Baking For Others: A Cookie Giveaway – Part 1 of 3

Boggle box filled with cookies

It’s cold outside now. Which means, more often than not, Cara is holed up in her kitchen baking batches upon batches of cookies. While Phoebe could (well, has) easily polish off a good dozen or two of her Mexican Chocolate Cookies, we both thought it was probably high time to start sharing with friends.

This spirit of giving took flight last week on Facebook. We sent out a call to action that friends should leave us a note on our Fan Page telling us about their favorite type of cookie. We selected three lucky cookie-lovers, and today we mailed them their treat of choice.

The experiment was rather eye opening for us. The feedback from fans was so creative and varied that one or two times we had never even heard of the cookie in question. Alexis and Robert, exotically, both turned out to like Alfajores, an Argentine cookie filled with dulce de leche. But it was Molly’s choice, a Spanish lemon cookie called Pelusa, that truly mystified and baffled us. According to her comment, a pelusa is “a tangy fluffy cookie made by nuns in a Spanish town called Toboso, the home of Don Quijote’s love Dulcinea”. We desperately wanted to hear the full story behind these and, more importantly, bake them. But unfortunately we couldn’t find a recipe. Someone (Molly?) please chime in and illuminate us!

Then there were the dark horses in the battle, those cookies that we’ve always enjoyed but never thought would actually be someone’s number one. Lo and behold, here the New York tradition held strong: Lisa, whose blog Poverexia describes how not to spend your salary on food, loves Black & White Cookies. And it turned out Laurie, our friend Sarah’s mom, who is not poverexic, likes them a lot too. Jessie, Jill, and Dave all love Rainbow Cookies (a Jewish deli specialty). Moving out into greater America, we also counted one vote, Marc’s, for oreos.

We got a lot of love for some existing BGSK favorites: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Gingersnaps, Macaroons, and Peanut Butter Cookies. But it was the classic Chocolate Chip that took home fan favorite, though several people wrote in “salty chocolate chip cookies,” which we found an interesting twist. The recipient of our version of chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies was Ryan, Phoebe’s friend from college, who lamented the disappearance of super gooey soft baked chocolate chip cookies from their university dining hall:

“My old high school cafeteria used to improve on boring chocolate chip cookies by only cooking them halfway. We used to get four big ones for a dollar. They were soft and delicious. Plus you got the added excitement of risking illness from quasi-raw cafeteria cookie dough. It was a huge disappointment when I saw the poor selection of fully cooked cookies that the Ratty [Brown’s dining hall] had to offer.”

Phoebe couldn’t have agreed more, and she hand-delivered some barely-baked cookies to Ryan’s office building to account for their mutual four years of suffering.

Check back for the two additional Cookie Giveaway winners tomorrow and over the weekend. And, as always, we would love your feedback on what makes a truly delicious cookie. Who knows, perhaps one day you will find a box of them in your mailbox.

From our kitchen, sharing the cookie love with yours,



Phoebe’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 20 – 25 cookies
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

To keep these extra soft, I use the same trick as Ryan’s high school cafeteria. Take the pan out of the oven when the bottoms are just beginning to brown and the top has begun to set, but still looks way undercooked. Let them cool on the pan, and you will have perfectly crisp, yet gooey in the middle chocolate chip cookies.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add in batches the brown sugar and white sugar and beat until fully incorporated and creamy.

Add the egg and vanilla to the butter sugar mixture and stir to combine.

Stir flour, salt, and baking soda into the bowl of wet ingredients.

Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop from a teaspoon, well apart on a greased sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the top begins to firm up, but the cookies are still rather soft in the middle and only browned on the bottoms. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Posted in: Baking For Others
  • Kate

    I guess I forgive you, because I have already received cookies in the mail. Cookies are truly the best things on earth, so I cannot wait to see the other big winners. I also am looking forward to trying these choc. chip cookies, because the recipe is slightly different than the ones I've always made. And, I must agree, half-baked cookies are definitely the best (I once did start to finish cookies in 8 minutes–needless to say, they were a bit under baked).

  • Jessie

    Ooh, those cookies look divine. I would go whip up a batch right now, but I don't keep chocolate chips in my house so I don't end up making cookies every night :(

    If you decide to embark on rainbow cookies, you have to try smitten kitchen's recipe – it's labor intensive, but worth it, and totally delicious.

  • Ryan

    Awesome cookies! My high school cafeteria cooks would be jealous.

  • Sara Bennett

    I love these cookies called brutti ma buoni, that I first had at my favorite Italian restaurant, Locanda Vini e Oli in Brooklyn, They wouldn't give me their recipe, so I've tried numerous recipes and have ended up with all kinds of meringues, but never the dense, chewy, cookies at Locanda. This summer, I went to Italy for the first time and tried loads of brutti ma buoni cookies there, too, but they weren't as good as Locanda's. How about if I buy you a cookie from Locanda and you figure out how to make it?

  • Phoebe and Cara, the Quarter-Life Cooks

    Sara – that is a delightful challenge! i don't see why not!

    Jessie – thanks for the rainbow cookie tip! i'd always made the recipe from Great Cookies, but now i'm dying to see what makes smitten's so totally delicious.

  • Sara Bennett

    Great. Let's find a time for me to get you some cookies.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there – I recently discovered your website and love what you've done here! I thought I'd start out by trying your chocolate chip cookie recipe. The final product tasted great (I couldn't find semi-sweet chocolate chips so substituted a mixture of dark and milk chocolate chunks). The one problem I had was that the cookies turned out a little flat…do you have any tips on how to make them less flat? Thanks and keep up the great work!

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