HiVolt Taste
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HiVolt Coffee | New Orleans

At HiVolt Coffee, I’ve gotta say, they know their cookies, too.  I knew I would like this cookie from the moment I picked it up.  It sort of sunk into my hand because of its softness.  It’s a little crisp on the outside while maintaining its thickness throughout.  This cookie really goes into hi-volt when you find out it is full of both milk and semisweet chocolate chips with a little cinnamon or nutmeg to add some extra flavor.   HiVolt Coffee’s chocolate chip cookie is a must-eat when you’re in New Orleans.  

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The Cookie Tour Stop

The cookie wasn’t the only thing I loved about HiVolt.  Let’s talk about the location.  It’s in the Lower Garden District, which is a very cool, non-touristy part of New Orleans.  It’s right by Magazine Street, which is home to countless one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.  I will tell you we walked what was probably the entire length of Magazine Street, so maybe have your cookie, walk a little way, and then hop in a cab to get up the street.  

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HiVolt Coffee also displays the work of local artists, so you really get a taste for New Orleans’ culture (outside the coffee and cookies).  I was in to the whole aesthetic—artsy vibes, enviable tile work, beautiful pastries... What more could you want in a coffee shop? 

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While You’re There

Like I said before, Magazine Street!  You’ve gotta go.  My friends and I had the best time popping in and out of shops.  We happened to walk down the street at sunset and got to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of old, windy trees and whimsical homes in the golden hour.  Couldn’t have planned it better.  

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We walked a few more blocks over to peek into Lafayette Cemetery Number One, which is right across the street from Commander’s Palace.  I once had the best meal of my life at Commander’s Palace, but that’s a story for another day.  It’s a staple in the NOLA food scene, so make sure you snag a reservation before you leave for your trip.  

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With so much to see and do in the Garden District, you’ll be happy you got out of the French Quarter and experienced a different side of New Orleans.  I can’t wait to hear about your trip!

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Chek out another New Orleans cookie stop I found off the beaten path!  

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Chop Me Off a Chocolate Chip!
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Chocolate Chip Cookie | New Orleans

A great chocolate chip cookie in a butcher shop? Only in New Orleans!  We all know that New Orleans is infamous for incredible food.  One of my favorite things about dining in NOLA is that it is never predictable.  Their chefs create unimaginable combinations of flavors and foods.  The most impressive thing about this?  They do it all really well.  

Cochon Butcher is no different.  Their cuts of meat are impeccable and, yes, the cookies are perfection.  I stumbled upon Cochon Butcher while I was taking a lunch break from a conference.  Walkable from the convention center, this local gem is a must-try. 

Alright, now for the cookie.  Its size is just right—big enough to satisfy your craving but not so big that you’ll feel bad about it.  It’s got a hint of crispness on the edges but they’re still thick and chewy.  Speaking of chewy, let’s talk about that center.  MMM-MMM.  Chewy and full of chocolate.  Cochon’s cookie isn’t too sweet and the chocolate is outstanding.  It’s nice and light and I ate the entire thing.  Can’t stop won’t stop.

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The Cookie Tour Stop

Cochon Butcher is located in the Warehouse District.  It’s the more casual sibling of Cochon, which serves upscale Cajun Southern cooking.  Cochon Butcher is more than just a sandwich shop.  It’s a revival of the butcher shop with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and beautiful charcuterie.  It’s got an eclectic vibe and the best sandwich you’ll ever have (sandwich people, don’t @ me).  

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While You’re There

I don’t even know what to tell you to try, because I hate to limit your options!  I will say that I had the Cuban with their homemade potato chips and it was the best Cuban sandwich I’ve ever had.  Their commitment to quality meats is what really stands out here, but no detail is missed.  How about I ask you to try whichever sandwich you like and report back?  I am drooling just thinking about eating there again, so I’m going to need some suggestions to ponder before my next trip to NOLA. 

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The Pioneer Woman Experience
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THE PIONEER WOMAN MERCANTILE

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE | PAWHUSKA

Hold on to your hats, because this post is going to be a long one.  I recently took the trip to Pawhuska, Oklahoma with my friend Tory for the full Pioneer Woman experience.  We left no site unvisited and no crumb on our plates.  I know that many of you are probably considering making the trip to P-Town, so if you read no further (though I hope you will!), here is my advice:  GO!

While I will take you on this full journey with me, I want to start by answering the most pressing question on your mind: How is the chocolate chip cookie?  Here is my answer.  Ree’s Chocolate Chip Cookie is reflective of her lifestyle on the ranch.  No fuss, no frills, just pure goodness exuding from within.  

