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).