Downtown Columbia probably isn’t the most likely place to go looking for fresh, warm-from-the-oven cookies, but at Hot Box, that’s exactly what customers get. (The name references the fact that the operation will bake ‘em and deliver ‘em while still hot. A genius idea for a college town.) Within the storefront, decorated delivery boxes hang on otherwise bare white walls. Four or five tables line one side of the shop, and a few games are set out to assure guests that they’re welcome to linger. Not that it takes much time to devour these baked goods.
Platters of standard-size cookies (around three inches in diameter, $1 each) in flavors like chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, peanut butter and oatmeal raisin stock a case in front of the industrial-looking kitchen. There are a couple of specialty flavors ($1.25 apiece), such as red velvet with white chocolate chips; customers can also buy raw dough to bake at home. Cookies are available frosted, piled into a cake or used as a base for sundaes. We liked ours best sandwiched with a scoop of Buck’s Ice Cream ($3.25), a University of Missouri product in vanilla or official Mizzou Tiger Stripe (golden vanilla with chocolate stripes) flavors. The cold ice cream and the warm cookies made for a sweet treat.