So I had heard so much about this place and having run my bi-monthly Penzey's run, I stopped by yesterday. Well, not only could I not see what the craze was about, I thought the cookies were TERRIBLE!
My friend and I each got three different cookies so we could have a sampling. Not one of them was good. And we are both serious bakers. Specifics below:
Apricot Linzer - this cookie SHOULD have been a buttery sable topped with a flavorful apricot jam. Instead we got a soggy, gummy base topped with a very pretty sampling of what could have been ANYTHING; it had virtually no flavor.
Chocolate Ginger - while it had a nice cocoa flavor, the total lack of any ginger flavor left it tasting completely bland, as if not only the ginger was missing, but the vanilla and salt as well.
Florentine - Florentines should shatter, leaving a toffee flavor rich with nuts and a smoky melting of chocolate. As with the other coated cookies (see below), the chocolate on this cookie tasted waxy and bland. The cookie was chewy and sticky and bent in half before it broke.
Lemon Macaroon - This was overwhelmingly sweet, so much so that neither of us could finish our half. The lemon flavor was good but was completely overpowered by a tooth achingly sweet icing and a coating that, while I am sure was made from white chocolate, tasted like those nasty candy coating discs they sell at WalMart.
Big Mac (chocolate dipped almond macaroon) - I had high hopes for this cookie as it appears the most in reviews for this bakery. However, more of that strangely waxy not-very-chocolately chocolate covered an almond macaroon that was so heavily dosed with almond flavoring that it made the backs of our throats burn.
My friend also tried a walnut crescent and pronounced it gummy and bland and dropped it back into the bag.
So, did we hit them on a bad day? While she and I are major bakers (we both bake at least five times a week) and I am a former food professional, and I know we can be picky in that we will say "Oh, this would be so good with _____" or "I would love this with a little more _______", we were shocked that this bakery would get any good reviews turning out what we tried yesterday. We both agreed that if *we* ended up with final product like what we had, we would throw it out rather than serve it to friends.