Taste Test: The 12 Best Cookies in Town

Leave room for the sweet surprises cooked up by the latest crop of cookie makers
Allison Austin Scheff  |   February 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
best cookies in seattle

A box of chocolates is nice, of course. But truth be told, come February 14th (or any time of year, really), we’d rather have a chewy, soft, crunchy, tender, perfect cookie. And with the recent opening of Seattle’s first cookie-only bakery, Hello Robin, we felt newly inspired to investigate our city’s cookie culture. We nibbled our way through batch after batch—discarding the too cakey and the too crumbly—to gather a dozen of the city’s finest, most decadent cookies. Don’t forget the milk.

From top left, clockwise:
1 Rick’s chocolate apricot espresso at Macrina
Bittersweet chocolate chunks are accented with gently sweet apricot bits and the thrum of ground espresso, which plays through the cookie like background music. It’s one of the most original—and unexpectedly delicious—cookies in town. $1.90 each. Multiple locations Macrina Bakery, Belltown, Queen Anne and SoDo; macrinabakery.com

2 Cheweos at Crumble & Flake
Neil Robertson’s cheweos are the most marvelous riff on a sandwich cookie we’ve ever tasted. Two tender, impossibly thin, soft chocolate cookies sandwich a creamy, buttery filling, sometimes flavored with peanut butter or mint, and there’s always a coffee version. Oreos ain’t got nothin’ on these. $2.50 each. Crumble & Flake, 1500 E Olive Way; 206.329.1804; crumbleandflake.com

3 Salty peanut butter at Wandering Goose
These big, moist cookies are packed with chunky peanut butter and brown sugar, and then there’s a whisper of fleur de sel sea salt on top. It just doesn’t get any better. $3 each. Wandering Goose, 403 15th Ave. E; 206.323.9938; thewanderinggoose.com

4 Chocolate cherry toffee at Wandering Goose
This cookie is a dream: chewy cookie dough with chocolate chunks and hits of dried cherries and shiny, melting pools of caramel-like toffee bits here and there. It’s just about perfect. $3 each

5 Habañero orange chocolate chip at Hello Robin
These petite cookies (about the diameter of an Oreo) pack one heck of a flavor punch. The spicy habañero plays well with the orange zest and juice in the dough; the melty chocolate chips add nice, rich contrast. These are cookies with a kick, and we dig that. $1.50 each. Hello Robin, 522 19th Ave. E; hellorobincookies.com

6 Molasses at Hello Robin
Small and chewy, with a crunchy topping of turbinado sugar, these little guys, from Seattle’s first dedicated cookie shop, are the best we’ve tasted. Even better: a mini ice cream sandwich made with Molly Moon’s vanilla bean ice cream between two molasses cookies. $1.50 each

7 Pink peppercorn shortbread at Crumble & Flake
Our quest for the ideal shortbread cookie ended here, and with an unexpected flavor: pepper. Thin and fine, with pretty crushed pink peppercorns dotting the tender butter dough and a scalloped edge, this cookie is sophisticated and feminine. And, of course, delicious, too. $2 each.

8 Chocolate chip at DeLaurenti
Browned around the edges, soft and a bit doughy on the inside, with semisweet chocolate that is somehow still melty when you bend the cookie in half, and big enough to share (but you really won’t want to)—this achieves the chocolate chip cookie ideal. $2 each. DeLaurenti, 1435 First Ave.; 206.622.0141; delaurenti.com

9 Creamsicle at Nollie’s (middle cookie)
Clever! The frosted cookie version of that summertime orange-and-cream ice cream treat, this is soft, moist, tender, with orange zest and juice for zing. $2 each. Nollie’s, 1165 Harrison St.; 206.402.6724; nolliescafe.com

DARK CHOCOLATE? YES, PLEASE

10 Salty chocolate from Kakao
(Top) Dig salty caramel? Try salty chocolate. Local baker Christine Lea of Christine’s Catering sells her deeply rich, double chocolate (Dutched cocoa powder and Callebaut chocolate) cookies, sprinkled with Maldon salt, at South Lake Union chocolate shop Kakao. They make for premium coffee dippers, or opt for a mocha, which Kakao will make with your choice of Valrhona or Ghirardelli chocolate. $1.20 each. Kakao, 415 Westlake Ave. N; 206.432.1118; kakaoseattle.com

11 Chocolate truffle cookie from Dahlia Bakery

(Middle) These dense, crackly-topped cookies are made with melted bittersweet chocolate, chocolate chips and cocoa powder. Believe us: triple the chocolate, triple the pleasure. $2.50 each. Dahlia Bakery 2011 Fourth Ave.; 206.441.4540; tomdouglas.com

12 Vegan chocolate cookie from Macrina

(Bottom) You’ll never know (or care) that this craggy chocolate cookie is vegan. Dense and fudgy, this treat has a dark, double chocolate hit from cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate chips. $1.90 each

 

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