This no-nonsense cookie doesn’t place any emphasis on its appearance. No visible chocolate, a little crackly on the surface... nothing to make it stand out. Its emphasis is entirely on taste.  And you know what?  That’s exactly how it should be.  As soon as I took my first bite I knew it was a great cookie.  It is totally chewy and loaded with chocolate.  The semi-sweet chips perfectly complemented the brown sugar and butter in the dough.  It was one of those that you just can’t stop eating even though you’ve already eaten through chips and queso, cheesy grits, pulled pork, dinner rolls—I have to stop myself here and save some of the food news for later!  All this to say, when you visit Ree’s upstairs bakery, don’t be distracted by the beautifully decorated cupcakes and oversized sticky buns.  Go ahead and pick up the cookie.  You won’t fully appreciate the simplicity of the small town life without it.

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, or “The Merc,” is a gorgeously restored historic brick building in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma.  It stands proudly on the corner of what I would assume is Pawhuska’s main intersection and welcomes guests from all over the country with its simple charm.

Here’s a play-by-play of our Monday at The Merc. 

10:30 a.m. | Tory and I arrive at The Merc after about a 75-minute drive from Tulsa.  Other visitors are arriving and bustling through the shop.   I wouldn’t say it was busy yet, but we were glad we got there early.

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10:45 a.m. | We shop for a few minutes but decide to wait until later in the day to make purchases so that we don’t have to carry our bags around (we are experienced travelers, you know).  The Merc’s web site told us there were Lodge Tours available that day, and that you had to ask any employee for a “ticket.”  We walk up to the cash register that had no line (this only happened in the morning) and the cashier discreetly handed us our pass to the Lodge.  For those who may not be familiar with the Lodge, this is where Ree films her Food Network show.  For those who are unfamiliar with mine and Tory’s travel habits, if there is a unique/random/once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity available to us on a visit, we’re going. Once we secured our ticket to the Lodge, we decide to hop in line outside for lunch seating in The Deli.

11:10 a.m. | Wow! A short wait!*  The staff efficiently seats guests and, after only about 20 minutes, we are shown to our table.  

*You will wait outside so I suggest comfy shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. 

LUNCH | This is where I lose track of time. We had both studied the menu ahead of time but still had tough decisions to make.  Luckily, we did not eat breakfast that morning so we had ample eating room.  I also wore a roomy dress in preparation for this marathon of eating.  I highly recommend both of these tactics.  What did we choose?  Take a look.

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CHIPS & QUESO

The manu says this is the best queso dip you’ll ever eat and I would have to agree.  Served in a hot cast iron skillet, this thick, cheesy goodness is a little spicy and packed with Southwest flavor.

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SPICY DR. PEPPER PORK

Just looking at this meal could put you into a food coma.  While the sandwiches and salads all sounded delicious, I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of pulled pork braised in Dr. Pepper.  My friends know that I sometimes refer to Dr. Pepper as “the sweet elixir of life” or “the cure to all ills.”  Drinking Dr. P is a habit that I’ve been trying to break, but until then I will have it however it is served.  This includes as a marinade for pulled pork.  This dish did not disappoint!  It tastes just as good as it looks.  The pork was tender and flavorful.  The corn salad was fresh. The grits were insanely cheesy.  I’m sorry Southerners, but these were better than any grits I’ve had in Charleston.  Put them all together for one perfect bite and you’ve got a meal that will keep you smiling for days.

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MAC & CHEESE

As if our entrees weren’t enough, we were so taken by the sound of the sides that we had to try them, too.  Our fabulous waitress encouraged us to stick with the classic mac & cheese.  It was just as you want it to be—warm, cheesy and delicious. No surprises here.

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WHISKEY GLAZED CARROTS

WOWOWOWOW.  I am a fan of cooked carrots and these were glazed to perfection.  I don’t want to know how much butter went into the creation of this dish, but I’m not mad about it.  The carrots had a smoky flavor and were cut into chunks of sweet, buttery goodness. Yum!

I regret to inform you that we decided we didn’t have room for the famous chocolate cake.  I guess I’ll just have to go back.

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 POST-LUNCH | Tory and I trudge our full selves up the stairs to The Bakery.  Because most people are eating at The Deli or waiting in line for a table, the line was also pretty quick for The Bakery.  I was prepared with my usual selection of a chocolate chip cookie, but was overwhelmed by the array of choices.

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I landed on my cookie and a rainbow krispy the size of a brick.  And then I saw the miniature cakes that were about the size of a Lean Cuisine and had to go back for the chocolate sheet cake.   Because sheet cake.  I’ll be honest, the rainbow krispy treat was gooey and great.  That sheet cake tho.  It was your traditional chocolate sheet cake and I couldn’t get enough.  I am giving myself a big pat on the back for making it last a few days instead of eating it all in one sitting.  Tory bought the bourbon pecan sticky buns to take home to her sweetie. Check those beauties out.

 1:30 | We journey to the Lodge on Drummond Ranch.  It’s about a 40 minute jaunt to the Ranch, but If you have the chance to visit, you should make the trip.  When in Osage County, right?  I drive a MINI Cooper and while I love my MINI, I do not recommend taking one down 20 miles of dirt and gravel roads.  Bring your SUV, or if you want the true Oklahoma experience, take a truck.

