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Best cookies in the Bay Area?

l
ljlh2008 Feb 26, 2009 10:49 PM

What is the best one you have ever had?

I need to buy 100 for a party we are having on the Penninsula this weekend and I want them to be scrumptious. Or something beautiful enough to be favors would work too. Alas, I waited too long to go the custom route, so sadly it needs to be something available off the shelf. But I figured if anyone would know, it would be you all. Thanks for the input!

  1. k
    kauz Feb 26, 2009 11:11 PM

    Well, I'm rather fond of the oatmeal cookies at Draeger's. They're not too sweet and, if I recall correctly, have citrus zest in them which I found to be subtle, but tasty. I'm not sure if they would suit you as favors though - they're fairly typical drop cookies after all.

    1. i
      iheartfruit Feb 27, 2009 05:47 AM

      I buy cookies every weekend from a company that sets up a table outside the Village Market in the Ferry Building-- cmbsweets. The chocolate chip are the best I've ever had, and the PB & J are great too, The woman behind the counter mentioned they do a 'milk and cookies' catering, so I ordered them for a big meeting we had a work. 24-hr turnaround, on-time delivery, everybody raved. Would def do it again. I don't think there's any metion of the cookies on the company's ebsite, but you can contact them at 415.337.0846. Hope that helps!

      1. BernalKC Feb 27, 2009 07:03 AM

        Teacake Bake Shop has the most decadent cookies ever. More on the sumptous side of scrumptious. At $2 a pop I only get them as an occasional, decadent indulgence. I had a Chocolate Chunk Hazlenut yesterday - oh my! I see on their site that they have 'deals' on sets. All three outlets are NE of where you are, but it might be worth it.

        Tartine also has some fine looking cookies, but I can't vouch for them since I'm always sampling pastries.

        -----
        Teacake Bake Shop
        119 Corte Madera Town CT, Corte Madera, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: BernalKC
          rworange Feb 27, 2009 08:46 AM

          Depends on what kind of cookies you are looking for. I agree that Teacake makes great large buttery cookies like chocolate chip... tho skip the awful cupcakes.
          http://www.teacakebakeshop.com/

          La Biscotteria in Redwood City has wonderful biscotti. They sell at various markets, but the bakery in Redwood City has a larger selection including minis and some other Italian cookies. Also the biscotti at the store are fresh from the oven
          http://www.labiscotteria.com/

          Emporio Rulli has some wonderful Italian cookies but they are pricey. They have a location at SFO and will validate parking with a minimum $20 order ... and trust me ... it will be more than $20 for 100 people.
          http://www.rulli.com/

          Anna's in San Mateo has Danish butter cookies
          http://www.annascookies.com/

          1. re: rworange
            JasmineG Feb 27, 2009 09:09 AM

            See, I don't like Teacake's cookies at all, but I love their cupcakes. I really like the cookies at Bakesale Betty in Oakland, and they're only $1 each. I also like the meringue cookies at Tartine Bakery, and those are pretty and unusual.

            1. re: JasmineG
              c
              carfeng Feb 27, 2009 11:03 AM

              I also love the meringue cookies (I believe they are called Rocher) at Tartine Bakery. They have two kinds: one with cocoa nibs and the other with almond essence/slivers. They look like little white icebergs and are delicious, though they aren't the traditional sort of cookies you find at supermarkets, etc.

            2. re: rworange
              emily Feb 27, 2009 11:43 AM

              I've never seen cookies at the airport Rulli, which is disappointing because I really like some of them.

          2. p
            peppatty Feb 27, 2009 07:25 AM

            I cannot vouch for these cookies, but there is a new cookie place on the corner of Brewster and El Camino in RWC. If you try them let us know!

            1 Reply
            1. re: peppatty
              p
              peppatty Feb 28, 2009 09:26 AM

              Did some investigating, not worth it. Don't bother. I know it's too late, but I finally remembered the best cookies! It's the ones from the farmers market at College of San Mateo. Someone help me remember their name...

            2. c
              ceekskat Feb 27, 2009 08:04 AM

              A couple of cookies I like at Draeger's, unfortunately don't know the exact names, are their sugar/shortbread & mexican wedding/russian tea cookies. The former are the large ones they always have decorated with colorful sugar crystals & the latter are little mounds made with crushed pecans & coated with powdered sugar (much like Viennese crescents). Love the way these just crumble in your mouth. Whole Foods also carries good russian tea cookies. One other place I can think of is Prolific Oven in Palo Alto though I am not familiar with their cookies.

