Top Pick Of The Week

May 4, 2010

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Brownies with lots of chocolate and a crisp top. Organic, too! All photography by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Artisan-baked cookies and brownies, conventional and organic.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It’s artisan but not arty; the focus on family favorites—brownies, chocolate chip cookies, gingerbread, cowboy cookies, chubsters, peanut butter cookies and other favorites.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love the crusty tops of the brownies, the buttery goodness of the cookies and the ability to send organic gifts to organic-only friends.


* A sablé is a type of shortbread, a round butter cookie. It originated in Caen, a town in the French province of Normandy. Sablés are refrigerator cookies: like shortbread, the dough is refrigerated in logs until it becomes hard. It is then sliced into rounds and baked (see the different types of cookies). Sablés are also known as Breton Biscuits. Sablé is the French word for sand; it refers to the crumbly texture of the cookie. They are made with vanilla extract but can be enhanced with just about any cookie flavor. Popular additions include almonds, citrus zest, coconut and cocoa. For the holidays, the edges can be rolled in red and green sanding sugar.


.Dough Raise Me: Cookies & Brownies For Your Gourmet Gift List

CAPSULE REPORT: People who love delicious brownies and fine renditions of classic cookies can thank Necessity for the existence of Dough Raise Me.

Necessity was the mother of invention for Erin Saltsman’s bakery. Seven years ago, with her steady job at risk, Erin did more than think about starting her own business: She found her first account and started Dough Raise Me. (In fact, the business raises her at 1:30 every morning.)

The small artisan bakery uses all-natural ingredients, superior chocolate and the freshest butter and cream. There’s a conventional line and an organic line. Satisfaction is just a click away online for those needing treats or gifts.

You must order the buttery chocolate sablés:* They’re the perfect chocolate cookie for a sophisticated palate. The Parisian Chocolate Sablé combines midnight dark cocoa and bittersweet chocolate topped with a light sprinkling of fleur de sel. The organic series features the Aztec Sablé: guajillo chilies and Taza’s guajillo chili chocolate (great stuff!) add the perfect amount of heat. These sablés are irresistible; you’d better order more than one little bag. After that, we can pretty much recommend anything.

Read the full review below—and perhaps send some sablés to Grandmother for Mother’s Day. Erin learned the joy of baking from her Grandmother McWilliam, who baked the family a pie every day from scratch. (And that explains why we like to bake, too. Thanks, Nana.) Happy Mother’s Day to all moms—especially those who don’t know how to turn on the oven. There’s still time!


THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

More Top Pick Cookies

Damn Good Cookies Mad Mac Macaroons Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies
Damn Good Cookies. As the name says, this collection of classic fancy cookies and rugalach is...damn good! Read the review.

Mad Mac Macaroons. Light as a cloud, pretty as a picture, anyone would go mad for a gift of these macaroons. Read the review.

Rustic Bakery. We adore everything this bakery makes, sweet and savory. It’s worth a trip to Larkspur, CA to sit and eat it all. Read the review.


This is Page 1 of a two-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages:


Dough Raise Me: Cookies & Brownies For Your Gourmet Gift List

Dough Raise Me Overview

What would make Erin Saltsman’s grandmother prouder: her lovely husband, children and home; or the fact the young girl with whom she shared her love of baking grew up to become a successful artisan baker?

Whichever, we’re the beneficiaries of her ardor and skill. The chocolate sablés are our new cookie passion: The Organic Aztec Sablé with chile heat are our favorites, but the Parisian Chocolate Sablé, buttery and topped with a few grains of French sea salt, are no slouch either.

Not into something called sah-BLAY? There are all the familiar cookie favorites, plus brownies and bars. See them on the next page.

—Karen Hochman


Continue To Page 2: Cookies & Brownies & Bars—Oh My!

Go To The Article Index Above


Rich chocolate sablés, always a hit among lovers of fine cookies, are distinguished with a bit of Aztec heat or French sea salt.

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