Famous Chefs Reveal their Favorite Cookies to Santa Claus

This week we head north to sit down on Santa for a holiday Q&A

December 20, 2013 ● 11 min read

CF: Santa, assuming most children were good this year, you’ve got about 91 million chimneys to climb down, how do you possibly plan to do this in just 24 hours? 
SC: Well young man, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, Santa actually has 31 hours of Christmas to work with. Plus, Santa's sleigh travels at 650 miles per second, that’s 3,000 times the speed of sound. 

CF: Clearly, you've got a lot of toys to build. So why are all of your little helpers standing around taking photos of themselves right now? 
SC: They’re taking #elfies. Have you been living under a rock? 

CF: So you’re asking the questions now?
SC: (silence)
CF: Alright Santa, but remember, you’re the one that requested this interview.
SC: Well according to my Christmas list–which I’ve checked twice–lots of people are asking me for “Chefs Feed, the best food guide on the planet." So, I called you here to find out where the chefs think Santa should go for a good cookie?

CF: Well played Santa. I’ll tell you what, I’ll go ask all the world's best chefs what their favorite cookies are and report back. By the way, why am I sitting on your knee?
SC: Because you’re on a knee-to-know basis young man.

CF: Santa, YOU. ARE. ON. FIRE! Miley Cyrus; naughty or nice?
SC <> CF: (fist bump)

CF: Good times Santa, here's a list of where to find the best cookies, courtesy of some of the best chefs in the world. Make sure to download Chefs Feed:

The Brookster from Baked in New York City
“This is a chocolate chip cookie baked into a brownie... Need I say more?”
Chef Jeff McInnis (root & bone, coming 2014)

Chocolate chip cookie from Outerlands in San Francisco
“Brooke Mosley makes a dense and chewy chocolate chip cookie with the perfect amount of salt. If I have them in my house, I'll eat them for breakfast. They're almost too good to put out for Santa.”
Chef Richie Nakano (Hapa Ramen) 

Double chocolate chunk cookies from Belle Cakery in Philadelphia
“Jessie Prawlucki’s everyday cookies are just killer! Soft and chewy, they are baked daily. The double chocolate chunk is my favorite, and I am sure that Santa wouldn’t mind them either, nor would he be upset to get the molasses spice cookies—so good.”
Chef Emilio Mignucci (Di Bruno Bros.) 

Classic chocolate chip from Hello Robin in Seattle
“Robin Wehl Martin's cookies are famous in Seattle. Hello Robin's chocolate chip cookie is the best I've ever tasted. It combines a crisp outside and a soft, chewy inside. And did I mention it is loaded with chocolate chips? The perfect chocolate chip cookie is hard to find and Santa will leave more presents if you leave these for him, so your welcome.”
Chef Jennifer Shea (Trophy Cupcakes) 

Oatmeal raisin cookie from Levain Bakery in New York City
“These are the best cookies in the world. I love the oatmeal raisin, as they have sweet plump raisins and a buttery, golden brown, wonderful texture. I love to crumble them with soft vanilla ice cream.”
Chef Sam Hazen (The Chester)

Chocolate chip cookies from Jacques Torres in New York City
“Jacques Torres has the sickest cookies. He's like a modern day Willy Wonka. And he makes them into ice cream sandwiches—boom!”
Chef Josh Capon (Burger & Barrel, Lure Fish Bar, El Toro Blanco)  

Heath Bar crunch cookie from Hope's Cookies in Philadelphia
“These cookies are perfectly medium rare in the middle and crispy on the edges, with just enough salt to make the super sweet, slightly smoky toffee bits shine. They're available at the Pennsylvania Dutch General Store in the Reading Terminal Market (12th and Arch in Philadelphia) and at Hope's Cookies adjacent to Peace A Pizza in Ardmore.”
Chef Felicia D'Ambrosio (Federal Donuts)  

Caraway shortbread from 20th Century Cafe in San Francisco
“The caraway seed shortbread at 20th Century Cafe is delicious. I'm a sucker for caraway, and in the shortbread cookie it is amazing.”
Chef Staffan Terje (Perbacco, Barbacco)

