Along with my macaron tasting, I was able to fit in some cookies without having a sugar overload. My latest find, the cookies at Levain Bakery, were so good, I had to make a second trip for more so everyone at home could experience them. Okay and because I wanted another for myself. Here are some snapshots of Levain and my other favorites in the city.
It’s hard to miss this Upper West Side bakery as there is always a crowd spilling out onto the sidewalk. To get to the shop, you walk down a set of stairs as if entering a basement and are welcomed with the sweet smell of cookies. If it weren’t such tight quarters inside, only a few bar seats by a window, I would stay in there just to inhale more of the aroma.
BEST NON-CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE: Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin
Weighing in at 6 oz, each mound individually placed on a scale for accuracy, these are the heftiest cookies I’ve ever had. I don’t even want to know how many calories there are but every bite is worth it.
Oatmeal Raisin– this classic cookie was never a favorite of mine because of the texture from the oats, so I was pleasantly surprised with this. The texture is not like any oatmeal cookie I’ve ever had. No sign of oats at all. I assume they are ground up into the batter. The consistency is chewy and dense. The raisins are plump and juicy. Hands down, the best I have ever had.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip– no surprises with this one. It is what you’d expect from a chocolate cookie but what gives it an edge is the bites of fudge. Some parts are chewy, others are fudgy and all very decadent.
Inside of Levain’s oatmeal raisin cookie.
BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE: Jacques Torres’ chocolate chip
Above is a shot of Jacque Torres’ chocolate chip cookie. I borrowed this image from his Facebook as the two times I’ve had the cookie, it was devoured before I could get a suitable photo. All with good reason. Ask for it warmed and it tastes like it is fresh out of the oven. The cookie is crispy and flaky. I like how the chocolate is swirled into the cookie but remains in nice large chunks so you get bites of it. There is a nice salty component as well.
To really go all out, have this cookie with a cup of Wicked Hot Chocolate. The ancho and chipotle chili peppers add a kick that I noticed mostly in the back of my throat but still a fun beverage.
MOST CREATIVE COOKIE: Anything from Momofuku Milk Bar
I love Christina Tosi. She has such unique cookies and on her recent book tour I got to taste them all. Here is my post from her October visit to Williams-Sonoma.
Blueberry and cream cookie– this is still my favorite concept of all the cookies. I love berries and this reminds me of a blueberry muffin. I did think it was a little too sweet but I had a taste from the Momofuku cookie mix at Williams-Sonoma and it was perfect.
BEST COOKIE RE-MAKE: Bouchon Bakery Nutter Butter
Thomas Keller’s version of the peanut-shaped cookie is extremely rich but so good you forget that you may feel sick afterward. Best eaten over the course of a few days or shared with others. The cookies are crisp and the filling is thick and sweeter than the original.
If peanut butter is not to your liking, there is also the TKO, the Thomas Keller Oreo. To me it doesn’t exactly replicate the Oreo. It is a more sophisticated version. The dark chocolate cookie has more cocoa flavor.
Cookie Location List:
167 West 74th St
Jacques Torres Chocolate (Upper West Side location, one block from Levain Bakery)
285 Amsterdam Ave
Momofuku Milk Bar
251 E 13th St
Bouchon Bakery Columbus Circle (also one at Rockefeller Plaza)
10 Columbus Cir