batch 22 bakery's specialty (hint: not too sweet)
This is your baker speaking (well, writing), and I want to talk about our specialty. If you found us, you probably saw pictures of our pride and joy, the gigantic cookies we call "Pudge". To be exact, they're 6 ounces - roughly the same weight as a hockey puck, or three tennis balls (file under #uselessfacts). They're the size of your palm, and yes - they are indeed inspired by the famous Levain Bakery in New York City, with our spin. We specialize in big beautiful cookies that aren't too sweet, have crisp edges and melty centers, and we love to release seasonal flavors - especially Asian flavors!
As far as naming goes, I had experimented with different sizes of Pudges before and my brother started calling them Pudge - the name stuck, and the rest is history.
Now I want you to think about a time when you ate something so good that you just stopped and savored that bite. Instead of shoveling it down, you just wanted to stop and preserve that moment in time as one of your finest food memories. Those moments are what we live for.
Too many times I've eaten something and exclaimed, "it's too sweet", and couldn't have more than a couple bites. Or thought a flavor was too heavy, or a cookie was bone dry. That's my thought process when I'm creating new flavors - to avoid the overly sweet or heavy, and strive for balanced flavor profiles and a just-right sweetness that doesn't compromise on texture. And God forbid we ever produced a dry cookie. I would be very sorry.
So here are a few notes on creating cookies that aren't too sweet -
- if you cut sugar too much, the cookie won't have crisp edges
- taking away sugar can take away richness or flavor
- cheesecake fillings are affected and can get too runny
- chocolate ganache fillings will just become a puddle and run right out of the cookie and burn
The whole "not too sweet" thing aside, we ALWAYS buy cookies wherever we go - fancy bakeries, small shops, grocery stores... we once did an SF cookie tour (named "operation cookie") to rank some of the most popular bakeries in the bay area. The winner? Find out through our email newsletter ;)
We hope to spread the love of pudges through the bay area! And although we don't talk too much about our classic cookies and shortbread, you can bet that tested the hell out of those too. Every cookie is important, and we also strive to improve them even after they're released.