Hitting the chocolate chip cookie jackpot

  • Updated: November 27, 2013 - 2:00 PM

Chocolate chip cookies. ] JOELKOYAMA•joel.koyama@startribune

1. Patisserie 46

For this bewitchingly bronzed specimen of chocolate chip cookie heaven, baker/owner John Kraus lets his busy ovens do all the heavy lifting, burnishing deep butterscotch-y flavor notes until they could very nearly stand in for crisp-edged blondies. And the price is a steal, just $1.35.

4552 Grand Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-3257, www.patisserie46.com

2. Fred’s Bread

Mandy Chowen, Fred Mische’s spouse and business partner, has been perfecting her doozy of a chocolate chunk-er ($1.65) for 14 years. Talk about time well spent. The addition of nutty, coarsely ground whole-wheat flour gives this beauty its appealing shortbread-like snap, with a dough lavishly built upon equal parts butter and chocolate. And what chocolate: It’s Belgian-imported Callebaut, and its bittersweet nature pairs beautifully with Chowen’s finishing touch: twinkling sea salt crystals.

6872 Washington Av. S., Eden Prairie, 952-905-1059, www.fredsbread.com

3. Sebastian Joe’s

Yes, an ice cream maker is also a baker of first-rate chocolate chip cookies. Try to snap one of these brown sugar-heavy, super-moist cookies ($1.75) in half, and they don’t break so much as pull apart. “I like them to be on the chewy side,” said co-owner Michael Pellizzer. “So we instruct our bakers to underbake them, by 30 seconds or a minute.” No wonder this generous-size cookie, a shop staple since 1986, makes for an ideal dunking-in-milk treat. The occasional overbaked accidents end up — where else? — chopped and folded into vanilla ice cream.

4321 Upton Av. S., Mpls., 612-926-7916, and 1007 W. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-870-0065, www.sebastianjoesicecream.com

4. Cocoa & Fig

Baker/co-owner Laurie Pyle cranks up the pastry chef know-how as she transforms a beloved all-American staple into a crisply elegant indulgence ($1.50). Not only does she mix a pair of ultra-premium milk and bittersweet chocolates for maximum compare-contrast pleasure — and adds a just-before-baking flourish of sweet-busting fleur de sel — but Pyle also relies on brown butter for a rich, almost nutty, flavor layer. Brilliant.

6807 York Av. S., Edina, 952-926-2764, and 651 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-1485, www.cocoaandfig.com

5. Salty Tart

“Is there anyone who hates a chocolate chunk cookie?” asked baker/owner Michelle Gayer. Which explains why she includes one on her menu, baking them fresh throughout the day ($1.75) and incorporating an ever-changing variety of milk and bittersweet chocolates. High-gluten flour yields the cookie’s enticingly chewy texture, and Gayer sells a snack-pack version, four smaller treats for $3. “It fits in your purse really well,” she said with a laugh. “You say you’re going to eat one, then you eat them all.”

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  • IF YOU GO

    Wednesday December 4, 2013

    Union fish market ⋆⋆⋆1/2www.unionfishmpls.com 612-455-6690Location731 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Tue.-Sat. Happy hour 2 to 6...

  • Chocolate chip cookies.

  • Union Fish Market in downtown Minneapolis is a new seafood restaurant on Hennepin Ave. The chef's sea scallops, as prepared Tuesday evening, November 19, 2013 by chef Lucas Almendinger. ] JEFF WHEELER ‚Ä¢ jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

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