Monday, November 6, 2017

Love, laughs and tradition: a Cookie Book contributor’s favorite ingredients

A trip to Mila’s European Bakery in Thiensville, Wisconsin, is sensory overload. From a dazzling display of colorful cakes to the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread, a visit here will undoubtedly tempt your taste buds. The folks at Mila’s are usually tight-lipped about their recipes, but they’re sharing two of their favorites in this year’s Cookie Book.

Mila’s was established in 1981 by Mark and Mila Kofman. They moved here from Russia with two small children in the late ’70s in search of the American dream. Today, her daughter Anna Bakalinsky carries on the baking tradition while expanding the brand with her marketing expertise. Mila’s products can be found in grocery stores across southeast Wisconsin. Now, you can replicate two of their recipes: Nutty Cherry Delights and Mila’s Kisses.
Mila's Kisses Cookies and Nutty Cherry Delight Cookies
can both be found in this year's We Energies Cookie Book

Both Mila and Anna have been long-time fans of our Cookie Book, waiting in line every year to get the latest edition. Anna always wondered, “What if we were in there?”

As recipes for this year’s Wisconsin products edition were researched, Mila’s Bakery seemed a perfect fit. ”When I got the call, I was just extremely happy and very honored,” Bakalinsky said.

Deciding which recipes to submit was difficult. The other challenge? “All of our recipes are in 50 pounds of flour and 50 pounds of this, 50 pounds of that,” she said. “When you mathematically convert it to cups and ounces and teaspoons, it doesn’t always work.” She and her team scaled down the recipes for home baking.

“Baking is a very difficult job, and running a business is difficult. You need a good staff, good support and a good foundation. This is what we have at Mila’s” Bakalinsky said. Clearly, the hard work pays off; Mila’s European Bakery was named Business of the Year 2017 by the Mequon Thiensville Chamber of Commerce.

Bakalinsky has some advice for novice – or nervous – bakers who are baking at home. “Baking is an art form that’s different for all. Try the recipe and it’s OK to improvise with a few ingredients – a dash of this and a pinch of that. However, at the Mila’s facility, precision of measurement needs to be exact. From my house to yours, let the cookie baking begin with love, laughs and tradition.”

And if you’re decidedly not a baker, Mila’s will be selling both Nutty Cherry Delights and Mila’s Kisses at their Thiensville store this holiday season.

No comments: