A freshly-baked cookie so good it makes this grown girl weak in the knees.
In this case, there are six cookies, each hand-wrapped in plastic to keep these precious pleasures moist. Their names ”“ some titillate, some make me chortle out loud: First Kiss, Plain Jane, Cookie Monster, Insomnia, S’Mores, Cranberry Oatmeal.
The cookies are the latest products of Xocolat, that place that’s a paean to the bean, the cocoa bean, that is. After inebriating me with goblets of thick hot chocolate and plying me with brownie behemoths, here come the cookies.
Rina Avecilla, one of Xocolat’s co-owners, mentioned these cookies to me about a year ago but they’ve debuted only now. The star of their Christmas line-up, the cookies are a logical progression. What’s a chocolate store without chocolate chip cookies after all?
Insomnia is so named for the cappuccino flavor (quite subtle, really) in this red velvet-like cookie studded with White Toblerone chunks. I’m in awe of the creativity exercised here to translate the now-familiar red velvet from cake to cookie.
I appreciate the Cranberry Oatmeal because finally! someone’s replaced the raisins (which I dislike) with something more unique ”“ dried cranberries. Their characteristic tart-sweetness cuts through the dough made pleasantly gritty because of the oatmeal. And yes, as indulgent as this cookie is, it still feels like it has a modicum of health benefits: Vitamin C from the cranberries and fiber from the oats which adds a decided earthiness to this cookie.
Plain Jane I may be because this one’s my favorite. (You know I’m a purist, don’t you?) The plainest of the lot (hence, the name), it represents what a chocolate chip cookie should be. Deeply fragrant and so moist it leaves oil prints on my fingers, the cookie bends then surrenders reluctantly, revealing a moderate amount of chocolate chips; moderate so the better to appreciate the buttery dough. Crispy-edged with those desired earthquake cracks, I’m envious that my cookies aren’t like this.
I’m convinced that cocoa powder produces cookies with a candy-like, bitey crust and a melting interior. So goes the First Kiss, dark and dominant in appearance and flavor. It’s a cookie with swagger, built as it is from Xocolat’s signature midnight cookie dough ambushing a surfeit of dark chocolate chunks. Dense and intense, it really does — as Xocolat’s product list describes ”“ “… leave you weak in the knees.”
Xocolat’s line of Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies, as this product line is named, is not available for retail. They’re baked- to-order only. Quite disappointing yes, as I am also, but there’s a reason for this. As anybody who’s ever baked chocolate chip cookies discovers, they don’t store well. In fine form the day they’re baked but beware, strip Xocolat’s cookies of their plastic wrap, or let too many days pass before eating them, and the countdown begins to cookie breakdown. After I photograph the S’mores (above) and the Cookie Monster (below), I leave them (unwrapped) in an air-tight container for four hours. When I have them for dessert after dinner that night, they retain but a hint of their glory. Crumbly and dry, it makes me cry that I’m unable to accord these cookies their due.
The only solution I see is to buy myself another batch.
Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Xocolat
Available in boxes of 4s (P275) and 8s (P500).
For orders call 929.4186 / 927.1990