According to Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, Self-Care Means Crafting Classes and Spoonfuls of Cookie Dough
Welcome to Feel Good Five, where we ask people to share the stuff that helps them feel their best.
Christina Tosi is the creator and driving force behind Milk Bar, a whimsical sweet shop with locations sprouting up all over the United States to the glee of anyone who loves dessert. If the ubiquity of Cereal Milk soft-serve, Compost Cookies, and B’day Truffles is any indication, it’s safe to say that Tosi is busy building a baking empire.
We recently got a chance to hang out with her at the Milk Bar Lab in Brooklyn, New York, to celebrate the launch of Nestle Toll House’s new Unicorn Morsels, swirly blue and pink vanilla baking chips which are super befitting of the confetti-cake-maker-in-chief, TBH. Luckily for us, amidst all the unicorn fudge making, Tosi wasn’t too busy to chat with us about her Feel Good Five.
Here are the five things that help the baking wiz feel her best.
1. Running and rest.
I love getting outside and going for a long walk or a run — not for distance, time, or speed, but just to get outside. It’s more about the quality of how I feel while I’m out there and getting away from everything than how far I go. A good night’s sleep is also key, but for me it’s really about feeling well-rested more than a number of hours. So the quality of sleep is really important.
2. Reading for fun.
3. Having creative outlets in addition to baking.
I am almost always enrolled in some sort of crafting class. There are tons of ways to be creative in a low-lift way. Next week I’m taking an embroidery class where you embroider these patches that you can transfer onto an apron or jean jacket. I also took a leather-working class because I always want to sew my own leather pouches. I like to buy them from the thrift store and then repair them. And then I took a chain-stitching class recently. It’s about balancing the realities of being a self-made woman with why you work so hard.
4. Mystery pantry baking challenges.
I want people to understand that baking doesn’t have to be hard. One of my favorite things to do is to cook or bake with whatever is in the fridge or pantry. I like to stay at a family member or friend’s house and whip something up with whatever they have — because for me, that breeds creativity. You can always make crepes; you just need some sort of flour, some sort of fat, liquid, salt, sugar, and a pinch of salt. It’s a great vehicle for anything sweet or savory. So many of my discovery moments often happen in people’s home kitchens. If you minimize your options, it forces your mind into a more creative space.
5. Her favorite grocery store aisle(s).
As you can imagine, my favorite aisle in the grocery store is the baking aisle. I like to bake things that are flavorful and textural, and make it a point to bring color and personality into whatever I’m making. I’m also really into salty/sweet flavor combos. So naturally, the chip aisle is typically my second stop. I like to whip imagination into everything I make.
Bonus: A scoop of edible cookie dough.
At the end of the day I like to tell myself I’m done with sugar, but I’m not. We had this edible chocolate chip cookie dough in our office and I would literally be walking home from dinner with my husband and make him wait for me while I ran into the office to grab a pint of cookie dough. Cookie dough would be my last meal on earth.
Thanks so much for sharing, Christina!