If you live in New York, or heck, anywhere in the tristate area, haul ass over to Park & 59th Street PDQ. Dorie Greenspan, author of the much-loved cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours, has opened a popup cookie shop inside the Mizu salon. It’s called CookieBar, and her partner is her son, Josh. Just that fact fills me with all sorts of warm gooey feelings, trying to imagine me and Harry getting along well enough 25 years hence that we’d actually go into business together.
After a wonderful, leisurely lunch date with Stephen at Il Buco (30% off thanks to BlackBoard Eats, another thing that all New Yorkers interested in food but too impoverished to eat out often must know about), I hightailed it up there today. The mini-shop opened yesterday and closes on Saturday, so I was prepared for a frenzy of cookie-obsessed fans. What I wasn’t prepared for was the genteel, low-key feel of the enterprise, a simple table at the front of the salon, with a young woman handling sales and Dorie herself standing nearby, ready to chat with customers. I wanted to march right over to her and introduce myself (we’ve met in cyberworld, at the virtual dinner party for Monica Bhide’s cookbook Modern Spice) but when I arrived around 1:30, there were only a handful of cookies left. The woman ahead of me was buying the last of the peanut butter and several of the molasses spice, too, and I feared the worst: What if she took them all? Clearly, there was no time to dillydally with Dorie. Must. Buy. Cookies. Now.
While I waited, Dorie came close enough for me to introduce myself without losing my place. That woman is every bit as warm and inviting as her recipes. We chatted for a few minutes about the shop and her plans (they’re looking for a permanent location, yippee!), and I confided that I’m working on a cookbook, too. We talked about the financial challenges of cookbook writing (chiefly: small advances -food costs -recipe testing = broke authors), and then it was my turn to order. There were only eight molasses spice cookies left. I took four; it felt wrong to leave the next person without any. And I’m so glad I did, because when Dorie saw how few cookies were left, she insisted on giving them away! I got two extra, and the two people behind me each got one as well. I love this woman. For reals. With generosity and kindness like this, her store is bound to be a ginormous hit. I can’t wait.
Oh, what’s that? You want to know how the cookie tastes? Picture this: You’ve just come in from a bitterly cold and windy day. Your cheeks are burning; you can barely feel your fingers. The deep, mysterious-yet-familiar scent of spices greets you. Cinnamon, ginger, and something more… Immediately, you feel warmer. And when you bite into that cookie, chewy and deep and subtle, you know you’re home.
Seriously, folks, it was like the best hermit I’ve ever eaten, only without the raisins and other doodads that often gum up the works. Do not hesitate. Go to CookieBar tomorrow. And if you do, PLEASE report back here! I must live vicariously.
505 Park Avenue (inside Mizu)
Open Mon 2/8-Sat 2/13