Stacked on baking trays, packed in jars or piled on counters, cookies are everywhere in Sydney’s cafes, and they’ve never looked so irresistible. While traditionalists will still get their choc-chip fix, chances are it’s Callebaut dark chocolate, and it’s probably paired with sea salt and a spelt flour base. We’ve found cookies sandwiched with gelato, peanut butter, or ganache, cookies injected with liquid Nutella, rolled in nuts, or hand-iced in Instagram-worthy designs.
So, next time you’re looking for a sweet companion to your tea, coffee or glass of milk, make it one of these creations, handpicked from cookie jars around Sydney.
West Juliett: Pink Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you’ve been to West Juliett, you’ve probably walked out with one of these. Roughly stacked in towers on the counter, they’re impossible to resist. With more than 150 cookies gobbled up every day, the team at West Juliett is onto a winning recipe. The secret: “More chocolate than flour!” says owner, John Stavropoulos. “The quality of the raw ingredients is what makes the end product.” The cafe also revealed that it’s currently experimenting with a cookie and vanilla bean ice-cream sandwich, due to appear on the menu in the warmer months.
30 Llewellyn Street, Marrickville
Bourke Street Bakery: Chocolate and Sour Cherry Cookie
If you’re only stopping by Bourke Street Bakery for your bread and pastry hit – you’re doing it wrong. The bakery’s signature chocolate and sour cherry cookies are worth lining up for. Crunchy on the outside, fudgy on the inside and packed with little acidic gems of cherry which cut through the richness of the Belgian Callebaut chocolate – these cookies strike the perfect balance.
633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Flour and Stone: Hand Iced Gingerbread
Regulars at Flour & Stone will be familiar with Nadine Ingram’s famous Cookie Couture gingerbread. The exquisitely iced biscuits come in a range of designs that change seasonally, from rainbows and ice-creams in summer, to bears, foxes and squirrels in winter. However, they’re more than just a pretty face. “The warm spice mix is what makes them taste so good,” says Ingram. “I wanted to make a gingerbread that didn’t dumb down the flavour for children’s palates.” The result is a soft and perfectly spiced gingerbread that makes a delightful companion to an afternoon cup of tea.
53 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo
Grandma’s Little Bakery: Nuts and Seeds Cookie
We all know grandma’s recipe is always best – so it’s no surprise that Grandma’s Little Bakery’s range of sweets – baked from recipes from grandmas and grandpas around the world – are among Sydney’s best. Shop owner, Dana Kvatinsky, talks us through the store favourites, from Grandma Haya’s pistachio and butter cookie, to Grandma Gal’s vanilla and cocoa shortbread. But special mention must go out to the dangerously moreish nut and seeds variety, which offers a dairy and gluten free option. “These are made with real, back-to-basics ingredients, and give you a healthy energy boost while satisfying those sweet cravings,” says Kvatinsky.
40–42 O'Riordan Street, Alexandria
Scout’s Honour: Burnt Butter, Triple Choc Cookie with Nutella Centre and Sea Salt
Let’s just break that down for a second. Burnt butter, triple choc, Nutella and sea salt. It’s a near-flawless combination. “The key ingredient is definitely the burnt butter,” says cafe owner, Georgia Woodyard. She admits the process of finding the perfect cookie base took them quite a while, but the hard work has paid off. “We wanted our cookies to have just the right amount of chew and crunch.” Now that they’ve nailed down this recipe, the team has started work on a fresh rosemary and dried orange muesli cookie variation which will be hitting the cafe soon.
118 George Street, Redfern
Cipro Pizza al Taglio: Nutter Butters
Over in Alexandria, Cipro Pizza is serving up more than fine Italian fare. “The nutter butter cookie is an American-inspired cookie,” says restaurant owner, Penelope Watson-Green. “It’s made with peanuts and oats, which are then sandwiched with a delicious creamed butter peanut filling.” The nutter butter also comes in an ice-cream sandwich variety, filled with the restaurant’s house-made vanilla gelato. For those of you looking for a weekend baking project, we’ve previously featured the recipe, so you can make a whole batch to share with friends, or keep all to yourself.
21 Fountain Street, Alexandria
Bread and Circus: Callebaut Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut and Spelt
For those of you who feel “bigger is better” when it comes to cookies, Bread and Circus has got your back. Stacked on baking trays at the counter, these jumbo cookies are hard to walk past. The spelt base will please the health-conscious among you, while the dark chocolate and hazelnut is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
21 Fountain Street, Alexandria
Athena Cake Shop: Almond Biscuits
Not a cookie in the American sense, but Athena Cake Shop’s traditional Greek almond biscuit certainly deserves a mention. “We have been making this biscuit to the same recipe for 40 years,” says the owner of the family run Marrickville store, Efy Ahtypis. Soft and nutty on the inside and generously covered in crispy shaved almonds, these gluten-free cookies have homemade written all over them. Athena’s range is made for sharing, so stock up on a selection of shortbread, pastry and baklava while you’re there.
412 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville
Kürtosh: Choc-fudge Cookie
With an almost overwhelming range of slab cakes lining its cabinets, and traditional Hungarian Kürtoskalács being freshly made behind the counter, you wouldn’t be blamed for not leaving room for its choc-fudge cookie –but you’d be making a mistake. Consisting of two chocolate cookies, sandwiched together with a rich chocolate ganach, it’s a seriously indulgent creation. “One of the owners, Jean Marc, has been making them for years and kept it a secret, but when we tried it for the first time we knew we had to share the love,” says co-owner, Ben Haikin. “If you haven’t tried them, you haven’t lived.”