Brother Cookie

Wawaweewa! Very nice! I know y’all have been waiting for this one. I’m talkin’ about Brother Cookie, the latest local business to make a foray into specialty cookies. But there really hasn’t been cookies quite this good, and we can count them as yet another wonderful new establishment to pop up in town in spite of the pandemic. What started life as a delivery-only online cookie shop, born from shutdown-related unemployment, quickly gained a cult following and now has a brick and mortar home.

Located at 401 NE 23rd Avenue, its location can be a bit out of the way for most, but it’s so very much worth the trip for some of these hot round discs of immense pleasure. Seriously, save yourself the insane fees from the delivery services and go get one of these chonky buddies in person. Just look for the big bright blue and white sign with two brotherly cookies looking at each other all brotherly (those are the brother cookies).

Two cookies here are particular highlights for me. First is the Levain Bakery inspired Chocolate Chunk Roasted Walnut Cookie (pictured). For those unfamiliar, Levain is an extremely popular bakery out of New York City whose massive chocolate chip walnut cookies have earned them all of the acclaim. As gooey and soft as they are chunky, these cookies are the badonkadonk of sweets, and fans of Levain’s trademark cookie will definitely not be disappointed with Brother Cookie’s take. Fans of Gideon’s Bakehouse in Orlando will also not be disappointed for that matter.

The second cookie is the unusual Rosemary Balsamic Fig cookie. I’ve tried to sell this cookie to a number of people in my personal life who all scoffed at me or made one of those weird Willem Dafoe faces at me, only to discover they thoroughly enjoy it after trying. 100% of the time, every time. Chunks of figs and bites of rosemary with just a hint of that sweetness from the balsamic makes this very enjoyable. It’s just so fragrant, not overly sweet, and the flavors work so well together that it’s a must try.

Other flavor highlights include an Orange Chocolate Cardamon, Chocolate Cherry Amaretto, S’mores, Lemon White Chocolate, Iced Carrot Cake, and the simple yet highly effective Browned Butter cookie. These are unique and creative cookies baked regularly throughout the day, so you’re always guaranteed to get a hot one out of the oven, or one that has not been sitting around for very long at all. Of course, no cookie place would be complete without a tasty beverage to…wash it all down. In addition to regular and chocolate milks, there’s also almond milk, tea, Yoohoo, bottled water, and cold brew/lattes from the fine local chaps at Brio.

The cookies are available at $3.75 each for the “Giant” versions that are about 6 ounces and up to 5 inches wide, or you can get 6 “mini-giant” versions that are half the size for $12.50 (or 12 for $24), and 6 of the ‘Giant” versions for $20. While it sounds like a lot for cookies, these are pretty significant in size, especially the Chocolate Chunk Roasted Walnut. Your tastebuds are going to want more, one cookie is realistically enough for a sitting. But if you bring a pack to your friends and family, they will love you forever.

All this said, they are not without their growing pains. Brother Cookie is currently mostly a one-man operation, with owner/baker/all around swell chap Thomas Tarrant usually the only person in there. As a result, sometimes they run out of cookies and an updated list is not posted online. So, it’s best to call ahead (352-554-4069) before visiting if you are craving a particular flavor. And if it gets busy, please be gentle, these are the best cookies in the area.

Their operating hours have gone through some changes, and as they grow, it may change more. But current hours are 12 PM to 8 PM on Wednesdays and Sundays, and 12 PM to 11 PM on Thursdays through Saturdays, though sometimes they sell out early. Keep track of them on social media, with Instagram being the platform of choice at @brothercookiefl.

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© 2020 by Ken Peng & Ken Eats, LLC. Title image courtesy of Jesse Adrian Scanlon Media.

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