Where have all the cookies gone?

A soft baked milk cookie full of big, mushy chocolate chips and macadamia nuts with a steaming cup of coffee is my idea of heaven.

Unfortunately this is very rare pleasure in Mumbai.

The Brownie movement is well and truly entrenched here and you get lovely brownies at places like Candies at Bandra, Theobroma at Colaba and Brownie Cottages all over. Mad Over Donut has started the donut revolution now and people just can't stop raving about their donuts.

No such luck with cookies though. Most coffee shops (Glorias, Barista, CCD) and bakeries (even Candies!) fall short on their cookies which are normally too chewy, too crisp, too thin or too milky. The heart of a cookie should be soft and cherubic. Most cookie sellers don't seem to get it.

American Express Bakery (Hill Rd, Byculla) has a slightly nice cookie which is round and dark brown in colour. It is slightly soft in the centre. I prefer my cookies to be milky with chocolate chips. The Amex one is a full chocolate one. So not entirely up my street. But highly recommended.

Subway has fairly nice cookies - both in a milk base and and in a chocolate base. These are fairly soft, fresh and addictive.

An equivalent of Brownie Cottage would be Cookie Man. They have stalls selling a plethora of cookies - milk, chocolate, fruit, hard, soft. I really love their cookies for their variety and texture. Their stuff reminds me of the Captain Amos outlets of the Far East.

The problem is that Cookie Man outlets are not as easily available at Bombay. And they are not there at Bandra! I normally used to pick them from Chennnai airport when I used to travel there on work. I've seen quite a few sprinkled over malls at Delhi, Gurgaon and Calcutta too. Mumbai has one at Inox at Nariman Point. I heard that there is one at Malad.

Another option is buying imported cookies. We recently bought some cookies from a brand called Merba at Regal Stores at Pali Naka, Bandra. Regal Stores is a wonder land of foreign branded food products. Chocolates, cheese, sauces, dips... name it and you will get it. They also sell oondhioon and local Gujarati snacks and diet crackers!

The Merba cookies were exorbitant but really good. They have huge, soft chocolate chunks in them. The cookie base, in contrast, is lighter and not too chocolatey. The only problem with foreign cookies is that they sometimes crumble or become too soft during the trip to India.

Which gets me back to, there's nothing like fresh, soft baked cookies.

So where do you get yours?