NORTH CENTER — One of life's great dilemmas — cookie or brownie? — has been solved.
Thanks to baker Joe Lamondi, sweets lovers can have both, in the same treat.
Lamondi's signature brownie cookie bowls are just one of the creations the 26-year-old will be serving up at Cookie Spin, 4350 N. Leavitt St.
The bakery/cafe is set to open in late August, a dream come true for Lamondi, who studied at the culinary school known as "grandma's elbow."
"We're an Italian family — we're all chefs and bakers," said Lamondi.
The Glenview resident started his own catering company, Innovative Indulgences, two years ago, setting up a buffet of cookies, ice cream and toppings at birthday parties, festivals and bar/bat mitzvahs.
Guests went wild for Lamondi's baked goods, which are cookies in name only — the largest size is more comparable to a muffin and the consistency is more cake-like.
"You'll get kids who love them but a lot of times, adults like them even more," he said. "People said, 'This is great, where can we get them?'"
After first launching delivery and shipping options, Lamondi started hunting for a brick-and-mortar storefront. The North Center location, at the convergence of Lincoln, Montrose and Leavitt, was just the ticket.
"I wanted to come to the city for the foot traffic," he said. "There's so much over here — so many families, a good late night crowd, the park [Welles] next door. I loved this spot."
Lamondi plans to move his entire catering operation from the suburbs to Cookie Spin, where a sizable kitchen is under construction behind what will be the cafe.
In addition to cookies, Cookie Spin's menu will include ice cream, shakes (mix in a cookie for a "bake shake"), fruit smoothies and coffee.
Though the bakery's opening is still weeks away, neighbors can sink their sweet tooth into samples of Lamondi's creations at next Wednesday's North Center movie night, set for dusk, 4100 N. Damen Ave.
Cookie Spin's rainbow brownie cookie bowl: a chocolate chip cookie, with the center scooped out before baking, then filled with brownie batter and M&Ms. [All photos DNAinfo/Patty Wetli]
Caramel cookies and cream: crushed Oreo cookies mixed into cookie dough and baked. Once settled, a full Oreo is inserted into the center, along with caramel drizzled over the top.
Cookie inception: chocolate chip cookie, topped with a layer of chocolate fudge, sprinkled with chocolate chip cookie bits and cookie dough balls.
Turtle brownie cookie bowl.
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