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Elephant Ear Cookies

Hi everyone,

I'm not sure if this is the place to post, but here goes...I would love to find the tastiest Elephant Ear cookies in SF. These "cookies" are cream-colored with a chocolate-colored swirl, and are sliced thin like a chip. I believe they're sold under the brand name of "Smackles" in an orange bag. I've had "Smackles" from different bakeries, but some are thicker than others, and well, the closer they are to a chip in thickness, the more I like them (probably because more grease has been soaked in).

We have them in Los Angeles, but they aren't that fresh (and are, of course, more expensive). The chips usually sit in the bag for too long, and they then acquire the taste of the plastic bag they came in.

If anyone can offer any help, it would be appreciated!

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  1. They're all over Chinatown. An easy place to get Smackles, and which has pretty good turnover would be Mee Mee Bakery near Walgreen's on Stockton Street, just off Broadway.

      1. re: CYL

        Sorry...yes, they *are* cow ear cookies. That's what happens when you don't have any sleep nor food in your stomach! :)

      2. That reminds me of when I was a kid in chinatown. I loved the cow ear cookies that were in stapled, unmarked plastic bags that I could only find in the store in the basement of the Empress of China building. Haven't found any that replicate those. They were much thinner than the ones that look similar and they didn't have sesame seeds in it. Totally addictive, slightly salty and not too sweet.

        1. I KNEW I was forgetting something when I left the city today! Next visit's must stop and buy!

          1. Remember seeing them at Eastern Bakery on Grant Av.

            1. MeeMee Bakery on Stockton off of Broadway in Chinatown is the actual bakery where the cow ears are made. They also have flat fortune cookies...

              4 Replies
              1. re: cookiedsf

                Thanks, I didn't realize that Mee Mee was the source. But for flats, I like Golden Gate better and the price is lower too.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Yes, but Mee Mee has strawberry flavored flat fortune cookies. And you don't have to fight the egg tart crowd like Golden Gate.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    No, not Golden Gate Bakery on Grant, I meant Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Ross Alley.


                    P.S. No photos of the place 'cuz the enterprising ladies folding the cookies there charge a fee if you take their picture. (g)

                2. re: cookiedsf

                  this is incorrect. the actual bakery that first made these was called three star bakery. these are now made under eastern bakery. mee mee actually sells a knock off called smackers.

                3. When I was a kid in Chinatown, I first became aware of cow ear cookies at Fong Fong’s Fountain and Bakery on Grant Avenue between Clay and Washington Streets. Fong Fong’s is now long gone as this was time well before the Empress of China, Golden Gate Bakery, and the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company. Fong Fong baked the cookies therein; I used to see trays full of cookies coming directly out of the kitchen. They sold loose by bulk, weighed, and bagged on the spot. I remember seeing cow ear cookies later on at Eastern Bakery. I do not know or have gone by Eastern Bakery to see if it is still there making the cookies. More recently, I have been buying cow ear cookies and flat fortune cookies at a small bakery on Stockton Street between Vallejo and Broadway and yes, there is a Walgreen nearby, so this must be Mee Mee Bakery, which I did not know previously by name. I have not gotten the impression that Mee Mee’s cow ear cookies are actually baked there. They come pre-packaged, pre-weighed in a red bag. The bags are piled high on a window ledge to one’s left as one enters the Bakery and not in their showcases along with other fresh bakery products. However, I have to say that I have not encountered these bags of cow ear cookies anywhere else. I recently saw similar looking cow ear cookies (smaller and thicker) at an Asian market in Sunnyvale (Tien Tien) and eagerly bought some. I think these were made either in L.A. or Taiwan. Beware, it was terrible stale stuff and did not resemble the Mee Mee or Fong Fong’s or Eastern Bakery product at all! As acceptably good, as the cow ear cookies at Mee Mee are, and they are they the closest to the Old Fong Fong original product, the Fong Fong cookies were bigger, thinner, fresher, and more crackling crispier.,

                  BTW, I wish to mention there are actually two Ross Alleys in Chinatown. Old Ross Alley (where I grew up), runs from Washington (the old Sun Wah Kue corner) to Jackson Streets and is about halfway between Stockton Street and Grant Avenues. Then, there is New Ross Alley, which runs from Clay to Washington, but is closer to Stockton Street than to Grant Ave. There were two fortune cookie factories operating in Old Ross Alley the last time I visited.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: CYL

                    Nostalgia! I've never heard of "New Ross Alley". Unless they've renamed it recently, I think that alley is called Spofford.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      I plead guilty to nostalgia. Old Ross Alley became Ross Alley and New Ross Alley became Spofford Place. I have gotten used to Grant Avenue with time, but I still remember Du Pont Street with fond memories. I remember the cable car running down the old cobble stoned Clay Street to the Ferry Building. They have more recently also renamed Polk Street in front of city hall as Dr. Carlton B. Goodlet Street, Army Street as Cesar Chavez Street and Third Street past the ballpark as Terry A. Francois Street. Many people do not recognize my old school, Commodore Stockton Elementary; it has been renamed the Gordon B. Lau School. I remember Peking Duck served with thousand layer steamed buns and going to the third floor of Hang Far Low for dim sum. I can remember dungeness crab selling six for a dollar at Fisherman’s Wharf and fish and abalone being more affordable! Many names have changed, but there is much to be nostalgic about in the old days!

                      1. re: CYL

                        Alright, you got me beat...I attended Commodore Stockton Elementary after you. Thanks for the great post.

                  2. I am holding a bag of cookies in hand which is the best product that I have tasted lately. The bag is decorated in red border trim with chocolate brown text. In English it says “Shangri-La COW EAR SNACKERS, - Light! Crispy! Delicious! - snaking (snacking) time, appetizer, party time. There are five Chinese characters, translated, saying - fragrant crispy cow ear cookies. The bag has a net weight of 8 ounces.
                    Packed by:
                    MEE MEE BAKERY
                    1328 Stockton Street (Between Broadway and Vallejo)
                    San Francisco, Ca 94133
                    Tel: (415) 362-3204
                    BTW, when I go to MEE MEE (mornings only), I also take opportunity to visit:
                    1.Victoria Pastry at corner of Vallejo - for whipped cream Napoleons
                    2.You’s Bakery on Broadway below Stockton - for baked BBQ Pork buns (2nd best in area only to Cafe Bakeries’ buns)
                    3.Golden Gate Bakery on Grant Ave (Between Jackson and Pacific) for - custard tarts

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: CYL

                      Thanks for the definitive word, CYL!

                      1. Its funny when I serve these cookies at my house even the most pickiest eater gets addicted to them. I went on a search for this a while back and found that a famous bakery in Macau called
                        Choi Heong Yuen


                        They sell them in most chinese supermarkets. Its in a red box. I bet you can't put it down without eating the whole box.

                        1. If you like that flavor. They sell some fried bread with the fermented red tofu on it. Its called ham jeen bang in cantonese. I'm not from the SF area but you may find it at some of the old bakeries in c-town.

                          1. http://www.meemeebakery.com/cookies.html .. mee mee bakery has the best cow ears I've ever had.

                            1. I've posted an online recipe is anyone here is interested....