Best Salty Oat Cookie

Best: Teaism
Various locations
2nd Best: Marvelous Market
Various locations
If Teaism’s salty oat and the one Marvelous Market sells were in a race, Teaism’s cookie would not only finish first but would be on its third glass of milk by the time Marvelous Market’s dragged its cracker-dry, overly wide, haphazardly salted body across the finish line. MM gets the silver in this contest merely because it is one of the only other purveyors of D.C.’s signature cookie. It’s all very sad, really, since the salty oat was, essentially, created at Marvelous Market. Former pastry chef Terri Horn worked there in the early ’90s, which is when she started tinkering with the store’s oatmeal cookie to make it “more nutritious,” she says. After leaving the market, she continued to tinker and, eventually, signed on to make the cookies for Teaism, which still sells her version—a buttery and cinnamon-flecked mound plumped with rolled oats and juicy raisins, liberally salted both in the cookie and on top. (Horn also sells them through her company, Kayak Cookies, which she started after moving from D.C. to Cape Cod.) Marvelous Market apparently did some tinkering as well and ended up making its cookies larger, more flat and crisp than chewy and dense. Most egregious is what the market’s done to the salt. It’s just plopped on top, sometimes just in one spot, making it more like a bad pretzel at RFK Stadium than a cookie worthy of its name. Only one of my rankings deserves a recommendation. Don’t go anywhere but Teaism for the singular pleasure of a salty oat.