Common Grounds Coffee House
4321 SE Hawthorne Blvd – Portland
Wow. I’m not sure where to begin with this one. I have talked about 7 different ginger molasses cookies on Carpe Cookie so far, each one of them delicious and worthwhile in its own right. It can go without saying that the ginger molasses (or even just straight up molasses, sans ginger, like this one) is one of my pets. I love it.
And with the exception of the flat, chewy and candy-like iced spiced molasses at Milk in LA, (which I also love) they have all been relatively similar to one another: thick with a sugared and cracked surface, slightly crisp on the outside with a dense and and hearty center. Chewy, not snaps.
On most counts, this one is no exception – as you can see by the photos. But here’s the thing: there’s some sort of trompe l’oeil, optical illusion, Doug Henning shit going on with this cookie. Yes, it is indeed gingery and molassesy – and one of the more intensely flavored ginger and molasses cookies I’ve yet to put in my mouth, for that fact.
But the disparity between the outer rim of the cookie and the soft, crumbly middle is much more pronounced and distinct than I’ve ever seen. And when I say that the middle is crumbly, I am not describing something that is dry and cakey. It totally looks like it’s going to be dry and cakey, but then you take a bite and the richness of the molasses and whatever fat they’re using in place of butter* – mingled with the warm ginger, cinnamon and cloves – flood into every corner and crevice of your mouth. The texture is truly beyond description, other than to tell you that if you’re someone who has ever dipped into the brown sugar container for straight up spoon-to-mouth hits, you might really like this cookie.
I really like this cookie.
As in, I bought one two weeks ago on a whim while picking up some other items at Common Grounds. And ever since eating it that day, I’ve actually THOUGHT about the cookie in its absence. I would imagine the unique texture and arresting brown sugary glory in my mind’s mouth. I actually drove a couple of miles out of my way to pick up my second one earlier this week. Believe it or not, I don’t often drive very far out of my way for a cookie.
I’m not sure if you can get a sense of the size in these photos, but it is not little. I ate it in two separate sittings – an absolute bang for the buck. Yes, it really does cost only one dollar. Based on size and deliciousness quotient, this is by far the screamingest cookie deal in town.
*This is a vegan cookie. No butter. I didn’t want to even mention this fact for fear of discouraging the butter lovers. But believe me when I tell you that this cookie does not suffer for its lack of animal products. Butter and eggs would be (and are) beside the point here. Trust me; j’adore butter and eggs.