920 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-874-9206, www.saltytart.com
While the bakery’s bittersweet chocolate cookie seems to hog the limelight, signature-item status should also be conferred on the pancake-flat, wrinkled-like-a-Shar Pei puppy chocolate chip cookie ($1.25), which is like no other. Prodigious amounts of high-fat-content butter cause them to spread in the oven, and they stick around long enough to attain their tantalizing dark brown color and rich, caramelized bottom. If there were a chocolate chip cookie parade, this would be its grand marshal.
3220 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-822-1119, www.rusticabakery.com
7. Lucia’s To Go
Lucia Watson and her baking crew are the talent behind what is easily the classic Toll House-formula gold standard and, without question, the most satisfying way to spend $1 in the seven-county metro area.
1432 W. 31st St., Mpls., 612-825-9800, www.lucias.com
8. The Buttered Tin
Turns out that even the chocolate chip cookie is not exempt from the everything’s-better-with-frosting truism. In the case of the Whoopie Cookie, it’s a dollop of vanilla-kissed Swiss meringue buttercream, which baker/co-owner Alicia Hinze uses to connect two soft, chewy, bittersweet chocolate-packed cookies ($2). Think “ice cream sandwich,” minus the hassle of the freezer.
237 E. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-2300, www.thebutteredtin.com
9. Honey and Rye
This St. Louis Park newcomer — barely a few weeks old — is turning out a doozy of a cookie right out of the gate. By necessity. “We have a focus on what everyone grew up eating,” said baker/co-owner Anne Andrus. “And this is one of those cookies that you just can’t get enough of.” Home bakers interested in replicating its chewy center, crisp edges and crackle-topped appearance, listen up: It is achieved by building the dough with melted butter rather than room temperature, a process that makes for a distinctly delicious cookie ($2).
4501 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 612-844-2555, www.honey-and-rye.com