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The best cookies in Houston: Where to go when you need a sweet treat or guilty pleasure

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cookies, Pondicheri, chocolate oatmeal chili cookies
Chocolate oatmeal chili cookies from Pondicheri Pondicheri/Facebook
Michael's Cookie Jar, hot chocolate, cocoa, January 2013, Michael Savino
Michael Savino of Michael's Cookie Jar with gingerbread Photo courtesy of Michael's Cookie Jar
Wedding food trends, February 2013, Fluffernutters by Fluff Bake Bar
Fluffernutters by Fluff Bake Bar headed by Rebecca Masson Fluff Bake Bar/Facebook
cookies, Sinfull Bakery, oatmeal raisin, scones
Sinfull Bakery SinfullBakery.com
Three Brothers Bakery, cookes, black and white, chocolate and vanilla
Why choose between chocolate and vanilla? At Three Brothers Bakery, the Black and White cookies pack both flavors. Three Brothers Bakery/Facebook
cookies, Pondicheri, Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Cardamom Cookie Box
Pondicher's chocolate-dipped pistachio cardamom cookies in a boxed set  Pondicheri/Facebook
cookies, Paulie's, chocolate chip
Paulie's chocolate chip cookies with drizzles of chocolate on top Photo by Randy Ho
cookies, E-dub-a-licious treats by Ella Russell, white chocolate Macadamia nut
Per a reader's request, we've added E-dub-a-licious treats by Ella Russell to our Best of Everything cookie list, here with the group's white chocolate Macadamia nut cookie. E-dub-a-licious Treats
cookies, Pondicheri, chocolate oatmeal chili cookies
Michael's Cookie Jar, hot chocolate, cocoa, January 2013, Michael Savino
Wedding food trends, February 2013, Fluffernutters by Fluff Bake Bar
cookies, Sinfull Bakery, oatmeal raisin, scones
Three Brothers Bakery, cookes, black and white, chocolate and vanilla
cookies, Pondicheri, Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Cardamom Cookie Box
cookies, Paulie's, chocolate chip
cookies, E-dub-a-licious treats by Ella Russell, white chocolate Macadamia nut

From the classics like oatmeal raisin to newfangled varieties like Central Market's blueberry white chocolate chip, the Bayou City knows how to bake a mean cookie.

Here's a quick rundown of our favorites in no particular order.

Pondicheri

While our list isn't really ranked, Pondicheri still deserves top mention for cookie flavors that are as innovative as they are delicious. The cookie names speak for themselves really — Double Chocolate Hazelnut Basil, Pistachio Cardamom, Chocolate Almond Coconut Fresh Mint, Chocolate Oatmeal Chili, to note but a few.

Sinfull Bakery

Sinfull Bakery makes cookies for the 21st century, adding a healthy and socially-responsible edge to a classic guilty pleasure. But just because Sinfull's goods are organic and totally vegan, doesn't mean these cookies won't rock your world.

Go for the oatmeal raisin with its maple syrup-infused dough and rum-soaked raisins.

Fluff Bake Bar

Cordon Bleu-trained Rebecca Masson put Houston cookies on the map in 2011 with her drama-filled performance on the second season of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Do not miss her fluffernutter sandwich cookies.

Three Brothers Bakery

Serving up baked goods since 1949, Three Brothers is a Bayou City institution offering more than 30 varieties of non-dairy and kosher cookies.

Known for one of the best black and white cookie this side of Manhattan, the Three Brothers Cookie Chocolate Chewie is an unforgettable hybrid of cookie and brownie . . . complete with chopped walnuts sprinkled on top. 

Tiny Boxwoods

Nothing beats sitting in the garden on a mild sunny day at Tiny Boxwoods, especially if you're sporting a latte and one of the cafe's beloved buttery cookies. The chocolate chip is a Houston must.

Paulie's

Paulie's has some amazing dessert options, but the Italian bistro's chocolate chip cookie is outstanding. Not only is it perfectly chewy, but there's additional chocolate dripped onto the top. Genius.

Michael's Cookie Jar

In eight short years, Michael Savino has become a cookie legend — a man who, according to his website, "couples the nostalgia of our collective childhood memories with the dedication and skill of a trained pastry chef."

The surprise is it's almost all true. Try the chocolate chunk or a classic sugar cookie.

Knowing full well that we've only just scratched the surface of Houston cookie culture, feel free to chime in with your favorites in the comments section below.

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