Anatomy of a Chocolate Chip Cookie with Brady Breese of Urban Cookies

Categories: Chef and Tell

Mabel Suen
Anatomy of an Urban Cookies milk chocolate chip cookie.
See also: Mail Order Cookie Clash: Urban Cookies vs. Goosebumps
See also: Urban Cookies (OllieCake) Wins Food Network's Cupcake Wars
See also: Urban Cookies' Brady Breese: Caramelpalooza Candymakers

When you're cooking, it's all about a dash of this and a splash of that. But baking is another matter, an exact science. In this series, we're going behind the bakery case and into the kitchens of some of Phoenix's finest purveyors of sweets (and some savories). Fresh out of culinary school, Chow Bella contributor Mabel Suen will work with local chefs to learn their tricks for making perfect pastries, baked goods and desserts. Stay tuned for findings once the flour settles.

The Baked Good: The Chocolate Chip Cookie
The Chef: Brady Breese
The Place: Urban Cookies

Mabel Suen
Co-owners Shaun and Brady Breese.
It's been a year since Urban Cookies co-owner and baker Brady Breese and head baker Salvador Garcia competed in and won Cupcake Wars -- and sales have quadrupled. By 10 on the morning we visited, Urban's bakers had already made several hundred cupcakes and a couple hundred cookies.

The formerly small business has come a long way since its inception in 2005, but its roots as a family-owned and operated gourmet baking company still stands strong. And it all began with a cookie.

As we step into the small storefront to meet with Breese on a weekday morning, doors aren't set to open for another hour. From the looks of it, we would've never guessed.

Wide glass jars stand tall with perfectly uniform disc-shaped cookies stacked inside in them, the bakery case is filled to the brim with a multitude of cupcakes, and speed racks in the back packed with product show that there's plenty more where that came from.

Meanwhile, co-owner Shaun Breese accepts a special order over the phone (it sounds like a big one), a team of bakers wearing aprons and head scarves busily whip away on mixers, and cheerful front-of-the-house staff ready the helm for its daily sales.

To Breese, the perfect chocolate chip cookie has chocolate in every bite and a depth of flavor and coarse crumb from rich, organic ingredients. It is darker in color due to the presence of dark brown sugar and whole wheat flour, which provides a hint of nuttiness. The interior is chewy with a bit of crispiness around the edges.

Breese isn't giving up the recipe for the dark chocolate walnut cookie that started it all nor the shop's signature milk chocolate chip cookie, but he was kind enough to supply us with a variation on his own recipes to try out. Read on for the breakdown that includes his tricks of the trade.

Location Info

Urban Cookies and Bakeshop

4711 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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