It’s said that art imitates life. So if that scene from “Clueless” when Cher bakes cookies for Christian (synopsis: unwrap log of dough, literally drop log on cookie tray, place in oven, cue smoke alarm 15 minutes later) is a perfect imitation of yours, and you’re craving a cookie that isn’t charred and chock-full of carcinogens, head to one of these Philly bakeries.
And yes, I just referred to “Clueless” as “art.” – Chelsea Karnash
For a super-buttery, old-school cookie, look no further than Reading Terminal’s 4th Street Cookie Co. Flavors here don’t veer into unfamiliar territory (Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Butter Almond are about as out-there as it gets), but that’s not a problem, because 4th Street has perfected the classic combos. Bonus: Use their online ordering feature and create your own custom assortment (12, 24 or 36 cookies) for a mix-and-match calorie explosion. You won’t regret it.
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Ah, the elusive Hope’s Cookies. Though found only at a few city spots, if you make it out to the retail location in Rosemont (come on, it’s not that far!), you’ll be rewarded with a cookie, milkshake and ice cream heaven that rivals the stuff of Cookie Monster’s best dreams. While the plethora of flavors means you’ve got some thinking to do before you order your cookies, here are some quick recommendations: the White Russian (made with Kahlua, coffee and white chocolate) is like a cocktail party in your mouth, the Lemon Cooler (white chocolate, coconut and natural lemon flavor) is perfectly tart on a summer day, and the seasonal Pumpkin (made with actual pumpkin pie puree and topped with fall-colored sprinkles!) will have you craving a permanent autumn.
Two words: Cookie delivery. Until 3 a.m. Must you read any further?
If so, here are some more words that could be applied to these delightful confections: Gooey. Warm. Sugary. Crispy on the outside. S’mores. Peanut Butter Cup. Mint chocolate chip. Did I mention DELIVERY?!
Oh, and there are also locations at Drexel, Temple and Penn, ensuring the perpetuation of the Freshman 15 for years to come.
Sugar Philly Truck
Up until this point, we’ve stuck to a pretty stereotypical type of cookie. But Sugar Philly breaks the mold with their French macarons. Yes, the tiny, pastel-colored cookie typically associated with jetsetters and debutantes has made its way to Philly’s concrete jungle…via food truck. While macaron snobs might have a hard time stomaching these jumbo-sized sweets and the non-traditional flavors they come in (green tea, salted caramel, meyer lemon), those with an open mind will be pleasantly surprised. And hey, this is Philadelphia, not France.
Cookie Truck: Temple Campus @ 12th & Norris St
Forget those crappy cookie “diets;” if you’re looking to eat cookies for every meal, you want Cookie Confidential. With flavors that run the gamut from oatmeal and chocolate chip to Strawberry Shortcake, Key Lime Macadamia and even Sriracha Mango, your sweet tooth will obviously be satisfied. But what’s surprising is that this Society Hill bakery will also sate your craving for savory. Yes, savory cookies—think flavors like Peanut Butter Bacon, Cheesesteak and Peanut Butter Hot Dog! Crazy…crazy delicious, that is.
For the most artistic cookies you’ve ever seen in your life, head to Whipped Bakeshop in South Philly. From sugar-crystal topped mustaches and baby onesies to sea creatures and an incredibly detailed terrarium (seriously, terrarium) cookie gift set, a visit to this place will have you debating whether to bite the head off of that seahorse cookie or frame it and hang it on your living room wall. But here’s to taking that first option, because these cookies don’t just look pretty, they taste amazing, too.