Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Uncle Biff's Killer Cookies- San Diego

I heard so many good things about Uncle Biff's Killer Cookies in San Diego that I had to give them a try during a recent weekend trip to San Diego. I tried seven (yes, SEVEN) varieties of Uncle Biff's cookies: California Killer Cookie, Unc's Chunk, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip with Walnuts, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip with Macadamia Nuts, Milk Chocolate Chunk, Double Peanut Butter, and Double Fudge.

By far, the best cookie was the California Killer Cookie (semi-sweet and white chocolate chips with small pecan pieces). It was a buttery, soft cookie with a perfect mix of chocolate and pecans. Next time I will just buy this flavor. While the Unc's Chunk, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip with Walnuts, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip with Macadamia Nuts, Milk Chocolate Chunk cookies were tasty (also buttery and soft like the California Killer), they were rather generic. The chocolate chips/chunks in all of the cookies are high-quality. The Double Peanut Butter and Double Fudge varieties lacked flavor.

At $1.75 a piece ($9.75 for six plus one free cookie), they are expensive, considering their smaller size. The cookies are not rich, so you will need a couple to fill you up.

Uncle Biff's Killer Cookies (www.unclebiffskillercookies.com) is located at 650 University Avenue in San Diego. They also sell cookie dough and ship cookies throughout the country.

Uncle Biff's California Killer Cookies on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rich Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the best cookie recipe I have made in a while. Adding melted chocolate chips to the batter brings a richness that cocoa powder cannot. Not only do these cookies taste great, but they are really fast and easy to make since you do not have to wait for butter to soften. Don't skip refrigerating the dough, though.

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the 8 ounces of chocolate chips with the butter. Heat in microwave until almost melted.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla together until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Slowly add the melted chocolate, and mix until well-combined. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
Drop rounded tablespoons two inches apart on the lined baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes. 
Yields 2 dozen cookies.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

French's Pastry Bakery

With a case full of tempting cookies, I finally selected the jumbo chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookie. It was very cakey and lacked flavor (except for the portion dipped in chocolate). The cookie was so huge and looked so delicious that it was a bit of a disappointment.
The price, though, is not disappointing, so it is worth a try if you are a fan of thick, cake-like cookies- only $1.20.

There are so many cookies to choose from that I will be heading back. On Thursdays, the small cookies are $2.00 off per dozen (normally $4.98 per dozen).

French's Pastry Bakery has four locations in Orange County (Costa Mesa, Irvine, Mission Viejo, and Orange). Visit www.frenchspastry.com for more information.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


All cookies deserve a chance, right? Surprisingly the Fuddruckers cookies were not disappointing and satisfied my need for something sweet after taking the healthy route with a veggie burger. Plus, at 65 cents for each medium-sized cookie, it's hardly a big investment.

I tried the chocolate chunk, white chocolate macadamia nut, and M&M cookies. Sugar and oatmeal raisin cookies were also available, but neither looked very appealing. (The sugar cookie had a yellowish hue, and the oatmeal raisin had way too many raisins.) The chocolate chunk cookie was thin and chewy with a generous amount of chocolate chunks. I could have gone without the white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. There were too many nuts and not enough chocolate chips. The M&M cookie was my favorite- chewy with lots of M&Ms.

I'm not going to make a special trip to Fuddruckers just for these cookies, but if I'm nearby and have a cookie craving, I would stop in. Visit http://www.fuddruckers.com/ for a location near you.

Fuddruckers on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

With their buttery cinnamon sugar flavor, soft center, and crispy edges, these cookies are hard to resist and make your whole house smell wonderful. Be sure to press down the tops of the cookies; otherwise their texture is uneven.

For the topping:
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
For the cookies: 
2 1/2 cups Flour 
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon Salt 
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup Sugar 
1 cup butter, softened 
2 large Eggs 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 


Preheat oven to 300F. In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon for  topping. Set aside. 
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside. 
In a large bowl blend sugars with an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add the butter and mix to form a paste. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix at  medium speed until light annd fluffy. Add the flour mixture and blend until combined. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in cinnamon-sugar topping. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Yields 3 dozen cookies.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Panda Inn- Multiple Southern California Locations

Fortune cookies count as cookies, right? For the purposes of this blog, I will say yes.

