Cookie Roberts

March 19, 2017

             I don’t write these little essays as advertisements for Bread Furst. I rarely beat the drums in this blog for our breads or tell you about new foods on the shelves. But this time I can’t resist telling about our new Cookie Roberts.

When I was young and in college I plunged into a group of politically active students from many colleges who met each other in the National Student Association.

In those days – the Fifties – we were said to be “the silent generation” that followed the “Greatest Generation” and preceded the Civil Rights/Vietnam generation of the Sixties.

But we weren’t silent at all. We campaigned for Civil Rights and disarmament. We marched to protest the Soviet repression in Hungary.   We were able (thanks, as it later turned out, to the CIA) to travel to Soviet-sponsored international youth festivals.   Politics, domestic and foreign, occupied us fully.

Nearly all my lifelong friendships were made in those days. Marriages were made among us. Many of us went on to careers in public life streaming into Washington in the early 1960s. Some of those over time became illustrious as politicians and journalists and in other professions as well.  There were even a few lawyers but no one I knew then became an investment banker.

I had a dinner party a couple of weeks ago. Former Congressman Barney Frank was visiting and was staying at my apartment. Steven and Cokie Roberts came. Steve went to high school with Barney in Bayonne, New Jersey and then to Harvard with him. Cokie was at Wellesley at that time.

Jane Mayer, the writer/author, was there with her husband, Bill Hamilton of the New York Times. David Hagedorn came with his husband Michael Widomski. Hagedorn is a former chef, now a food writer, and Widomski is at the Department of Homeland Security.

The dinner was good (if I may say so) but I had an agenda beyond serving good food and having good conversation. So when it was time for dessert I bought out a platter of four different cookies and announced that we would select “Cookie Roberts.” Everyone would have a vote but Cokie would have all the votes.


Cecile Mouthen, our pastry chef, had outdone herself. There were four cookies.




There was a bananas Foster cookie flavored with a rum glaze, chocolate chicory shortbread, a chocolate-brushed shortbread with a crunchy praline top, and a cookie with praline throughout.





And so we tasted:


We consulted:


And we chose.


The winner was the praline shortbread and it’s available at the bakery.  (As is the bananas foster cookie — the bakery staff couldn’t resist.)

We had a good time that evening, of course and the contest was a lot of fun.  But we noted as well as we always do when we see each other about the importance of lifetime friendship.





  1. Judith Weinraub says:

    Charming post Mark.
    Judy Weinraub

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Connie Uchida says:

    Sweet story……but I would give a tray of those cookies to hear some of the dinner conversation too! Love all your posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Rhona Morris says:

    What was the main menu? I bet it was fantastic! Enjoy all of your posts…thx.

  4. Melissa says:

    Great post! Will look out for the Cokies!

  5. Dave says:

    Wonderful story. Here is to lifelong friends. Looking forward to tasting the cookies

  6. Larry Mann says:

    Mark – I love your style, your intelligence, your sense of community, your wit, and especially your baguettes, which are unsurpassed in this region. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your heart, and your goodness.

  7. Very sweet. Thank you.

  8. Firoze Rao says:

    What a wonderful post. I write this as a tribute to fine reporter who passed away yesterday.
    Thank you Mark (and Breadfurst) for memorializing Cokie Roberts.
    Stocking up on breakfast items, bread and lunch treats from Breadfurst has been our Saturday tradition for quite a few years now. We will especially look for and purchase some Cookie Roberts in honor of the great Cokie Roberts this coming Saturday.

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