People have been eating cookies since the seventh century, and while they started out simple, like animal crackers and icebox cookies, they have only gotten crazier. In the last few years, many have been reinventing the cookie by stuffing them, creating wacky flavors and tripling the size of a normal cookie.

One of the first crazy cookie inventions was the cookie cake, a 10-inch cookie with icing and decorations. The cookie cake was invented by two brothers who you might now recognize by the name Great American Cookies. The Westfield Brandon mall is home to one of these shops, which is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 Noon-6 p.m.

Another cookie creator, Crumbl Cookies, is redesigning the way you shop for cookies. At Crumbl, the cookie flavors rotate each week. While it always has sugar and chocolate chip cookies, the other four flavors are constantly changing, meaning you will have a new experience each time you visit. Crumbl has two local locations in Riverview and Brandon, which are open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 Midnight; and closed on Sunday.

Twisted Sugar in Riverview is also offering more than just the simple cookie. Not only does it offer dirty sodas, a soda with cream and other mix-ins, but it also has some funky cookie flavors. A few of its wilder flavors include sizzle sugar, a cookie with coconut, lime and raspberry; butter beer; and oat cookie butter. Twisted Sugar is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and closed on Sunday.

The Stuffed Cookie in Brandon offers the opportunity to stuff a cookie in your own way. First choose the cookie, then choose what you want to stuff in between the cookies from 20 different options. The Stuffed Cookie also serves cookies with locally sourced ice cream.

If you are looking for a giant, stuffed and delicious cookie, try visiting Crushin’ on Cookies in Plant City. The cookies there are stuffed and baked with other treats inside, like brownies, marshmallows and fruit. “We started baking during COVID and it just kind of took off,” said Kelsie Creamer, owner of Crushin’ on Cookies, “We made an Instagram for it and people started ordering them, it was crazy.” Crushin’ on Cookies is available on Sunday and Monday, 1 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday, 12 Noon-5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

With the cookie craze in full force, each new cookie fad has become readily available. Whatever style of cookie you love, and even some you never knew existed, you will find at one of these amazing bakeries — with more to come, no doubt.

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