Everybody loves a freshly baked, gooey chocolate chip cookie. Thankfully, there's no shortage of them in Iowa, where bakeries across the state have mastered the art of making this popular sweet treat. With locations gathered from Iowans themselves, this is an insider's source of some of the best places to grab a cookie made with Iowa love.
Ames & Clear Lake
As Cookies, Etc. says, "Life is short. Eat cookies." In their effort to bring joy to people through their sweets, this family owned bakery uses mom recipes to create homemade and freshly baked cookies every day. If you can't stop in to their Ames or Clear Lake locations, they also offer local deliveries or nationwide shipping. However you try their sweet treats, be sure not to skip their sugar cookie, which was named "Best Cookie in the Midwest" by Midwest Living Magazine.
Serving up sweet batches since 1983, this second generation family owned bakery uses family recipes to thrill the taste buds of Iowa City. Located in the Old Capitol Mall in the heart of the University of Iowa campus, their sweets range from classics like chocolate chip and sugar cookies to new and improved cookies like the white chocolate supreme and pecan chocolate chip. Order any of their cookies in a party-sized dozen or try one of their customized cookie cakes.
When Harmon Jaarsma immigrated to the U.S. from Holland, he brought with him authentic Dutch recipes. In 1898, he opened a shop with wood-fired brick ovens where he baked buns, their Dutch Letters, cookies and rusks while also serving coffee to his guests. Fifty years later, his son Frank took over the family business and moved it to its current location in Pella's town square. Now, four generations later, Jaarsma continues offering a full line of home-style baking from flaky pastries and tasty breads to irresistible cookies and cakes, making it a must-stop stop for any sweet tooth.
Voted the Number 1 Sweetest Bakery in Iowa 2020 and Nextdoor's Favorite 2020, The Sugar Shack Bakery's unique desserts are nothing short of delicious. Carrying a wide variety of cookies, cakes and bars made by an award-winning staff, this Sioux City spot offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy a classic favorite or try something new.
What started as a little pushcart at the Des Moines Farmer's Market grew into a brick and mortar shop serving sweet treats that customers can't get enough of. A single bite from the family's 108 year old great-grandma Thelma's original snickerdoodle recipe will have you hooked. Check out their Des Moines shop or order homemade cookies and ice cream sandwiches for curbside pickup.
6. K&B Emporium
Known as the Clear Lake area's premier restaurant and retail store, visitors may be surprised to find a delicious collection of baked goods alongside healthy grab-and-go options, a clothing boutique, retail wine cellar and vintage treasures. However, don't let this variety distract you from trying their monstrous, crumbly cookies that pair perfectly with a sweet beverage.
7. Mixing Bowl
Home to any kind of cookie you can think of, the Mixing Bowl is a great stop for all cookie lovers. Stop in to their Waverly shop or order for pickup for a chance to try their ginger doodle and raspberry or lemon lace cookies. If you're feeling fancy, try one of their deluxe cookies such as the Black Forest or Triple Chocolate Dipped cookies.
Though labeled a coffee shop, this Estherville cafe has a hidden secret: their made from scratch cookies and pastries. Stop in to try a bite of their infamous monster cookie or order your own customized cookies for any event or celebration.
After baking, decorating and selling big cookies in a kitchen in her basement for over a year, Eileen brought her crazy cookie creations to Iowa, opening up a shop in Council Bluffs. Now, Iowans and Midwesterners alike have fallen in love with the shop's over 12 flavors of cookies. Visit in person or order cookies by the dozens online.
Though only open a few days each week, Stan's Pastry Shop is a must-stop Keokuk staple. Opened over 50 years, the quaint shop has mastered its craft and continues to delight visitors with not only cookies, but also their infamous cream horns, crescents, donuts and other bakery items. Their heavenly goods go fast, so be sure to arrive early to claim your treats.