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Sunday, December 8

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« Mmm, Midweek Links Friday Foodporn: Birthday Cake »

Feature Fri May 21 2010

Viva la Cookie!

In the world of sweet treats, the trendy "it"-snack cupcake isn't the only baked good in town. Think about it: what oven-fresh treat has always been there for you, making your day brighter without a trace of messy frosting?

That's right. Let's hear it for the cookie!

This week marked the opening of a new cookie-centric joint in Lincoln Park, called the Cookie Bar. A full video review from Jennifer T. Lacey and I will be up on Monday; until then, let's take a look at some of Chicago's prime cookie spots, hand picked by something of a cookie expert: yours truly.

Dinkel's
3329 North Lincoln
Walk into Dinkel's, and you'll be hard pressed to ignore the gorgeous strudels, pretzels, and coffee cakes that line the back wall. But if you can tear your eyes away from the pastry, you might notice boxes of mini chocolate chip cookies for sale. These are the real deal! Soft (but not too soft) and buttery, one of these babies will make you realize just how much your average Chips Ahoy tastes like plastic and poison. Bonus tip: on Fridays, you can pick up two boxes of full-sized cookies for $9.99.

Twisted Baker
1543 North Wells
While this Old Town bakery (formerly known as "Twisted Sister") is beloved by many for its croissants, I always swoon over the cookie counter. Rather than offering the big-as-your-head, mega-cookie that so many of us are used to, Twisted sticks to the classic cookies that you used to get at Grandma's house. Chocolate refrigerator cookies, potato chip cookies, thumbprints...this is the place to go for a cookie-fueled blast from the past.

Sarah's, Bittersweet, and Vanille Patisserie
70 East Oak
1114 West Belmont
2229 North Clybourncookie02.jpg
The first is a candy shop; the second is a full-fledged bakery and luncheonette with wedding cakes and the works; the third is a fancy French sugar palace. All three of these excellent Chicago bakeries, however, have tremendous versions of the illusive and beautiful French macaron. If you've never tried one of these light, chewy, egg-white-based cookies, do yourself a favor and check them out. They come in lots of flavors and colors, so get adventurous. I love pistachio and raspberry.

Vosges, L'Appetito
951 W. Armitage
875 N. MichiganScreen shot 2010-05-21 at 2.10.20 AM.png
What do Chicago's premier exotic chocolate emporium and a River North Italian market have in common? Huge - and hugely delicious - cookies made by Highland Park's Carol's Cookies. While L'Appetito's options are more standard (chocolate chip, for example), the specially made Vosges cookies come in their signature flavors like Naga and Red Fire. They're so delicious and gigantic that you won't mind spending $5.50 for one. Maybe.

Aja's Ajan Oreos
660 North State
Ta da! The Dana Hotel's Aja restaurant has lots of tricks up its sleeves, and one of them is a chocolate cookie concoction they call "Ajan Oreos." Chewy chocolate cookies sandwich cold, creamy frosting. One of these sandwich cookies is decadent; last time I visited, Aja served a plate of three, with milk.

These cookie selections represent just a fraction of what's out there, of course. With so many different varieties, sizes, and ingredients, interesting and delicious cookies (as well as awful ones) can be found all over the place. Interesting and tasty vegan cookies can be found at Bleeding Heart; if you're daydreaming about one of those huge skillet cookies, you can find yummy ones at Lou Malnati's, Pizano's, or even Jake Melnick's. My point is this: in your quest for sweet satisfaction, don't forget about the humble and beautiful cookie.

Viva la cookie!

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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