Home LifestyleCareer This Secret Jersey City Bakery Debuted THE Viral Cookie Croissant and We’re Obsessed

This Secret Jersey City Bakery Debuted THE Viral Cookie Croissant and We’re Obsessed

by Danielle Farina
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There’s no telling what might happen when two icons come together: for Britney and Madonna, it was an unexpected kiss on the VMA stage. For Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, it was one of the best pop songs in recent memory (“Telephone,” obviously). For two upper-echelon pastries, the cookie and the croissant, it’s a mega-pastry that satisfies every indulgent craving you’ve ever had. The viral cookie croissant — which is, quite literally, a cookie baked into a croissant — has taken the internet by storm, and it’s finally landed in Hudson County at Jersey City’s super secret Shortbread Society. Though the cookie croissant led us to this little-known ghost bakery, Shortbread Society has so many more decadent treats to luxuriate in, and The Hoboken Girl got to try out a few of them. Keep reading to learn more about Shortbread Society, Jersey City’s secret bakery… that is, what we can tell you, anyway.  

shortbread society jersey city nj

About The Shortbread Society

Chef Francis Legge once owned a doughnut shop in Astoria, Queens. In an all-too-familiar tale of pandemic hardships, he was forced to close down the shop when COVID-19 hit in 2020. In another all-too-familiar tale, the subsequent pandemic boredom arrived, and Francis + his wife Christine started quietly selling shortbread out of their apartment.

The shortbread quickly grew popular among family, friends, and neighbors, but there was an air of secrecy around fulfilling orders. Only those who knew knew, and transfers to those knowledgeable customers were stealthy in compliance with social distancing guidelines. The whole thing started to feel like an underground society bound by biscuits, and that’s what it would become: in 2024, the operation is aptly named Shortbread Society, now exclusively taking online orders from an undisclosed Jersey City location.

Read More: Where to Find S’mores Desserts in Hoboken + Jersey City

Doughnuts to shortbread might seem like a strange pipeline, but Chef Francis Legge hails from Scotland, from which shortbread also hails. Shortbread Society uses his grandmother’s recipe, passed down to Francis when he was a young boy.

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francis legge jersey city

Chef Francis has worn many a toque blanche. In 2014, he participated in Season 5 of Gordon Ramsay’s Masterchef, and in 2022, he appeared on Beat Bobby Flay to do just that: Francis out-cooked the Iron Chef Master with his fish and chips recipe. He’s also been on Food Network’s Chopped and Netflix’s Snack vs. Chef. Despite his impressive resume, though, Francis maintains that Christine is the heart and soul of the company, and shared with HG that her love for his shortbread inspired the whole enterprise.

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What’s on The Menu?

Shortbread Society is serving up more than just its namesake, but a little taste-testing proved the Scottish cookie is king. More on that in a second.

The viral cookie croissant lives up to all its internet hype. Francis and Christine are “always keeping up with viral food trends,” and when they saw the croissant cookie happening in Paris, inspiration struck. The duo took a reverse approach: rather than bake the cookie into the croissant, they “made croissant dough into cookie-shaped pieces and baked layers into the cookie dough.” The dessert presents itself as an unassuming chocolate chip cookie, but inside are layers of ever-so-crucial buttery and flaky croissant goodness.

cookie croissant jersey city

As promised, the shortbreads: there are over 300 flavors of shortbreads available to order through Shortbread Society. Every variety of shortbread imaginable is accounted for on the menu: pistachio, carrot cake, birthday cake, peanut butter cup, rainbow cookie. There are seasonal options, like the Lucky Charms Buttercream shortbread, and even boozy biscuits like the Baileys Millionaire’s Shortbread (though that one has a waitlist).

The Billionaire’s Shortbread is as bourgeois as it sounds. The first layer is edible gold — which releases tiny little flecks upon opening — followed by a layer of Scottish Highland caramel and “Granny Pearl’s” shortbread recipe. It’s indulgent, it’s decadent, and borderline gluttonous: but when shared among friends, a treat worth savoring. There’s also the Millionaire’s Shortbread, which uses the same recipe sans edible gold. Both have gluten-free options available.

short bread jersey city nj

^ The Billionaire’s Shortbread 

Christine and Francis are all about experimenting, so they took an opportunity to combine their shortbread with the viral cookie croissant. “We thought, why not try our famous millionaire’s shortbread inside croissant dough?” Francis shared with HG. “And voilà … the crookie was re-invented.” This is an HG-approved favorite — but we’ll let the picture speak for itself.

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^ Shortbread “crookie”

How to Order from Shortbread Society

Christine and Francis keep their Jersey City location undisclosed. National delivery orders can be made through Goldbelly, but the pickup location is only given for local orders via Instagram DM. Shortbread Society shares its rotating local menu on Instagram and also announces its occasional pop-ups on the page, which you can follow here.

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After ordering, the team sends over careful instructions on how to open and store the treats. Be sure to slice the shortbreads at room temp only, and remove the entire shortbread from the tin before slicing. All the shortbreads can be frozen for up to three months, so no pressure to eat it all in one sitting — though if you do, no judgment.

See More: The Ultimate Guide to Desserts in Montclair

Christine and Francis have some exciting plans unfolding in the next few years, but as newly minted society members, we’re not at liberty to disclose. For now, be sure to follow Shortbread Society on Instagram for all the latest updates. If anyone asks, you didn’t hear this from us.

For more local gems, follow @thehobokengirl on Instagram and TikTok, and sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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