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May 8, 2007 10:17 AM

MSP Cookies

Sadly, tres leche cake; cheapie bakery cake with Crisco frosting; and a good cookie are the only sweets I really crave. Not much of a chocolate or ice-cream gal, though I'd never turn them down (neither would I seek anything like that out).

My point? I'm looking for a bakery or coffee-shop cookie or even chain-store cookie (like at the mall) that I could frequent frequently and buy, say, three cookies at a time. But good. I am a cookie snob, unlike with cheapie bakery cakes. Those chain-coffee-shop Crisco cookies are so disgusting they make me boiling mad. They're overpriced, hard enough to break a tooth on, and taste of nothing but chemicals. I'm getting all worked up thinking about them. The audacity! And they're often one of the few edibles at such places.

At any rate. I know I could and should make a batch (sugar or chocolate chip) at home, but then I'd eat them all. Preferably St. Paul recs as I want to get there quite a lot. I know the bakery near Randolph and Hamline has been mentioned. Plan to check that out today.


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  1. The peanut butter cookies at Turtle Bread are huge and hugely expensive. I usually get the peanut butter with chocolate chunk. One cookie is a meal. But they are about as far from Saint Paul as you can get, sorry.

    In the same vein, those huge Victoria's cookies you see in jars at gas stations and convenience stores around town. Give one a whirl. Maybe it's just me but I love those crumbly things.

    1. The bakery on Randolph just east of Hamline (at Syndicate) is PJ Murphy's.

      I'm not a huge cookie person, so am reluctant to make a recommendation to a self-defined cookie snob, but, maybe Key's Cafe? They do make all of their own baked goods...

      Also, how about Bread & Chocolate on Grand Ave near Victoria? They are affiliated with Cafe Latte somehow--am never sure the exact connection:

      EDIT: Oh! I know, I had some FANTASTIC cookies at that Bakery on Selby just up from the Cathedral. I don't mean "A Piece of Cake," though their bars are awfully good, but the place that bakes the good bread on the other side of the street. Can't remember what it's called, Great Harvest, maybe? Anyway, I had some snickerdoodles and oatmeal chocolate chip ones that were really good.


      1 Reply
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Hi TDQ:

        Good tip! I'm not the biggest fan of a Piece of Cake. I know exactly the place you mean across the street. Great Harvest. Only have bought bread there. Good bread. I'm going to try that today too!

      2. I've had some great cookies from A Piece of Cake, including the closest thing in the twin cities to a true Black and White Cookie. (It is way too small to be legit, but the taste and texture is there.)

        I also had an outstanding cookie recently at Mel-O-Glaze bakery. (They have something there that resembles a black and white, but avoid it - they even warned us that it wasn't a real black and white, just a sugar cookie dipped in their (outstanding) white and chocolate glaze. It ends up way, way, way too sweet for serious consumption)

        1. I haven't tried the Black & Whites at Piece of Cake, but then again, I'm not a fan of any of the black & whites that I've tried anywhere. I have tried several of A Piece of Cake's other cookies though, and find them in general much more pleasing in appearance than in taste. Regardless of the type, they all taste pretty much like Crisco sugar cookies to me. Even the date bars are too sweet and one-note for me. The frosted ones look great though, and thrill the kids.

          Great Harvest cookies are huge and chewy, but the taste and texture are, for me, a little too reminiscient of the homey honey whole wheat cookies I was served way too many of back in the 70s.

          Bread, Coffee, Cake has good, chewy oatmeal and cranberry cookies, along with good versions of the other usual suspects. All of his are the wide, chewy--not cakey--kind, with enough spice and flavoring to taste of something other than brown sugar and flour.

          Jerabek's has some very fine cookies all year round, and especially at Christmas when they make traditional cinnamon stars and lebkuchen. Good snickerdoodles too, dosed up with sufficient nutmeg to suit my tastes.

          But my favorite two places for bakery cookies are Patrick's (Richfield and Edina) and Truffles and Tortes (Plymouth). Truffles and Tortes has a limited selection and the offerings change, but what there is is (as Spencer said of Hepburn's flesh) choice. Best bets there are bar cookies and anything with chocolate. Patrick's makes marvelous, finely textured butter cookies filled with preserves, almond ganache cookies, meringues, etc.

          3 Replies
          1. re: clepro

            Clepro, you sound like you know your cookies.

            I don't remember thinking the Great Harvest snickerdoodles and oatmeal choc chip cookies were overly healthy--the oatmeal choc chip cookies, in particular, were addicting and were a favorite at my house, even among those who resist desserts that might appear to have actual nutritional value to them. They had enough butter and good quality chocolate, to make you forget that oatmeal is technically healthy. I can't recall anything about the snickerdoodles that could be interpreted as "healthy."

            I love the desserts at Patrick's (I've only been to the Richfield location)--very fancy and decadent. I don't recall having cookies there, though. Maybe I'll need to get over there and try some. Their sandwiches are good, too.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Not healthy particularly. Just the very strong flavor of grain--oats or wheat. But maybe I need to go back and try them again, based on all the good reviews they're getting--it's been several years since I've had one there. And nope, I'm not much of a cookie girl actually.

              1. re: clepro

                I was inspired by this discussion to stop by Great Harvest yesterday, where I bought six whole-wheat oatmeal raisin cookies. I just ate the first one, and I loved it!

                The whole wheat definitely gives the cookie a "good for you" heartiness that some might find a bit much, but I love the flavor that ww gives to baked goods. And there's clearly a LOT of butter in this cookie - another plus in my book.

                These huge cookies are 6 for $6.75 - not cheap, but a smidge less expensive than cookies from Rustica and the area co-ops.

                Thanks for the tip on Great Harvest's cookies!


          2. I can't believe I'm suggesting this, but have you ever had cookies sold at Noodles & Co.? I haven't tried any other ones except for their 'Snoodledoodle' cookie, a soft, chewy, cinnamon, toffee cookie -but it's pretty darn good, especially for one you can purchase at a chain "fast-food' joint.