Phoenix AZ Review: Urban Cookies
702 W. Montecito Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85013
I was recently near 7th Avenue for the first time in a long while and decided to explore the cluster of independent businesses around the "bend" between Camelback and Indian School. This area is sometimes known as Melrose on 7th. I was particularly interested in a place called Urban Cookies based on an entry from the Chow Bella blog:
I stopped in, and the store wasn't quite what I expected. My assumption was that I'd see display cases full of freshly baked cookies of all types. The air would be redolent with the scent of baking. In other words, I expected a hipper version of Karsh's, the popular bakery in North Central Phoenix.
Instead, what I saw was a small display area with individually wrapped cookies of four types. The man behind the counter, who was extraordinarily nice and helpful, explained that Urban Cookies does the bulk of its business through customizable gift packs. Customers can place an order through the Web site, design packaging with an appropriate message, and then have the gift delivered directly to the recipient. The retail store, then, is more for purposes of visibility and marketing than the main source of revenue for the business.
I decided to put together a sampler of all four types of cookies available: the Urban Cookie, the Simple Urban, the Urban Trail, and the Coco Urban. The Urban Cookie, which is the store's signature product, features dark chocolate, oats, walnuts, and coconut. The coconut is not overpowering, and even my wife, who claims to hate coconut, found the cookie appealing. The oats, walnuts, and coconut all give the cookie a rich texture, while the chocolate provides an appropriate burst of flavor.
The Simple Urban, which is a more basic chocolate chip cookie, is appropriate for those who may feel overwhelmed by the myriad flavors and textures in the Urban Cookie. Unfortunately, I never got to try one because my wife and my mother ate all the Simple Urbans before I got a chance.
The Urban Trail lives up to its name. It's a rugged, more compact cookie with peanuts and raisins inside. It's definitely got a bit more crunch than the other varieties, and I could absolutely see taking it in my backpack when hiking in the desert.
The Coco Urban is a mix of milk and dark chocolate with pecans. It's intense and therefore goes well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a glass of milk. This one tied with the Urban Cookie for my favorite in-home cookie. The Urban Trail remains the best for eating on the go.
While cookies will never be health food, Urban Cookies does a lot to produce a somewhat more healthful cookie experience. Most of the ingredients used are organic, and the liberal use of whole wheat flour, oats, and nuts makes most of these cookies fairly high in fiber. Given their price ($2.50 per large cookie or $26 for a dozen), it is unlikely that anyone will make these cookies a daily indulgence. Keeping them in mind as a treat for special occasions will relieve any pressure on the wallet or the waistline.
The name Urban Cookies is an interesting one because the Melrose on 7th district is becoming more urban all the time. The light rail station scheduled to open in two years at 7th Avenue and Camelback should increase the accessibility of this area, and right now there is controversy over a proposed condominium tower in the neighborhood. Urban Cookies may very well be a harbinger of an up-and-coming neighborhood.
I stopped by today. It's well designed, but nothing exciting. A small refrigerator of drink, some merch and a small basket with the four cookies. I got the coco-urban. Lots of rich flavor, but intensely cocoa-y, with a decent dose of salt. The texture is what won me over. The crust holds them together like a shell, but the interior is ultra tender and moist, without being doughy. so here's the ultimate dessert plan. Get one of these, run over to the gelato shop by LGO and drop a scoop on it then drizzle the whole thing in cajeta (inspired by iamjacksbrain, for sure).
They moved to the new location because of space constraints. The old place at Montecito and 7th Ave wasn't large enough to have their bakery onsite, forcing them to have two properties--one just for baking the cookies, and one for the selling. Now, they will have everything all in one place. Should be nice.