Sweet Life Patisserie
755 Monroe St – Eugene, OR
My 2-3x/year trips to Eugene are nearly always capped with a stop by Sweet Life on my way out of town. By “nearly always” I mean always.
And not for nostalgia’s sake. Yes, I (more or less) lived in that city from the moment I left my mama’s womb to the time of my first legal cocktail, which I’m just now for the first time in my life realizing happened literally across the street from the hospital where I was born. But Sweet Life wasn’t even around until the year after I moved away from Eugene; the fact is that it is just a truly great bakery and home to of one of my favorite cookies of all time.
I’ve certainly eaten several items other than the aforementioned pumpkin brown sugar (aka favorite cookie of all time), but inexplicably none of those things has ever been their ginger molasses cookie. This is inexplicable because ginger molasses is one of my main go-to’s – as witnessed by the sheer volume of ginger molasses cookie reviews on this very website. I am now thinking it’s because the flavor profiles of these two items (brown sugar/pumpkin/spice, molasses/spice) are sort of redundant to one another – so it makes sense that I’d pick something like a key lime tart or chocolate whopper to balance the pumpkin cookie.
This time I didn’t do that. I got the pumpkin cookie (incidentally, the only time it hasn’t been awesome; it was overbaked and little on the dry side) AND the ginger molasses.
To the point: thick as hell, moist as hell. Slightly crunchy and sugary exterior. Intense and absolutely NOT insipid (the sad fate of 80% of cookies I meet). What is the opposite of insipid? Hold on, I’m looking it up now. Okay, here: Strong. Sharp. Interesting. Exhilarating. Yes! All of those things. Deep tastes of molasses and ginger, and undertones of (I think?) clove, other warm spices and possibly a hit of lemon zest? Smooth move with the lemon, Sweet Life. From both a textural and flavor standpoint: ACES!
This might be one of the best g.m.’s I’ve ever had. Note: IT IS EGG AND DAIRY FREE. Before you turn your nose up at the idea of a vegan cookie, consider this: when the main players of a cookie are things as bold and deep as molasses and spices, and butter is not responsible for its character (as in shortbread or chocolate chip cookie, for example), the choice of fat (butter vs oil) is inconsequential to the cookie’s flavor. The use of oil in place of butter, in fact, creates a more moist cookie with greater shelf life. I bought it on Saturday and ate the last bite of it this morning (Monday) – and I’m telling you it was even better 2 days old.