For the first time in the history of giving up sweets for Lent, I made it through all 46 days without so much as a sliver of anything. Naturally, this meant I had make up for lost time (or in this case, lost chocolate) on Easter Sunday. In order to do so to the fullest extent, I decided to host a chocolate brunch. After struggling to decide which of my three favorite bakeries to feature at the brunch, I ultimately decided not to decide. Rather, I spent half of Saturday driving around Atlanta collecting an assortment of goodies. This eventually evolved into the “Battle of the Bakeries”, featuring: Highland Bakery, Alon’s, and Henri’s Bakery.
While each bakery had a wide array of confections from which to choose, my main mission was quite simple: cookies. Giant, double chocolate & chocolate chip cookies, to be more specific. While I rarely turn down anything involving chocolate, cookies are my true weakness.
Twelve hours and one Easter service later, it was time for the taste test. In order to eliminate any biases, we decided that a blind tasting was the only way to go. We started with the double chocolates (and cleansed our palates with mimosas in between bites):
#1: Highland Bakery. Compared to the others, Highland Bakery’s cookies look more like muffin tops (they’ll probably give you a muffin top too if you have too many). Their double chocolate cookie was thick, slightly crispy on the outside, and perfectly gooey on the inside. Across the board, everyone described this cookie as incredibly rich. It was my favorite indulgence of the day, and well worth the 46-day wait.
#2: Alon’s. A very close second. Alon’s double chocolate was darker and definitely the most chocolaty cookie of the day. It too was ultra-rich and velvety smooth (except for all those massive chocolate chunks, of course). Ultimately though, the gooeyness factor of Highland Bakery’s cookie won out in the end.
#3: Henri’s. This cookie was not even on the same planet as the other two. It was hard, crunchy, and generally unappetizing. Thank goodness there were two others, because this one certainly did not satisfy my cookie craving.
Round two, chocolate chips:
#1: Alon’s. This cookie was a unanimous winner in the chocolate chip round. Each bite was dense with the perfect ratio of cookie-to-chocolate chips-to-pecans. The cookie was soft, buttery, and basically melted in your mouth.
#2: Highland Bakery. Highland Bakery’s cookie came in second by default, only because once again, Henri’s cookie was terrible. Similar to the double chocolate, this chocolate chip pecan cookie was extra thick. Unfortunately, this one was extra hard as well – it literally took a steak knife to get through it. Minus the less than desirable texture, the buttery, brown-sugary flavor was spot on. Perhaps they just left this batch in the oven a tad too long.
#3: Henri’s. By far the worst cookie of the day. Rock hard, un-chocolaty, and tasteless. Literally, I think I only counted three chocolate chips in the entire cookie. Alon’s cookie had three chips in every bite! Like I said before, thank goodness there were two others.
All in all, the winner is really based on your cookie preference. If you’re a chocoholic like I am, the Highland Bakery Double Chocolate is a must.
If you’re more of a traditionalist, go with the Chocolate Chunk Pecan at Alon’s.
So while we didn’t really crown a true Battle of the Bakeries champion, we definitely narrowed it down to where not to buy cookies from ever again. On a side note, if cookies aren’t your favorite (and you haven’t already stopped reading), I promise there is plenty to choose from at all three bakeries…