I'm now going to take a few minutes to tell you about a place called Cookie Confidential in Philadelphia.
I was first alerted to the magic that is Cookie Confidential by CakeSpy reader--from Canada of all places!--who told me, in so many words, "dudette, they have Philly cheesesteak cookies. For reals! Go eat one!". Of course I was intrigued, and a visit to the website revealed a treasure trove of interesting treats.
Although the name "Cookie Confidential" might suggest a strong emphasis on cookies, it actually seems to be comprised of three main elements: cookies, cupcakes in a jar, and brittles. At the store, they complement it all with Franklin Fountain ice cream.
But for now, we're going to focus on the cookies.
They have a large variety of flavors, starting with the classics: chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodle, peanut butter...but then, very quickly you'll progress into slightly less-expected flavors, such as chocolate chip bacon, "strawberry shortcake" ("A shortbread cookie is the base for this sweet and creamy treat. We add in fresh pureed strawberries & white chocolate chunks for a satisfying bite of summertime in you mouth, no matter what the weather outside!"), and Lemon cashew...
...and then the downright strange, including Philly Cheesesteak, which is described as "Dehydrated grass fed beef mingles with dehydrated red onions in our organic, cheesy, cheddar cookie topped off with a sweet tomato cream cheese. Try getting one of these from Mrs. Fields!"; Sriracha Mango, "The Rooster Has Landed. No that's not code, the Sriracha Mango cookie is here! Sweet, savory, spicy, spectacular! A little bit of Thai come to roost at Cookie Confidential."; and of course, who could forget the Peanut Butter Hot Dog, "Made initially as a custom order for some friends (thanks Ethan and Nate!), we loved this killer cookie so much it has been added to the line up. We take our traditional peanut buttercookie, splash in some balsamic vinegar and a touch of Philadelphia Bee Co's honey, then add in some chopped up, dehydrated, nitrate free hot dogs... next level intensity. "
We picked up a nice variety of flavors: chocolate chip, brown sugar peach, raspberry balsamic, lemon honey coriander, chocolate chip bacon, and chocolate coconut almond. Since they didn't have it on the day of the initial visit, I returned later for the Philly Cheesesteak (more on that below).
The cookies are not large, so I would suggest trying 2-3 flavors. They are fairly crisp, with a lighter slightly chewy texture in the center. They're quite buttery. In my opinion, you like the style of Tate's chocolate chip cookies, these will probably be right up your alley.
The chocolate chip was nice, a rich and buttery version of the classic. Brown sugar peach was mellow and comforting, and begged to be paired with lemonade.
Lemon honey coriander was intriguing, with a slightly spicy flavor that, had I not known what the flavor was, would have eluded me and made me continue eating out of curiosity.
Raspberry balsamic was probably my favorite flavor from the tasting, lightly abrasive from the balsamic but then smoothed around the edges by the sweetness of the berries. A refreshing and interesting cookie.
Chocolate-bacon was salty-sweet; a little bacon goes a long way, and I found myself craving a creamy counterpart--bet this one would have been really nice with ice cream.
Image: Phillymag.comBut I know the one you really want to hear about is the Philly Cheesesteak. I returned for this one because they didn't have it on the day of my first visit. Of course I didn't bring my camera, so to the left you'll see the picture from Philly Magazine.
Actually, I almost feel like this shouldn't be called a cookie--or perhaps it should be re-labeled "savory biscuit". Because when you eat it thinking "cookie", it's strange. It's salty and savory and feels like you want a bowl of tomato soup. But when I thought about it as "savory biscuit", and thought about how it might pair with a bowl of soup, it was actually quite a nice morsel, sort of like a crispy cheese puff with a soupçon of beef. Sort of like a cookie hors d'ouevre.
So I guess it's all about the way you look at it. Looking at the cookie in that way made it enjoyable to me!
Although I didn't try one of their cupcakes, I would like to give you a primer on what they do. Cupcakes come either single or double cake in reusable glass jelly jars (return your empty one to the shop for a free cookie!); the mini cupcakes are served in push pop form. As they put it, "Grab a spoon, and get ready for your new bad habit!". I like that.
Flavors include a rotating roster: Red Velvet, Maple Buttermilk, Maple Bacon Buttermilk, Chocolate Buttermilk, Chocolate Bacon Buttermilk, Vanilla Buttermilk, Strawberry Buttermilk, Neapolitan, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Chocolate Jalapeno, Vanilla Raspberry, Chocolate Raspberry, Banana Split, Apple Chai, plus seasonals (ie Strawberry Limeade, Brown Sugar Peach, Coconut Key Lime, Ginger Snap, Pumpkin, Vanilla Peppermint, Chocolate Peppermint, etc). All available vegan EXCEPT bacon flavors.
They also have "Beer Cakes" which are made with various types of beer, and jars of brittle for sale.
Overall, this is a fun and adventurous little spot to visit, and naturally I loved the undercover/spy vibe. The only warning I give is don't think you're going to have cookies for breakfast: they open at noon!
Cookie Confidential, 517 S. 5th Street, Philadelphia; online here.