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2:15 | The Lodge! We’re here!  We are welcomed to the Lodge by a few friendly faces and are encouraged to look around to our hearts’ content.  Don’t mind if we do!  We posed for photos in Ree’s kitchen, saw the prep kitchen, 8 different Kitchen Aid mixers, Le Creuset pieces galore, props, spices, the works.  It was a lot of fun to see where the show is made and catch a glimpse of the Drummonds’ relaxed home life on the ranch.  

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And the views!  Vast rolling hills and fields paint a serene scene.  I wonder what the film crews from L.A. or New York think when they roll into Osage County for the first time.  I can say that after I spent just a few hours there, I understood the appeal.  The simple grandeur leaves you simultaneously in awe and at rest.  Not a bad way to live, in my opinion. 

That’s where I’ll end the re-cap of our day. 

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

While you’re in Osage County, soak it in.  See the sights!  Tory and I visited cute boutiques near The Merc and stopped in at her new restaurant, P-Town Pizza.  We were still too full from lunch to have dinner, but we had to try the “Not Knots.”  We wrapped up our shopping at The Merc and decided to drive out to the Tallgrass Prairie Reserve where the buffalo literally roam.  We drove a little way into the Reserve and did our best to see the buffalo.  We saw them standing like rocks on hills in the distance and as tourists in a MINI Cooper, we decided that was probably close enough.

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Our drive back to Tulsa presented an unexpected point of interest.  Barnsdall, Oklahoma’s welcome sign boasts that it is the home of Clark Gable.  Excuse me, what?!  A very quick Google search later, we find ourselves passing by his childhood home!  So there you go.  An added stop on your tour for the day.

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All in all, we had a wonderful trip to Pawhuska.  I have to take a moment to recognize The Merc’s employees, local shop owners and servers.  They were the friendliest bunch I’ve experienced while traveling and made our trip memorable.

Leave me a note to tell me what your favorite part of your trip to The Merc was OR what you most look forward to doing when you visit!

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Simply warm. Simply delightful.
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Cuppies & Joe

Chocolate Chip Cookie | Oklahoma City

I love the simplicity of chocolate chip cookies and how they can make you feel warm on the inside because of their goodness.  For me, none can do this quite like the cookie from Cuppies & Joe.* 

*Your cookies do this, too, Mom.  Don’t worry - yours haven’t been replaced.  

The cookie from Cuppies & Joe is a classic.  It’s got the perfect level of sweetness.  It’s soft throughout.  And that chip-to-dough ratio?  Couldn’t be more ideal.  If you’re looking for a cookie that will give you the quiet comfort and delight that only a chocolate chip cookie can give, this is the Cookie Tour stop for you.

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

Cuppies & Joe is the coziest coffee shop in Oklahoma City.  It’s nestled in a bungalow on 23rd Street and offers vintage furniture and beautiful arrangements of fresh flowers.  With plenty of natural light and a nook wallpapered in pages of old books, you’ll feel like grabbing a hot coffee, curling up with a good book (or some work on your laptop), and staying a while.  It’s a little jaunt down the street from the hot spots of Uptown 23rd, so you should venture to Cuppies when you’re ready to slow it down.  You’re also only a couple blocks away from Perle Mesta Park.  Named for America’s “Hostess with the Mostest,” Mesta Park boasts gorgeous homes from the early 1900’s and a prime place for a picnic.

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

You’ve GOTTA try the Boom Boom Pow.  It’s a vanilla bean cupcake with a dollop of salted caramel surrounded by a ring of chocolate buttercream icing.  Top it all off with a sprinkle of sea salt and WOW.    You’ve got a mind-blowing cupcake on your hands.  

Trying to Cookie Tour through Uptown 23rd? Don’t miss this stop!  

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Hunka Hunka Chocolate Love
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Cafe 7 & Old School Bagel Co.

Chocolate Chip Cookie | Oklahoma City & Tulsa

WOWOWOWOWOW.  That’s what you’re going to say when you find this hunk of a cookie.  It’s huge, it’s fat, it’s chock-full of chocolate.  That’s why I’ve dubbed this the “hunka hunka chocolate love.” (Please enjoy this Elvis pun.)

The chocolate chip cookie and friends sit right next to the cash register in all Cafe 7 and Old School Bagel Cafe restaurants.  It’s like the managers know that once you see these cookies, you have to have one.  It’s partially out of curiosity because you look at it and think, “Wow, that is huge. And it’s topped with a Hershey bar.  This cookie is not messing around.  But does it taste good?”  The other part of the thought process is, “There is so much chocolate I have to have it now!!!”  I think the latter is probably the more normal response.  Either way, you just seem to find your hand floating up to the shelves and grabbing one to add to your meal.

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For the size of this cookie, it is surprisingly chewy.  There’s not a crisp piece of dough on this cookie.  Speaking of dough, it tastes freshly baked and has a strong brown sugar sweetness.  The chocolate chip cookie is dense, so you’ll want to share it with a friend (especially after you’ve enjoyed one of their delicious sandwiches or bagels).  It’s topped with a bite-sized Hershey bar, so the only thing you and your cookie buddy will fight over is who got the half with the Hershey bar! 

