Grand Central Baking
Portland & Seattle – various locations
There are two Grand Central Cookies that I’ve loved for ages: Triple Chocolate and Oatmeal Raisin. I return to them again and again. And again. These are staples in my Portland cookie circuit; they are consistent, solid, always pleasing.
G.C.B. makes a pretty nice ginger molasses and a peanut butter, as well. They also do an oatmeal chocolate chip, but using milk chocolate – so I’ve always stayed away from that one.
I can’t believe it has never occurred to me that they’ve never offered a straight up, standard chocolate chip. Until now. (Apparently they’ve sold the c.c.c. dough from the refrigerator case for customers to take n’ bake, but only recently has the baked cookie been showing up in the case with the others.)
Shoot. I can’t decide if I should be singing this cookie’s praises. And if so, just how loudly.
Because on one hand I think it’s great: the consistency and texture is spot-on; they’ve nailed the level of baked-ness. That is to say, slightly crispy on the outside, perfectly doughy an slightly underdone inside. A+, guys.
But on the other hand the actual taste of this c.c.c. is, regrettably, lacking. After I experience the aforementioned superior texture, I am sadly confronted by an actual absence of flavor in my mouth. Hand to God, I’ve eaten a Chips Ahoy with a more pronounced flavor profile. The brown sugar and butter notes (aka: butterscotch) are shallow, at best.
Further, adding considerable more salt to the recipe would not only heighten these flavors (butterscotch being one of two major players in the c.c.c. – the other being, of course the chocolate), but would enrich the overall product.
G.C.B. has already aced the most difficult part of what makes a cookie stand out in the crowd (consistency, size, girth) so it seems a shame to write this one off altogether. My (presumptuous and unsolicited) suggestions would be such easy improvements for them to make, so I’ll be optimistic here and continue keep this one on my radar, with fingers crossed.
It is sooooo close to being excellent.