Cookies on Capitol Hill: Hello Robin Wows

Julien Perry  |   May 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Owner Robin Wehl Martin preps a tray at the shops huge butcher block table

Robin Wehl Martin opened her adorable blue- and white-trimmed jewel-box cookie shop Hello Robin (522 19th Ave. E; 206.735.7970; hellorobincookies.com) last December on the “it” corner of 19th and Mercer, where she quickly fueled a brand-new Capitol Hill crawl that includes gourmet mercantile Cone & Steiner (grab a pint!), Linda Derschang newcomer Tallulah’s (grab dinner!), and right about now (May 1), expect to add a stop at a Molly Moon’s walk-up inside Hello Robin (grab an ice cream sandwich with Hello Robin cookies!). Classics such as chocolate chip, orange snickerdoodle and molasses—all about $1.50 each—are mainstays on the menu, which Wehl Martin changes “when I get bored.” And then there are the more ambitious cookies she tweaks with curry and other spices, such as the Mexican chocolate crinkle and the super-punchy habañero orange chocolate chip —her absolute favorite. Within the first week of opening the shop, she started selling out of the Mackles’more and for excellent reason. It’s a harmonious triple threat of cookie dough baked on a graham cracker (a grahmmy?) and topped with Valrhona chocolate. Wehl Martin, who is self-taught with just two professional baking stints under her belt (Grace Kitchen and Elemental Pizza), can often be found behind the huge butcher block in her open, exceptionally pristine demo kitchen, where people can take a seat and watch the cookie-baking magic unfold. But her tricks to making perfectly textured cookies take place behind the scenes. She freezes her dough, which helps the cookies keep their shape when they bake, while creating a crispy outside and soft inside. The best part of your visit is when Wehl Martin pulls trays of freshly baked cookies from the oven and piles them on a platter. (Photo: Hello Robin’s sweet cookie counter on Capitol Hill’s 19th Avenue)

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