The Store-Bought Cookies Ina Garten Swears By

Because we love all-things Ina Garten, there are more than a few of us who would jump through hoops to find out just what ingredients and food items might sit in the Barefoot Contessa's pantry (and whether these ingredients might give our dishes a magic touch). Fortunately for us, Garten does have an online shop that features items that have the Barefoot Contessa seal of approval, and one of those is Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

Tate's Bake Shop cookies are the brainchild of Southampton, New York native Kathleen King, who told The New York Times that she had begun baking when she was just 11 years old, using a recipe many of us have access to. "The recipe came from the back of the Nestlé bag. But my mom said that even back then, I was a food snob. If she bought chocolate chips on sale, I'd have a fit, because they were the wrong ones. I wouldn't use them," she says. She began selling cookies, she says, to pay for school clothes.

Why Tate's Bake Shop cookies are such a fan favorite

One of the reasons why Tate's chocolate chip cookies are memorable for celebrity chefs like Ina Garten and everyday consumers alike is because they pass the dunk test. Eater says even after a quick bath in milk, coffee, or tea, the cookie softens and delivers a three-punch that's buttery, sugary, and chocolaty at the same time. As writer Daniela Galarza pointed out in 2018, the cookies provided "a sweet snack with wonderful balance and no heft."

The brand itself is no longer independent; it was acquired by food giant Mondelez International in 2018 for an eye-watering $500 million. The company said at the time that it would continue to operate Tate's as a stand-alone business, and judging from the fact that the product still sits in Garten's pantry, we'd like to think that the conglomerate kept its promise. In fact, the chocolate chip cookie continues to hold a place of honor in the Barefoot Contessa's Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake, which calls for three eight-ounce packs of the crispy, chocolaty treats.