Life’s Too Short For A Bad Chocolate Chip Cookie

What are those blobs of dough speckled with dark brown spots? They are, believe it or not, the chocolate chip cookies proffered at Pitfire Pizza here in Los Angeles. It’s surprising because Pitfire actually has good food; I like their salads and sandwiches at the one on Fairfax and its proximity to my favorite L.A. coffee shop, Coffee Commissary. But those cookies! They remind me of the cookies I used to see on Bleecker Street in the window of Rocco’s. A giant beige circle with brown dots all over its face like edible acne. Chocolate chip cookies should never look like edible acne; they should look like a caramelized nexus of butter, flour, sugar, and chocolate. Let me show you what I mean.

As I wrote in my post “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in the World,” City Bakery in New York has the best chocolate chip cookie in the world.


I repost that image here because I think you can tell, just by looking at that cookie, that it’s going to be a good cookie the way that you can tell looking at the Pitfire cookies that they’re going to be, well, pitiful. That’s because a chocolate chip cookie should never look like a blank canvas with pinpricks of chocolate; the canvas itself should be folded in with the chocolate.

Check out these cookies from another L.A. pizza business, Stella Barra.


See how the chocolate kind of flows into the dough and the dough flows into the chocolate? I knew, even before I ate the little free sample on the counter, that this would be a good cookie. And it was a good cookie.

Here’s what it really comes down to: money. A bad chocolate chip cookie is basically a cheapass chocolate chip cookie, a cookie that is 90% dough to save money on chocolate. If you ever spy a cookie like the one you see at the top of this post, run for the hills. That’s a fraudulent cookie, a poser cookie.

Save your calories for the real deal: life’s too short for a bad chocolate chip cookie.

10 thoughts on “Life’s Too Short For A Bad Chocolate Chip Cookie”

  1. I usually go to the one in North Hollywood (it’s close to a good pie place, Republic of Pie). They USED to make good cookies, but I noticed about a year ago, that they started looking and tasting like the picture you posted.

    I completely agree – save your calories for good cookies!

  2. Kate @ Savour Fare

    I miss City Bakery Cookies. It was briefly open in Brentwood.

    Anyone who buys a CC cookie at Rocco’s deserves what they get though. Cannoli and B&W cookies are what to get there.

  3. For me, only a homemade Tollhouse right out of the oven will do The chocolate should still be melty. It is acceptable to upgrade to some fancy-pants chips, but that’s it.

  4. I’m disturbed by your criticism of chocolate chip cookies without enough chocolate chips. For me, the perfect chocolate chip cookie is heavily dependent on the ration of cookie to chips. Most chocolate chip cookies have waaay too much chocolate. The cookie itself has to shine, with the chocolate interacting with the cookie without overwhelming it.

  5. Have you tried the chocolate chip cookies @ Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City? When you break them apart, the cross section looks like zebra stripes of layers of cookie & chocolate. And then there’s sea salt along the outer rim.

  6. Adam – I so often agree with your assessments of foods, but on this one thing, I have to disagree with you. I’ve had City Bakery’s chocolate chip cookie probably 7 times (many of which were because I kept seeing you endorse it, so I thought I was missing something) but every single time, my City Bakery chocolate chip cookie has tasted overwhelmingly of baking soda. Am I the only one who’s noticed this? Am I crazy? Tell me what I’m missing!

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