It was much bigger than I expected, all gleaming clean in black and white with friendly employees buzzing about (including a certain personable, artisinal baker whose own goods I already fawn over). Since I arrived within about an hour of the doors opening for the first time, you'll understand that there were just a handful of things to choose from: mostly cookies, a couple of scones, and a muffin.
regular size cookies: chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip, pignoli,
rocky road, and peanut butter.
large cookies: oatmeal, rocky road, chocolate chip
chocolate chocolate chip scone, healthy muffin I wasn't interested in, another scone that wasn't chippy
I can't stress enough how friendly and welcoming everyone was, despite this being day #1 and assuredly nerve-wracking and stressful. While there were only a few offerings (carrot cake cupcakes were on the way to the case as well), I was assured that bread goods such as CROISSANTS (vegan, people!) would be available within a few days. More exciting, I was able to confirm that classics such as RAINBOW COOKIES and...wait for it...BLACK & WHITE COOKIES are on the horizon. You might ask why I'm not camped out on Ainslie right this second waiting for their appearance? The answer is I don't know!
The rocky road cookie: a chocolate cookie filled with assorted, giant nut chunks (I spied walnut, almond, and peanut) and sweet, goo-ified/crispified marshmallow. The smooshy specimen in the front is the glorious standout cookie: best exemplifying the marshmallowy potential for greatness. As you can see, the others weren't quite as marshi-full. In other words, go for the messier ones; they are the most delicious!
The pignoli cookies were a must- purchase even though I didn't think they looked quite authentic. Let me be the first to admit I was completely wrong; these are pure pignoli! Even super-Italian VM crowned these the favorite and she doesn't joke around with her pignolis. Despite their atypical bumpy appearance, the smell and taste is pignoli goodness through and through. VM does have one suggestion, and that is for more pignoli nuts, please. But, really; absolutely superb...exemplary to be exact. To go into a vegan bakery and order a vegan pignoli cookie...wow; we vegans have come a long way!
I'm so glad I got to pop into Champs
Just so we're all clear: I'm very much looking forward to the RAINBOW COOKIES and BLACK & WHITES (as promised!). Also, those giant vanilla cookies smothered in rainbow sprinkles are a must. And, as long as your going for an authentic Brooklyn bakery vibe, it would behoove you to throw in some cannolis and napoleons...I'm just saying. And you know, a vegan eclair never hurt anyone. All I'm saying is, if anyone needs a taste-tester; I'm here for you. Otherwise, you know, I'll be here for you anyway. Best of luck, Champ's! [2012 update!]