1. Crisp salted oatmeal cookie
Alex Green, baker and co-owner of wholesale biscuit company Take the Biscuit, grew up in country Victoria and remembers his mother and two grandmothers always baking. TTB's gorgeous range of old-fashioned cookies and filled biscuits evoke a CWA-inspired sense of comfort and the crisp salted oatmeal cookie is one such nostalgia hit. With a chewy, caramel-flavoured centre and a crunchy browned edge, inside, you'll find pecan chunks and the wholesome texture of oatmeal, while on top, a judicious sprinkling of Maldon sea salt brings the whole thing to life.
Available at Kere Kere Green, Fitzroy Gardens Visitors Centre, 230 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne. kerekere.org
2. Classic PB&J cookie sandwich
Sweet-toothed Hawthorn-ites felt like they had scooped the pool when David Ballenger opened his bijou patisserie there in 2013, and one thing they all agree on is the "so wrong, it's right" awesomeness of his Wagon Wheel-inspired "Classic". It's a generously proportioned, double-handed situation comprising a pair of house-made malt-flavoured cookies sandwiched together with crunchy peanut butter buttercream and zingy raspberry jam, then covered in dark chocolate. Sound a little OTT? Relax, they also come in a petite size too. Ballenger is working on new flavours for his Classic line, including peppermint cream and a burnt orange and chocolate.
140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, 9818 2463.
3. Apple pie raw cookie
Thanks to the nice people at ACE you can now get your cookie on without the glycaemic comedown. Made from a combo of raw nut meal, coconut and coconut nectar their dense and chewy "raw" organic, gluten-free, refined sugar-free cookies are made in-house daily – and by raw we're talking no oven, just a purist dehydrator session at 43 degrees. Flavours include salted caramel, peanut butter and jelly and our fave – the apple pie. Feeling reckless? Go all out and upgrade to an ice-cream cookie sandwich with creamy vegan Zebra Dream ice-cream while you're at it.
ACE Cookies at Like Minded Projects , 41-49 Smith Street, Fitzroy
4. Callebaut chocolate, walnut and sea salt cookie
Now with four outlets in Melbourne's CBD, Earl has established itself as the comfort food go-to for the hungry corporate hordes. Renowned for its fancy sandwiches, Earl is also known for lifting many an afternoon slump with its tasty house-baked cookies. According to staff, peeps just can't go past the choc chip and walnut cookie. Baked daily – often with repeat batches throughout the day – it's the biggest selling cookie across all four stores. It's a chunky little number, with the right balance of crunch and chew, containing coarse-chopped walnuts and 55 per cent Callebaut Belgian choc chips and a tweak of sea salt on top.
Earl Canteen (various locations).
5. Butterbing Cookie Sandwiches
Note to the cynics; the cult-like appeal of the Butterbing artisan cookie sandwich ain't just down to natty branding and "the zeitgeist". Hell, no. Bakers Simone Clark and Trevor Stubbs started Butterbing Cookie Sandwiches in early 2014 and they now supply wholesale to many of Melbourne's top specialty coffee houses, hand-crafting up to 2000 Butterbings a week. You'll find them in flavours such as vanilla bean, peanut butter, orange and salted caramel and they do bulk delivery (via bike courier) to offices in the CBD too.
Supplied to various cafes around Melbourne (check website for stockists)