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The Cookie Tour Stop

One of the best things about this cookie is that you can get it at multiple locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  If you’re headed to the Cafe 7 in Downtown OKC, you’ll want to hop over to the Myriad Gardens to see the city’s most beautiful park or enjoy the patio at Flint (one of my personal favorites) with a cool glass of wine.  The Old School Bagel Co. at Uptown 23rd is within walking distance to several local restaurants, bars, and shops - perfect for a Saturday stroll.   You might even walk over to catch a show at the Tower Theatre.  They’ve got touring shows and local bands playing most nights.  They’ve also taken this renovated movie theatre back to its roots by showing cult classics and Indie films.  Films I’ve seen here: Batman Returns and Ladybird.  10/10 would recommend. 

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While You’re There

You’ve also got to try the Reese’s Pieces cookie.  It’s another cookie worthy of the heart eyes emoji—peanut butter dough filled with Reese’s Pieces and chunks of peanuts.  It’s got the same density and softness as the chocolate chip cookie.  This combo is mind boggling to me.  My only question - can I have the recipe?

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Okie Dough-kie!
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Ida Red General Store

Cookie Dough Milk Shake & Okie Dough | Tulsa

Ida Red General Store was another stop on the Tulsa Cookie Crawl.  It was our last stop, in fact, and I fell in love!  It’s a good old-fashioned soda fountain with Oklahoma-themed gifts and apparel cute enough to make even a Texan want to buy it.  (I know those are strong words, Texans, but if you visit Ida Red I think you’ll agree.) 

For the Cookie Crawl, Ida Red created edible cookie dough dubbed “Okie Dough.”  A true classic chocolate chip, the dough had great texture, sweetness and a great chip-to-dough ratio.  It was light and tasty.  Unfortunately, you’ll have to catch Okie Dough when it’s on special, but it’s worth looking for!

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The staple they have on-hand is their cookie dough milk shake.  YUM!  It had chunks of cookie dough and was topped off with whipped cream and a cherry.  I decided that when one is cookie crawling, there’s no need to cut back on calories.  This is always true for Cookie Touring, as well.  The shake was thick, milky and delicious.  It’s a nice way to mix it up when you’re craving cookies and ice cream.  Might as well just blend it all together!   

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

As I mentioned, Ida Red is a general store and soda fountain.  Their staff was the friendliest I’ve found in Tulsa, so grab a barstool at the soda fountain and chat a while!  They gave us great recommendations and an extra special experience.   Aside from friendly faces, this store boasts a fantastic selection of Oklahoma swag.  If you’re looking for a souvenir, this is your go-to spot.  

WHILE YOU’RE THERE

Ida Red sits just across the street from Antoinette Baking Co., so there is no shortage of sweets on that block.  I recommend that you create your own Cookie Tour and visit both stops!  Maybe do yourself a favor and visit some of the other creative shops in the district in between—your stomach will thank you.  

 

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Orange you glad you’ve found this cookie?
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Antoinette Baking Company

Orange Chocolate Chip | Tulsa

WOW.  That’s all I can say about the Orange Chocolate Chip Cookie from Antoinette Baking Company.  WOW.  This is the most unique cookie I’ve tried since starting this cookie tour, and clearly I’ve tried a lot!  Most people wouldn’t think to pair orange and chocolate, so I love the creativity Antoinette displayed in creating this cookie.  

The orange is somehow infused into the dough.  It tastes like they squeezed fresh oranges directly into the mixer just before stirring in the chips.  The orange isn’t overwhelming; it pairs perfectly with the chocolate chips.  This large, chewy cookie has so much personality.  It’s worth every penny and every calorie.  Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind cookie!    

The Cookie Tour Stop

Antoinette is a beautiful bakery in the Tulsa Arts District near downtown.  I’m convinced that they can do no wrong when it comes to baking.  Gorgeous cakes, creative cookies, coffee, the works.  They also just started making their own ice cream, and I can’t wait to go back to try it.  You know my philosophy: the best thing to pair with cookies is ice cream!  Every year, Antoinette hosts the Tulsa Cookie Crawl.  My friends and I went crawling this year and it was a blast.  Since there were so many of us, I think we bought almost every cookie they bake.  Check out all the fun options below!

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While You’re There

Take a trip around the Tulsa Arts District.  It’s a hub for delicious fare, cool bars, and unique shops.  Just down the street you’ll find one of Oklahoma’s best craft breweries, Prairie Artisan Ales.  I also really enjoyed my trip to another of Antoinette’s neighbors, Laffa, for incredible Mediterranean food.  You could spend your whole afternoon and evening wandering the streets, so plan to stay a while when you make this cookie stop.

Before you go, share this post with a friend who loves all things orange! 

