Thursday, May 02, 2013

Cookies from Back Yard Kitchen

Back Yard Kitchen is located in the Marina, far outside my normal stomping ground.  But, I was in the area doing some shopping, so I of course pulled up LevelUp to see what was around.

Back Yard Kitchen is a casual sandwich and salad shop, without much seating.  But, I wasn't there to get a sandwich or salad anyway, since when I looked at the reviews, one thing kept coming up again and again ... the cookies!  And you know me and dessertsbaked goods, and cookies in particular ...

Cookies, with great reviews, that came in under budget given the initial LevelUp seed money for the venue, so I could try them free ... sold!

The cookies are individually wrapped, in a cookie jar.  Once I ordered one, I was instructed to get my own out of the jar.  It was explained that was part of the fun, reaching into the cookie jar.  I thought this was a really fun quirk.  I went back several times, and enjoyed this little ritual each time.

On every occasion, the staff were really friendly, and unlike pretty much everywhere else I've been, LevelUp worked fine, no complaints.  If I'm in the area and want a cookie, I always stop in.

I've gone back several times since I first wrote this up, to try more cookies.  I've been very impressed with them.  It turns out that they make a big batch of dough, and bake the cookies daily until the dough runs out, and then change types.  This is exciting, as it means they are changing the variety of cookies about once a week.  So many more to try!  I also found out that their pastry chef does the pastries for Per Diem, which I've wanted to try for a while now, and this gives me even more motivation to visit.

Update: On my last visit, I found out that the chef who made the cookies was no longer working there.  And didn't really like the cookie I had that final day.  Sadness.  I'll still go back to see if it was a fluke or not, but I really am saddened by this news, as I loved the cookies so much before!  I will have to track her down at her newest endeavors, as the brown butter chocolate chip cookie was so, so good!
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie.  $1.50.
This was a very tasty cookie!  It was incredibly soft, just barely cooked past gooey, which I loved.  It had an intense brown butter taste.  The chocolate chips were standard, but there was a good ratio of chocolate to cookie, not overwhelming.

Overall, one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've had, and I'd gladly get another.  It was a perfect size - bigger than you'd ever make for yourself, but once you start eating it, you are glad it is that large, but it also was not so monstrous that you feel THAT guilty for it.

Great size for the price too.  Would gladly get another if I could!
Spiced Praline Pecan Cookie.  $1.50.
Just like the brown butter chocolate chip cookie, this was nice and soft, almost gooey.  Just perfect.  The size was also the same, slightly bigger then you'd make, but not ridiculous.

The flavor was very buttery and intense, and had some slight spicing to it.  There were a few whole pecan halves distributed throughout.

Overall, this was good, but the brown butter chocolate chip was better.
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookie.  $1.50.
This one was a very different style than the previous cookies.  Smaller in diameter, but much thicker.    It had subtle pumpkin flavor and spicing, and tons of tiny chocolate chips.  It reminded me more of a pumpkin bread or muffin than a cookie, as it was so cakey.  Not really my type of cookie, but it also seemed like something I could almost justify eating for breakfast ... mmm, breakfast cookies!
Snickerdoodle.  $1.50.
You've probably heard me talk about Snickerdoodles before.  Perhaps my least favorite type of cookie. They always just fall short for me.  But Back Yard Kitchen only has one type of cookie per day, and I was there, so I decided to try it out.  This was also the first one I had from the new baker.

It was really crispy.  The style of cookie I just don't like.  I like gooey cookies!  It had some sugar and cinnamon flavor, but meh, really not my thing.  A little burnt around the edges.  My least favorite by far.
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