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Sunday
Aug032008

Berger, Hold the Fries: Baltimore's Famous Cookies and More

Berger Cookies
You know that scene in the Wizard of Oz, after the house lands, when Dorothy opens the door and suddenly her world is in technicolor?

Well, that's sort of how it was for us when we recently tried the Berger Cookie for the first time. Call us starry-eyed dreamers if you will, but it felt as if something changed in our lives when a parcel of the precious cookies arrived (a gift from our friend Mitch in Baltimore) at the Cakespy Headquarter doors.

(Cakespy Note: Since the cookies were shipped to us, the cookies shown in our photos may differ in appearance from cookies purchased in Baltimore! They were no less delicious though.)
Berger CookiesBerger Cookies
For those who may not be familiar with these treats, the Berger Cookie is possibly Baltimore's crowning culinary achievement: a buttery, cakey cookie with a soft, sweet, fudgy chocolate topping. The recipe was brought to America in 1835 by German immigrants George and Henry Berger; since then the bakery's ownership has changed a few times and they are now produced on a large scale--but unlike many prepackaged the cookies, they are all still made and frosted by hand, and it shows: like snowflakes, no two are alike. We think that DCist put it beautifully: 

...the extra-thick layer of fudge, which is nearly a half an inch at its thickest point (yes, we measured), is applied in an absurdly generous schmear that can barely be contained by the limited surface area of the cookie. As a result, the fudge tends to droop over the cookie in odd formations with distinctive wave patterns--like chocolaty stalagtites. What's more, the actual amount of fudge can vary dramatically from cookie to cookie.
Of course, as the article goes on to say, "This, of course, leads to dilemmas when sharing your Berger Cookies with others". Because if you're like us, when you bite into that "absurdly generous schmear", there's no turning back, and certainly no offering bites to others. The beauty is not only in taste (which one Serious Eats reader described as "almost nauseating--in a good way") but in texture--whereas on other cookies the chocolate topping may be hard and break off unevenly, the soft fudge on the Berger cookie doesn't crack when bitten, and therefore allows the perfect ratio of chocolate to cookie with every bite.
Berger Cookies, we love you. 
Buy Berger Cookies online at bergercookies.com, or check out the list of retailers in the above-mentioned DCist article. Also--what a find!--though the official Berger recipe is apparently quite closely guarded, you can find one baker's version here.

Cowgirl Cookie from Liz LovelyGinger Cookie from Liz Lovely
Of course, we realize that one cannot live on Berger Cookies alone (arguable). That's why we're glad to have experienced some other mail-order cookies recently too! We first learned about the vegan Liz Lovely cookies through our friend Imani, who has a website called Chocolate Nerd, and knew we had to try some. Not only do these cookies have heart (they're organic, they're cruelty free, they're free trade, and packaged with green materials), but they happen to be addictively soft and insanely delicious as well. We are particularly in love with the Cowgirl Cookie, whose description promised "A chocolate chip cookie so soft, sweet, and slightly baked you'll wonder why we didn't just leave it in the mixing bowl for you!"--and oh, does it deliver. A close second was the Ginger Snapdragon, a spicy confection of molasses, ginger, and delicious (it's also their bestseller). The package says a serving is half a cookie, but we defy you to let the second half sit til later. Available online at lizlovely.com.


Berger Cookies on Urbanspoon

 

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Reader Comments (36)

Oh no now I'm going to be lusting after another cookie I can't have!

yum yum yum! And yum! These sound really delicious. What a cool idea, thanks for sharing :).

August 6 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

I'm a native-Baltimoron-turned Seattle-transplant but can attest to the deliciousness of these cookies. In my opinion, however their wondrousness is surpassed by the rarer and significantly harder to find Berger's cake. It's essentially a three-layer cake with the same rich, thick icing and a similar-but-softer cake. HEAVEN.

August 6 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Veron: They certainly are SOME cookies--oh yeah.

K8teebug: No way! Lucky, lucky!

Curly Glamour Girlie: I have to find that next time I hit up the library!

Lina: YES! Better than burgers.

Tom: Thank you! :-)

Deb: Thank you so much! That is sweet of you!

Sarah: Sure, just ask him. (As mitch cringes about the onslaught of requests! :-)

Jeanna: I will add it to the list. Oh, and Mr. CS and I are definitely soft cookie people!

Weirdazngurl: Oh no!! Turn around! Uturn!

S for Kitchen: Yes, you can!

Clumbsy: Weird, that urge, huh? Yes, we are eager to try out the recipe!

Deborah: Yea! They're gooooood.

Eat Me Delicious: Aww, sorry!

Sophie: You're welcome!

Anne: No. Freakin'. Way!! The BERGER'S CAKE!?!? That is amazing. Beyond amazing.

August 6 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

I actually won free cookies from Liz Lovely, so I know that those are good ;0)

August 7 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

wow, those look awesome. i must visit baltimore!

August 7 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

I live right around the corner and two blocks away from Lexington Market, so I can attest to how good a fresh Berger's cookie actually is. Here's the article in Baltimore Knows which includes the Berger's website to have them mailed.

http://www.baltimoreknows.com/archives/baltimore.knows.people.bergers.cakes.cookies.htm

You won't be sorry. Believe me! Hot cup of tea and a Berger's cookie ... heaven.

I didn't see the full website come up. Here, I'll type it in myself:
http://www.baltimoreknows.com/archives/baltimore.knows.people.bergers.cakes.cookies.htm

Hopefully, it comes up this time.

Still don't see it. Oh well, just go to bergercookies.com to order. Sorry for the three comments.

This aphrodisiac cookies could substitute in the future the excessive quantity of consumers of viagra without prescription across all the world. Also the ingredients are not too bad for our health, so we can enjoy them freely.

August 18 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

When Pfizer manufactured erectile dysfunction drug Viagra and launched in the US, it was a prescription based medicine. But with changes entering into the market presence of Viagra online over the years, the drug has now become available in the UK pharmaceutical market as an over-the-counter medication.Alliance boots, the chain of chemist stores in the UK has announced that three of its pharmacies based in Manchester would start to sell Generic Cialis as an over-the-counter product from Valentine day onwards which is an indication that in UK.

September 27 | Unregistered Commenterken
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