Top Pick Of The Week

March 4, 2008
Updated February 2009

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heaven, we’re in heaven ... (to paraphrase Irving Berlin, who never had any of Lisa’s crunchy, chocolate-packed chocolate chip cookies and other baked wonders). Photography by Claire Freierman | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: “Home-baked” cookies and bars.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Great recipes, the finest ingredients and skillful baking produce perfect examples of their kind.
WHY WE LOVE IT: One word: Yum! If we knew where to buy cookies and bars that taste this good in our own town, we would head there. Thank goodness for the internet, our global marketplace!
WHERE TO BUY IT: Buy everything—seriously. There are only five items (fewer if you don’t like coconut—but it’s hard not to like it in Lisa’s hands).

Lisa’s Cookie Shop:
Shop Early, Shop Often

Page 2: Chocolate Chip & Other Drop Cookies


This is Page 2 of a three-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.




Drop Cookies

Perhaps the most famous drop cookie in America is the chocolate chip cookie, invented by accident in 1937 on Cape Cod by Ruth Wakefield, who cut a bar of Nestlé semisweet chocolate into tiny pieces and added it to a butter cookie dough (read the history of chocolate chip cookies). Since then, many bakers have created countless variations of the original recipe. There are little chocolate chip cookies and big ones; soft, chewy cookies and hard, crunchy ones; cookies with mini chips and cookies with jumbo chips and chunks; cookies sprinkled with a few chips and cookies packed with them; purist chocolate chip cookies and those coupled with nuts, fruits and candies; and those with different dough bases (chocolate cookies, oatmeal cookies, cherry cookies and more). And don’t forget the sibling chips: milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, mint, cherry.

A statistics student could write a paper on the potential number of variations, but Lisa Ciriello has chosen just three to start: Chocolate Chip (no nuts), Coconut Chocolate Chip and Kitchen Sink.

For those who wish that every soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie was a crisp, crunchy chocolate chip cookie: Lisa has answered those wishes with one of the best crispy chocolate chip cookies we’ve ever had.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Why make a decision? The Kitchen Sink cookies, best-sellers, have chocolate chunks, coconut, oats, cranberries and macadamia nuts.

A mini-chain of nice Belgian-based bakery cafés that we are happy to have in New York City, Le Pain Quotidien, is lauded for their crispy chocolate chip cookies. If you are a fan of them, let us assure you that Lisa trumps Belgium. Her cookies have more chocolate chips and don’t have the tad-too-much sweetness of the Belgian recipe. If that sounds like a contradiction, it isn’t: It’s what good baking is all about. Some people say that “good baking is no secret,” but it is. Just look at the ingredients in Lisa’s cookies: the same all-purpose flour, real semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli), sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt as in any recipe. Then, tell us the difference between these exciting bites and a lot of other unexciting chocolate chip cookies you taste. The answer is in the proportions of each ingredient, the baking time and temperatures. Those are Lisa’s secrets, and we’re not even going to ask her. She’s spent a lot of time working out the formulas!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Our hearts beat so that we can hardly speak...but who needs to speak when you have a plate of Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Lisa’s Cookie Shop? The texture comes from both coconut and rolled oats.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

The oatmeal cookie is America’s second favorite drop cookie, and Lisa’s Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie is an oatmeal cookie hybrid (photo at left). That is, it’s an oatmeal cookie, a chocolate chip cookie and a coconut cookie all in one. It’s spectacular. The overall impression is crunchy coconut cookie with lots of chocolate chips—or is that a chocolate chip cookie with lots of crunchy coconut? We can’t figure it out, but either one of them has extra texture and flavor nuances from rolled oats, the base ingredient of oatmeal cookies. We love this one: an inspired recipe that, even if you think you don’t like coconut, will surprise you. Here, you’ll find the crisp, crunchy side of coconut, not the moist version. Looking for excuses to enjoy it more often, we’re ready to break it into pieces and eat it with milk as a breakfast cereal.

Kitchen Sink Cookies

From coconuts, oats and chocolate chips, it was just a small leap to the Kitchen Sink Cookie: oatmeal, chocolate chunk, coconut, cranberries and macadamia nuts (photo above). It’s a best seller, and if you like a bit of sweet fruit popping up in your crunch, this may be the one for you (macadamias are always a nice touch). Our heart was snagged by the first two, and how much can a girl eat?

Frazzleberry Cookies

Frazzled? Take the edge off with some Frazzleberry Cookies. These thumbprint cookies were favorites with many of the NIBBLE staff (photo on previous page ). A buttery shortbread cookie rolled in moist, chewy coconut and filled with a thumbprint of raspberry jam, it provides a burst of butter, coconut and raspberry. Lisa tried many jams before she found one that would bake up just right, with a flavor that provided a perfect counterpoint without being too sweet. It turned out to be a favorite from Germany, where she lived for many years. We love the fresh, raspberry flavor, and would like an entire jar! The cookie itself was named after Frazzleberries Country Stores, a retail group in Warwick that sells Lisa’s Cookie Shop products and is the exclusive carrier of this particular cookie.

Continue To Page 3: Bar Cookies

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