Thursday, 4 September 2014
Located towards the southern end of the trendy Alexandria district, Grandma’s Little Bakery is a combination cafe and middle eastern diner with a slight hipster vibe. Its signature dish, the shakshuka, is apparently an Israeli speciality of poached eggs in a shallow pan; lthough I understand it’s also called “shakshouka” (meaning “mixture”) in Arabic-speaking countries, so I guess maybe it’s like the middle eastern equivalent of chop suey? Chop suey is, incidentally, an American invention and is quite foreign to most Chinese, but I digress…
Anyway I seem to have ruined a perfectly good introduction to the ‘mixture’ of cookies on offer at Grandma’s Little Bakery. There are at least a dozen to choose from. I chose three; and for today’s exercise we put their Honey & Ginger Cookies to the test.
It’s possible to buy them individually for a few bucks each, but we chose to go for a box. It cost $6.90 for 37 of these things. I’m not sure how the price is arrived at – some of the other cookies costed as much as $8 for a box.
No larger than a small bite in size, each of these little heart-shaped flavour-bombs is a little sandy to the touch, but cake-like and tender to bite into.
They’re packed with flavour – a spicy, gingery taste that’s fresh and beyond mere confection. I’m not sure I could discern the honey, but I suspect that’s where the chewiness comes from.
They’re not bad when taken with a hot beverage, but on their own they’re just dressed-up gingerbread. The thing is, gingerbread is softer (these cookies lean on the firmer side of the “tender” spectrum), and I’ve had bigger, heartier gingerbread cookies that taste better. It occurs to me that these cookies would probably taste awful if they were any bigger by virtue of how concentrated the flavours are.
Anyway, I stopped at two. They’re nice, but only marginally better than what you can get from the supermarket. It may be that the fine but ultimately bland texture made it much less of an experience than I was hoping for… but that’s just me.
Rating out of 10 (where 10 = ermahgerd this is amazeballs; 5 = meh; and 0 = I want my money back):
5.5 – These cookies taste better when they’re obscured by a hot beverage. That may not be a good thing…
Where: Grandma’s Little Bakery, 42/40-42 O’Riordan Street , Alexandria NSW 2015. There’s plenty of local parking, and it’s an easy 5-minute walk north from the Alexandria Homemaker Centre. By bus, the 348 will take you to Collins Street, which is the nearest cross-street.
How much: $6.90 per box
About Kevvie’s Cookie Safari: People have been telling me for years that my wife’s chocolate chip cookies are the best they’ve ever eaten. It didn’t occur to me until now to test the claim. But if you’re interested, she uses a Jacques Torres recipe from the book ‘A Year in Chocolate’.