One day, husband-and-wife team Joy and Jon Beber, who operate Joy Cafe on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, wanted to add a nostalgic element to the restaurant’s menu. They posed a question to the staff and guests. “What did your mother give you when you came home from school?” One reply they heard was, “All I remember getting was a box of Chips Ahoy cookies and a container of Cool Whip.” Soon after, their Cookies & Milk Pie was born.
Joy Cafe offers traditional Southern food with a creative twist. Menu items include sour cream pound cake French toast, a Southern grilled cheese that was featured on Cheap Eats on the Cooking Channel, and buttermilk fried chicken that includes Joy’s famous mac-n-cheese.
When it comes to dessert, it’s the Cookies & Milk Pie that frequently delivers awards for the eatery. Eater Atlanta named it to its “19 Desserts to Try Right Now in Atlanta” list. The AJC named it one of “5 Atlanta Pie Shops That Serve a Slice Of Heaven.”
Joy Cafe introduced the pie about nine years ago.
“At its heart, the Milk & Cookies Pie is simplicity itself,” executive chef and co-owner Joy Beber noted. “The team takes the house-made chocolate chip cookies, dips them in a homemade vanilla cream, whips the vanilla cream and then layers cookies and cream into a big, soft, fluffy mound. The incredibly light mixture features the aroma of Madagascar vanilla beans, a slight chew from the cookies and sweet childhood memories.”
It took the team months of experimenting to nail the recipe.
“The main issue (we) encountered was replicating those perfect few seconds after a cookie has been dipped in milk and is perfectly soft yet still chewy, without dissolving completely in the milk,” Beber noted. “The experimentation taught (us) more than (we) ever thought (we) would know about chocolate chip cookies.”
One of the secrets Beber said was that they learned in order to perfect the ideal ratio of soft vs. chewy cookies was to cook the cookies the day before, soak them for about 40 seconds, then move the cookies to the draining rack so the dairy can drain from the cookies before assembling the pie in a crust made of leftover cookies mixed with graham cracker crumbs.
“Save room for dessert, because here comes the Milk and Cookies Pie that we’ve heard they’re famous for! It looks more like a cake, but definitely eats like a pie. Light and airy filling paired with cookie crust, you can imagine you’re eating literal milk and cookies,” Yelp user Liz A. said.
Time to indulge!