Cookie Chaos

11 Jan

Some people ponder how the show Jersey Shore can still be on television. Others wonder how Kim Kardashian’s marriage actually lasted a whole 72 days. But me, I find myself brooding over this important question; where can I get the best chocolate chip cookie? In order to help quench my thirst for knowledge of baked goods I assembled a team of experts and devised a good old blind taste test.

 The Contenders

 Magnolia Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

 Profile: Magnolia Bakery is notorious for their cupcakes which have been featured on television shows such as Sex and The City and Saturday Night Live. Magnolia’s vanilla cupcake was a winner in Cancer and Candy’s Cupcake Challenge ( so I know these kids can bake but can the hype hold up when there is no frosting?


 Profile: Junior’s is a New York Institution. Their cheesecake is famous and is actually the sole topic of the homepage on their website ( Their website boasts that “Junior’s has the most Fabulous Cheesecake and Desserts”. The cookie looks good but is it really that fabulous? Should I have gone for the cheesecake? Stay tuned…

 Zaro’s New York Bakery

Profile: Zaro’s New York Bakery, more commonly known as Zaro’s is, according their website ( “a family-owned and operated business which began in 1927 when Joseph Zaro arrived at Ellis Island from Eastern Europe”. I can confirm that the store is still run by the Zaro family, as Brian Zaro (fourth generation) is an alumnus of the college I attended (Go DUTCHMEN!) and can often be spotted helping hungry New Yorkers at their Grand Central store. Serving homemade bread, Zaro’s is a carbohydrate lover’s (me) dream but how will their cookies fair?


Profile: This coffee giant really needs no introduction. If currently there isn’t a Starbucks on your block, there will be one in the next week. The set up in most Starbucks is that while you wait to pay $10 for your coffee, hot chocolate or warm apple juice (shout out Katie B!) you have to stare at their delicious baked goods with  mouth watering names like brownie cake pot and marshmallow dream bar. Do the cookies taste as good as they sound? Let’s find out!

  Panel of Experts (in alphabetical order)

 Aiqi, Allison (me), Ashley, Carmela, Patrick and Scott


 Magnolia (Sample “A”)

This cupcake giant’s cookie was only given adequate reviews. The panel reported that the cookie was “a little bittersweet, too crunchy and unremarkable.” One panelist did report that this was his/her favorite cookie because it was “oatmealy”. I am not sure what that means but I am happy someone liked it.

 Junior’s (Sample “B”)

One panelist described the cookie as “lovely light brown looking”. This cookie really looked too good to be true and unfortunately, it was. The clear loser in our cookie taste test, the cookie was reported as “overcooked”, “too buttery” and “gross”. I actually couldn’t even finish mine and that is truly saying something.

  Zaro’s (Sample “C”)

 Zaro’s was the clear winner in our very scientific study. Their cookie was described as “soft”, “chocolatey goodness” and “having the perfect chip to dough ratio”. Four out of the six panelists voted this to be their favorite.

 Starbucks (Sample “D”)

To my surprise the Starbucks cookies aren’t half bad. One panelist stated that they “loved this cookie” as they felt it was filling and had a good amount of chocolate chips without being too sweet.  Another described the chocolate as “rich and smoky”. One panelist did point out the chips were more of the chunky variety so they were a bit different than the others and may not be liked by all.  Overall, my biggest problem with this cookie is that Starbucks has to post the calorie count on all products (New York City Law) and so I have the unfortunate pleasure of knowing that when I am buying and inhaling this cookie, I will be consuming 380 calories. Not Awesome. 

  Final Thoughts

It seems like there really isn’t anything like a homemade cookie and the Zaro family knows how to bake them to perfection! This is good news for you because they now ship all over the United States. Living in France? Hit up the local Starbucks for the next best thing. A special thanks goes out to my panel of experts!

  Stay tuned for our next challenge, Hot Chocolate!



2 Responses to “Cookie Chaos”

  1. Beverly January 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    Admittedly, it’s a very different kind of cookie, but I put my vote in for Levain bakery (74th and Amsterdam) as the Best Cookie!

  2. Lesley Margolies April 26, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    I love this blog. It is so uplifting. I am so glad I am related to the writer/coordinator.

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