Monday, March 03, 2008

Metropolitan Bakery Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie

It's funny how a single, well-chosen ingredient can make a cookie. Case in point, this big heffer of a choco chip cookie, measuring about 4 1/2 inches in diameter: its texture is a bit too crunchy, coming nowhere close to the lovely texture of the Famous 4th St cookies. Its cookie batter, particularly together with the included walnuts, reminded me of Pepperidge Farms chocolate chunk cookies. I'm of course exaggerating a bit. The batter is better than the Pepperidge Farms ones; however, but there are still similarities that the comparison can't be helped (especially with that crunchiness too).

The main reason, however, that this cookie rises above a normal one is the chocolate: dark without the bitterness and a sweetness that lasts just the right amount of time. One of the first thoughts I had when eating this is that this cookie is more for an adult, a young one maybe, but an adult nonetheless. There's a nicely balanced ratio of chocolate and walnut to cookie, which seems to help highlight the chocolate.

I kind of wish now that I could merge the texture of the Famous 4th St Cookies with the chocolate that they use in the Metropolitan Bakery cookie. Maybe someday, I'll hit upon that. While this cookie is flawed, this is definitely in the direction of my ideal cookie. 9.0/10.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

I wanted to like this, but I'm still not quite sure what to make of it, as the taste seemed to vary from bite to bite. One bite was very almondy and had that gritty almond aftertaste, a little reminescent of those large yellow Chinese almond cookies. Another had a slightly burnt sugar taste. And yet another had neither of these characteristics and was just overly sweet. To top it off, the cookie's texture is an odd one too (and I wish I was more of a baker here, so I could have some semblance of what was going on) - very crunchy when unheated, and fall apart bendable when nuked a few seconds in the microwave. What an intriguing bugger!

So here's my guess as to why the cookie is such a jumble of tastes. There were obviously almonds bits in the cookies, which is all fine and good. However, combine it with what I think was molasses (?), which doesn't fully mix with cookie batter as well as brown sugar does, you get random spots with just almonds and no molasses, other spots with just molasses and no almond, and other spots with neither. Again, I'm no baker, so someone can correct me if I'm way off base.

Back to the cookie, I give it points for trying something different, which is far more interesting than the DiBruno's oatmeal raisin and is something I actually value fairly highly. However, the wide-ranging inconsistency from bite to bite and in texture was a bit too much to give it a great score. All in all I'd give it an 8/10.

Note: This is a pretty big cookie, about 4 1/2 inches in diameter.


Metropolitan Bakery

CENTER CITY PHILADELPHIA
Rittenhouse Square
262 S. 19th Street
Ph. 215.545.6655
Reading Terminal Market, Olde City, University City, Chestnut Hill (map)
www.metropolitanbakery.com
($cookies, $Philadelphia, $Recommended, $Bakery, $Dessert)

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