Cookies at Christmas are a given. How can you not bake them? What would Santa think if he slid down the chimney to find out you didn’t bake him cookies, chocolate cookies, with minty ganache??? Looks like I will find out since I had to sit this round out. Hopefully, my fellow Tuesdays with Dorie bakers can forgive me because even though they sounded amazing, I was too busy to bake up a batch. Truth be told, the thought of having an entire batch of chocolate cookies with a mint ganache filling and topping in the house terrified me; how would I be able to stay away from them???
Luckily for me, I came up with a better idea. The contributing baker, Marcel Desaulniers is a bit of a legend here in Williamsburg. For years, he was responsible for the desserts at the landmark Trellis restaurant, but two years ago, he opened his own shop, Mad about Chocolate. Knowing I did not have the time or the willpower for these cookies, I took a trip to the shop and picked up a few sweets to indulge in.
Centrally located near the Historic Village, Merchants Square and the College of William and Mary, the shop is easy to find and so is the parking. Make a trip in and see the sights and take a short visit to the shop and refuel!
So far, I am having a hard time finding anything I do not like about the historic district. You can wander the streets of the colonial villiage and find plenty of shops and restaurants in Merchants Square and everywhere you go, there are places to sit and enjoy the view. While I do realize this is a tourist destination, so far, I have not encountered crowding and congestion that make it unpleasant, even during August, it was busy but not impossible to get around.
While chocolate is the specialty of the house at Mad about Chocolate, the menu does include a few savory options, be sure to check the special board out front on your way in.
Don’t let the sizes of the showcases fool you, while they are small, they are stocked and if you ask me, less is better-they do not overload the cases meaning what you see is freshly baked.
Need a gift? All of Chef Desaulniers books are available, I personally have a copy of Desserts to Die For on my book shelf. The cute seasonal gift packaging makes even a gift of cookies seem extravagant.
While I was in the shop, the man himself came in to chat with the staff. Of course I had to say hello and in the process, told him his recipe was the one chosen for today’s post by the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers. It was a pleasure to meet him and while I am sure he was busy, he took a few minutes to speak with me.
The indoor seating area is very colorful and the artwork is all available for purchase; some of the artwork is by Connie Desaulniers.
Each of the tabletops is made with a different colorful design that appears to be a glass mosaic of sorts.
But let’s not forget why I went to the shop in the first place: cookies, lots of cookies. Starting at the top, bourbon oatmeal, tribe (a William and Mary tribute) and the infamous black mamba. Resting on top, a synergy bar. So let’s take a moment to admire them…
This right here, my new favorite decadent treat. Ordinarily, I do not like oatmeal combined with chocolate, but this, a dark chocolate candy bar with (oatmeal) granola, cacao nibs, chocolate covered coffee beans and coffee is absolutely perfect.
Think they are ordinary cookies? Look at the size of that-and it is just half of it! The bourbon oatmeal is loaded with dried cranberries and there is nothing ordinary about them.
College team names are funny and William and Mary teams are known as The Tribe. While I do not know the history behind the name, I can say this, if you are not a chocolate fan, the Tribe cookie is for you. It has a bit of lemon zest, pistachios and white chocolate in it and it is every bit as decadent as the others.
Since I was losing light on this grey, dismal day, I did not take a photo of the black mamba but all you need to know is that it is dark and chocolatey almost to a fudge brownie extent and chock full of walnuts and pecans. It is also still in the bag-I could not take even one more bite of cookie… This could be a dangerous situation for me; the shop is pretty close to our new house and I can easily get there when I need a chocolate fix; remind me to buy a bicycle…
To learn more about Mad about Chocolate, visit the website. To see what the other bakers came up with, visit the Tuesdays with Dorie website.