Thursday, September 08, 2011

Rooster 14 Cookies: The story behind the magic

Rooster 14 Chocolate Chip Cookies - straight out of the oven.

If you live ITP, particularly in Inman Park, Morningside, Virginia Highlands, Grant Park or Druid Hills, you may have seen the giant Rooster 14 cookies that have a unique, raised ice cream scoop center. I first tried one at Savi Urban Market, where the cookie is sold more frequently than in any other retail location. The cookies are also available at all three Doc Chey's locations, Pizza Maddio's and several other locations which you can view here. Mail order is also available. I recently had the opportunity to watch Rooster 14 founder and head chef, Nancy Portaleo, at work actually making the cookies. The best part: I got a warm, straight out of the oven Rooster 14 cookie. I know you are jealous. I am drooling right now just thinking about it! I also learned some interesting facts about the cookie, its history and its future.

Nancy Portaleo, formerly a make-up and hair artist, began her catering company when her daughter was born. She caters mostly film and photography shoots and for dessert, she often includes her special chocolate chip cookie. After countless consumers inquired about this tasty cookie, she decided to create Rooster 14 so that more people could experience this spectacular cookie. The name comes from memories of her childhood home on Long Island: there was a rooster image on the side of her family's house and her street number was 14.

The cookie itself is saltier than most, with a shortbread base that I love. There is a trade secret involved - I literally had to leave the room during the dough-making process so I have no idea what it is! Portaleo uses La Vencedora vanilla, which she believes really adds to the taste - it is imported from Mexico and can be purchased online. Something about the cookie's ice cream scoop center just begs you to eat more. I did not inquire about the calorie count and I don't want to know! It is big enough to be shared and makes a wonderful gift. In stores the cookies are hand selected out of a glass jar - very nostalgic - and put in a paper bag. Portaleo plans to stay away from individually plastic-wrapped cookies in her effort to honor the past and be environmentally friendly. The cookies can also be delivered or shipped in cute boxes.

Owner/chef Nancy Portaleo forms the Rooster 14 dough balls. You have to get this right or the cookie will not come out properly! I even tried my hand at it and finally produced an acceptable scoop!

More dough. Yum!

The adorable boxes used for shipped orders. A Rooster 14 dozen is 14 cookies - now that's a dozen I'd like to receive!

The future of Rooster 14: Portaleo plans to debut a cookies and milk mobile food truck in the near future which will sell the original cookie as well as smaller versions called "chickie 14's" and even tinier "chickie fourteenies". She also plans to introduce several new cookie flavors and ice cream sandwiches. A quick preview of some of the projected cookie flavors: lemon shortbread, spiced pecan chocolate chip, peanut butter dipped in chocolate, chocolate dipped toasted almond with a caramel sea-salt drizzle. For the ice cream sandwiches, she plans: oatmeal buttermilk pancake cookie with bacon ice cream; graham cracker sandwich cookie with marshmallow ice cream dunked in chocolate and more! I will definitely post an update when the truck is up and running! I can't wait to try more.


Vance Ricks said...

Yep: they are awesomely delicious cookies. Thanks for spreading the word about them.

And, to answer your question, they are about 500 Calories each. For me, a box of them will meet about 2.5 days' worth of my total caloric needs!

Mary Anne Walser, REALTOR said...

I LOVE THESE COOKIES! And you can order them on the web - and HAVE THEM DELIVERED as a house warming, thank you or a "just because" gift. I love that they are local, but really love that they are so GOOD!!!

Anonymous said...

These cookies are absolutely amazing, and so is Nancy!