Cookies from Boulettes Larder in San Francisco
“The pistachio macaroons and almond ricciarelli are great. Santa should stop here for sure.”
Chef Monica Pope (Beaver’s, t’afia)

Chocolate chip cookie from Muss & Turners in Atlanta
“I mostly really love tasting the butter—they just get it right. My other must in a chocolate chip cookie is crunchy edges, but it has to get softer as you work your way to the center. My last must is good chunky chocolate, and this one has it all!”  
Chef Ford Fry (JCT Kitchen & Bar, No. 246, The Optimist, King + Duke, St. Cecilia (coming soon), Superica (2014))

Sablé from Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta
“This cookie with French butter, thyme, and Georgia Gouda cheese is one of the best pairings for cocktails or champagne. It's perfect for the holidays.”
Chef Todd Richards (The Shed at Glenwood)

Black Cars from General Muir in Atlanta
“These are crunchy and light on the outside with a dense chocolate inside, and what's better is that they're dipped in chocolate. I'm sure Santa loves chocolate, so he will surely love these.”  
Chef Anne Quatrano (Abattoir, Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, Star Provisions, Quinones)

Almond biscotti from Modern Pastry in Boston
“Way back in the day, I used to go here and get a biscotti with my grandfather. So now when I go it always brings back great memories, especially when they still taste the same 25 years later. I especially like the chocolate-covered biscotti.”  
Chef Joshua Breen (Terramia Ristorante, Antico Forno)

Chunky lola cookie from Flour Bakery in Boston
“These are the ultimate cookies. It has the perfect combination of chocolate, pecan, and coconut.”
Chef William Kovel (Catalyst Restaurant)

Oh snap! Gingersnap from Sugar Cube in Portland
“The amazingly soft yet crisp ginger snap cookie sandwich with a vanilla cream cheese buttercream from master sweet maker Kir Jensen's new brick-and-mortar Sugar Cube is my favorite!”
Chef Naomi Pomeroy (Beast, Expatriate) 

Syrian shortbread w/ quince jam from Sofra in Boston
“To prepare for his flight east, Santa might stop at Sofra Bakery in Cambridge and pick up one of their Syrian shortbread thumbprints with quince jam. He's got a long night of chocolate chip ahead of him and it might be fun to have something a little different. And if he wanted to stop by the restaurant on his way by and trade some Sofra cookies for some pecan pralines off of our Beacon Hill Bistro cookie plate, that would be okay, too.”
Chef Joshua Lewin (Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro)

Amaretti cookie from Maria's Bakery & Cafe in Chicago
“This chewy, moist, traditional-style cookie sings of almond paste, one of my favorite cookie ingredients, and is garnished with a festive candied cherry. It's perfect with their cappuccino or cup of tea.”
Chef Gale Gand (Tru, Spritz Burger (coming soon))

The Cowboy cookie from Publican Quality Meats in Chicago
“Made by Publican's pastry chef Anna Shovers, the cowboy cookie hits on all levels. How can you not love a cookie that's made with chocolate chunks and potato chips.”
Chef Justin Large (One Off Hospitality Group (Director of Culinary Operations))

Iced shortbread cookies from Gateaux Bakery in Denver/Boulder
“Gateaux's always decorates their holiday cookies so festively, and they are just tender and delicious!”
Chef Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Euclid Hall, Bistro Vendôme, S&G Fish (coming soon))

Milk chocolate chip cookie from JD’s Chippery in Dallas
“Walking into the sweet-smelling coziness of JD’s Chippery instantly takes me back to my childhood in Eastern Kentucky. Their soft milk chocolate chip cookies taste just like my grandmother's. It's the kind of batch Santa and Mrs. Claus are sure to approve of.”
Chef Dean Fearing (Fearing's)

Sugar cookie from Sugarmill in Denver/Boulder
“I love sugar cookies. I love the vanilla bean taste and all the sprinkles, crunchy treats, and buttery sugar they put on each one. Do yourself a favor and make sure to get a dozen while you're at it!"
Chef Troy Guard (TAG, TAG Burger Bar, TAG Raw Bar, Los Chingones)

Chocolate chip cookies from Elway's in Denver/Boulder
“They're baked to order and served soft and gooey on a plain white plate so that the whole experience is about the cookie. Too good.”
Chef Jamey Fader (Lola, Big Red F Restaurant Group)

