Cookie Dough Cheesecake
Cookie Dough Cream Cheese Is The Best Thing That's Ever Happened To Your Bagel
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but 2 a.m. cookie dough binges work just as well. Tompkins Square Bagels owner Christopher Pugliese is proof of it. "When my business partner and I were building this place, we'd be here until two or three in the morning, sitting on the floor, covered in dust, eating cookie dough straight out of the tube," Pugliese remembers. "We just looked at each other and said, 'We have to throw this straight in the cream cheese when we open'," he laughs.
Ask Pugliese to take you through his 30-plus line-up of crazy cream cheeses, and you'll find the rest of them have a story, too. "Sprinkles just make people happy," he says, launching into the next one about the shop's birthday cake cream cheese. It wasn't actually called that until customers renamed it. When he was making the stuff, Pugliese was just riffing on a childhood memory — not attempting to be part of the world's mission to birthday cake-ify everything. "When I was a kid and I'd get enough money, I'd go buy these sprinkle cookies from the Italian bakery in my neighborhood," he says. When he opened Tompkins Square Bagels, he intended to keep that tradition alive for the next generation — but it morphed into a cream cheese flavor. "I was just trying to make a sprinkle cookie cream cheese, and I unknowingly set off this trend," Pugliese says.
That seems to be the way of the shop — modest aspirations that wind up anything but. "I thought this would be a little neighborhood place, almost like my retirement," Pugliese says. He pictured himself reading theNew York Timesbehind the counter, with just a couple of employees helping out. But there's not really time for theTimes. Tompkins Square Bagels pretty much always has a line out the door. "It got to the point where I could see people weren't coming anymore because they didn't want to wait," Pugliese says, "so I opened another shop two blocks away."
You'd be wise to visit now. Come fall, when NYU students are back in town, Tompkins Square Bagels turns into a madhouse of hungry twenty-somethings. But even with a bunch of starving customers, all probably waiting to Instagram their breakfast, Pugliese doesn't balk. "The bagel is the everyman food, so I just want to have as much fun as possible with zero pretension," he says.
That's a good thing, when you find yourself licking cookie dough cream cheese off a plate.
Video: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - Le Gourmet TV Recipes
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