Amaretto Cookie at Bluebird Bakers 0

Bluebird Bakers
2390 NW Thurman – Portland
$2

Man, have I been on some kind of an almond jag lately. I made marzipan for the first time a couple of weeks ago (so much easier than I realized). I also bought a Bakeshop almond croissant at Extracto Coffeehouse last week, and anyone who knows me knows that this is far off of my beaten pastry path. Not sure what’s happening in my head and mouth, but something in there is telling me it needs to eat almond paste.

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Chocolate Orange Flourless at Bushel & Peck 0

Bushel & Peck Bakeshop
3907 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd – Portland
$1.50

I said there would be more soon from Bushel & Peck. I wasn’t lying.

This one:  a chocolate crinkle. But like the ginger molasses with sesame from the same bakery, it’s a classic with a twist that takes it from (sort of) ubiquitous to fairly unique. The orange (zest, I’m presuming) is a great addition to an already delicious cookie

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Two Rhubarb Cookies at Two Tarts Bakery 3

Two Tarts Bakery
2309 NW Kearney Street – Portland
75¢/each

I’ve had it in mind to talk about Two Tarts for ages. I’ve been enjoying them ever since they first started plying their tiny wares 3-4 years ago at The Portland Farmers’ Market. They’ve since opened a small retail shop on NW 23rd Avenue, and continue to sell at the market, as well.

The problem is this: if I am to tell you about about Two Tarts, I am required to talk about not less than 10 different cookies at once.  And it turns out that as much as I love to talk about cookies, I’m pretty lazy.  So I’m compromising and talking about only three different Two Tarts cookies.   It’s a start.

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Macarons at Pix Patisserie 1

Pix Patisserie
3901 N. Williams- Portland
3402 SE Division – Portland
$2

NOTE: Passover-friendly  No flour, no leavening.  Contains only almond flour, egg whites, sugar, butter, flavoring.

I hate to begin on a negative note, but I feel the need to preface this review with this piece of information: I don’t like Pix very much.  I’ve tasted many desserts from this much raved-about Portland dessert mecca over the past several years that have been either stale or tasted like refrigerator (or both), or were just simply not delicious. (Don’t even get me started on the piece of crap “ghetto cake” (their words, not mine) that my friends and I picked up on New Year’s Eve. Unless you really want to hear about it, in which case I’ll happily explain.  Read more »

Lemon Meringue Cookie at Proof Bakery 2

Proof Bakery
3156 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles (Atwater Village)
$2

Before visiting L.A. recently, I had read that a brand new bakery called Proof (opened in December ’10) was making a cookie called a zimsterne. I’d somehow never heard of these, which is surprising because it is a cookie that is completely after my own heart. I have a soft spot for anything almond – particularly almond paste, marzipan or almond flour – the latter being a key player in the zimsterne. Also, I love cinnamon. I was sold – enough so to make the somewhat out-of-the-way drive (from where I was) to Atwater Village (not far from Silverlake).

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(Gluten Free) Snickerdoodle at Cravin Raven 0

Cravin Raven Bakery
8339 SE 13th Avenue – Portland
$2

Do your salivary glands dry up at the mere mention of the phrase “gluten free”?  If so,  please stay with me.  This is not the bland, impossibly dry, sawdust-and-cotton balls-tasting biscuit you may once have had the displeasure of meeting.  It’s good.  Really.
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Chocolate Macaroon at Alma 4

Alma Chocolate
140 NE 28th Ave – Portland
$1

Alma Chocolate, a tiny shop in Northeast Portland, is known mainly for their signature (edible) gold leaf-painted molded chocolate iconsbon bons, barks, toffees and cocoa-dusted candied nuts.  The array of unexpected confections, all  made from one deep, dark single-origin chocolate or another, is stunning. But what I want to tell you about is the shop’s  more off-the-radar (at least to me) bakery items.

I seem to forget about Alma as a bakery, per se, but the fact is that they are kickin’ out some of Portland’s better cookies, brownies and cake.  And this, natch, is what I want to tell you about – a cookie.

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Caramel Coconut Macaron at Honore 0

Honore Artisan Bakery
1413 NW 70th St. – Seattle
$2

Yes, that’s right – there is coconut happening here.  But as you can see by the photo, this cookie, to be sure, is a macaron – not a macaroon.

That is to say, it is not in any way a coconut macaroon a la Red Fox Bakery, as recently reported.  Rather, it is a Parisian macaron, using shredded coconut in place of the typical ground almond. I realize the word “coconut” in the title may be misleading.  So…don’t be misled. It’s not a macaroon.  It’s a macaron.  Are we clear?

No?  Well, I’m going to spare you a  lengthy definition of macaroons and macarons because I figure if you already know, then I’ll be boring your pants off, and if you don’t already know, then you can look here. Read more »

Big Macaroon at Red Fox Bakery 1

Red Fox Bakery
328 NE Evans St, McMinnville, OR
$1.75

My nephew, Ben (age eight) and I took a little day trip to McMinnville last week  to visit the Evergreen Air and Space Museum (home of the famous Spruce Goose).  After the hour-long drive, we wanted bit of  lunch before embarking on our (much more compelling than I had been expecting) tour.  Even though the museum proved to be very worthwhile,  I was, frankly, more excited about revisiting Red Fox Bakery* than I was at the prospect of seeing vintage airplanes.

(*Not to be confused with Redd Foxx.  Sadly, Fred Sanford is not the proprieter of this business.) Read more »

Almond Horn at Whole Foods 14

Whole Foods Market
Portland – various locations
$1.99

Is it a cookie? Or is it a confection?  It’s sitting behind the glass next to all the other cookies,  but I’d say this one sort of rides the fence being that a) it contains not a lick of flour (not that flour is a requirement for cookie classification) and b) enclosed within its thin, almond-encrusted sheath, is a dense, slightly sticky mass of sweet, sugary marzipan – behaving more like candy than cookie, imo.  Its ingredients are: sugar, almonds, almond paste, egg whites and salt. Read more »

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