Not cool enough to be retro, not colorful enough to be campy, the chocolate chip cookie inhabits that limbo of foods we take for granted yet can't quite do without. It seems to hang in stasis, seemingly unchanged from the ones we loved as kids. And yet, after the extravagance of pastry chefs' chocolate chip cookies in the '80s and early '90s ― all opulent hunks of hand-hewn bittersweet and outré nuts like pistachios and macadamias ― San Francisco's bakers have settled into a quieter cookie, one that minds its ingredients but doesn't stray far from Ruth Wakefield's Toll House recipe
of the 1930s. Here are six local versions we like a lot.
1. Goody Goodie Cream and Sugar: 1246 Folsom (at Eighth St.).
Pastry chef/owner Remi Hayashi boasts that her walk-up dessert salon's eponymous cookie has a chocolate-to-dough ratio of four-to-one. Oh, and that chocolate? High-class E. Guittard, in a range of cacao percentages ranging from milk to 72 percent ― all in the same cookie. $2.75
2. Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous:
699 22nd St. (at Third St.).
Ian Flores developed his high-fat, high-sugar cookie off and on over three years. He likes the way it spreads and caramelizes in the oven; we like the way it stays chewy. Chocolate in the classic cookie is Cacao Barry; in Flores' chocolate-dried cherry spinoff, it's 70 percent Valrhona Guanaja. Both cookies cost $2 each.