              BTW, Charm's Choc. chip cookies in RWC didn't get good reviews on Yelp.

              1. n
                Nancy Berry Feb 27, 2009 09:41 AM

                I like the cookies at Draeger's and the cookies at Nora's Patisserie in Colma.

                -----
                Draeger's Supermarket
                222 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

                1. anyhow Feb 27, 2009 09:43 AM

                  Martha's Pastries, in Menlo Park's Sharon Heights center, would be a good place to contact.

                  The cookies are delicious and available in various sizes. You can get attentive help on the phone -- better in person because you can see and taste -- and they take special orders.

                  Martha's cookies will be so well received, you might feel that you should have ordered more.

                  -----
                  Martha's Pastries
                  325 Sharon Park Dr # 12, Menlo Park, CA

                  1. lucymom Feb 27, 2009 10:27 AM

                    bakesale betty in oakland has the best oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies and i think it's $1 each and they're big and chunky. if you need a 100 you probably need to order in advance.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lucymom
                      bbulkow Feb 27, 2009 02:24 PM

                      If we're talking east bay, I'll throw down for Masse's on Shattuck over anywhere else. And La Farine (Solano). Both of which are probably in the same league as Tartine, maybe Tartine's better, couldn't tell you. Masse's and La Farine are small enough shops you can / should order in advance, I imagine.

                      If you're willing to hit cupcakes instead of cookies the folks of Vanilla Moon in San Carlos are very nice. They have a big long list of flavors and will custom-make. The cupcakes are excellent, though you should go try for yourself. People seem to have as many ideas about cupcakes as pizza.

                      I'm coming up blank on cookie bakers of the same level as La Farine and Masse's on the peninsula. I've been in Drager's a large number of times without noticing any cookies; maybe there's more at San Mateo than Palo Alto?

                      You'd think there'd be a cute little place in Woodside.

                    2. nicedragonboy Feb 27, 2009 10:56 AM

                      fav oatmeal raisin cookies are at Arizmendi in Emeryville. but you probably need to order ahead.

                      1. uhockey Feb 27, 2009 02:41 PM

                        Boulangerie's macaroons were superb and Tartine's Chocolate Chip was wonderful.

                        At a lower pricepoint, The Beverely Bowl Had a ton of excellent looking cookies.

                        If you're willing to travel - Bouchon Bakery for TLC, TKO, or Nutter Butter....or their incredible macaroons.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: uhockey
                          calvarez Feb 27, 2009 03:43 PM

                          If you want macarons, I recommend Pamplemousse in RWC.

                          1. re: calvarez
                            c
                            ceekskat Feb 27, 2009 03:56 PM

                            Ooh, why didn't I think of them? Talk about about presentation for a party!

                            1. re: ceekskat
                              h
                              hong_kong_foodie Aug 9, 2009 04:22 PM

                              Pamplemousse -- wow, these have to be some of the worst macarons I've had in my life. I bought a dozen of them this afternoon and they failed in every category.

                              First of all, the texture (which to me is critical for judging a macaron) was HORRIBLE. With half of the ones I bought, it looked like someone had pressed the macarons between their thumb and index finger, as the centers were completely crumpled and the cookie looked like a black hole that had imploded and swallowed a part of itself. Second, between the outer shell of the cookies and the filling that held them together, there was absolutely nothing. Yes, that region is supposed to be light and airy, but with these macarons, we're talking about NOTHING.

                              The worst part, however, is that each macaron was extremely hard and chewy, like you were biting into a smore with the stickiness and chewiness of a burnt marshmallow. It also doesn't help that the flavors are cloying and artificial -- no ganache, but just a really airy cream filling that is very similar to cheap icing on a cake.

                              I didn't expect much, but I also didn't expect them to be THAT bad. Never again, Pamplemousse.

                              1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                c
                                ceekskat Aug 11, 2009 04:01 PM

                                Too bad, seems like quality has gone downhill. Thanks for the report.

                        2. anyhow Feb 27, 2009 03:23 PM

                          Is the OP trying to find cookies on the Peninsula for the party there?

                          I will stick with my earlier post, Martha's Pastries, as my first choice. Another option for high quality baking is Sugar Butter Flour in Sunnyvale.

