Tasty Cookies and Amazing Soft Serve at Soul Chocolate

Soul ChocolateLocation: 583 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
Website: https://www.soulroasters.com/

Soul Chocolate is a delightful chocolate/coffee shop on the east end that has some seriously satisfying chocolate soft serve.  Like, ridiculously satisfying.

Soul Chocolate

I also tried the chocolate chunk cookie, and that’s very good too — it has a nice chewy texture, a sweet buttery flavour, and a whole bunch of great quality chocolate chunks.  It’s lightly sprinkled with just the right amount of salt to offset its sweetness.

Soul Chocolate

As delicious as the cookie is (and it’s extremely delicious), it’s overshadowed by the phenomenal soft serve.

Seriously: this stuff is pure magic.  It’s perfectly rich and creamy, though it’s the intense chocolatey flavour that really makes it stand out.  It’s got that bold flavour that you only get from great quality dark chocolate, and it’s amazing.

Soul Chocolate

It actually reminds me of the thick, rich drinking chocolate that they serve at Soma — only it’s ice cream.  If you’re thinking that sounds delightful, you are correct.  It is delightful.  Extremely delightful.

Tasty Cookies at Cookie Scoop

Cookie ScoopLocation: 1115 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttps://cookiescoop.ca/

I recently mentioned that there aren’t nearly enough cookie shops in the city.  I mean, you can never have enough cookies, but the handful of shops we have in the GTA definitely isn’t enough.

Well, here’s one more, though the location is in an industrial area that’s a bit out of the way (they offer delivery on their website, and I suspect that’s where they do most of their business).

Cookie Scoop

It’s a tiny shop, but they offer a dizzying array of cookies; I decided to get six, and it was exceptionally difficult to pick from the many, many delicious looking choices.

I ultimately went with pistachio milk chocolate, peanut butter Nutella, Mars Bar cookie, Italian milk chocolate gianduja, hazelnut praline (Ferrero Rocher), and milk chocolate brownie.  All the flavours looked so good, though.  I wanted all of them, but that wouldn’t have ended well for anybody.

Cookie Scoop

 

They’re solid cookies, but they have a cakey texture that you only get from cookies that have been engineered to be perpetually chewy.  I’m guessing this is due to their delivery-heavy business, which means the cookies probably won’t be consumed until a day or two after they’re baked, if not longer.

Cookie Scoop

Don’t get me wrong — they’re quite tasty, but I prefer the classic dense and buttery cookies that they serve at a place like Craig’s.  There’s nothing wrong with the cakier variety they serve here, but the crispy/chewy texture of a more traditional chocolate chip cookie can’t be beat.

Cookie Scoop

Still, the flavours were all top notch (I particularly enjoyed the peanut butter Nutella), and despite my minor quibbles with the texture, they’re tasty cookies.

Subtle (and Delicious) Pastries at Roselle Desserts

Roselle DessertsLocation: 362 King Street East, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.roselleto.com/

I think “subtle” is the best word to describe what they’re serving at Roselle Desserts, a charming little bakery on King, just around the corner from the Distillery District.

I tried three things: a chocolate chunk cookie, a chocolate souffle cookie, and a raspberry madeleine.

Roselle Desserts

The souffle cookie was the best of the three.  It had a rich, deeply cocoa-infused flavour, with a surprisingly subtle amount of sweetness.  It also had a really satisfying texture: lightly crispy on the outside, and soft and fudgy on the inside.

Roselle Desserts

Lack of sweetness seems to be a theme here; the chocolate chunk cookie was also way more subtle than the norm.  It’s a great quality cookie, with a nice chewy texture and a very generous amount of tasty chocolate chunks.

Roselle Desserts

Unlike the other two, the lack of sweetness felt like a detriment with the madeleine; this one was way too subtle for its own good, with only a vague whisper of raspberry flavour.  The sweetness here was so restrained that I’m not even sure this should be classified as a dessert.

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies at Craig’s Cookies

Craig's CookiesLocation: 1537 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.craigscookies.com/

Though there are a handful of places to get delicious, freshly-baked cookies in the GTA, there are very few dedicated cookie shops.  It’s actually kind of baffling; everybody loves cookies, don’t they?

There’s Felix & Norton in Markham, and apparently there’s a place called Robyn’s Cookies that I literally just discovered on Google moments ago, and… that’s about it.  There used to be Moo Milk Bar near the Beaches; they had amazing cookies, but alas, they went under.

Craig's Cookies

Thankfully, there’s a new contender in Toronto’s very un-crowded cookie shop field: Craig’s Cookies.

They sell nothing but cookies and ice cream cookie sandwiches.  I have a lot of respect for a place that does one thing, and does it well.

Craig's Cookies

And man, does Craig’s Cookies ever do it well.  They have a whole bunch of really delicious-looking cookies; I went with Nutella, which is a standard chocolate chip cookie with a whole bunch of Nutella in the middle.

Pretty much anything with that much Nutella is going to be delicious, but I was actually shocked at how good the cookie itself was.  It had a perfect flavour, a great crispy/chewy contrast, and enough chocolate chips to give it that chocolatey hit, but not so many that it’s all you taste.

Craig's Cookies

It also had a great balance of salt, which I think is the secret with a cookie like this.  You need a little bit of salt to help balance out the cookie’s sweetness, and Craig’s nails this.  There’s just enough salt for it to do its job, but not so much that it stands out.  Perfection.

Terrible Ice Cream at Baskin Robbins

Baskin RobbinsLocation: 855 The Queensway, Etobicoke
Websitehttp://www.baskinrobbins.ca/

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise: it turns out that the ice cream at Baskin Robbins isn’t very good.  I haven’t been there in several years, but I remember it being decent enough.

Either I’ve become pickier in the meantime, or it’s become worse.  Probably a bit of both.

I tried the current flavour of the month, Cookies ‘n Cake: “Cake flavored ice cream, cookie pieces, and a chocolate cake batter flavored ribbon.”

Baskin Robbins

The quality of the ice cream itself was pretty bad; it was slightly better than really bottom-of-the-barrel stuff like Chapman’s, but that’s really not saying much.  The texture was thin and unsatisfying.

The flavour was even worse.  I’ve eaten a lot of cake in my lifetime, and none of it even remotely tasted like the ice cream here.  I’m normally fine with artificial, cake-flavoured junk food, but this stuff was just vile.  I’m having a hard time even figuring out how to describe the flavour — it was acrid and unpleasant and weird.

The cookie chunks were good, at least — they were Oreo pieces, so no surprise there.  But the “chocolate cake batter flavored ribbon” basically just tasted like a sweeter, less chocolatey version of Nesquik chocoalte syrup.  It wasn’t offensive like the ice cream, but it wasn’t particularly good, either.