Maryland Delights, Act I : Chocolate Cremes

Maryland Delights, Act I : Chocolate Cremes

After I posted about the American food items I sorely missed, C&Z reader Alicia, from Maryland, offered to do a little food swap with me. Me? Food? In the mail? I happily accepted. I received her package just last week, and will now, ladies and gentlemen, before your startled eyes, proceed to uncover its content, in three installments.

The first item was a package of chocolate cremes, made by Berger Cookies, a bakery founded in Baltimore in the 1830’s. In passing, the website is worth a little trip, for the wonderfully kitsch photos, the brilliant tagline (“Bergers: the anytime cookie!“) and the company’s history.

I’d never had chocolate cremes before. Alicia described them as fudge cookies in the accompanying letter. Promising! They didn’t seem to have suffered too much from their transatlantic trip : the chocolate had probably melted ever so slightly, but that just gave them the appetizing and touching look of the home-made pastry.

And they were delicious. A thick layer of dark chocolate, topping a cake-like cookie, very smooth, very sweet and very rich : built-in portion control, I challenge you to eat two in one sitting! They are quite different from anything we can find here – very American! – and I’ve enjoyed them thoroughly, washed down by a cup of coffee…

[To be continued…]

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  • Sylvie

    Bravo pour le dépannage du serveur ! As-tu contacté ta hot-line à Pékin ? Le site des Bergers cookies est effectivement assez kitsch !

  • Josie

    They sort of look like Sara Bernhardt cookies, don’t they?

  • Darcey

    My god, how could I have lived in Maryland for 15 years and not heard of Berger cookies? I’m calling my mom right away and changing my shopping list before they come visit here in Seattle. “Yes, just smoosh them in next to the blue crab and the rye bread please. It’s OK if they get a little mashed.”

  • Oh. My. Lord. You’ve just given me one of the most severe cases of culinary nostaligia I’ve had in a decade. I grew up in Baltimore, and always took Berger Cookies (they were not chocolate cremes, or chocolate cookies, or anything to me and my friends, they were just BERGER COOKIES) very seriously. In many ways, I can see them as my gateway into the decadence possible in all things chocolate. Creamy, seductive, and with just the right mix of chocolate oomph and velvety smoothness… Many a late night session of carousal, set building, high school rehearsals, and so much more mischief was fueled by these delights. I will say this, though. Never eat more than four at a sitting – and definately not a whole small box (there were different sized boxes at the market) at once. No matter how much someone bets you. The resulting buzz (a combination of raw sugar, chocolate, and complete submission to the overwhelming decadence of these morsels) is, shall we say, mind altering.

  • Maman – Oui, je respire! :) Le dépannage téléphonique en direct de Pékin, il n’y a que ça de vrai!

    Josie – I’d never heard of Sarah Bernhardt cookies, but a little search on the web does make it sound like they’re similar, yes!

    Darcey – Well, I’m delighted to help you reconnect with your home state, let me know how you like them!

    Redbeard – Oh wow, four? in one sitting? I can sure imagine the consequences! And just two sounded to me like an impossible challenge! I guess high school boys have a rather different metabolism from mine… :)

  • Josie

    Sara Bernhardt cookies were my favorite childhood treat when I went to have tea with my grandmother. You ought to try them!

  • gemini

    Hello from Charm City, hon! The Berger is well loved in Baltimore — so glad you got some delivered straight from MD. They are truly cake-like. I can’t eat more than one in a sitting. I shipped some to friends in Australia this past Christmas. They are just that good, everyone has to have one, at least once.

  • Josie – Well you know me, I would, but I’ve never seen them anywhere! :)

    Gemini – Wow, to Australia? Did they get there unharmed?

  • Josie

    That’s a pity. does stock them, but at a hefty $64.00… Well, well. At least you have the Marylands!

  • Josie – Oooh, that is one pricey cookie! I think I’ll make do with what I have until I meet one of these in the flesh!

  • Greg

    Anybody have a recipe for these?

  • I don’t know if they ship outside the US, but this bakery ( makes/ships the sarah bernhardt cookie for much less than igourmet.

  • Greg – I looked around but couldn’t find a recipe…

    Holly – Wow, those cookies look delicious!

  • Lori

    I would love to have the recipe for the chocolate Berger cookies in Baltimore, Maryland. Anyone know where I can get this recipe?

  • These cookies are amazing. They remind me of my grandmother’s homemade yellow cake with boiled sugar chocolate icing. It is VERY easy to OD on these things- any more than three in a sitting will leave you feeling like you swallowed a bag of cement. I sent an email to the website to see if they do factory tours- the aroma must be wonderful!

  • Lee

    While I was searching for a recipe for Berger Cookies (as a transplanted ‘Baltimoron’ I wanted to see if I could make them myself), I ran into this blog – and also into a recipe for a homemade version of the cookie which apparently won the “Most Baltimore” honors from the ‘Baltimore Sun’ newspaper in 2000. The ‘Sun’ just reprinted this recipe as one of the best 10 reader recipes for holiday cookies. I have not tried the recipe yet, but thought I would share as a very late response to Lori’s request!

  • Sarah

    I to had a OH YEAH!!! moment when I read about your Md. care pkg.
    Berger cookies are what we always called them-
    I had completely forgotten about this fab treat!
    I live in Florida now- and have just put in arequest to my family in Baltimore to send me a box-
    I cannot wait!
    In the meantime I am going to try the recipe listed above in The Balto. newspaper- It sounds like it is very close.
    Thanks, Clotilde I just love yopur website and all of the interesting info, etc.

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