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Pralines at Bayou Bakery
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

13 D.C. Cookies Perfect for the Holidays

The best in cookies around D.C.

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Pralines at Bayou Bakery
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

There's nothing that satisfies a sweet tooth quite like a great cookie, whether it's fresh-out-of-the-oven, gooey, chocolate chip or a chewy, colorful macaron.

And while D.C. may have been known as more of a cupcake town over the years, there are still plenty of delicious cookies to be found on restaurant and bakery menus throughout the city. This list includes a little bit of everything — from bakery favorites to an after-lunch fast-casual dessert to a market counter filled with traditional Italian sweets.

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Un je ne sais Quoi...

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The madeleine: This Parisian bakery in Dupont Circle is known for its merveilleux (a treat layered with meringue, ganache, and chocolate flakes). But this French pastry shop offers all sorts of sweets, including freshly-baked madeleines. 

Un je ne sais Quoi/Facebook

Buttercream Bakeshop

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The funfetti cookie cream pie: This rainbow-patterned sandwich cookie at Tiffany MacIsaac's bakery is a standout. Cookie selections here change rather regularly, so get it while you can.

Olivia Macaron

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The macaron: With locations in Georgetown, Tysons Corner, and Montgomery Mall, Olivia Macaron makes airy macarons in the most vibrant colors. The classic confection comes in modern flavors including blood orange, honey lavender, fruity pebbles, and blueberry cheesecake. During the holidays, festive offerings include eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, and cranberry.

Baked & Wired

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The Lil Bertha: The popular Georgetown spot may be known for its cupcakes, but the cookies are worth a second look. Lil Bertha, for example, consists of two oatmeal cookies with cream cheese frosting between.

Official

The cardamom chocolate chip cookie: The plant-based, Israeli fast-casual concept sells a dressed-up play on the classic chocolate chip cookie. Cardamom and chocolate make for a surprisingly winning combination.

Alta Strada

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Mascarporeos: Relive the thrill that was deconstructing oreos as a kid, but in reverse, with this Alta Strada cookie dessert. The Mascarporeos are a grown-up take on the oreo that involves chocolate shortbread cookies and filling made from mascarpone. This version requires assembly.

Alta Strada’s Mascarporeos
Eric L./Yelp

Milk Bar

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The compost cookie: Amid a menu packed full of interesting offerings, the Compost Cookie stands out thanks to myriad ingredients — including pretzels and potato chips — that justify its name.

Milk Bar’s locations across D.C. also just rolled out a menu of special holiday sweets, and the cookie of the season is a pretzel peppermint holiday snap. The crunchy chocolate cookie is coated in caramel and pretzels, dipped in mint white chocolate, and dusted with peppermint.

Centrolina

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The rainbow cookie: Haven’t had a Rainbow Cookie yet? This old-school Italian-American sweet isn’t as popular in D.C. as it is in some places, but it can be found at Centrolina as well as All Purpose in Shaw. For a vegan version, try Fare Well on H Street.

Official

Dolcezza Gelato (Multiple locations)

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The Alfajores: Nothing goes better with a cup of Dolcezza coffee than one of their Alfajores — two delicate cookies sandwiched around some sweet dulce de leche.

Official

Teaism Penn Quarter

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The Salty Oat Cookie: It’s a classic for a reason — the salty-sweet cookies at Teaism’s zen cafes in Dupont Circle and Penn Quarter still have a fan following after all these years. Stick with the plain salty oat cookie or add chocolate chunks or pecans.

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

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The praline: try Bayou Bakery’s David Guas’s take on a Southern tradition. The Arlington bakery and cafe serves authentic New Orleans pralines, made with sugar, butter, cream, and pecans. Choose between traditional, chocolate, and chicory coffee flavors, or splurge and try all three.

Officina

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The Cavallucci: There’s an entire section devoted to traditional Italian cookies at Officina’s first-floor market. Just in time for the holiday season, try a chewy Christmas cookie from Siena called Cavallucci or “little horses,” which is prepared with anise, candied fruits, coriander, flour, and Millefiori honey.

Other cookies this month at Officina include Mustaccioli Leccese, a honey and spice cookie from the south of Italy that’s covered with a chocolate glaze; Cucciddati, a Sicilian cookie made with a fig filling inside of pastry; and Nucatoli di Modica, an ancient Sicilian cookies that features S-shaped pastry wrapped around a paste made from dried figs, chocolate, nuts, cinnamon, honey, and citrus zest.

