Sunday afternoon, 1 p.m.: We drive in circles around Olneyville, trying to find a cookie convention amidst abandoned warehouses with shattered windows and graffitied brick walls. Is this Spectacular Cookie Smackdown a front for another kind of smackdown?
But we arrived safely at Fête, albeit unprepared for what would await us inside: a large room packed with people and, more importantly, COOKIES. ALL OF THE COOKIES. The Spectacular Cookie Smackdown is an event organized by RI Food Fights, in which different RI bakeries battle for the glory of being crowned Best in their category. Last year, it was cupcakes. This year, they fought for
their honor the title of Best Cookie.
This Smackdown of baked-good greats came at a very opportune time: It’s finals, we’re tired, and we love to eat our feelings. So to walk around a room and be handed cookies of all varieties— chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, chipotle peanut butter… It was all too good to be true. Before we knew it, we were cuddled up in a dark corner, gloriously wallowing in the food coma (see above picture).
Amid all that, we actually did think about the food we were shoveling in our mouths. After the jump, our reviews—so that you, too, can get in on the cookie fun!
Best Overall Shop: The Sweet Shoppe
We peaked early in our eating fest, because Sweet Shoppe was only the third table we hit and they were killing it with their “all chip” cookie (featuring different kinds of chocolate + butterscotch), white chocolate cranberry cookie, and peanut butter chocolate cookie.
Most Creative: Sin Bakery
Ok, the Sin cookies are in the upper part of this picture — the lil’ cute ones. Tactically, the cookies’ size was a very good choice; it facilitated ample sampling on our part so that we could taste the whole spread. The cornmeal anise was a dream, delicate and buttery with just a hint of anise to keep it from being overpowering. The gingersnap had a spicy kick and was super chewy, thanks to a heavy dose of molasses in the dough. And the chipotle peanut butter, though it raised some initial doubts, proved us wrong: just your toasty classic peanut butter cookie with a little heat at the end. Could inspire a paradigm shift in the peanut butter cookie subgenre.
Most Reliable: Seven Stars Bakery
These Russian hazelnut tea cakes were dumb good. Crack cocaine good. And then they just gave us free bags of them at the end, so that we were left nibbling them over the next 24 hours, wishing we were back at the Smackdown.
Most Topical: Eye Cookies
Speaks for itself, considering that recently Gangnam outranked DA BIEBS in YouTube views. <GASP>