A food blogger's work is never done. For a group of Houston writers in particular, the search for the city's best chocolate chip cookie (last September's Cookie (C)rumble) led to an inevitable sequel: last weekend's Holiday Cookie (C)rumble. 'Tis the season for holiday cookies and it was our duty to find out who's serving up the best one in the city
As before, samples were taken from 15 of Houston's top restaurants and bakeries in order to crown the best holiday cookie in Houston. This competition had us dividing the varieties into groups including classic sugar, frosted, gingerbread and cookie sandwiches. Like last time, the judging panel, made up of professional food bloggers and chefs, took the job very seriously.
An Elvis Christmas station played as each cookie was given careful attention, with each of us evaluating its overall look, taste and texture. The aroma of warm gingerbread was a treat as we bit into smiling faces and frosted arms. It wasn't as easy as it sounds—each gingerbread man was distinct and unique in its own way. We pondered which spices were used and enjoyed each restaurant's take on the traditional holiday cookie.
As judging moved on to sugar and frosted varieties, our job became tougher. Snowmen, Christmas trees, ornaments with licorice strings—the cookies were delightfully decorated. However, opinions differed when it came to tasting. Whether it was crunchy versus soft, or sweet as opposed to subtle, everyone had their favorites.
Finally, score cards were tallied and results were in—some surprising and some expected. Listed below are the top three in each category, along with all of the fantastic restaurants and bakeries that participated.
Here's how the cookie crumbled:
3. Butter Sugar Bake
2. Rustika Cafe & Bakery (jam cookie)
3. Rustika Cafe & Bakery (pizette)
Grandma's Holiday Cookie