Chocolate Chip at Stella Taco

Stella Taco
2940 NE Alberta – Portland
$2

Q:  Why is it that a taco joint is completely NAILING chocolate chip cookies?

Stella makes exactly one* baked good and they make the $*!% out of it.

Somebody in that kitchen, clearly, is a cookie scholar – and  is managing to get these gems under a glass dome at the cash register on a regular basis. (I’ve seen them every time I’ve been there, with maybe one exception when they’d sold out.)

I’ve said before that I much prefer traditional chocolate chips rather than big chunks in my ccc, but because the rest of the this nugget is so exceptional, I am willing to overlook that in this case.

 

The Lowdown:

• Underbaked (Aka: baked exactly the right amount of time.) I think this comes across in the photo above. The dense moisture of the cookie virtually leaps off the screen – am I right?)

• Slight toffee-like flavor, a result of an “aged” dough. I’m guessing the dough is rested in the refrigerator for a couple of days before baking - not a secret technique at this point in time, yet so few profesh bakers take this extra step. My plea to both amateur and pros: DO IT! It is so goddamned worthwhile. I promise you.

• Perfect size. Shouldn’t be smaller (for $2) and doesn’t need to be any bigger.

• Good quality dark/semi-sweet chocolate

• No nuts

• Bonus points for offering a great cookie in an unexpected venue for great cookies. I extra love it when this happens.

Note: I’m refraining from making my frequent “not enough salt” complaint because while it is true that this cookie could def use some, here’s the thing: you’re AT a taqueria, guys. They have so much salt there. Regular salt, limey salt, and, I’m presuming, margarita salt. So if you’re like me you can rectify the dearth of salt with a shake or two, right on the premises. No big deal. 

* I’m pretty sure. As far as I’ve seen, anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger Snap at Lauretta Jean’s

Lauretta Jean’s
3402 SE Division. Portland
$1

First thing’s first: it’s not really a “gingersnap.”  This is not a criticism; most days I would rather eat a soft, chewy ginger molasses cookie than a crispy, brittle one. (Not that a very good gingersnap doesn’t have its place in the world. It totally does.)

That being said, while not necessarily an earth-shattering ginger molasses, it is certainly a solid option – not shy on spice and flavor and overall pretty satisfying.

Note: I thought it tasted even better two days later than it did freshy-baked. Only a well-made, not over baked cookie will pass this integrity/longevity test.

Respectable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Semolina Cookie at Tabor Bread

Tabor Bread
5051 SE Hawthorne Blvd – Portland
$2.25

 

This one was a crapshoot. I honestly could not tell by looking at it whether it was going to be a delightful cloud of lemon, toothsome chewiness – or a tragically dry, biscuit-y disappointment.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie at Grand Central Baking

Grand Central Baking
Portland & Seattle – various locations
$1.75

 

There are two  Grand Central Cookies that I’ve loved for ages: Triple Chocolate and Oatmeal Raisin. I return to them again and again. And again. These are staples in my Portland cookie circuit; they are consistent, solid, always pleasing.

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Mocha Cookie at The Café at The Line Hotel

Café at Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Blvd – Los Angeles
$2.50

Had a work/fun trip to LA last week for a few days and was put up in this Koreatown hotel for one night. I knew nothing about the place before I showed up so I was bummed that I’d made plans to meet my friends at The Ace for drinks instead of insisting they come there. I mean, The Ace is… Read more »

Chai Spiced Snickerdoodle at Little T Baker

Little T Baker
2600 SE Division St. – Portland
$2

I stopped by Little T today for the first time in a few months – only because I don’t get over to this neighborhood (during cookie hours) so often – not because I don’t think it’s a fine, fine bakery. (It is.)

I saw this cookie in the case, unlabeled. The lady described it to me as a snickerdoodle with Read more »

Triple Chocolate Chip at Serious Business Pastries*

*purchased at café next door to bakery:
Café Eleven
435 NE Rosa Parks Way – Portland
$2

It is no secret that I’m a fan of a double dark chocolate/triple chocolate/chocolate whopper/ooey gooey chocolate cookie. It has a variety of handles, this dark brown beauty, but it mainly boils down to this:

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Trail Mix Cookie at Café Eleven

Café Eleven
435 NE Rosa Parks Way – Portland
$2

I’ve eaten a lot of hippie cookies in my life.

A lot of them were good. A few of them were great.

But even more of them tasted like…actual dirty hippies.

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Cereal Killer at Treat Vancouver

Treat Bakery
210 W Evergreen Blvd – Vancouver, WASHINGTON

Cereal Killer. I’m embarrassed to tell you that I didn’t get the pun at first. I was, in fact, wondering why they were calling it “cereal killer cookie” instead of “killer cereal cookie.”
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Ooey Gooey Double Chocolate at Milk

Milk
7290 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
$1.50

 

I’ve been very fond of the cookies at Milk since my first visit – in 2008 – and I return every time I’m in Los Angeles. (I like L.A.)  Four years ago I proclaimed Milk’s iced spice molasses cookie my favorite molasses cookie ever. 

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