Sweet Life Patisserie
755 Monroe Street – Eugene, OR
Here’s why I love this cookie:
1. It’s made out of pumpkin. There is no good reason we should be eating pumpkin only from October-December; this is why preservation was invented, friends. Canned pumpkin is a lovely, lovely thing and I want to eat it in February, June and August as much as I do in November. Pumpkin need not be any more “seasonal” than ketchup or jam. The bakers at Sweet Life understand this fact and therefore grace us with their awesome pumpkin cookie 12 months a year.* And for that I thank them.
2. It is thick and soft like cake without being “cakey”, if that makes sense. What I mean is that it is moist and dense. It feels an tastes like pumpkin bread, only better, because…
3. It is topped with my dream frosting: a gorgeous swirl of brown sugar/powdered sugar buttercream that is way more sugary than buttery (but still a little buttery). It has that perfect, slightly dry and crisp exterior (see shot below) achieved only by a powdered sugar icing. Also, they don’t forget to put salt in it (or in the cookie itself, for that matter). No, it’s not “salty”, but it does avoid the fate of that unfortunately ubiquitous shiny, greasy, over-frosted buttercream made with unsalted butter and no salt and not enough sugar. In other words, the stuff that makes me just so mad and sad. More mad and sad than a healthy person should ever get about frosting, but still.
4. It is completely unique, from my cookie-eating experience (which I don’t need to tell you is deep and vast). I have not met another pumpkin cookie that is like this one. I do quite enjoy the Cougar Mountain refrigerated pumpkin cookie dough (about which I’ve already raved) and I finish those off with a similar brown sugar icing. But those are a flatter and chewier situation than what I’m talking about here.
5. It is available only at a bakery in Eugene (my hometown). This makes it an all the more special event. Also, instead of slipping the cookie into the typical tissue paper cookie pouch, the counter person will package it in a little chocolate brown cardboard box (if I ask nicely) and secure it with a shiny Sweet Life Patisserie seal. This really does make it seem like an extra fancy treat, not to mention protects the brilliant flourish of brown sugar frosting. Goddamit, I really love that frosting.
6. It is $1.95. That is hard to beat. I would pay twice that amount for a Sweet Life pumpkin cookie, but love the fact that I’m not being asked to do so. Compared to the shockingly dry piece of shit that I bought at Pix on New Year’s Eve last week for $6.75, this is both a steal and a gift.
*On a couple of occasions I have visited the shop when there were no pumpkin cookies in the case. Each time this happened, I asked if “by any remote chance, did there maybe happen to be a few strays hanging around in the back?” And each time I was rewarded for my probing with a spankin’ fresh cookie that had been plucked straight from the cooling rack, waiting for their luscious cap of brown sugar (which was then applied – on the spot). So…if at first you don’t see the cookie, inquire within!