9 Pro Bakers Reveal Their Favorite Store-Bought Cookies
It goes without saying that professional bakers and pastry chefs are constantly surrounded by tasty, baked-from-scratch desserts. What might not be so obvious is that these pros still have a soft spot for store-bought treats. Because cookie season is upon us and not everyone has time to bake a batch every time a craving hits, we asked nine pro bakers to share the store-bought cookie they can’t live without.
Some of them talked about flavor profiles of certain cookies, while others chalked up their favorites to pure nostalgia. Either way, it’s worth stocking up on these expert-vetted cookies the next time you hit the grocery store.
The speculoos-style cookies are my favorite. I love their taste, I love their texture (a mix of crisp and shortbread-sandy), and I love how I can incorporate them into my own homemade desserts. I use crushed Biscoff in the meringue for my version of Eton Mess, and in the crust for my Tangerine-Topped Cheesecake (in Everyday Dorie). I even use them to make my own cookie spread (in Dorie’s Cookies).
I grew up on these. Their squeezable tubes and I go way back, which makes me a fan of most frozen or refrigerated cookie doughs. They’re never stale, and you know the flavors have been marinating together for a while. Plus I can bake them off as I crave them and they’re always warm, gooey, and fresh from the oven every time.
Oreos are classic. I like to take apart two Double Stuf Oreos and combine the sides with the frosting to make an extra-stuffed version. It’s almost like eating a crunchy whoopie pie!
“My mom really loved shortbread and told me that pecan sandies reminded her of being a little girl. They were usually in the cupboard when I was a kid, and naturally I’d sneak a few whenever I could. In high school, I remember coming home from football practice and annihilating a box before dinner. I still love those cookies, but these days I stop well short of clearing the whole lot when I open a fresh box.”
5. Biscoff Cookies (again!)
The caramelized sugar plays very well with cinnamon and other spices; plus, they have no artificial colors or flavors. I remember eating Biscoff cookies on a flight — from a corporate catering job in Silicon Valley to my new job at the Four Seasons Atlanta — and thinking how everything was falling into place and just felt right. I felt inspired, and the very first thing I made for Bar Margot was a Biscoff cream pie. Two years later, it’s still our bestselling dessert.
They’re usually sold out of clamshell packages in the bakery department, which makes them seem fresh-baked even though they’re clearly mass produced somewhere off-site. The cookie is always fluffy and soft, while the sugary frosting is usually dyed to match the closest holiday, with a scattering of sprinkles over the top. I adore them so much I spent eons working on a copycat recipe for my cookbook, trying to capture their spirit but with the freshness of homemade.
I love all shortbread-style cookies, but my favorite by far has always been these. They were produced in the Chicago area where I grew up. They’re the best little flower-shaped butter cookies ever. They had this little jingle about how to put the cookie on your pinky finger — my brother and I would eat them by sticking one on our pinky fingers and eating our way around the cookie until nothing was left.
—Dawn Alston, pastry instructor and owner of Ravy Cakes in Washington, D.C., @myravycakes
I have a deep love for those colorful, artificially flavored, creme-filled sugar wafers. As the only child of a nutrition-obsessed mother who actively hid cookies throughout the house in order to keep my father and me away from them, my ability to sneak extra cookies had a huge impact on my childhood cookie of choice. I found that the flimsy wafter packaging allowed me to sneak extra cookies without anyone noticing, since half the time the cookies get all crushed up in the package anyway.