Published on December 10th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

Six great local places to buy the best cookies

‘Tis the season when everyone brings plates of cookies to work OR your house OR randomly leaves them on your car hood. And soon they’ll even be dropped off via drone (we bet). We love the sharing of cookies that happens this time of year, but how do you reciprocate if you can’t even boil water? Here are six great local cookies you can try to pass off as your own. When cookies are this good, no one will complain that you didn’t make them yourself.

Almond creme cookies

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Nan’s Nummies, and for those 25 years its most popular selection has been the almond creme cookie. It looks like a simple sandwich cookie, but there’s so much more hiding between the layers.

The cookies that make up the sandwich are like little pie crusts, flaky, moist and tender but with enough crunch to let you know it’s a cookie. Inside is a tasty almond creme that provides a nice alternative for those looking for a cookie that isn’t stuffed with chocolate. They’re bite-sized (if you take a big enough bite), and something that goes perfectly with a nice cup of tea.

Nan’s Nummies

Get it: 501 Elm St., West Des Moines

Cost: 70 cents each or $7 a dozen

Info: 515-277-2201;

Monster cookie

What do you want in a cookie? Chocolate chips? Candy? Nuts? How about all of the above? The Bake Shoppe’s monster cookie has so many goodies packed into its dough that it’s like some kid dumped their Halloween bag into the batter.

OK, you won’t find full Snickers or Twizzlers in the monster, but the chocolate chips, M&Ms and chopped nuts make for a heartier cookie than a Chips Ahoy. This is the kind of cookie you chow down on to replenish after a long bike ride.

The Bake Shoppe

Get it: 6611 University Ave.

Cost: $1 each or $10 a dozen

Info: 515-255-2253;

Frosted cookie

Flowers are nice, but if you send a cookie bouquet you’ll really win someone’s heart. At Cookies by Design, they make specially-decorated sugar and brown sugar cookies that can be part of a big package, or enjoyed on their own.

The shop has cookies for almost any occasion, from sports-themed to weddings to any given holiday. If your buddy breaks his leg, send him a package of cute little doctor bears, breaking a leg off each one as a joke. Of course, you should eat those broken legs yourself.

Cookies by Design

Get it: 2777 100th St., Urbandale

Cost: $7.75 for one cookie, five for $43.99, seven for $55.99, nine for $69.99 or 12 for $89.99

Info: 515-252-7757;

Chocolate chip

Some people like their cookies so soft they’re practically like chewing a cloud. Some like them so crisp they risk damaging a crown with each bite. At Do-Biz the cookies have just a bit of crispiness when you first bite down, then you’re into a soft and delicious center of chocolate chips and doughiness.

For an added bonus, try to time your visit so that you get a cookie fresh out of the oven. We’re not saying a cookie is the healthiest way to start your day, but on a cold morning a warm and melty chocolate chip cookie is almost better than a cup of coffee.

Do-Biz Bakeries

Get it: 555 Walnut St. (in the Kaleidoscope mall)

Cost: $1.20 each or $13.50 for 13

Info: 515-244-6303;


When you hear Thelma’s, you probably think of the delicious ice cream sandwiches you’ll see at nearly every summer event. But the cookie that holds that delicious ice cream is available warm and delivered to your door even when it’s chilly.

Thelma’s Treats owner Dereck Lewis built his business around his great-grandmother’s snickerdoodle recipe. Soft, pliable and covered in cinnamon and sugar, Thelma’s version is everything a snickerdoodle should be. It’s like something your grandma would make, if she would also deliver them to you warm with some milk.

Thelma’s Treats

Get it: 855 42nd St.

Cost: $20 a dozen, two dozen minimum required for delivery.

Info: 515-343-7388;

Triple Dark Chocolate

Gateway Market’s triple dark chocolate cookie looks like the photo negative of a chocolate chip cookie. The white chocolate chips are the only thing preventing it from being a black hole of deliciousness.

It’s also a mammoth of a cookie, both in terms of circumference and height. If it was much bigger it would be more of a muffin than a cookie. Each bite is more chocolatey than the last, creating a rich and delicious experience. Forget waiting for dessert, this is a cookie that eats like a meal.

Gateway Market

Get it: 2002 Woodland Ave.

Cost: $1.69

Info: 515-422-5109;


About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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