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Just Add Milk

Holiday cookie swaps are jolly good fun for some—and agony for those who’d rather not bake. These six spots will help get nonbakers through the season.


601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling (in the Westin Chicago North Shore); 847-777-6590
The dessert diva does it again. At her new hotel café outpost, Gale Gand offers a cornucopia of homey goods dispatched with professional polish. The citrus shortbread (left; 75 cents) may be divine, but the white chocolate brownie (right; $2) is pure genius.

1043 N. California Ave.; 773-580-8113
Though primarily a custom cake maker, TipsyCake serves up a limited but appealing selection of cookies-especially fine are the rugelach, which chef-owner Naomi Stepanek bakes in three flavors (left; $1.25 each). Her “European” dark-chocolate-chip cookies (right; $1.25 each) are substantial and not too sugary.

1000 N. Clark St.; 312-787-7717
There’s no denying that Laura Cid-Perea and her mini empire of bakeries have captured our hearts. Now on the Gold Coast, Bombon is the place to buy cookies in large quantities ($12.75 per pound). The spritz cookies, in many variations, are classic for the holidays, but the M&M ones truly look homemade.


10423 W. Cermak Rd., Westchester; 708-409-7793

Opened in early September, this suburban bakery-the lovechild of chef Steven Chiappetti and his wife, Leslie-makes a killer banana bread. But the cookies are good, too. Gracie’s oatmeal-raisin cookie (right; $1.25) is sweet and chewy. The pumpkin-oatmeal (left; $1.25) is a seasonal treat.

2018 W. Chicago Ave.; 773-278-3638
They taste so sensational, nobody needs to know that the cookies from Michelle and Valentin Garcia’s Ukrainian Village bakery are made from organic ingredients. Our favorite: the extremely crisp shortbread squares made sophisticated with the addition of Earl Grey tea (center; 40 cents each).

Photography: Tyllie Barbosa
1138 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.; 773-271-2253
The bread is the real reason to visit Flourish, but the cookies will put you in good stead with even a finicky host. Most days, the bakery makes mini versions of a few of its standard selections, which include chocolate spice (left; $1.25) and rosemary-cherry (right; $1.25).



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