Gift guide: Downtown Cookie Co.

Give the universal gift of cookies.

The tradition of making Christmas cookies—colored sugar, gingerbread men—has given this Jewish girl plenty of reasons to lament her holiday birthright (potatoes!). But for this year’s gift giving, I’ve found a cookie that’s nondenominationally delicious. Downtown Cookie Co., a new business from self-taught baker Dan Guerrera, creates all-American biscuits that come about as close to a platonic ideal as a cookie can. Walnut--chocolate chip specimens are crunchy on the outside and chewy within, with the toasty flavor of caramelized sugar. The raspberry-jam thumbprint is at once hefty with almonds and meringue-fluffy. (Unlike some mail-order foods, the list of ingredients is short, wholesome and preservative-free.) Other varieties—such as salty peanut butter, which in Guerrera’s words has “the consistency of Reese’s filling”—are equally stellar. Delivered in a plain box with just the Downtown Cookie Co. logo and a ribbon, even the packaging is holiday neutral. If only the same could be said for gingerbread men. A dozen for $24, plus shipping (646-486-3585, downtowncookieco.com)

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