When cookie cravings hit hard, more often than not we wish for a snickerdoodle. Chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin are good, but there's something irresistible about the cinnamon-y simplicity of a well-made snickerdoodle.
Having eaten probably a million of these tasty baked treats, we do have high standards. We're looking for a crunchy outer rim, chewy middle, and a generous cinnamon-sugar coating on top. Two bakeries in Central Phoenix, Churn and Urban Cookies, bake up delicious snickerdoodles, but whose cookie won't crumble under the pressure of this week's Battle of the Dishes?
In This Corner: Churn
The Setup: Known for artisan ice cream, Churn, on Central Avenue just north of Camelback Road, is a must-stop joint during hot summer days. However, its baked goods are as craveable as the ice cream. If you haven't tried the lemon or s'mores bars, you haven't lived. But the cute blue-and-red sweets shop better bring its cookie A-game.
The Good: We called Churn one afternoon to make sure it had a snickerdoodle before we dropped by. It didn't, so we had to a day. The cookie's consistency passed our chewy-to-crunchy ratio specifications with flying colors. We also dug how much cinnamon coated the top of the cookie, and we liked the sugariness, which was more like a glaze than a dusting.
In The Other Corner: Urban Cookies
The Setup: On Seventh Street south of Camelback Road, Urban Cookies is known for award-winning baked goods. It orange blossom cupcake is to die for, and we could eat about a hundred pineapple and coconut cookies. The simple interior, with its wood tones, is hipper and more mature than many other bakeries and cupcakeries, making it less embarrassing for us to frequent it. The Cupcake Wars winners are used to notoriety, but will their cookie pass the test?
The Good: The sweet and chewy cookie obviously was freshly baked. Its soft composition almost melted in our mouth. It's definitely a tough competitor, despite its smushy texture.
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The Bad: We do like more crunch to our cookies and more cinnamon in our snickerdoodle. Since the base of a snickerdoodle is pretty much just a sugar cookie, it needs generous amounts of cinnamon to make it pop, and Urban Cookies just didn't bring it.
And the winner is... Churn. It made what was close to our ideal concept of what a snickerdoodle cookie should be. We wonder whether Churn would make a snickerdoodle dough ice cream this summer . . .