Milk is a key ingredient in desserts from some of the nation's most ambitious pastry chefs, who often change its texture while highlighting its wholesome, nostalgic appeal. Philip Speer of Uchiko in Austin and Uchi in Houston has created a fried-milk dessert with a corn-flake coating, and Nicole Krasinski offers a mix of milk, cream, roasted peanuts, vanilla and dark Muscovado sugar at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco.

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