Double Chocolate Dried Cherry and Toffee Bit Cookies – a Double Booked Day

by Irvin on February 10, 2011 · 15 comments

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Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Cherries and Toffee Bits. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

As we quickly U-turned and drove up to the café, AJ and I silently cheered that we found a perfect spot to parallel park, a mere two cars down from the café entryway (it’s the little things in life). We had been invited to Gigi’s 1st year birthday party. Gigi is the daughter of our friends, Karen and Ben, who we don’t see nearly enough since they moved over to Oakland. We thought we had scored the best parking spot ever (this is what city living does to you), until the adorable interracial lesbian couple (this is Oakland) rolled down their window and popped their head out at us. “Hey. You guys should take our spot! The meter’s broken so that means you don’t need to pay and can park here as long as you want!” They were clearly pleased to be giving the spot to another homosexual couple going to a children’s party. “Have fun in there! We just left our two year old nephew’s party!” they proclaimed as they drove away and we backed up into their spot, now a mere one car away from the café. AJ and I put our jackets in the trunk, along with the double chocolate dried cherry and toffee bit cookies that I had made for the event that followed after the party. That’s right, we were double booked for the day; a children’s birthday party and then the Omnivore Books cookie contest right afterwards. It was a day of double chaos for me.

Gigi Bib

double chocolate dried cherry and toffee bit cookies

Gigi’s party was total mad chaos but super fun. It was held at SadieDey’s Café in Oakland, and since nearly all of our friends currently have newborns, toddlers, or small children, chaos was inevitable. However Gigi took it all in stride and was a trooper throughout the entire party, enjoying the spotlight.

Holding Gigi

My brother and sister-in-law had driven all the way from Sacramento to come party with the kids as well, which was awesome, because any day I get to spend with my niece is a good day.

Sydney with cake

Sydney and Irvin

SadieDey’s Café is pretty awesome by the way. It’s a child friendly café that has food and coffee beverages during the weekdays (adults are free, kids are charged an admission) and rents out the café for private events during the weekend. Every single parent there, not located in Oakland, turned to me and said they wished there was a café like it to take their kids. The children played in the jump house and the big vat of pinkeye balls for a bit while AJ and I ran around and took pictures of friends holding other friend’s kids.

Yi and Diane


And our friend Peter and Grant, who I think were the only other couple there that didn’t have kids, showed up as well.

Peter and Grant

After pizza and cake, the party shut down and we drove off, hoping that another cute gay or lesbian interracial couple would take our awesome parking spot. After fighting traffic on the bridge (making us realize the reason why we do not visit the East Bay more often) we zipped over to Omnivore Books, where AJ dropped me off into the chaos and he went to find parking. There may be more gay and lesbian couples in Noe Valley but none of them wanted to give up their spot for us.

Omnivore Books

I had never been to one of Omnivore Books food events and this one was MAD chaos. Samantha over at The Second Lunch has a great write up about it. I arrived not realizing that I was going to be one of over 60 cookie competitors! What the heck?!?!

Omnivore Books Cookies

Omnivore Books Cookies

My cookies, by the way, did not win. However the two winners had chocolate cookies as well, with the first place winner Julie Wiser winning $150! Wiser said she entered the contest because her son told her to, and that she was donating the winnings to his school, Mira Loma, which is awesome. The cookies, a chocolate toffee cookie with sea salt had a great chewy bite and a touch of salt to offset the sweetness. You can find the recipe, adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Bon Appetit over on Samantha’s blog post.

Leftover winning cookies

The winning cookie

That said, AJ totally turned to me after the competition, and told me that my cookies were a winner in his eyes. Normally I would have just rolled my eyes at his obvious attempt to console me, but then he reached over and took a leftover cookie out of the ziplock bag I had brought them back in. His third double chocolate dried cherry and toffee bit cookie that day. After sampling all those cookies from the event, he still wanted another one of mine. And, so, he’s probably telling the truth.Try them for yourself and you tell me.

Double Chocolate Dried Cherry and Toffee Bit Cookies

My cookies got the honor of sitting by themselves, near the voting jar, on top of the NOMA cookbook.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa February 10, 2011 at 5:30 am

What an adventure! Looks like the kiddies (can they be any cuter?) wore out the big kiddies. Anything with toffee is good.


Irvin February 14, 2011 at 10:44 am

I agree! Anything with toffee is good. And yes, the big kiddies were WORE OUT at the end the day!


Brian @ A Thought For Food February 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

That cafe looks like it’s a lot of fun! Oakland is a neat place… one of these trips out there, I’ll have to spend more time there.

And, of course, these cookies look terrific. I’m a huge fan of the chocolate/cherry combo and this would totally fill that craving.


Irvin February 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

After living here for 12 years, I still rarely get over to the East Bay. AJ and I always talk about exploring Oakland and Berkeley more, but it just hasn’t happened. One of these days…

And yes these would fill that chocolate cherry craving! They are great.


Karen February 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I’m glad you had a good time at SadieDey’s! We were so happy to have you and AJ join our chaos, and the photo of Peter is hilarious.

I love “In the Sweet Kitchen” (didn’t we get this book at the same time?) and need to try more recipes out of that book. For a while, I constantly made the All-in-the-Pan Chewy Chocolate Cake.


Irvin February 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

We had a GREAT time at SadieDey’s! And yes, we got the In the Sweet Kitchen at the same time! I don’t make a lot of recipes directly out of it, but it’s an invaluable resource for baking and ingredients. But it’s also the base recipe I use to make my chocolate pudding.

Mmmm. Chocolate pudding. I haven’t made that in ages.


Rita February 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Mmmm, chocolate pudding. 😉


Sabrina Modelle February 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

I love that AJ still wanted your cookie. I know it is probably totally the most deliciousest cookie in the whole wide world, but I also love think it’s super sweet.
Oh, and there’s that mesquite flour. Divine!


Irvin February 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

Mesquite flour + chocolate = DIVINE! Yes! It’s fabulous. I just wish it wasn’t so hard to find or so expensive. I’d be recommending it to everyone!


Kim February 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I love this place! My friend and I used to take her daughter there back when it was called Tumble N Tea 🙂

Nice to meet you guys last night!


Irvin February 17, 2011 at 1:49 am

It was awesome meeting you too! Thanks for stopping by!


Nimisha February 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Irvin, I just love reading your stories. I am a sucker for genuine loves stories and your posts always has something sweet (other than the recipes) to offer. Satish doesn’t read much outside of tech stuff, and he even takes time to read your posts. xoxo


Irvin February 17, 2011 at 1:50 am

I love that Satish reads my stuff too! You guys are the best! *hugs*


Rita February 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Your cookies look so delicious I’m going to faint. I can’t keep up with all the recipes I want to try!! I better start baking. 😉

GREAT stories–about the parking, about AJ, about chaos. You are a HERO!!


Joyce July 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

These cookies rock! Made them yesterday and hoping I don’t eat them all before work tomorrow. Can’t wait to “bake my way through” your other recipes!


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