Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cookie Quest at South Coast Collection - CLOSED

Christopher Garren's
3321 Hyland Avenue Suite J and H
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

I can clearly remember one of my first cookie memories. I was about three, and watching Sesame Street. I saw Cookie Monster going on and on about chocolate chip cookies. Mashing down on them, so the crumbs flew all over the place. I knew that if a monster could love cookies so much, there must be something to them. That show, that was so much apart of so many peoples childhood, helped me to become a great fan of the cookie. It helped spark my quest for a great cookie, which continues until this day. A quest that randomly brought us to Christoper Garren's.

After checking out Surfas, we decided to take a quick walk through the other stores at the South Coast Collection. Katie had wanted to get a coffee, but we ended up at the Seventh Tea Bar instead, due to the long line at Portola. With teas in hand, we walked around looking at all of the hipster type stores, that I really had no interest in buying stuff at. Craving a cookie, Christopher Garren's shimmered like a fedora in this hipster oasis, (fedoras are still considered hipster wear, right?).

To be honest, walking into Christopher Garren's I had never heard of this bakery. If you are a fan of baking shows you probably know that this shop has been featured on the WE Network show, "Amazing Wedding Cakes". I have never seen it, and I am not really sure that I get the WE Network with my cable package, but now I will have to look for it. They have been on this show for three seasons now, and have been in business since 2001. Their original location was on Newport Boulevard, but have been situated here at the South Coast Collection since 2009.

The interior of this bakery is a little on the girlie side. They have a very nice cake gallery off to the side, where they show off some of their creative cakes. I would have taken pictures, but there was a sign that asked for no photos of the cakes to be taken. Guess you will have to see their cake decorating prowess for yourself. My main focus was on cookies, but they also have a very nice looking display case that features many baked goods including; scones, brownies, tarts, bundt cakes, cinnamon rolls, and other various cakes. They also have a small breakfast and lunch menu that is served Tuesday through Saturday until 3PM. I had zeroed in on the cookie that I wanted, so we grabbed a seat at one of their tables and were ready to dig in.

Here's a quick shot of the two cookies that we got. The first thing I noticed was the size of these babies. They were pretty good sized, and pretty hefty in the weight department. Let's go in for a closer look, and more description about these cookies.

Katie for some reason was instantly drawn to the interesting Caribbean Cookie ($3.50). This cookie had a little bit of everything in it. Coconut, white chocolate, macadamia nuts, apricot, mango, and a touch of rum gave this cookie a kind of an island feel to it. To put it simply, Katie loved the uniqueness of this cookie. Everything came together for her here. I am not a big fan of dried fruit, but the base of the cookie was good for me.

I went the more traditional route with my cookie choice, the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie ($3.50). This was not just your average chocolate chip cookie though. What made it ultimate was that it contained not only chocolate chips, but oats, pecans, and coconut as well. When I looked at this cookie I thought it was going to be on the dry side, but it was moist enough with plenty of chocolate chips and maybe the coconut gives this cookie some moisture also. I have always been partial to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and this cookie was more in this vain, but with a subtler oat flavor. The outside had a little crunch, and the inside had a nice softness. A perfect balance that makes for a very nice cookie. This cookie was heavy and did its job of keeping me full until my next meal.

I was pretty impressed with the cookies we had at Christopher Garren's. Cookies are all about flavor and texture to me, and these were spot on. One of the best cookies we have had to date. I know some might scoff at the price of these cookies, but after trying them I would consider them worth every penny. I am now looking forward to my next visit to the South Coast Collection for another trip to Christopher Garren's. I hear that they make a great cinnamon roll as well, so I will have to give that a try. Thanks Cookie Monster and Sesame Street for getting me hooked on cookies.

Out of five C's, (because as Cookie Monster famously sang on Sesame Street, "C is for cookie"), five being best to zero being worst, Christopher Garren's gets 3.5 C's.

For more information about Christopher Garren's, go to their web site here: 

Christopher Garren's on Urbanspoon


  1. Great Cookies and Cake

  2. Anonymous - I have not had their cake, but if they are as good as their cookies, they must be great. Thanks for reading the blog.