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DŌ Cookie Dough Confections
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Signature Chocolate Chip | New York City

On my last visit to NYC, DŌ Cookie Dough Confections was on my must-try list.  I had heard about it, watched a story on the TODAY Show, ogled their Instagram for months... I was GOING to try this dough. 

Their neon says it best, “dreams dough come true!” This safe-to-eat dough was my idea of a perfect bite.  Chip-to-dough ratio?  On point.  Sweet vs. salty?  Totally balanced.  The signature chocolate chip was classic in every way. I am in love.

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A word of warning - it was RICH.  Remember how you used to leave a considerable amount of cookie dough in the mixing bowl and claimed you “couldn’t get it to scrape off” with a spatula?   And then do you remember proceeding to miraculously scrape it off and eat every bite?  Was that just me? When I baked cookies last week?  Okay... anyway! Eating a scoop of DŌ is just like that. It tastes exactly the same and, if you’re not careful, can feel exactly the same, too.  I had one scoop and it was more than enough.  But if you’re brave - go for that triple scoop!  Try every flavor.  Carpe diem!

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

DŌ is located in Greenwich Village and, like most NYC Cookie Tour stops, it’s a tiny little store.  It’s also a very cute little store!  It rivals my hometown favorite for a happy interior, so you know I lit up when I walked in.  It’s a tight squeeze and there will likely be a line when you arrive.  We had the luckiest trip - there weren’t long lines for any of our cookie stops!  We waited a few short minutes, selected our scoops, and scooted on out the door.  Even if we would’ve had to wait longer, it would have been worth it!

WHILE YOU’RE THERE

Greenwich Village is rife with unique restaurants and local flair.  Washington Square Park is just steps away from DŌ, so I recommend walking that way to find a place to sit.  You’ll see the arch and cross another must-see off your list while you enjoy your scoop.

I also saw several sandwich boards for some fantastic brunch deals in the area.  I’m curious, though, about a sign for a restaurant that had bottomless mimosas for 90 minutes.  Is this a thing in New York? Because if someone instituted this rule in OKC my friends would definitely get kicked out. And does the 90 minutes start when you order or when you get your first mimosa?  Who’s timing?  Do they say “glasses down!!?” Must you drop your champagne flute like it’s a pencil after a standardized test?  New Yorkers - if you can help answer these questions, I may go for a 90 minute brunch prior to my next cookie dough stop.

Enough about my brunch questions.  Let’s get to those cookie dough stats! Enjoy that fresh-out-of-the-mixer taste, my friends! 

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Elemental Coffee
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SALTED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE | OKLAHOMA CITY

 Elemental Coffee is one of my go-to places to work, catch up with a friend, or (of course) grab a chocolate chip cookie.  I LOVE these cookies.  They’re huge, they’re sweet and they’ve got the perfect amount of sea salt sprinkled on top.  They somehow magically taste just like cookie dough without being doughy at all.  Plus, they’re vegan, which is a whole other mystery to me.  I never understand how vegan cookies can be that good without butter.  But it’s possible!  I may have to try to bake them for myself one of these days, but until then, I’ll get my fix at Elemental.

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

Elemental is known for its signature in-house roasts.  The staff is always friendly, there is ample seating, and lots and lots of sunlight.  You’ll want to bring a book or something to work on and stay for a while.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I’m not a coffee drinker.  I believe the Elemental-loyal, though, when they say their coffee is among the best in town.  I recently discovered their apple orchard green tea.  I am obsessed!  It’s got the perfect hint of apple and, when it’s iced, it’s incredibly refreshing on a warm day.  

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

The shop is in Midtown, so there is lots to do just steps away.  If you get hungry after your coffee and cookie, you should check out Tamashii Ramen House.  It’s just across the street from Elemental, has incredible ramen and is an OKC foodie favorite.  Save room for the garlic fried rice and gyoza.

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Schmackary’s
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THE CLASSIC | NEW YORK CITY

Schmackary’s is a happy little cookie spot.  It’s got a great atmosphere and even better cookies.  They have so many different kinds that it’s hard to choose just one!  Lucky for me, I’m focusing my efforts on chocolate chip.  It makes these decisions a little easier.  This chocolate chip was your beautiful, wonderful classic, hence its name.  It has a little sea salt on top that balances the sweetness of the chips.  It was chewy throughout with enough melted chocolate to make a mess.  Just the way I like it!

Cookies from Schmackary’s are all about medium-sized.  They’re not too rich, so you can eat more than one and not feel totally bad about yourself.   With that said, my second cookie was the Peanut Butter Patty.  MMM MMM!  I love a good peanut butter and chocolate combo.  And the ratio between the peanut butter cookie and creamy chocolate icing?  Perfection.  

With cookies like Schmackerdoodle, Sweet Corn, Cereal Killer and Maple Bacon, you’re going to need to take a few friends and try them all.