                          It is getting late on Friday for a special order, but either of these bakeries will prepare your order tomorrow morning if you call. I think you can leave your order on the phone machine at Martha's, do not know abou SBF. Good luck at your party!

                          -----
                          Sugar Butter Flour
                          669 S Bernardo Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

                          1. k
                            Kim Cooper Feb 28, 2009 12:28 PM

                            Whole Foods makes a cookie that they call "low fat gingersnaps". They are not snaps: they are very chewy, quite gingery, and the best cookies I've ever had.
                            Except, of course, Samoas, the Girl Scout Cookie (available right now).
                            No, maybe the ginger cookies are better....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Kim Cooper
                              h
                              Hunicsz Mar 5, 2009 12:37 PM

                              Funny, I've had both in the past week. Close call. I'm going to say Samoas win, by a hair. Maybe should eat some more to double check. . .

                            2. pane Feb 28, 2009 01:02 PM

                              Probably too late for the OP, but Sabores Del Sur Alfajores are beautiful and maybe the most delicious cookies I've ever had.

                              SDS is actually a South American (Chilean, specifically) catering company, so it would probably be easy for them to acccomodate an order of that size.

                              http://www.saborsur.com/

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: pane
                                m
                                ML8000 Feb 28, 2009 03:34 PM

                                A good alfajores is about as good as it gets. Caffe Centro in South Park sells a chocolate dipped version that are "make your day" good, but beyond 1 or 2, you get sick. I'd be a bit frightened at buying a large quantity although I only know the price from a cafe.

                                Otherwise another vote for Bakesale Betty's. Frankly you could go there and get quite a few items besides cookies, like lemon bars and brownies. Big fan.

                                1. re: pane
                                  pilinut Feb 28, 2009 08:35 PM

                                  Ditto! Wonderful stuff, those alfajores. They are the first thing to come to mind when asked the OP's question. Actually, with me it's a bit like the ad with the dog whose answer to every question is "Bacon!" Except that my answer to every question with the word "cookie" is alfajor (Sabores del Sur's--not just any alfajor). Beyond cookie, I'm with the dog: a good answer to any question is "Bacon!" Now, when someone makes a bacon alfajor. . . ;-)

                                  1. re: pilinut
                                    k
                                    Kim Cooper Mar 2, 2009 04:41 PM

                                    could you describe what kind of cookie this is?

                                    1. re: Kim Cooper
                                      pilinut Mar 2, 2009 05:01 PM

                                      Two pieces of simple but exquisite shortbread sandwiching a thick smear of dulce de leche, the whole dusted with powdered sugar.

                                      1. re: Kim Cooper
                                        m
                                        ML8000 Mar 2, 2009 05:18 PM

                                        Link w/ photos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfajor

                                  2. p
                                    peterme Feb 28, 2009 06:44 PM

                                    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Specialty's, which are all over downtown San Francisco. Their stick-of-butter in each cookie more than satisfies me and the folks in my office. I'm partial to the semi-sweet chocolate chip and the "black and white".

                                    1. s
                                      slipson Mar 4, 2009 03:35 PM

                                      My vote is the ginger molassus cookies at Bakesale Bettys

                                      1. b
                                        Bob Copeland Mar 4, 2009 05:20 PM

                                        Another excellent cookie in the East Bay is Neldam's Butterscotch Tidbits. Baked only on Thursdays, these bite-size butter cookies have little butterscotch pieces throughout. Delish!

                                        Bakesales Betty's Ginger cookies are soft and wonderful. To my palate, more tasty than the crisper ginger cookies from La Farine.

                                        Emporio Rulli makes a great assortment of little Italian cookies - perhaps 30 different varieties - which results in a very attractive presentation. They also make great minature cream puffs, eclairs, fruit tarts, canolis and the like. Bite-size and colorful, they were a hit at a summer party last year.

                                        1. t
                                          timpoblete Mar 5, 2009 01:02 PM

                                          Macarons in a variety of colors are always nice. Do it like they do in Paris fashion showrooms: http://www.blog.tresbienshop.net/2008/10/tsumori-chisato-paris-showroom.html

                                          Paulette's in Hayes Valley has a great variety:
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589759

                                           
                                          1. bbulkow Mar 6, 2009 07:32 AM

                                            so, ljlh2008, where did you go for your cookies?

                                            How were they?

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