Cookie Monster may have been on to something essential: a cookie can instantly conjure joy. Something about the sugar and texture make it a feel-good treat for all ages. With so many cookies to choose from, the shaggy Muppet knew the chocolate-chip varietal packed particular potency. And in Jackson, the high-altitude inspires high-concept interpretations of the classic chocolate chip.
On a recent weeknight with a milestone to mark, a friend and I headed to the Kitchen for a surefire celebratory treat: the Chocolate-Chip Cookie Skillet. It may seem like a simple concept – bake an XXL cookie in a cast-iron skillet – yet somehow the outcome still surprises. When we asked after the secret, our server suggested a generous pinch of salt, which perfectly cuts the sweetness. Served à la mode, the cookie sizzles upon arrival tableside, and the ice cream continues to melt with each spoonful, ultimately leaving a puddle of floating chocolate chips. Like French fries, fresh cookies are at their prime piping hot.
Happy but still craving more (as always is the case with cookies), I spent the next night with a standby of late: the ice cream sandwiches sold to go at Bin 22. Inspired by their gelato relative at Il Villaggio Osteria, Bin’s version finds a creamy scoop smashed between two mini chocolate chip cookies and sheathed in sprinkles. With six to a container, the sandwiches make for a fun dinner-party gift. When purchased solo, as I did, the challenge becomes eating only one (or two), not the whole tribe of treats.
The next day, after a morning of meetings, I decided to reward myself with Persephone Bakery’s chocolate chip walnut cookie (all in the name of research and sugar-high maintenance). Baker Kevin Cohane ups the ante on the gooey classic by dusting the top in sea salt, a bite that complements the nutty chunks and cocoa bits. Originally sold as generous scoops, the cookies now also come in bagged bite-sizes, making it easy to ration them out over a week (or days or hours).
After my cookie blitz, I couldn’t help but think back to the original nom-nom-nommer, Cookie Monster, who came to life as a character on a Muppet game show. When given the choice between a vacation, a new house, $10,000 cash or a cookie, he chose the latter. And after my walkabout around town treats, I might too.
TCCG FIELD CORRESPONDENT: KATY NINER
Freelancer writer Katy Niner has followed a circuitous route, from studying fiction at Princeton University to newspaper subediting in Ha Noi, Viet Nam and marketing at the Asia Society in New York City – all before decamping to Wyoming. At the Jackson Hole News&Guide, she started as a summer intern and left as the arts editor. Now, she writes across the spectrum of art, design, architecture and culture, all while stoking her sartorial wanderlust through her blog, Wear + Here.