Since freshman year my class has done a secret Santa, and this year I was overjoyed to receive the best present I could from my dear friend Elhajj: a half-pound chocolate chip cookie from City Cakes. This heavy cookie has been screaming at me for a visit for quite some time and pulling it out of its container to see it in all its glory brought me the ultimate joy. While my film class was just about to begin, I could not resist having it then and there.
Now, when I say a half-pound cookie, don’t underestimate its visual size. It’s a big honking cookie! The size of my outspread hand and at least a half inch high, it’s a perfect disk. It’s the kind of cookie that is certainly social media viable, and has proliferated various feeds for a while. The view from any angle is a thing of astounding beauty. But its utter size left me extremely curious about its substance. How does this behemoth of a cookie properly bake?
Of course the idea of “properly baking” is greatly subjective in my opinion. As has been covered in previous posts, there are many different types of cookies and cookie textures. The chocolate chip cookie alone has many textural variations, many of them just as good as their brethren. The Levain cookie is top of its class of “crunchy on the outside gooey on the inside,” but sometimes one might desire a thinner, crispier, crunchier cookie. Or maybe a soft and chewy one! All great cookies, all a very different experience.
So when I am searching from a proper bake from a cookie like this, what am I looking for? Well, I certainly don’t want a crunch. With its height, shape, and coloration anything more than soft, even on the crust, is gonna be more of a chore than pleasure. I’m also not looking for it to be underbaked. Yes, I love a cookie dough texture and I generally will take a baked good on the lighter side rather than darker. But that can all be had with a fully baked cookie. Lastly, I’m looking for consistency. With a cookie this big, I wanna see if they can have a consistent texture throughout, or if it’s gonna be fluffy on the outside ring, and gradually become less baked and dough-like as I reach the center.
With these thoughts in mind I broke off a piece. It was certainly soft. The chocolate chips were melted, but not flowing. I imagine that if this cookie were to be fresh from the oven the chocolate would be like little lava pockets of cocoa. As it was, they were perfectly good chips for the room temperature cookie. But the dough itself was the real star. I could have taken it even without the chocolate chips (and I firmly hold on to the idea that everything is better with chocolate). The texture was cookie dough. Not liquidy, slightly warm cookie dough, not the light cookie dough that will often produce a crispier cookie, but a substantial dough. The kind of cookie dough that you get from the store, pre-made and just as good for eating as it is for baking. This gave the cookie a little bit of an appreciated chew, but I would not say that it was under baked. I’m not exactly sure what more time in the oven would have done to this, but I don’t think it would have made it better. In addition, the bottom was perfectly golden brown. I don’t wanna see anything less on any type of cookie.
While I was loving the experience of eating a disk of cookie dough, I did find that it was a little grainy, almost like it was a dough heavy with white sugar. This didn’t turn me off of it necessarily, but if we’re talking about an ideal cookie within this type, I would prefer to eliminate that and achieve something a little smoother.
The flavor was fairly basic. It seemed more heavy on the white sugar (when making chocolate chip cookies myself I tend to do less white sugar than brown sugar), didn’t go for any salty/sweet factor, I didn’t detect any use of browned butter (yes, it’s the latest baking craze, and yes I’m a sucker for it) and there didn’t seem to be any backup singer spices (a warm spice like cinnamon can bring a little something interesting to the table and make the whole thing taste cozier). It was the typical choco-chip cookie flavor you might find at your classic bake sale. Just because it is typical, however, does not mean it wasn’t yummy. It was so yummy I had to share with my pals around me, and there was definitely enough to go around.
Chewy, tasty, and substantial, this cookie won my heart. It’s fancy, but it is there for ya. It’s the perfect kinda cookie to heal a bad day, to celebrate an accomplishment, or to satisfy a cookie craving. I can imagine that these make a tasty yet sturdy base for their ice cream sandwiches which I hope to try when it gets warmer. I also plan to make my way there and try some of their other flavors, particularly their stuffed red velvet and ginger spice. For this cookie lover fond of a nostalgic chewy dough, this cookie was the perfect Christmas present.