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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet Beat: Kawaii Cookies at Japantown's Cafe at New People

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 3:33 PM

click to enlarge The infectiously happy matcha (left) and chocolate chip cookies. - J. BIRDSALL
  • J. Birdsall
  • The infectiously happy matcha (left) and chocolate chip cookies.
How many chocolate chip cookies have you eaten in your life? Countless, right? And how many have looked like anything but chip-studded cuds of soft, faintly greasy dough? No doubt every one of 'em. But at tiny Café at New People in Japantown's pretty pink heart of Harajuku, the chocolate chip cookie gets a J-Pop makeover, and ends up a piece of polka-dotted whimsy.

click to enlarge The pumpkin muffin: Deeply squashy. - J. BIRDSALL
  • J. Birdsall
  • The pumpkin muffin: Deeply squashy.
The café sells Blue Bottle coffee drinks and bento boxes from Delica. But it's the cookies and muffins - baked, we're told, by the wife of New People's owner -- that are every bit as vivid and strikingly adorable as the vocals in a Shonen Knife song. The CD-size cookies ($2.50) are baked on rounds of baker's parchment cut freehand. For the chocolate chip, discs of bittersweet form dots in coffee-flavored dough. Buttery matcha cookies flaunt peace signs tinged tea-green.

Muffins ($2.50) deliver a similar sense of quiet surprise, like the burst of tangy zest in the orange-poppyseed. And the pumpkin has a deliciously squashy intensity. Really, what could be more kawaii?

Café at New People 1746 Post (at Webster)

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