Carpe Cookie

A grade-A cookie lover's account of the best – and sometimes worst – cookies around.

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Chocolate Macaroon at Alma

Posted by on Sep 27, 2010 in Chocolate, Gluten Free and/or Flourless, Macaroon/Macaron | 3 comments

Alma Chocolate
140 NE 28th Ave – Portland
$1

Alma Chocolate, a tiny shop in Northeast Portland, is known mainly for their signature (edible) gold leaf-painted molded chocolate iconsbon bons, barks, toffees and cocoa-dusted candied nuts.  The array of unexpected confections, all  made from one deep, dark single-origin chocolate or another, is stunning. But what I want to tell you about is the shop’s  more off-the-radar (at least to me) bakery items.

I seem to forget about Alma as a bakery, per se, but the fact is that they are kickin’ out some of Portland’s better cookies, brownies and cake.  And this, natch, is what I want to tell you about – a cookie.

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Almond Meringue at The Bread Peddler

Posted by on Aug 24, 2010 in Almond, Gluten Free and/or Flourless, Meringue | 1 comment

Note: This meringue is sitting on a dinner plate, not a saucer, not a salad plate. What I’m saying is: this is a big-ass cookie.

The Bread Peddler
222 Capitol Way North – Olympia, WA
$1.35

Meringue, probably more than most cookies (and pie toppers, for that fact), is divisive.  I have friends who ADORE meringue, and others who tell me that it is not so much different than eating a stick of sidewalk chalk. I am not sure if I know anyone who sits on the fence with meringue, anyone who says: “eh, it’s alright.  I can take it or leave it.”  A person will either take it – with gusto, or leave it – happily. And like all matters of taste, there is no accounting for it. We likes what we likes.

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Caramel Coconut Macaron at Honore

Posted by on Aug 5, 2010 in Gluten Free and/or Flourless, Macaroon/Macaron | 0 comments

Honore Artisan Bakery
1413 NW 70th St. – Seattle
$2

Yes, that’s right – there is coconut happening here.  But as you can see by the photo, this cookie, to be sure, is a macaron – not a macaroon.

That is to say, it is not in any way a coconut macaroon a la Red Fox Bakery, as recently reported.  Rather, it is a Parisian macaron, using shredded coconut in place of the typical ground almond. I realize the word “coconut” in the title may be misleading.  So…don’t be misled. It’s not a macaroon.  It’s a macaron.  Are we clear?

No?  Well, I’m going to spare you a  lengthy definition of macaroons and macarons because I figure if you already know, then I’ll be boring your pants off, and if you don’t already know, then you can look here.

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Vegan Thumbprint at Whole Foods

Posted by on Jul 27, 2010 in Etc., Gluten Free and/or Flourless | 3 comments

Whole Foods Market

Portland – various locations

$1.39

“Hey,  so what are your favorite cookies in Portland?”

This is something that I hear, arguably, probably a lot more often than most people do – for obvious reasons.

When I answer, I usually rattle off the last memorable one or two that I’ve eaten – whatever is in the front of my mind and lingering on my taste buds at that particular moment.  However, something I’ve been telling people for the past several months (even when they aren’t asking) is that Whole Foods is making some damn good cookies – better cookies than you find at most local bakeries, and (contrary to its “Whole Paycheck”/ high-priced reputation) more modestly priced, to boot.

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Almond Horn at Whole Foods

Posted by on Jul 20, 2010 in Almond, Etc., Gluten Free and/or Flourless | 12 comments

Whole Foods Market
Portland – various locations
$1.99

Is it a cookie? Or is it a confection?  It’s sitting behind the glass next to all the other cookies,  but I’d say this one sort of rides the fence being that a) it contains not a lick of flour (not that flour is a requirement for cookie classification) and b) enclosed within its thin, almond-encrusted sheath, is a dense, slightly sticky mass of sweet, sugary marzipan – behaving more like candy than cookie, imo.  Its ingredients are: sugar, almonds, almond paste, egg whites and salt.

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