As Sir Mix-a-Lot is to butts, I am to cookies: I like ‘em round and big. Don’t even come at me with any of that crispy or lacy stuff. A comprehensive list of this town’s great cookies would be vast, indeed. These are simply one person’s favorites—one person who clearly likes her baked goods with a homespun vibe—from various bakeries and markets around town.
Hello Robin: Birthday Cookie
When visitors come to town, a trip to Robin Wehl’s all-cookie bakery on 19th often impresses just as much as Chihuly Garden and Glass. My affections sometimes stray to the Totes Oats—whose chocolate chips and spicing makes it taste awfully decadent for something made with wheat germ and oat bran—but in my family, the birthday cake cookie is king. It’s straight-up vanilla with some white chocolate chips: simple and comforting, but with a blizzard of rainbow sprinkles that turns this homespun cookie into something cheerful.
Dahlia Bakery: Flourless Peanut Butter, Oat, and Chocolate Cookie Sandwich
Metropolitan Market: The Cookie
A lot of lore surrounds Metropolitan Market’s signature chocolate chip cookie: the heated trays that keep them warm, the endless research that yielded the proper ratio of two types of Belgian chocolate (the recipe contains more chocolate than butter, as legend has it). But all you really need to know is that each cookie is roughly the size of a soup bowl, and that eating a baked good so warm its massive chunks of chocolate threaten to melt away midbite is a massively messy, thoroughly satisfying experience. These are cookies that remember what it was like to be dough.
Beach Bakery: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar
This South End bakery excels at bar-based nostalgia, from lemon bars to blondies to chocolate-chip-coconut magic bars. The nanaimo bar, made with tahini and pistachios, is a bit fancy to qualify as nostalgia, but hits the same flavor zone. But it’s the squares marbled with peanut butter and jelly that lure me there time and again: Just the basic satisfaction of a good childhood sandwich, but in crumbly-sweet dessert form.
Hitchcock Deli: Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie
Seattle is home to a few notable chocolate chip cookies garnished with fat flecks of sea salt. True to local form, owner Brendan McGill gets chunks of chocolate (85 percent dark) from Theo and sea salt from Whidbey Island. They're also available at McGill's newer Cafe Hitchcock downtown. The salt flakes aren't the large showpiece kind, but they do offer a legitimate hit of savory, and the cookie pulls off the feat of being soft in the center and crisp at the edge. (Honorable mention: the versions at Delancey and Slab Sandwich and Pie).
Slab Sandwich and Pie: Peanut Butter Chicharrón Sandwich Cookie
Dusting a dessert with fried pork rinds smacks of stupid novelty—unless you are at John Sundstrom's sandwich counter, where an almost ethereal coating of crispy porcine bits adds a whisper of savory to a classic peanut butter sandwich cookie. Even better: The interplay of smooth peanut butter cream filling and crunchy chicharrón.