Last week, I did a post on a farmer who grows unusual crops for sale at the Issaquah Farmers Market (Darrell Westover of Westover Farms). Another vendor whom my wife and I have been visiting regularly since we discovered his stand is Michael Pinckney (of Pinckney Cookie Café) who makes some of the best cookies we’ve ever had. A baker-entrepreneur who is committed to using only natural ingredients and no preservatives, he makes cookies so good that three local branches of Whole Foods have begun to carry them (Roosevelt Square, Interbay and Redmond). Microsoft was so impressed that he was contracted to bake 10,800 chocolate chip cookies for the annual employees’ meeting at Key Arena last month. That’s 10,800! The ovens must have been going day and night.
He sells them at his stand at 3 for $5, not the most economical cookies, but for their quality, they’re worth every bite. If I want inexpensive cookies, I can go to Safeway. Because there are no preservatives, Michael Pinckney recommends that the cookies be kept in the refrigerator or, for longer storage, in the freezer. When he puts them on the table for sale, they’re cold. As he needs to replenish the small number of cookies on display, Pinckney restocks them from a cooler.
My two favorites are the Bing Bling! and Double Chocolate Espresso, which also happen to be Pinckney’s favorites. Even if they’re not straight from the oven, these cookies are super. So, why are they so good? First of all, they’re chewy, my kind of cookies over crispy ones. The Bing Bling! is endowed with shredded coconut and dried cherries. You can taste the coconut; I happen to love the stuff. Dried bing cherries give the cookies an extra toothsomeness and that dark cherry flavor that makes Cherries Garcia a threat to the waistline. Add to these a light chocolatey dough and chocolate chips, and I indulge in a cookie the likes of which I’ve never had. Do I catch myself saying “yum” every time I take the first bite?
The Double Chocolate Espresso is not a cookie so much as something closer to a brownie with dark, chocolatey dough studded with chocolate chips and a boost of espresso, maybe from espresso granules. Chocolate and coffee flavors are a marriage made in heaven, which finds expression in this cookie.
Now, to buy directly, I’ll have to wait until next April when the farmers market re-opens, or I can go to the closest Whole Foods that sells them. Or I can hope that Michael Pinckney gets his wish by being permitted to sell at the Ballard Farmers Market year-round. They can also be ordered online.