So……I’ve been sickly for what seems like forever. While not the swine-flu, I have the flu from hell which resurrects itself now and then and leaves me all blah and gross. I need love, and comfort, and love, in the form of goodies….
Here’s the problem… I seem to be oblivious to the barriers and continents hindering the cultivation of my cravings. This doesn’t always happen, but living in different crannies in the world does not a content tummy make. And coz I’m sick, I must have the essential feel good items. No matter what the circumstances. This is especially true when it comes “ze cookie”.
It started with Famous Amos… those tiny, bite size,, melt in your mouth nibblets found in SM Megamall in the 90s, and in vending machines in the US. The latter version are crunchy and mass produced and packed to last a lifetime. The Megamall version is perfectly cooked on the spot, warm and gooey, and engulfs the ground level of Building A with the hypnotizing aroma of brown sugar, cookie dough and chocolate. That just wins daydreams for me.
Then came the 2000s… I first met Tate’s in the goodie bag of my Aunt C, purveyor of all things Martha Stewart-esque and yummy. Hailing from the windy city, her daughter owns Olivia’s Market one of Chi-town’s cutest deli and keeper of delectable hand-picked goods such as Vosges chocolates (unbelievably exorbitant but oh so seductive, and it’s chocolate!), Orangina (this deserves a post on its own), and Tate’s cookies.
Tate’s Tate’s Tate’s
How do I love thee? Allow me to visualize the experience…. these paper thin cookies look more like Milano cookies than flavor vaults. The cookie is crispy, which doesn’t usually translate well for me since i like a gooey chewy cookie. When it hits my mouth, and my tongue gets its first tinge of butter, and more butter, and chocolate chip, and caramelized sugar… two words – flavor orgasm. The delicate cookie starts melting in my mouth, with the faintest hint of sweet butter still lingering in my mouth. This experience leaves me reaching for a second cookie… a third… a fourth… and before I know it… (it’s gone!)
Can a singular piece of baked goodie hold Bobby Flay’s Throwdown test? You betcha! It’s so hypnotizing that I had to lovingly ask my girlfriend K’s boylet (living in Chicago) to carry my “package” back to Manila to feed my cookie craze. Little did he know that my online order for the cookies meant a tiny balikbayan (returning Pinoy) box filled with packs and packs of Tate’s!
The box of Tate’s (the complete box not presented to hide the situation wherein I ingested 2 packs in one sitting)

Technically, boytoy could not say no as he is currently trying to win his GF’s friend’s seal of approval, and mine is the ultimate Gold Standard. I also asked him to bring me three liters worth of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Hello Amazon expert!

Can a cookie be so good? It better be. Katherine Tate, baker extraordinaire, started her career at the tender age of 12, baking cookies for friends. Her oven prowess developed, people flocked to her tiny house, I don’t know if she finished school. She probably did, because she lived in the Hamptons in NY. Posh and ultra Ralph Lauren-ish, this haven is the perfect site for her cookie house. And in the Hamptons Tate’s Bakeshop was built.

You might notice the photo is a good one, because I took it. Yes, last year I went on the ultimate pilgrimage to the holy grail… Tate’s Bakeshop in the Hamptons. I saw it a mile away, the metallic green logo found on her cookie packages holding fort outside the similarly colored facade. It was like God guiding me to the light. I was mesmerized. I was being ushered in by the scent of cookies and blondies and cake. The inside feels like looking inside my sweetspot, filled with wonderous sugary concoctions made with ultra-high end love. And premium ingredients.

I won’t lie. Those cookies are damn expensive. But I don’t get them often. In LA, I could just pop by Bay Cities on Lincoln St. in Santa Monica and get my gourmet fix on a daily basis, but I didn’t. In NY, I could’ve crossed the street from my apartment to the deli/convenience store to get some Tates in the boxless packaging (not as cute as the boxed ones, but had 2oz more cookies and $2 less in pricing… kaching!), but I didn’t. I reserved my Tate’s for those moments when nothing in the world could make me feel better than the crispy goodness of these cookies.

Don’t ask me how much I brought home that time. I spent about $100 at the adorable bakeshop on, yes, cookies alone. WTF you might ask. But it was a LOT of cookies! REALLY! Good enough for my three siblings, a lover’s mother, my second mom aka aunt in LA, and my personal stash which lasted not as long as I had hoped. The cookies are addicting. Just ask Giac!

So now I am left with three packs… which should get me thru the Holidays. But I honestly don’t want to inhale all of these myself. Partly because I am getting chunky from lack of movement, and partly because I don’t want to overdo it and ruin the enigmatic quality of Tate’s.

So here’s what I’ve decided…. I want to give it away. NO… not all of them. Maybe one. Just one pack. But it needs to be worth it. Take advantage of the holiday season, I am a sucker for giving gifts…. so lucky are my friends.

So….. here’s the dealio: Post a comment giving me the bestest reason why this cookie wonder should be in your possession. If my heart skips a beat with your reasoning, I will send it to you, or you can pick it up. Family and Friends, take advantage of this. But Strangers and fellow foodies are more than welcome to dazzle me with your justifications.

Ready, set, REASON!

(sorry international readers… I will not pay Fedex to airfreight this to you. Manila readers only.)

I will pick the winner on Dec 9, 2009. Don’t worry, I’ll find a way to contact you. Just don’t go anonymous.

In Chicago? Visit Olivia’s Market. You will never want to leave.

I dunno if Famous Amos still exists in Manila… but try finding them on COOKIE!
Clamor over Tate’s. Click Hamptons