Freshness: Most places bake in the morning, so if you get there at 9 a.m. you might be buying yesterday's cookie. But at 2 p.m. they might be fresh. Get to know a place, and ask what time of day they do their baking.

Chocolate-to-dough ratio: Obviously, it needs to be high.

Warmth: If the cookie is sitting in the display case wrapped in plastic or under a little glass tray all day, it's not going to be warm. If it comes off a baker's rack in the back you know it's going to be good. You want to be able to bend the cookie and see the gooey meltedness when you pull it apart.

     RELATED: Create Your Own Sweet Ride

Size: One cookie should fill you up. I always say it should be the size of a steering wheel or a manhole cover. And the most important part—don't share it. The biggest one I've had was on top of Mount Lemmon in Tucson at the Cookie Cabin. It was more like a pancake.

Bonus tip: A good cookie demands milk. Beware the creepy store at the mall that has only cookies and a soda fountain.

 

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3 Cookies Worth Your Dough

1. Fudge Brownie Cookie: Cafe Solterra at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Glynn County, Georgia

2. Chocolate Chip Walnut: Levain Bakery, New York City

3. Double Chocolate Chip: Meeting Street Cafe, Providence, Rhode Island


For Phil's full rankings, visit philthethrill.net.

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