Saturday, September 8, 2012

Frango Mint Milkshake

 (I tried to be arty with a messy, drippy shot of the milkshake- - this might be a fail.)
I've been meaning to do a recipe for a Frango milkshake for a very long time. It's weird there are very few recipes out there for them, in fact, I didn't find anything except articles of people talking about the famous milkshakes served at Fredrick & Nelson's department store "back in the day".  I'd like to point out that I might be too young to remember, but I have a vague nagging sense that I have had one way back then.  I am sure this is the part where my Mom will call me up and tell me "of course you've had one.  I used to take you there all dressed up in your blue coat for lunch".  Awww Moms... where we would be without them?

I don't really care if you remember Frango's from your childhood in Seattle, or Chicago.
I refuse to get into the age old argument of who really 'owns' the recipe.
I worked for a certain department store, so I do know.
I have also eaten Midwest Frango's and Northwest Frango's side by side and I know which is best, because they ARE slightly different.
Insert smug smile here...

You can make this with any type of Frango's that you like... I happened to have Rum, which is my favorite and one of the originals, now only available in the Fall season.  Of course, Mint Frangos are by far the most popular, so that's why I used it the title of my recipe.  

Serves 2
6 Frango's, any flavor, unwrapped
1/4 cup milk, heated (Plus more cold milk, if needed to thin the milkshake)
2 cups good quality vanilla ice cream, about 4 x-large scoops

Here's the important part, heat the milk and pour on top of the Frango.  Let sit for a couple minutes, stirring to incorporate the chocolate into the milk.  It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, just mostly melted.  Now let it cool... this is the hard part.
Walk away... for about 15-20 minutes.
You want the milk to cool down, because if you try to do it while it's too warm it will make your milkshake runny.
A really, really good runny milkshake, so really, suit yourself.

Add the melty milk and chocolate mixture to a blender, blend up a bit, then add the scoops of ice cream and blend some more.  It will be thick, so keep blending until it's fully incorporated.

Serve at once in a tall glass with a long spoon and maybe some whip cream and sprinkles too.

Note:  I have also used hot coffee instead of milk with good results.  It really depends on what you like


  1. I worked at the flagship Fredrick and Nelson's in the 1980's. A trip to the classic 2950's era lunch counter for a Frango milkshake was a favorit calorie laden treat on my lunch break. Thanks for the memories Piper!

  2. Okay, how about the recipe for the Frango Tea Room Fondant chocolate cake. Its the one with the raspberry filling between the two layers.
    It is easy enough to find good quality chocolate to make a basic chocolate cake as well as good quality raspberry fillings to use, even made from scratch.
    Since the original Frangos no longer exist the problem is to find the right mint to use in the chocolate.

    1. Hi Paula! I will ask my Mom if she remembers it, she might have some awesome ideas. It sounds like a terrific cake to me, but I don't remember trying that one.
      One thing though, Fredrick & Nelson Frango's recipe is exactly the same as the one The Bon Marche (now Macy's) owns and sells on the West Coast*. I worked for Bon Marche at the time, and it was an expensive big negotiation to ensure the recipe and manufacturer stayed the same.

      *Also interesting is the the Marshall Field's in Chicago (now also owned by Macy's) uses a different recipe and manufacturer! I have tried them side by side in a taste comparison and the West Coast ones are definitely better... in my humble opinion. Interestingly, only sells the Chicago version online.