If you find yourself in the Napa Valley this season, you may find Annie Baker selling her Annie the Baker cookies at area farmers markets. And then… you will find yourself addicted to these cookies that are “for those who love cookie dough more than the cookie.”
I met Annie in 2006 when she was the enthusiastic pastry chef of Mustards Grill, and I’m very excited that she’s moved on to start her own company that she’s passionate about and whose products are so delicious. These cookies combine the puffy moistness of cookie dough and the depth of balanced flavor of a baked cookie. You can get: Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunk, Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter with Mini Peanut Butter Cups, and Oatmeal Double Chocolate Chip.
Annie adjusted the ratio of ingredients in her cookie recipes so that they spread and crisp less — and so retain their doughy goodness. I’d recommend them all, based on your personal tastes. I almost want to say that the Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip is my favorite, but then, when lingering over the cookie jar, I proceed to break off a piece of the peanut butter, and then the choc chip, and then the oatmeal…. I feel like it’s a bit extreme to cast my lot with only one. I don’t usually eat entire sweets at once, but I think I’m averaging more than one cookie at a time with these.
Look for her under the yellow and black Steelers tent at the St Helena and Napa farmers markets!
And check out Oxbow Market while you’re in Napa, which houses vendors such as The Fatted Calf (zomg!!!!!!!!!!), Hog Island Oyster Company, Kara’s Cupcakes, Three Twins Organic Ice Cream, Model Bakery, and Taylor’s Refresher, and wine, cheese, fish, and meat. Sitting outside by the river with lunch, a glass of wine, and a bag of cookies is pretty fabulous… For a valley with such a lovely landscape, it can be surprisingly hard to find a cozy place to relax and enjoy it outside.