Fluffernutters from Fluff Bake Bar in Houston
“Best. Cookie. Ever. Rebecca Masson throws down with this marshmallowy, peanut buttery, sandwich of goodness!”
 Chef Philip Speer (Uchi, Uchiko, St. Philip (coming soon))

Snickerdoodles from Michael's Cookie Jar in Houston
“These are a classic, and during this time of the year, classics are my favorite; they bring back memories of growing up and eating cookies during the holidays. I love the delicate crumb of this snickerdoodle.”
Chef Randy Evans (Haven)

Cookies from Paulie’s in Houston
“I love the super fun, festive cookies hand-decorated by Miss Becca. You might think they are too pretty to eat until you take that first bite, then you can't stop—yummy! My favorite is the iced sugar cookie.”
Chef Rebecca Masson (Fluff Bake Bar)

Peanut butter cookie from Huckleberry in Los Angeles
“This cookie hits that childhood memory right between the eyes, but now it's even better than you remembered.”
 Chef Bryant Ng (The Spice Table)

Chocolate chunk cookie from Harry’s Pizzeria in Miami
“The chocolate chunk cookie at Harry's blows my mind. First of all, it comes out warm and fresh-baked, which in my opinion is a prerequisite for a stellar cookie. Then, as you bite into this decadent morsel, you discover a massive, melting chunk of rich, chocolatey goodness inside. This cookie is no joke!”
Chef Aaron Brooks (EDGE Steak and Bar at Four Seasons Hotel)

Snickers deep dish from Verde in Miami
“This is more of a meal than a cookie. It has a nice crunch along the outside but is moist on the inside. You can carry this cookie around all day, snacking as you go. Who doesn't love candy bars and cookies married together?”
Chef Miguel Aguilar (Wynwood Kitchen and Bar)

Macarons from Sucré in New Orleans
“These are very delicate cookies loaded with delicious flavors. They're crispy and soft all at the same time! My two favorites are the salted caramel and pistachio.”
Chef Allen Nguyen (Bayou Hot Wings)

Cookies from Stein's Market & Deli in New Orleans
“Man, Stein's Market and Deli has these killer cookies that they make in-house. They're super simple and so good. They're up at the counter where you pick up your sammie, and they just knock your socks off. Don't sleep on getting these cookies!”
Chef Benjamin Thibodeaux (Tableau)

Housemade assorted cookies from Cochon Butcher in New Orleans
“These cookies are great because they are perfectly baked and a great way to get your sweet fix after eating at Butcher. My favorites are the white macadamia nut cookie and double chocolate chunk cookie. Milk is required.”
Chef Adam Biderman (The Company Burger, Cane and Table)

Dark chocolate chocolate chip from Levain Bakery in New York City
“I love it because the cookie is always warm and the chocolate just melts in your mouth when you take a bite. It's perfect with a glass of milk to keep Santa going all night!”
Chef Amanda Freitag (formerly of The Harrison)

Cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City
“Christina Tosi’s cookies are all delicious. It’s impossible for me to choose a favorite, as I have had so many great cookies there. They’re chewy, fun, and they always have a slightly doughy, delicious taste.”
Chef Dan Kluger (ABC Kitchen, ABC Cocina)

Chocolate chunk cookie from City Bakery Cookies in New York City
“Their chocolate chunk cookie is one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies in the city. It’s a large cookie with dark chocolate chunks that always has the perfect combination of crunch and chew.”
Chef Dan Kluger (ABC Kitchen, ABC Cocina)

Peppermint sugar cookies from Cookie Confidential in Philadelphia
“This is a classic, buttery sugar cookie with crushed up candy canes on top. It's soft and chewy with crispy edges. It's really great, just like everything else there!”
Chef Scott Schroeder (American Sardine Bar, South Philadelphia Tap Room)

Fleur de sel chocolate chip from Two Tarts Bakery in Portland
“What I love is the balance between sugar and salt. Two Tarts' cookies always taste like they just came out of the oven.”
Chef John Gorham (Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Tasty n Alder, Raven & Rose (coming soon))

