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Author and baker extraordinaire Dorie Greenspan, with son Joshua, just started New York delivery for CookieBar, their pop-up series and online bakery service. Testing production on a seriously small scale, Joshua personally messengered orders in Manhattan last Friday and will continue in the coming weeks.
Just four signature flavors are available, but anyone who’s tried the crumbly, butter-rich pucks at one of the temporary shops in the last two years will be eager to order two dozen at a time—the approximate minimum. “We did favorites: World Peace; Espresso Chocolate Chip, really chocolate shard—it has pieces of hand-chopped chocolate in it; Sugar-Topped Sablés; and Coconut Limes,” says Dorie. World Peace Cookies are all Valrhona chocolaty and touched with fleur de sel, while the other flavors are tall, with smooth, browned edges that come from being baked in metal rounds. Here, Dorie and Josh delve into the real-world details of an artisanal food business and what legendary artist already scored one of the cookie deliveries.
What’s the delivery process? J: The minimum order is $48, but generally people have been ordering two-dozen cookies. They're $2 each, or $2.75 for World Peace.
D: And there's a $5 delivery charge, but you don't have to tip the deliveryman.
J: There was only one delivery where I actually had to go up four flights of stairs and knock on somebody's door and personally hand them a bag, so I'm not too worried about it.
D: You did have a delivery to a famous artist and you got to tour his studio.
Which artist? D: LeRoy Neiman—he just had his 90th birthday. He did, and still does, a lot of sports paintings. I remember as a kid when the Olympics would show and he would do live paintings. They would say, “OK, back to LeRoy.” Somebody ordered cookies for him as a gift, so Joshua got to tour the studio and see 50 years of paint on the floor.
How did you work out packaging for such beautifully crumbly cookies? J: What we learned is that we are still looking for packaging. We're looking at custom boxes.
D: You're straddling the need to protect the cookies and the fact that you want people to open the box and say, “Wow!” You also don't want people to open the box and see crumbs. We have these gorgeous designs for the most fabulous boxes you've ever seen, and no one says they're buildable.
Any pop-ups in the works? D: We'll be at the NYC Wine & Food Festival at SWEET to benefit Share Our Strength on September 30.
J: The hope is that we'll also have something pop-up in September, maybe during Fashion Week, and at least one or two more times before the end of the year.
Many people dream of opening a food business. What’s it like so far? D: There were so many times I thought, I'll just open a little cookie business. For anyone who bakes, it really is a dream, and then at some point you think, this is crazy. I won't do this. Then you have a kid, and the kid says, “You know, Ma, I always give your cookies to my friends, and they think you should open a shop.” And you think, I'm old enough to know better. We'll get the kinks out, but between the dream and actually getting the cookies out, it's a whole lot of practical stuff. It's good to have help, though. Thank you, Joshua.
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