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Jun 18, 2007 06:12 PM

Ginger cookie taste-off: La Farine vs. Bakesale Betty

I'm not into ginger in my sweets, but my husband loves it. On Saturday, we checked out La Farine and Bakesale Betty. I bought a ginger cookie at each place for him to compare. Husband says La Farine's is better. Theirs is a flat, thin cookie covered with sparkling sugar granules. Betty's is a "triple ginger." It's a little thicker and has pieces of crystallized ginger in it. He says too much molasses.

I also got a chocolate macaroon for him at La Farine. He said it really didn't seem like a macaroon. I didn't have any because I generally don't eat coconut in my cookie.

Doesn't La Farine sometimes have macarons? Am I mis-remembering? No cupcakes--saw an rworange report from almost 2 years ago. Wonder if they still make them.

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  1. Other than BSB's, my favorite ginger cookie is wrapped around lime ice cream in Ici's gingersnap sandwich. This is my current favorite ice cream treat, supplanting the fudge drumstick.

    1. Another nice ginger cookie is the ginger shortbread cookie from the Cheeseboard.
      (only baked on Tuesdays)

      6 Replies
      1. re: joltgrrl

        There are delicious-looking ginger cookies at Sweet Adeline Bakerey - has anyone tried them? They look thick and chewey like BSB's (which are the gold standard with plenty of tasty preserved ginger pieces and plenty of salt for perfect balance...)

        1. re: lmarie

          I tried a couple of different cookies (the manhole-cover-sized ones kept in the large glass containers on the counter) from Sweet Adeline a while back and was very disappointed. I couldn't figure out what kind of fat was used- it wasn't butter. The cookies were overly chewy for me and they all tasted the same (I'm sure I tried a ginger one because I love ginger). Maybe they just weren't fresh or I caught them on a bad day.

          On the other hand, the ginger scones at Sweet Adeline are a revelation. Beautiful crumb and a great ginger flavor = my favorite scones anywhere. The other scones there - eh, but the ginger ones: Yum!

          1. re: MollyGee

            Bakesale Betty has an excellent pear and ginger scone, you should try it!

            1. re: JasmineG

              That's my favorite scone from Bakesale Betty too ... the orange rhubarb one is a bit too moist (wet?) for me. As for her cookies, I think the ginger one is my favorite as well. Mmm, maybe I just like ginger-flavored things in general.

              1. re: dreamsicle

                Do you like a Dark & Stormy (ginger beer, rum, and lime) too? I love them w/ a little grated fresh ginger.

        2. re: joltgrrl

          They are also available on Fridays.

        3. La Farine usually has one cupcake. You might have caught them on an off day.

          Stop by Lola's for some of the best ginger cookies. Only problem is they don't have them evry day. Never hurts to try. Never saw a macaron at La Farine. Cafe Fanny is supposed to have them once a week but I have yet to catch them. Whew ... macaroon and macaron in the same post .. you'll make our heads spin.

          Crixa sometimes has good ginger cookies but it is usually only around Christmas. Ditto on Katerine Roselle.

          9 Replies
          1. re: rworange

            What is Katerine Roselle? Google search turns up empty. I really would be remiss if I didn't visit a bakery that should be on my radar.

              1. re: Atomica

                They specialize in wedding cakes, but make some nice cookies too. They usually are sampling something.

              2. re: rworange

                I was at Crixa today, hungry and looking for a snack after a meeting nearby: they did have some ginger cookies, but I didn't try one. However, their spicy ginger cake ($3.85 a generous slice) was delicious! It was moist, and I could actually taste freshly grated ginger...

                1. re: susancinsf

                  La Farine has some chocolate cookies with a chocolate filling called "bisous au chocolat" (?) that look like French macarons, but they're probably regular sandwich cookies. They also have a chocolate-dipped macaroon (the kind with coconut in them.) The ginger cookies from La Farine look very crispy, but are they buttery? A lot of the pastries I've tried seemed pretty buttery.

                  And thanks for the comment on Crixa's ginger cake, susancinsf. I've always wanted to try their ginger cake and apple cake.

                  1. re: dreamsicle

                    Let us know what you think! BTW, there were two different ginger cakes. The one I had was dark and labeled 'spicy', they had another one that was lighter; can't remember the details but it was ginger with some other flavors....I was tempted to try both...

                    1. re: susancinsf

                      So I finally got to try Crixa's ginger cake today. It was indeed a large slice, slightly crumbly and a bit greasy, but very moist and gingery. You could see small ginger roots in the cake and sometimes get a few bites of the ginger, so I presume they use real ginger (rather than the spice) in the cake. It was a refreshing yet not-too-rich treat. Oh, and the man behind the cashier (the owner?) was cheery today too. ^__^

                      Slightly off-topic, the Russian honey cake (a special-of-the-day item) looked tempting too. Has anyone tried it? I also tried the apricot-custard kolachy and a rhubarb raspberry tart last week. The tart had a nice crust but the fruit filling was a bit sweet and there were a few cornstarch-like bits. The highlight was the kolachy, which was incredibly soft even the day after. The apricot filling didn't seem like regular jam since there were a few apricot chunks, and the custard wasn't too sweet.

                      1. re: dreamsicle

                        As far as I know, the owner is the woman with the dark hair who cooks and knows lots about Eastern European baking.

                        1. re: wally

                          Their website suggests two owners:

                          The ginger cake at Crixa is astounding. And they have these delicious, odd little ginger cookies. More shortbread than gingersnap. Very small. Perfect with tea.

                          But don't go to Crixa for ginger anything in the next week or two. The reason to go to Crixa in the next week or two is they're currently making an amazing sour cherry pie. Oh my oh my, is this a cherry pie.

              3. La Farine's ginger cookie is also 'triple' with fresh ginger, powdered and candied...and crunchy!! the way I like them. La Farine does make a big 'ol very chocolatey chocolate macaroon with coconut and also bisous which are the more traditional french almond macaroons with a layer of ganache. They have bisous (I think) on Wednesday only, but I haven't seen them in a while and the big coconut macs are seasonal. They should be back after they finish up the pumpkin chocolate chip cakes that they make in the fall and winter (info from counter staff). I love their fruitvale location!!