Chocolate Galore cookies from Saint Cupcake in Portland
“Because oats and chocolate are the ultimate cookie combo!”
Chef Chris Israel (Grüner, Kask)

Oatmeal raisin cookie from Lovejoy Bakers in Portland
“This cookie is unlike any other oatmeal cookie I have ever had. It is perfectly balanced between sweet and spice and does not relax into a flat cookie. Instead, it is a gorgeous mound of oats and golden raisins held together by butter and flour.”
Chef Jenn Louis (Lincoln, Sunshine Tavern)

Molasses Crinkles from Michele Coulon Dessertier in San Diego
“This is a chewy cookie with dark molasses and ginger, all topped with coarse ginger. I love the crispy edges with the chewy center.”
Chef Nathan Coulon (True Food Kitchen)

Pancake & bacon cookies from The Cravory in San Diego
“Salty and sweet, the prefect breakfast, but as a cookie. Hand-chopped maple smoked bacon in a pancake dough. It's insanely stupid and I'm not a sweets guy so of course my favorite is a savory cookie, but get near my bacon pancake cookie and I'll go all Cookie Monster on you!"
Chef Chad White (Plancha Baja Med, Sea Rocket Bistro (coming soon: Craft Pizza Co., La Justina, CoMUN Kitchen & Tavern))

Any cookie from The Cravory in San Diego
“Chef Derek is a wonderful cookie genius and makes AMAZING treats. I don't think I've ever had a cookie I didn't like from him. They are mostly available at farmers markets, but they have a location opening in Point Loma that I'm scared I will visit all too often!”
Chef Rich Sweeney (R Gang Eatery, Southpaw Social Club)

California Killer Cookies from Uncle Biff's in San Diego
“This is a great little local shop in Hillcrest with an amazing assortment of buttery and rich cookies. You can't go wrong with the California Killers with nuts or the toffee almond for that salty-sweet satisfaction.”
Chef Rich Sweeney (R Gang Eatery, Southpaw Social Club)

Toffee chip from Anthony's Cookies in San Francisco
“Soft, chewy, and sweet. What else do you want in a cookie?”
Chef Scott Youkilis (Maverick, Hog & Rocks, Hi-Lo BBQ)

Caraway shortbread from 20th Century Cafe in San Francisco
“This cookie has the perfect crumble factor, and I am a total sucker for anything with caraway seeds!”
Chef Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions, The Progress (coming soon))

Florentines from The Cheese Board Collective in San Francisco
“This time of the year, they package them in cellophane bags with red ribbons. These are rustic, buttery, almond delights dipped in dark chocolate that feel and taste homemade. Great for a delicious, consumable gift!”
Chef Gayle Pirie (Foreign Cinema, Show Dogs)

Valrhona chocolate chip cookie from Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco
“This is crisp on the outside yet moist and chewy on the inside. It has lots of dark chocolate (the perfect combination of sweet and bitter) and the perfect amount of salt to play off the buttery sweetness. So good!”
Chef Telmo Faria (Tacolicious)

Chocolate chip cookie from 20th Century Cafe in San Francisco
“If I were Santa, I would sneak into 20th Century Cafe in Hayes Valley. Owner and pastry chef Michelle Polzine makes these thin and crisp yet moist chocolate chip cookies that are just incredible. They are not giant, obscenely big cookies that everybody likes to bake; they are small and very flavorful cookies. And because they are small, you can eat half a dozen. They're the best ones I've ever had.”
Chef Staffan Terje (Perbacco, Barbacco)

Amaretti biscotti from Forno Cultura in Toronto
“If Santa was Italian, you would catch him washing this down with an espresso—haha!”
Chef Rob Gentile (Buca Osteria & Enoteca)

Simple chocolate chip from Food Dudes in Toronto
“Chef Olivia Thorpe's local catering company called The Food Dudes makes cookies that are perfectly baked (the day of), perfectly flavoured, and insanely addictive. They're so addictive that she has to hide them from her staff (who eat them) in order to save them for the party in question.”
Chef Matt Blondin (est. 2014)

Cookied out? Now find out where the best chefs go for savory. Download Chefs Feed to see where nearly one thousand of the nations best chefs go to eat when they leave their kitchens.