Normally, I am not a fan of fortune cookies. I throw them out (even the so-called chocolate chip varieties). The fortune cookies from Panda Inn, however, are an exception. The cookie is thicker and sweeter, but what makes them unique is the thick layer of vanilla frosting that coats the sides. It is the perfect snack or end to a meal.

One fortune cookie comes free with a meal, or if you just want the cookies themselves, buy one for 35 cents or a bag of 12 for $3.00. Visit Panda Inn's website (www.pandainn.com) for more information on locations.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

A family favorite! If you are in need of a peanut butter fix, whip up a batch of these. These cookies are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Without the peanut butter cup, the cookies by themselves are not as tasty. If you don't have peanut butter cups on-hand, mix in some chocolate chips instead to boost flavor.

1/2 cup(s) creamy peanut butter 
4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter ; room temperature
1 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar 
2 large eggs 
1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour ; (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon(s) baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt 
18 mini peanut butter cups ; unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. 
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches. 
Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on a nonstick insulated baking sheet. Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Bake until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 15 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on a baking rack.
Yields 2 Dozen

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Boudin Bakery- Multiple California Locations

The next stop on my cookie quest led me to Boudin Bakery. With a price tag of only $1.95 per cookie, I had to try all five varieties: Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Peanut Butter, Snickerdoodle and Oatmeal Raisin.
The best way to describe most of the cookies was dependable. Each cookie (except for the oatmeal raisin) tasted like a classic version of itself. The chocolate chip was crunchy outside and soft inside with a fair serving of chocolate chips. The white chocoloate macadamia nut was the best of this kind I have had in a while- buttery with ample white chocolate chips and macadamia nut pieces instead of large nut chunks. In the peanut butter cookie, I could have gone without the salted peanuts mixed in. The cookie was soft and slightly chewy with a good flavor, though. The snickerdoodle was chewy yet fluffy and had just the right amount of cinnamon sugar topping. The oatmeal raisin cookie wasn't deserving of the name "oatmeal raisin". It was overly chewy and tasted more like a blob of raisins than a cookie.
Boudin has several locations throughout California and is most famous for their sourdough bread. For more information, visit www.boudinbakery.com.

Boudin SF on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Donna B's- Laguna Niguel

Last weekend I headed to Donna B's in Laguna Niguel. I did not know most orders are call-ahead, but there was a good selection of large cookies available for immediate purchase. I selected Chocolate Chip Walnut, Donna's Decadent, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup with Tiramasu, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and Marble.

Overall, it was slightly disappointing. The variety of flavors is great, but the execution is hit or miss.
The chocolate walnut was average. It lacked walnuts, but I liked the combination of crispy edges and soft insides. Donna's Decadent is studded with a mix of chocolate chips, walnuts, butterscotch, and coconut. There were too many elements, and the flavors were lost. The Reese's tiramasu had a slight coffee flavor that did not stand out enough, which made this a poor mix. There was only one peanut butter cup piece in the whole cookie. The soft and chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookie was the best of the group. There were ample white chocolate chips with just the right mix of nuts. The marble cookie was overly chewy and only tasted of chocolate. It had a good flavor, but it did not make up for texture.

The large cookies (about the size of a flattened baseball) are $2.00 and do not require advanced ordering. Medium and small cookie orders must be made ahead. For more information and to order cookies, visit www.donnab.com.

Donna B's Bakery Boutique on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies, then you will love this Cookie Sleuth creation. The cookie has a soft texture, almost like a thin muffin top. If you prefer a crispier cookie, make smaller cookies (one tablespoon of dough). Fruit in cookies makes them healthy, right?!? Give them a try, and let me know how you like them.

1 cup All purpose flour 
1/2 cup Whole-wheat flour 
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon Salt 
1/2 cup Unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar 
1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
1 Egg 
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract 
1/2 cup Banana, mashed
1 cup Chocolate chips 
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. 
Put butter and sugars into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. 
Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.
Drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until golden brown (about 12 minutes). 
Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. 
Yields 2 Dozen

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Welcome to Cookie Sleuth!

I love cookies! There is nothing quite like the feeling of biting into a fresh, gooey cookie or the warm aroma that permeates the room when cookies come straight from the oven. 

This blog is dedicated to my quest to find the ultimate cookie. I will visit bakeries, bake, and do whatever else it takes to discover the best cookies. In this blog you will find cookie recipes as well as reviews of cookies I've tried.

Along the way, please send me your comments and tell me about your favorite cookies!