Gluten-free never tasted so indulgent. Pastry chef Diane Yang found inspiration in brownies, but when she labeled these glossy, ugly-sexy beauties ($2.50) as “flourless chocolate cookies,” they didn’t move. Once re-christened “Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies,” they started selling like hot cakes. What a combination: premium Valrhona cocoa and chocolate chunks, and Yang’s prodigious skills. Bakery open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sun.
739 Lake St. E., Wayzata, 952-444-5200, bellecourrestaurant.com
The recipe probably reads, “Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.” The tender (and surprisingly egg-free) dough is darkened with Valrhona cocoa powder, the chips are top-shelf Callebaut and the crunch comes via cocoa nibs. Flaked sea salt keeps these crackle-topped, brown sugar-packed treats ($2.50) from veering into too-sweet territory. Bakery open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
1432 W. 31st St., Mpls., 612-825-9800, lucias.com
A top seller since the bakery first preheated its ovens in 2003, these darkly bittersweet wonders just might be the most delicious way to spend $1.50 in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis open 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Eden Prairie open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Mall of America open 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun.
3220 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-822-1119; 8107 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, 952-479-7631; Mall of America, Bloomington, rusticabakery.com