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

My friends and I visited Schmackary’s after a Sunday matinee of Hello, Dolly! *Everyone, please take a moment to bow to the queen that is Bernadette.* Schmackary’s is just off of Times Square, and is the perfect place for a post- or pre-show treat.  With a Broadway show and a trip to Schmackary’s, I was basically living my best New York life.

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

You’re right on the cusp of Hell’s Kitchen when you’re at Schmackary’s, so there is good food EVERYWHERE.  We walked just one block over to 46th Street and had incredible hand made pasta at Becco.  All three of us had the Sinfonia di Paste, which is tableside service of the chef’s three daily pastas.  Oh, my.  Unlimited pasta plus a salad to start.  Becco is a true gem.  Be careful how many rounds of pasta you have—you’ll want to save room for your Schmackary’s stop!

P.S.

Schmackary’s is currently doing an online vote to see where their next location should be. OKC Cookie Tourists—let’s stuff that electronic ballot box and get that next location here!  VOTE HERE!

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Levain Bakery
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CHOCOLATE CHIP WALNUT COOKIE | NEW YORK CITY

Levain Bakery.  The legend.  It was at the top of my tasting list on my last trip to New York.  Before I left for the trip, everyone said I HAD TO VISIT LEVAIN.  In all caps.  Just like that.  I kept thinking to myself, “There’s no way that this cookie is that good.  It can’t be!”  Guess what?  IT WAS. 

A giant mound of chocolatey goodness, the Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie is in a league of its own.  It is served so warm that it’s hard to get it to even stay put together!  This is one of those cookies that defies imagination.  How is it so big, yet so soft at the same time?  I don’t like walnuts, but they kept the cookie from being too sweet and added a nice layer to the texture. Do I like walnuts now?  How is this all possible?

I had a friend describe Levain cookies as a giant wad of dough.  I think that’s pretty accurate!  What’s incredible, though, is that this mountainous cookie has a crisp, golden brown outer layer.  Just underneath, there’s an extremely chewy, doughy center that melts in your mouth. And the chocolate?  It is everywhere.  I mean EVERYWHERE.  It was hard to take a beautiful photo of the center because I had chocolate all over my hands and, let’s face it, a gooey cookie just doesn’t really photograph well.  

In summary, there’s a reason why this cookie is the granddaddy of them all.  It’s one-of-a-kind.  Worth the wait.  A must-have. 

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

I visited the location on West 74th Street.  We were very lucky and the line was short when we arrived (little hint—they have a Cookie Line-Cam on their web site!).  Even the locals were amazed at the lack of people waiting.  When we got inside, we discovered why there’s always a line outside—aside from the incredible cookies.  The interior is simply a counter.  There is little space to sit or stand.  Make your decision quickly, because everyone wants to get through as quickly as possible.  The aroma from the cookies is delicious.  Grab a few and be on your merry way.

it was a snowy Saturday when two of my favorite Cookie Tourists and I visited Levain.  Instead of digging in right when we left the bakery, we walked across Central Park to the Met.  It was a dream New York day!  We sat in The Met’s cafe to eat our cookies.  I’m not sure if that’s frowned upon, but we did it anyway! 

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

While you’re there, you have to try the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie, too.  WOW.  It is incredible, too.  It is the same magical mound of cookie with the crispy exterior and gooey center.  The dark chocolate dough is just bittersweet enough.  It pulls apart and is also big enough to share.  Grab one of each and share with a friend!

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Split American Kitchen
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Chocolate Chip Cookie | San Francisco

This was the first cookie I happened upon during my trip to San Francisco.  Chippy, thick and all-around delicious, Split’s chocolate chip cookie is a can’t-miss.

Just look at this thing.  It’s crumbly.  It’s soft.  And when you look at the photo, you can see that it’s dripping with butter.  The chocolate chips are a little smaller than you usually see, but there are A LOT of them so there’s chocolate in every bite.  The texture is perfection.  The cookie’s density and chewiness all the way to the edges make it a standout.  Top it all off with a little bit of sea salt and you’ve got cookie heaven.

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

Try the burger.  Those who know me, know I’m an all-American girl.  I like cheeseburgers, fries and ice cream to go with my cookies.  I’m not going to start a Burger Tour anytime soon, but you can trust me when I say that I know a good one when I see one.  

THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

Split has a few locations in San Francisco.  I went to the Yerba Buena location during a quick lunch break at a conference and loved its classic style.  Check out their web site to find them!  Spliteats.com

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NASHBIRD
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CHOCOLATE CHIP | OKLAHOMA CITY

Hot dang! That’s what they say about their Nashville hot chicken at NASHBIRD, but I think that should apply to their chocolate chip cookie, too.  This cookie might be as big as my face.  It’s thin and chewy all the way through.  Sometimes when cookies are this big, the chocolate chips are really spread out.  Not this time!  This cookie is loaded with chips.  And the brown sugar taste? Hot dang!  I’ll take the whole stack of these babies!

