by Cheryl Baehr
Stephanie Fischer is as quiet and unassuming as they come, but her chocolate chip cookies proclaim her greatness in the loudest possible voice. From her micro-bakery inside of Comet Coffee (5708 Oakland Avenue; 314-645-7158), this pastry genius turns out one delectable treat after another -- buttery croissants, sweet blueberry muffins, Momofuku Milk Bar-inspired birthday cake -- but it's her simple chocolate chip cookies that are her claim to fame.
Fischer's chocolate chip cookies are a mystery of baking chemistry. The outer edges of the thick cookie are crisp and lightly browned while the middle is slightly softer. Somehow, the quarter-sized chocolate chips stay melted even after the cookie is cooled. The result is an initial crunchy bite that gives way to molten, oozing chocolate. A few flakes of sea salt on top counter the sweetness. Forget the best in town; this may be the best chocolate chip cookie on the planet.