Cookie Monsters, This Week’s for You

By Patty Wetli | Monday, April 30, 2012

A sampling of Angel Food's National Cookie Week offerings. Credit: Patty Wetli

Having created National Cookie Week in 2011 as a way for bakeries to communally promote their goods, Michael Munoz, who blogs under the handle of The Gay Gourmet!, realized, “I can’t call this National Cookie Week if I don’t make it national.” So for the 2012 edition, he branched out from his native New York and contacted bakeries across the country with a simple plea, “Come along with me on this ride.” Angel Food Bakery, 1636 W. Montrose Ave., answered his email and jumped on board.

From April 30 through May 4, owner and pastry chef Stephanie Samuels will feature “cookie roulette,” a rotating supply of favorites like Junk in Da Trunk and cornmeal sugar (for this reporter’s money, one of the best cookies. Ever.). “Come and see what we have that day,” she says. As always, cookies are offered on special 3/$5.

“I’m glad somebody’s paying attention to the cookie,” Samuels continues, recalling how she and her college roommates would freeze a roll of batter and bake off individual cookies as needed in the toaster oven.

“It’s very American, very retro,” she says. “You come home from school and you think milk and cookies.”

As iconic as the Tollhouse chocolate chip recipe is in most households, the cookie’s primacy has been usurped of late by cupcakes and doughnuts. “Cookies are the unsung hero,” says Munoz, an amateur cook gone wild. They’re eminently portable, a snap to make and just might bring about world peace.

“Can’t we just have something to take our minds off Libya, cancer and the elections?” he asks. “Can’t we just have a week where we just celebrate these cookies? Let’s occupy cookies!”

A musical theater veteran, Munoz – who ultimately envisions The Gay Gourmet! morphing into a cooking variety show that’s one part Judy Garland/Carol Burnett, one part Rachael Ray/Paula Deen – has recruited a number of heavy hitters to his cookie cause, including Brooklyn’s Baked. “I’m all about the collective,” he says. Through the participating bakeries’ social media outlets, he hopes to reach hundreds of thousands of cookie lovers, attracting new fans for the pastry shops and his blog.

“If we don’t help each other out,” he says, “who’s going to?”

Munoz, who divulged during our chat that he was preparing to blog about oatmeal/Nutella sandwich cookies, welcomes everyone to submit a favorite recipe to NCW’s Tumblr page. Do Oreos count?

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