By Tsz on July 22, 2011
Let me start off by saying I’m not a cookie person. I bat for team cake instead.
To me, cakes are so much more sophisticated—they are the belle du jour. Take a cupcake for example, there’s the cake portion, deliciously fluffy and wrapped in a little fluted paper corset. On top, a artfully swirl or piping of decadent frosting. And if its creator goes all out, you may find it with a playful fondant cutout or a gathering of candy sprinkles or even perhaps an extra burst of flavor with a dollop of filling inside.
Cookies on the other hand—no offense to cookie lovers—look often like Quasimodo (sorry Disney!) with its lumpy top and random protrusions of nuts and bits. Yes, I’m quite shallow regarding certain foods.
So, imagine my ambivalence when handed an envelope with a warm, ginormous cookie upon checking in with a few friends at The Wit in Chicago. I was hungry, but then again, it’s a cookie. Did I really want to spoil my appetite with it? By the end of my elevator ride up to my floor though, curiosity and a rumbling stomach won out and I took my first bite.
Warm, melty chocolate chips cut with salted walnuts and finished with a simultaneously chewy, soft and crumbly cookie, it changed my perceived notion of the ugly sister of the dessert world. It was a very, very tasty cookie—giant one at that, around the size of 4 cork drink coasters stacked up. Kudos to the good bakers of DoubleTree (who owns The Wit) and if you read this, please continue baking those delectable morsels.
I polished that cookie off within minutes. Armed with a sugar rush and giddiness of being in a new city, I explored my room (typographic love and spectacular views). From the window, I saw Millennium Park with the famed “bean” (Cloud Gate) and knew that was my next destination. A great start to an amazing weekend.
For those who haven’t been to the windy city, here are some mandatory touristy (yet cool) sights and activities to try out:
1. Cloud Gate (aka the Bean). It’s the big silver bean that looks straight out of a science fiction movie. Designed by Anish Kapoor, it’s an interactive sculpture located in Millennium Park that reflects the Chicago skyline in a funhouse mirror way. Really though, it indulges the closeted narcissist in all of us cause almost everyone stares at their own reflection there! Also, it’s the spot for people watching—I got to witness an engagement shoot, with a Lex Luthor look-alike and his fuchsia, shoulder-pad clad fiance. Cool.
2. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Also in Millennium Park and home to numerous concerts and performance. I didn’t do enough planning this time around but I would imagine it to be a great place to have a picnic while listening to a free symphony concert.
3. Chicago Theatre. Go when the sun sets and all its lights all lit up. Bonus: listen to “And All That Jazz” from Chicago the Soundtrack.
4. Architectural River tour. Best way to explore downtown Chicago period. And no, I’m not saying it cause I’m lazy and would rather sit on my caboose than walk around town (ok, maybe a little). What I have discovered is that it’s actually really hard to see the buildings fully when exploring on foot as most structures are skyscrapers. To fully enjoy the view, you have to be at a distance and the river gives you just that. Also, the guide is a goldmine of information. In the 1.5 hr long tour (I went with Wendella), I learned about the history of Chicago, the different building styles and also which buildings where they filmed The Dark Knight. Also, did you know both Obama and Oprah worked at the East Bay Club? It was $26 well spent.
Until the next time!
Ps. For all those on team cookies, my friend Yulree, has got just the sweet treat for you with her new cookie blog called Millions of Morsels. Happy eating!