 

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

Needless to say, you have to try the Nashville hot chicken.  NASHBIRD offers different levels of heat, so fire it up to your heart’s content.  I’m sure you’re not surprised to find out that I’m not very brave when it comes to spicy foods (I have a cookie blog - the only heat you’ll find here is when cookies are fresh out of the oven), so I opted for the “chirp.”  That’s the lowest heat level you can go.  It was still spicy to me, but SO GOOD.  Their batter is crispy and the chicken is tender.  I also love their mac and cheese.  It’s creamy and pairs perfectly with the kick of the chicken.  

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

NASHBIRD is on 9th street, which is one of my favorite streets in the city.  You’ve got tasty food - Iguana Mexican Grill, S&B Burger Joint, Sara Sara Cupcakes - cute shops and the brightest, most instagrammable building in OKC, the Womb Gallery.  Excuse me for not providing a photo here, but you’ll know it when you see it.  When you’re done strolling 9th, walk over to Broadway for a trip down Automobile Alley.  More great shops - Sara Kate Studios, Plenty and SHOPGOOD - pizza, tacos, and steak.  There’s a new market on 8th Street, just south of NASHBIRD, that’s home to Prairie Artisan Ales, one of Oklahoma’s best craft breweries.  Looks like you’ll have to make a day of it to get through the whole neighborhood!

 

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Torchy’s Tacos
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LIL’ NOOKIES | AUSTIN & OKLAHOMA CITY

When you think of a taco shop, you don’t normally think of chocolate chip cookies.  That’s why these cookies aren’t normal.  The Lil’ Nookies at Torchy’s Tacos are bite-sized balls of dough deep fried in a delicious batter.  They blew my mind!  They came out warm, gooey and oozing with chocolate.  That was the first time I’d had fried cookie dough balls, and it certainly won’t be the last. 

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

Torchy’s is known for its unique tacos, so you can’t go wrong with any of them.  Their sides are also crazy good.  Just take a look at the photo - I ordered everything!  Their queso and refried black beans are two of my favorites.  And of course, they pair well with the Lil’ Nookies.  

THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

I visited their location on South Congress in Austin, but lucky for you, they have locations across Texas and Oklahoma.  If you do find yourself in Austin, take a walk down South Congress.  There are lots of stores that are truly one-of-a-kind where you can find that perfect souvenir to remind you to “Keep Austin Weird.”  

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Anthony's Cookies
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CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP | SAN FRANCISCO

Anthony's is a cookie-lover's Heaven.  During my trip to San Francisco, everyone asked if I'd been to Anthony's.  It was my last stop, and in my opinion, it was the best.  When you walk in, there's pretty much only a counter where you order.  And behind the counter, there are cookies.  ONLY cookies.  Pan after pan, stacked on baking racks, there are cookies of all types ready to be eaten.  To order, you look at a chalkboard menu, where the available cookies are charmingly marked with a check.  I, of course, went for the Classic Chocolate Chip.  It did not disappoint! 

I ordered the one ounce size, which fit in my palm and allowed me to have room to try other types of cookies.  The classic was just the right amount of crispy on the outside and had a light, gooey center.  The chip-to-dough ratio was 50/50.  In my opinion, this cookie lived up to its name.  It was classic, simple and delicious.  Next time I'm in San Fran, I'm ordering four.

WHILE YOU'RE THERE

Try everything!  My second type was Cookies & Cream.  It had the same perfect texture as the Classic Chocolate Chip, but it tasted just like cookies & cream ice cream.  It would be amazing dipped in a cold glass of milk.  I'm convinced that you can't go wrong at Anthony's!

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

You can find Anthony’s Cookies in the Mission District.  It’s a little off the beaten path from the typical tourist stops, but well worth the trip. 

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milk bar
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COMPOST COOKIE | WASHINGTON, D.C.

How excited was I to try the infamous Compost Cookie?  Very.  How much did I like it?  A lot.  This cookie is a super salty and sweet mixture.  Even with pretzels and potato chips in the batter, the cookie was chewy and chocolaty.  What I love most about the Compost Cookie is how creative the recipe is.  It’s no average cookie, so I’m recommending you add this to your “must-try” list!

WHILE YOU'RE THERE

I had the cereal milk soft serve as an appetizer for my Compost Cookie.  Milk Bar wasn’t lying–it truly tastes like milk and cereal. Looks like I know what my breakfast stop is next time I’m in New York or D.C.!

THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

With locations in New York, D.C. and Toronto, you can get your Compost Cookie in three different cities.  Check milkbarstore.com for all of their locations.  You can also buy their cookie mix and cookbooks to try their recipes at home.  The Cookie Tour doesn’t have to stop when your vacation ends!

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Bailey GordonD.C., ChewyComment
The Hall's Pizza Kitchen
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SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP | OKLAHOMA CITY

I stumbled on this beauty while I was enjoying The Hall’s delicious pizza.  Salted caramel with my favorite, chocolate chip? Yes, please!  The caramel is swirled perfectly through the cookie, making it extra chewy.  If you look closely enough you can see it (insert heart eyes emoji here)! It perfectly complements the chocolate and makes for an overall divine cookie experience.  If you like a little extra something special with your chocolate chip cookie, you’ll love this!

