk”, and I swear it’s magic.  Remember eating a bowl of cereal and drinking the milk at the bottom?  She makes that. It’s a thing.  She even turns it into ice cream.   After our first few visits to her NYC location I bought the cookbook and attempted to recreate some of the goodies.  I made some of her cookies with success and the famous “crack pie”  Many of her recipes are recipes within recipes. There are a lot steps involved.  But with the right ingredients and persistence you can pull off some tasty treats.

So anyway, back to Milk Bar being in Vegas.  One day Brian got some cereal milk ice cream and got some crunch put on it.  The crunch is basically a kicked up cornflake crumble that is freaking heaven.  What was awesome was the cup was filled with some crunch, ice cream put on top and then more crunch sprinkled on the sides.  Genius.  You never run out of the crunch.

When we got home from the trip, I started strolling through my Milk Bar cookbook.  I hadn’t made anything from it in a while, so I decided to make some of that cornflake crunch.  img_0568

The crunch is really easy to make and calls for very few ingredients.  Just some cornflakes, sugar, salt, milk powder and butter.  Butter, baby.  It what makes this crunch sing.

Preheat your oven to a low temperature.


Pour your cornflakes in a bowl and crush them with your hands until they reduce down into smaller flakes.  The noise and feeling you get from the crunching is so satisfying.  I can literally do it for a long time, but then the cornflakes will be dust.

Melt your butter in the microwave and set aside.


To the cereal add your sugar, salt and milk powder.  Milk powder is basically dehydrated milk that is shelf stable.  You can add water to it to make “milk”.  I do not advise that.  I think that is meant for if we were hit by a nuclear bomb and you were living in a bomb shelter and needed milk.  Then, yes, make milk with it.  But I’d sooner not drink milk ever again if that were the situation.  You can find the milk powder easily in the baking aisle of your supermarket.

Add the melted butter and stir it all up.  The butter will make it all clumpy.  This is good. Little clusters will form.

Spread the mixture on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake it for 20 minutes.  Your kitchen will smell AMAZING.  Take it out to cool and try not to eat it by the handful.  Store it in a container.  It will last a week.  But let’s be real. It will last 2 days max.

Tonight it’s going on top of vanilla ice cream.

Cornflake Crunch

  • 5 cups cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 9 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Heat the oven to 275°F.
2. Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.
3. Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.
4. Cool the cornflake crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.