The quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie can be endless, and Minneapolis has no shortage of bakeries vying for the top spot. But beyond the usual age-old, hand-me-down recipe from Grandma's cookbook, the Hot Dish was inspired this week to hunt for the most interesting (and delicious) local interpretation of America's most beloved cookie. It was an arduous search, placing strenuous demands on our palates, but we've finally ranked the list.
Patisserie 46: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
The popular Kingfield bakery may be better known for its delicate, artful pastries and robust breads, but the Patisserie 46 peanut butter chocolate chip cookie is nothing to snub. The landscape of this little guy is impressive: deep, chunky canyons dipping down into chocolatey crevices that make this a perfect pairing for a tall glass of milk.
Surdyk's Cheese Shop: Chocolate Chip Pecan
Sure, sure, Surdyk's may have over 400 varieties of cheese in its cheese case, and if you've ventured in, you have undoubtedly had to avoid the temptation of the fine chocolate imports and their casual-gourmet deli selection. The shop is itty bitty, and on your way to the register you'll encounter exquisite tortes, brioche popovers, warm pretzels, and decadent cheesecakes. You'll be so overwhelmed, having amassed so many different goods, that by the time you check out you'll feel compelled to shield your eyes from the strategically placed impulse items on the counter. But a small tier of large cookies should not be overlooked: Surdyk's own house-made, palm-sized sheet cookies, offered in favorite flavors like snickerdoodle, molasses-ginger, and oatmeal-raisin. But the best is the chocolate chip pecan cookie, wide, thin, lightly chewy, and nutty. Think chocolate-covered pecans, but in cookie format. Yeah. It's like that.
Great Harvest: The Derby Cookie
Great Harvest might be a national chain, but you would never know it. Tucked away in Linden Hills, Great Harvest greets you aroma-first, with fresh baked bread, giant cinnamon rolls, and, yes, the cookies. These bad boys are wide and thin, and not a single one has that perfect round cookie shape--they all look like they had a hard time fighting for space on the pan. And sure, the Great Harvest chocolate chip cookie is pretty straightforward, delicious and all--but their Derby cookie? Now that's artistry. With a treasure trove of surprise bites coming from slender little oats, gooey chocolate chips, slivers of pecans, and magnificent patches of butterscotch, the Great Harvest Derby cookie is worth a jaunt to one of Minneapolis's most charming neighborhood pockets.
Common Roots: Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie
Common Roots Café is an Uptown neighborhood staple, and rightly so: There's no better bagel in town, and the sunny seats and sunnier service make it a favorite meeting place and communal work space. The menu features items sourced largely from local and organic providers, with a small percentage of the food produced by Common Roots themselves. And almost everyday, at the edge of the counter, sits a modest stack or two of what is unequivocally the finest chocolate chip cookie in Minneapolis: the sea salt chocolate chip cookie. The perfect size, and always the right mix of crunchy-crispy outer edges and gooey-soft, chewy middle, this underrated gem stands up against even the most notorious bakeries in town. It's the perfect balance of sweet brown sugar, butter, and semi-sweet chocolate wonderful--with the crème de la crème, the light dusting of sea salt on top, for the added texture and contrast. It's the cookie you always wanted. Bonus: the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie is vegan, and is almost as good.
Of course, we left out some notable players in this list, so if there's a chocolate chip cookie you think deserves a shout out, let us know in the comments section.