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Top Pick Of The Week

October 18, 2005
Updated June 2008

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stack of cookies
How many different ways can you say yum? Ruby et Violette’s gourmet chocolate chip cookies come in more than 65 flavors—and you shouldn’t miss a single one! All photography by Melody Lan.

Ruby et Violette:
Bring Me The Ruby Cookies!

CAPSULE REPORT: If only Dorothy had taken off for the Emerald City with a few boxes of Ruby et Violette gourmet chocolate chunk cookies.  The Wicked Witch of the West might well have taken the “ruby” cookies and let her continue in peace with the ruby slippers.

That’s because these most dazzling of chocolate chunk cookies have magical powers, not unlike the ruby slippers. They won’t transport you to Kansas, but they will get you a return invitation from those upon whom you bestow a box...tip the scales in your favor with prospective clients and in-laws...even help you land that house when you aren’t the high bidder (just be sure not to land it on top of the Wicked Witch of the East). These guarantees are not printed on the box, but we have observed the magic. Read the full review below.

NOTE: Following our original review, the company was purchased in 2007 and reopened in 2008 under new management as a bakery café with beautiful packaging, but a largely different set of flavors. We’ve tried quite a few of the new cookies and, while they are different in tone from the originals, they are the most impressive array of chocolate chip flavors we know of. The company’s new brownies and ice cream are nothing short of brilliant.

INDEX OF REVIEW

 

Overview

The first act of Ruby et Violette was directed by founder Wendy Gaynor, who developed more than 65 flavors of chocolate chunk cookie that were truly distinct and delicious, without being precious or gimmicky. She started with a basic chocolate chip cookie called the “Perfect Chocolate Chunk.” It’s good, but there’s a good chocolate chip cookie in almost every town, and that’s not where the excitement was. She developed Blueberry Chocolate Chunk, Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chunk, Fig Chocolate Chunk, Piña Colada Chocolate Chunk, Violet Chocolate Chunk....each is special and all must had to be tried. We actually ate 30 flavors in one sitting with no adverse effects (the scale notwithstanding).

In 2006, Wendy retired from cookie making and sold Ruby et Violette to the lovely Mercer sisters: young, creative and—if their gorgeous packaging and incredible brownie and ice cream additions are any indication—belong more on Madison Avenue than in Hell’s Kitchen. But then, as any foodie in New York City knows, if you build it, they will come—even if it takes $30 worth of cabs to eat $15 worth of cookies.

Flavors

Heather Sue Mercer, who runs the day-to-day business, developed the brownies and ice cream, and redeveloped the cookies. While not all flavors are available at all times, there are perhaps two dozen. The current roster includes these imaginative riffs on the chocolate chip cookie, each made with either dark or white Callebaut chocolate chunks:

  • Amaretto
  • Bananas Foster
  • Candy Jar
  • Champagne Strawberry
  • Chocolate Biscotti
  • Completely Coconut
  • Creamsicle
  • Crystallized Ginger
  • Daquiri
  • Dried Cherry
plate of cookies
We’re off to see the wizard...to get a jumbo box of these irresistible chocolate chunk cookies.
  • Espresso Bean
  • Green Tea
  • Hiker
  • Key Lime
  • Lemon White
  • Maple Walnut
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Mojito
  • Mom ‘N’ Pop Toffee
  • Oatmeal Raisin
  • Orange White
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Peanut Butter Chip
  • Perfect
  • Pralines ‘N’ Cream
  • Root Beer Float
  • Snickers
  • Super Strawberry
  • Tiramisu
  • Violet
  • White Russian

All ingredients are premium: pure butter, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, eggs, pure vanilla, flour, salt, baking soda, imported Callebaut chocolate, imported purées and flavorings. The chocolate is not in chip form, but in generous, mouth-filling chunks. The result is sophisticated yet accessible: child as well as gourmet will adore a box (and demand another).

All cookies are baked fresh to order. They can be kept in the original airtight packaging for five days stored at room temperature. Once the package is opened, they can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for two to three days; or they can be frozen and thawed one hour before serving (or microwaved frozen for five seconds).

We have had many fine chocolate chip cookies, but we think we must declare Ruby et Violette the Wonderful Wizard of Chips (or Chunks, but winner-takes-all). Where else can you enjoy your chocolate chips/chunks with almost every other flavor in the rainbow? Ruth Graves Wakefield, inventor of the chocolate chip cookie (read the history of the chocolate chip cookie), would be proud.

Amazingly, among the dozens of flavors, Ruby et Violette has not attempted our own house specialty, the Halvah Chocolate Chunk cookie. Heather Sue, we will trade you that concept for some Completely Coconut, Crystallized Ginger, Peanut Brittle and lots of ice cream to go with all of them.

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to all of your cookie-loving friends, and to anyone who’d like a great gift idea.

RUBY ET VIOLETTE

Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies in
More Than 65 Flavors

  • 1 Pound Box
    3 Flavors, 12 Cookies
    $18.00
  • Additional Pounds
    $18.00/Pound
  • Special Gift Assortments (1 Pound)
    Champagne and Roses, Oreos and
    Milk, et al
    $18.00
  • Corporate gifts, wedding favors,
    and catering packages are available.

Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping additional.

Purchase by phone at 1.718.728.6250

When in New York City, visit the cafe at 456 West 50th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

RubyetViolette.com

Visit our Cookie Section for reviews of more of our favorite cookies.

box of cookies
You can see why these are called chocolate chunk cookies.  No chips here! Shown, one pound of 12 cookies (there’s a second cookie underneath the top layer).

And check out some of our favorite books about baking cookies (or just voyeuristically browse through the beautiful photography):

500 Cookies Great Cookies Big Fat Cookies
500 Cookies by Philippa Vanstone. A delicious gift book with recipes, basic techniques, information about equipment, ingredients, and troubleshooting to bake great cookies. Click here for more information.
Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets, by Carole Walter. With more than 200 delectable recipes and more than 150 tantalizing photographs, and tips covering every  baking method. Click here for more information.
Big Fat Cookies, by Elinor Klivans. More fun than baking cookies is making big fat cookies. Anyone can whip up a quick batch of 50 different gigantic crispy, chewy, or fancy-pants sandwich cookies. Click here for more information.

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