WHILE YOU'RE THERE

Try all the things. And maybe take a seat on their rooftop patio.

  1. Appetizer: Quinn’s Burrata

  2. Pizza: Saturday Night and Roasted Goat

  3. Dessert: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie (obviously) and the Strawberry Shortcake (fresh berries, cream cheese whipped cream and an orange sauce that’s out of this world. Need I say more?)

THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

You’ll find The Hall’s in the alley at 9th Street and Hudson in Midtown.  It’s a little off the beaten path, which makes it that much more fun to visit.  There are also lots of great places to visit within walking distance, preferably when it's patio weather.  After you enjoy The Hall's rooftop, skip downstairs to Barrios for a margarita on their blissful patio and then over to R&J's for a club special with some tiki flair.  And now I wish it were summer. *sigh*

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Taylor Gourmet
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CHOCOLATE CHUNK | WASHINGTON, D.C.

It’s always a good day when a quick sandwich stop surprises you with a gem of a cookie.  I popped into Taylor Gourmet before a flight out of D.C. and grabbed a chocolate chunk cookie (as I always do) just to give it a try.  What I found was my MVC of Washington, D.C.!

It was unreal!  The cookie was so doughy it tasted almost like it wasn’t even baked.  It had that “fresh out of the mixer” taste, if you know what I mean.  If you love dough just as much as the cookie itself, you need to get yourself to Taylor Gourmet. 

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WHILE YOU'RE THERE

Try the Toffee Heath Bar Crunch cookie, too.  It’s got the same chewy texture as the chocolate chip, but it’s filled with sticky toffee.  Delish!

THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

You can find Taylor Gourmet across D.C. and in Maryland and Virginia (locations are listed at taylorgourmet.com).  That means while you visit the national monuments, Smithsonian Museums, and everything else D.C. has to offer, you can always have a cookie in hand.  Lucky you!

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Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop
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CHOCOLATE CHIP | SAN FRANCISCO

When in San Francisco, you must have Ghirardelli Chocolate.  I’ve been a fan of Ghirardelli for most of my life and reserve putting their chocolate chips in the cookies I bake for only the most special occasions.  I was excited to visit and try a cookie directly from their kitchen.  Was I in for a treat!

They offered to heat the cookie and it was worth the short wait.  The famous Ghirardelli chocolate was melted to perfection.  Once I decided how to eat this monumental* cookie, it crumbled beautifully as I pulled it apart.  The cookie was ultra-sweet and sugar-forward.  It’s perfect for sharing with a friend, your family or a small group of cookie tourists.

*Disclaimer:  This is a mountain of a cookie.  Do not try to eat this by yourself.  You will fail.  Or have a stomachache (like yours truly). 

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WHILE YOU'RE THERE

You're at Ghirardelli.  Chocolate shop 'til you drop.

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

You can get a Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie in several locations, but I recommend going the classic route and having it at Ghirardelli Square.  Use the address for the shop at 900 North Point Street if you need to map it.  Grab your treat and wander to the grass for a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the best cookie-eating scenery in the City by the Bay.

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Roxy's Ice Cream Social
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COOKIE MONSTER | OKLAHOMA CITY

I have to confess, I prefer to have my chocolate chip cookies with ice cream instead of milk.  And there’s no better place to find this combination than at Roxy’s Ice Cream Social.  Their homemade ice cream is thick, creamy and pairs perfectly with two giant chocolate chip cookies.  Their cookies are pretty stiff because they’ve got to hold an enormous scoop of cookies and cream ice cream.  But they’ve got a great chip-to-dough ratio and aren’t too rich.  This is important, because if the cookie is too rich, you won’t be able to eat the ice cream with it.  And who wants to miss out on ice cream?  Not me!  They also have two other cookie sandwiches: the Plain Jane with vanilla ice cream and the Mean Green with pistachio.  Since they all feature two delicious chocolate chip cookies, there’s no need to try just one!

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 WHILE YOU'RE THERE

Roxy’s first storefront is in the middle of my favorite district in Oklahoma City—the Plaza District.  Before you get your Cookie Monster, you should grab a slice of pizza at Empire Slice House.  My favorite is the Ghostface Killah that’s topped with pepperoni and BBQ chips (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it).  You may also want a Macaroni Pony grilled cheese sandwich at The Mule or a fancy mashed potato bowl at The Press.  After eating all the Plaza delicacies, I recommend to walk it off by visiting the unique shops that line the street.  Come hungry and plan to stay for a while!

THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

The location I frequent is at 1732 NW 16th Street, and it’s the cutest ice cream shop I’ve ever seen.  With yellow striped walls and a blue sky ceiling, it’s always a sunny day at Roxy’s.  You can find all of their locations or ice cream truck at roxysicecream.com

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