Free samples of baked goods are typically limited to the sad crumbs of scones next to the cash register at coffee shops, but at Bluebird Baker's new Cookie Bar guests can try nearly everything on the menu.

After three years handcrafting cookies for local markets, Bluebird owner Chickie Massa and her talented team of bakers have launched this cozy cookie-powered brick-and-mortar on the corner of NW Thurman and 24th. Though tons of new products have entered the daily-available lineup at the new bakery, one thing remains constant: Massa's commitment to using only humanely produced butter, eggs, and dairy products to satisfy Portland's collective sweet tooth.

Options will change according to the imaginations of the bakers, but current selections include grown-up takes on classics, capitalizing on that irresistible balance of salty and sweet: think rich dark chocolate cookies cradling a healthy dose of salted caramel, brown butter oatmeal with toasted pecans, glazed sour cherry almond, and kicked-up chocolate chunk with sea salt.

Can't decide which to choose? Just follow the helpful advice emblazoned on the bakery's chalkboard wall: "A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand!" Check out my slideshow of photos by clicking the photo above, and stop in soon to try a sample (or six).

Craving more cookies? Check out our list of Portland's Top Ten Chocolate Chip Cookies and satisfy that sweet tooth.

Bluebird Bakers Cookie Bar
2390 NW Thurman
503-415-1278
bluebirdbakers.com

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