Officina’s cookie counter
Adele Chapin/Eater DC

Buzz Bakeshop (Multiple Locations)

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The vegan chocolate chip cookie: Believe it or not, the vegan version of Buzz’s Chocolate Chip Cookie outsells the classic version. The secret? Coconut oil gives the cookie a coconut aftertaste and an inviting, chewy texture.

Un je ne sais Quoi...

The madeleine: This Parisian bakery in Dupont Circle is known for its merveilleux (a treat layered with meringue, ganache, and chocolate flakes). But this French pastry shop offers all sorts of sweets, including freshly-baked madeleines. 

Un je ne sais Quoi/Facebook

Buttercream Bakeshop

The funfetti cookie cream pie: This rainbow-patterned sandwich cookie at Tiffany MacIsaac's bakery is a standout. Cookie selections here change rather regularly, so get it while you can.

Olivia Macaron

The macaron: With locations in Georgetown, Tysons Corner, and Montgomery Mall, Olivia Macaron makes airy macarons in the most vibrant colors. The classic confection comes in modern flavors including blood orange, honey lavender, fruity pebbles, and blueberry cheesecake. During the holidays, festive offerings include eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, and cranberry.

Baked & Wired

The Lil Bertha: The popular Georgetown spot may be known for its cupcakes, but the cookies are worth a second look. Lil Bertha, for example, consists of two oatmeal cookies with cream cheese frosting between.

Official

Shouk

The cardamom chocolate chip cookie: The plant-based, Israeli fast-casual concept sells a dressed-up play on the classic chocolate chip cookie. Cardamom and chocolate make for a surprisingly winning combination.

Alta Strada

Mascarporeos: Relive the thrill that was deconstructing oreos as a kid, but in reverse, with this Alta Strada cookie dessert. The Mascarporeos are a grown-up take on the oreo that involves chocolate shortbread cookies and filling made from mascarpone. This version requires assembly.

Alta Strada’s Mascarporeos
Eric L./Yelp

Milk Bar

The compost cookie: Amid a menu packed full of interesting offerings, the Compost Cookie stands out thanks to myriad ingredients — including pretzels and potato chips — that justify its name.

Milk Bar’s locations across D.C. also just rolled out a menu of special holiday sweets, and the cookie of the season is a pretzel peppermint holiday snap. The crunchy chocolate cookie is coated in caramel and pretzels, dipped in mint white chocolate, and dusted with peppermint.

Centrolina

The rainbow cookie: Haven’t had a Rainbow Cookie yet? This old-school Italian-American sweet isn’t as popular in D.C. as it is in some places, but it can be found at Centrolina as well as All Purpose in Shaw. For a vegan version, try Fare Well on H Street.

Official

Dolcezza Gelato (Multiple locations)

The Alfajores: Nothing goes better with a cup of Dolcezza coffee than one of their Alfajores — two delicate cookies sandwiched around some sweet dulce de leche.

Official

Teaism Penn Quarter

The Salty Oat Cookie: It’s a classic for a reason — the salty-sweet cookies at Teaism’s zen cafes in Dupont Circle and Penn Quarter still have a fan following after all these years. Stick with the plain salty oat cookie or add chocolate chunks or pecans.

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

The praline: try Bayou Bakery’s David Guas’s take on a Southern tradition. The Arlington bakery and cafe serves authentic New Orleans pralines, made with sugar, butter, cream, and pecans. Choose between traditional, chocolate, and chicory coffee flavors, or splurge and try all three.

Officina

The Cavallucci: There’s an entire section devoted to traditional Italian cookies at Officina’s first-floor market. Just in time for the holiday season, try a chewy Christmas cookie from Siena called Cavallucci or “little horses,” which is prepared with anise, candied fruits, coriander, flour, and Millefiori honey.

Other cookies this month at Officina include Mustaccioli Leccese, a honey and spice cookie from the south of Italy that’s covered with a chocolate glaze; Cucciddati, a Sicilian cookie made with a fig filling inside of pastry; and Nucatoli di Modica, an ancient Sicilian cookies that features S-shaped pastry wrapped around a paste made from dried figs, chocolate, nuts, cinnamon, honey, and citrus zest.

Officina’s cookie counter
Adele Chapin/Eater DC

Buzz Bakeshop (Multiple Locations)

The vegan chocolate chip cookie: Believe it or not, the vegan version of Buzz’s Chocolate Chip Cookie outsells the classic version. The secret? Coconut oil gives the cookie a coconut aftertaste and an inviting, chewy texture.

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