Sunday, February 12, 2006

c is for cookie quest




I found myself a little horrified a few days ago after I started blathering to someone about my quest for the best cookie in manhattan. I just went on a bit toooo long and the she's-not-so-sane-let's-edge-away-slowly bells might have started to go off in my patient listener's head.

Anyways, it's not even like I've been very diligent about this quest. Mainly, it's an excuse to visit new bakeries/cookie places that I haven't been to. Plus, I have come to the realization that I'm a tad picky about the sorts of cookie that I want to buy. Or that I am picky about cookies in general? Some great bakeries won't have good cookies. Even some great cookie places won't have my kind of good cookie. See? The blather is starting already! It's inevitable.

But seriously. They're cookies. I can make them at home. I'm not Miss Baker Extraordinaire, so it is sad if cookies I buy are worse than those that I can make. So the cookies I buy, they can't be rocks or heavy or über-mediocre (that doesn't make much sense does it) or simply gross. Maybe it's the heaviness factor that I am most against. It's a cookie; you shouldn't feel as if you've just eaten a brick of dessert, no matter how chocolatey and yummy it might be. Like the whole foods cookies. They taste good but eating them is kind of like work. Texture counts! ... at least for me.

Levain might be an exception to this because while they have some amazing cookies, they are the size of small baby heads (mm, appetizing). And even if they are heavy, it's not that the cookie-ness itself is heavy. It's just their sheer size. STILL, to me, this is not really a cookie. Cookies are flat-ish. Not like champagne.

In my course of tasting here and there, but decided it was time to visit Ruby et Violette during a lunch hour, after finding about the establishment on nycnosh and roboppy, whose better photo-taking skillz are shown below.




This very cozy pink place is just lovely and the size of a very small elephant who gets picked on all the time but shows the rest of them how cool he is when Santa picks him to lead his sleigh. In the back is the bakery where all the cookie magic is magicked and up front, the cookies, baked every morning, are laid out in the display, beckoning in that sweet way they have, and I was Indiana Jones on the quest for the holy grail of cookies.. err... except I didn't have to go through snakes or Nazis or anything. All I had to do was walk a little bit.
Ruby et Violette is named thusly in honor of the owner's daughters. Though when I went into the store, there was a very pleasant Japanese woman at the helm who metaphorically walked me through the crazy amount of flavors, including espresso, lemon white chocolate, strawberry champagne (!!). I asked what her favorite was cuz I couldn't decide. She apparently couldn't either because she ended up going through all the flavors. I picked "Perfect", your basic chocolate chunk (plus that's why I was there). The name comes from the owner's opinion that the ratio of sugar, flour, and butter (I think) is perfect. And then I picked Rose. Because I wanted something out of the ordinary but not ker-azy.
"Perfect" is like chewy homemade cookies made with love, only better. Could have eaten like twenty. Rose was very nice. The rose flavor was strong without being too overpowering and was well balanced by the chocolate chunks. I definitely would not want to eat a whole bag of these though. You can find a recipe for the perfect cookies in the nyt archives from October 27, 2002. Overnight refrigeration!
Ummmm okay! Maybe r&v are #1! Who knows!!!
Aren't you glad I have such constructive projects?

1 comment:

deb said...

wow. you must be a food lover...or maybe just a cookie lover. but i get what you mean. cookies can't be something you are able to eat only one before it fills you to the brim. but i don't think i can be as passionate about cookies as you are. as long as it doesn't taste sour or off, i'll eat it. hmm..maybe not if there's heaps of onions or capsicums or celery...unless i can't taste it, then i'll eat it. =Þ