World Peace Cookies.

World Peace Cookies, the sister cookie of the New York Times Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, are absolutely required for all food bloggers of any kind to make, post and as it seems to follow, adore.  Dorie Greenspan’s ultimate little treat.  Although I may be a little bit behind the ball, I’ve happily joined the lemming line.  Eggless, packed with butter, these World Peace Cookies are chocolate shortbread rounds punched up and overloaded.  Baked up, they taste just as good, if not better than the pre-baked cookie dough, which is really the best part.  They’re delicious, perfect little cookies.

The idea behind the ‘world peace’ name is that if everybody had one of these cookies, there would be peace in the world.  Not just because every person would be satiated and their mouths would be plugged up with cookies, the little spouts of dissent stopped, but because every single cookie-gifted person would be content with life, and happy enough to live in peace.  It’s a nice idea, in fact it’s a great idea.  The story is a huge part of appeal.  But, while these cookies are phenomenal– let’s be clear, I’d never turn one down– I couldn’t say if they’re world-peace-worthy.  World peace is a big undertaking, and while it’s fun to imagine cookies dressed up in pageant wear answering ‘why yes sir, world peace is my number one goal in life,’ I don’t know if this is the cookie to do it.  I ate one, or four, and certainly felt more peaceful, but then the cookie-love wore off.  (Really, I took a nap and woke up with a desire for more cookies.)  When the cookie-bliss was gone, all I wanted was more and I would have gotten a little violent.

Thank god then, we have a four-gallon cookie jar.

Clearly, the answer is to embark on a Cookie Mission.  A quest for the ultimate cookie, the cookie that after eating just one, for the rest of life you are a peaceful person.  It’s possible that these World Peace Cookies are as close to being worthy of the World Peace Cookie name, but I couldn’t say.  I’m going to have to eat more cookies.

Recipe on the following page.

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Georgetown (Baked and Wired).

If last week’s testimony to Georgetown coffee shop and bakery Baked and Wired didn’t convince you to visit, if the idea of banana cupcakes topped with peanut butter frosting and chocolate drizzle somehow didn’t justify a leisurely stroll, Metro ride, drive, train trip, plane flight, sail…let me try again.

Yes, it may takes upwards of ten minutes for espresso drinks, yes there is never anywhere to sit and yes, sometimes the lines are extreme.  But, it’s worth it.  That’s what I’ve concluded.  While, during the ten minutes after you place your espresso order, it may seem like torture, caffeine-deprived torture, once that perfectly capped, wet-foam drink is in your hands, in your stomach, poured over your head or drizzled onto your eye if eyeballing is the game du jour, the wait is worth it.  Always.

On the plus side, if you go during normal hours on the weekdays, for a mid-morning, lunchtime, mid-afternoon or casual evening visit, there are generally nominal or no lines.  (Though the requisite ten or so minutes still happen. Good espresso takes time, a sentiment that is rapidly becoming the ultimate Catch-22 of my short life.  I desperately need it to wake up and function, but I have to go, purchase and wait.)

In a town that seems to run on good espresso, with Dupont’s Dolcezza and Filter and Chinatown’s Chinatown Coffee Company rounding my top favorite espresso shops, Baked and Wired has the additional plus of a lovely pastry case.

Never a bad thing.

New York (Two Little Red Hens).

There is a bakery on the Upper East Side of New York City where quite honestly, dreams come true.  If you’re slightly abnormal like me and spend time imagining baked goods, if pie and brownies dreams are at the forefront of your mind, then the Two Little Red Hens bakery on 86th street is quite honestly heaven.  Just imagine a homey, warm enclave on 2nd avenue, packed with tables, farm memorabilia and pastry cases.  Now add the most beautiful array of cakes frosted with explosions of lotus flowers, daisies, roses, irises, vines, sunflowers…I guarantee you’ve never seen anything so beautiful.  First time I’ve teared up in years.

On top of the most exquisite Brooklyn Blackout Cake or cupcake ever—moist and airy chocolate cake filled with luscious, velvety chocolate cream and topped with truffly, fudgy chocolate frosting and crumbled chocolate cookies crumbs for texture—there are any number of pastries, cookies and pies.  The Macadamia Nut Turtle Bar.  The Peacan Fudge Bar.  Lemon bars, apple pie, cinnamon buns, Linzer bars, cookies, cheesecakes…

There is a reason that lines frequently are out the door, even on cold February days.

Two Little Red Hens can be credited, in part, for the start of Bakelist.  It’s true, it really is.  Not that I’ll ever reach the bakery-echelons of the Yorkville establishment, but it doesn’t mean I can’t try.

For the train ride back from NYC to Washington, I had a little cupcake packed away.  And by little cupcake, I mean a relatively large cupcake that I consumed in front of many a jealous co-passenger.

Sucks for you, is all I have to say.  Should have gotten your own cupcake.