Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Think I Just Found The Best Cookies in NYC

Soft, gooey, nutty chocolate goodness.
It's true, my friends.  Never mind New York City.  I'm pretty sure I've just eaten the best cookies on earth.

Now I realize I've only lived here for a few months, but during this time, I've been highly dedicated to finding the very best desserts my new city has to offer.  And trust me, I've done a really good job so far.
This next wondrous discovery was recommended by quite a few people, especially when I mention I have a dessert blog.  This was a typical comment: "well obviously you've been to Levain." Disappointed head shaking would ensue when I muttered an uncomfortable "uh, no".  So when my friend Rebekah, a fellow Dessert Lover, came to visit, it was the perfect opportunity to finally enter the hallowed doors of the famous Levain Bakery.

Oh Cookie, I think I love you.
After dinner at 'Cesca, a lovely little neighborhood gem, we decided to walk off our Italian carb fest and headed to the nearby bakery, in an awesome attempt to continue the carb extravaganza. 

At first we walked right by it.  Besides the fact that I was born with zero sense of direction, this isn't hard to do.  Why?  It's tiny.  I mean, teeny weeny.  And it's below street level so it's even more difficult to find.  The only reason we even saw it is because of the crowd of people coming in and out of the tiny screen door (ok I'm making this place sound like the Keebler Elf Factory; the screen door was in fact regular-people sized).
(A side note: My directionlessness is legendary.  I even get lost in my hometown.  My sisters will happily tell you the now classic story of how I got lost in Waianae, which happens to be about 45 minutes from my house.  I think.  But I digress).

We found it! Hooray!

As we descended the little steps to the bakery counter, I got excited--and I wasn't the only one.  Everyone in the small space seemed to be sporting a giddy little grin, especially the ones stuffing their faces with some of the largest, most gorgeous cookies I've ever seen.
The beauty of Levain bakery is in its simplicity.  There are only 4 cookies!  Utterly brilliant!  I like to think they focus on making the 4 best cookies in the universe, and that's it. They do have other amazing baked goods too, but these Cookies are the Hero!

Of course we bought one of each, plus a buttermilk Oatmeal Raisin scone, all in the name of serious baking research.
Here they are, in all their delicious glory:
1. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
2. Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie
3. Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
4. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

Welcome to Cookie Heaven

How to describe these sugary treasures?  My friend Paula tried once ("see, they're soft but also chewy and on top they're a bit hard...oh just try them")  Well, she was right.

They're extremely unique for two reasons:

1. They're HUMONGOUS.  Little Cookie Mountains.  You can gently cradle this softball-sized treat in the palm of your hand.
2. They're a crazy mix of TEXTURES.  Soft on the inside--almost underbaked which is my favorite way to eat them--yet slightly crumbly, and perfectly crisp on top.  Now you're probably thinking what the hell is she talking about, but here's where I'll quote Paula: oh just try them.

To explain my Love of Scones, I offer a mathematical theorem:
Scones are made of Butter.  Butter is Good. 
Therefore, Scones are Good.
I had a favorite, of course.  If you know me even a little bit, you'll know that I kinda enjoy the heavenly taste of God's gift to man, aka Peanut Butter.  The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie left me utterly breathless.  A perfect combination of not too sweet but richly flavored dark chocolate cookie dough mixed with a proportionate amount of mini Peanut Butter chips.  Bravo, Levain.

The next day, after a ridiculously necessary vigorous morning workout, Rebekah and I met one of her friends at Sarabeths (love love love Sarabeths!).  After introductions were made, Andrew hands me a rather heavy paper bag and says, "I hear you have a dessert blog, have you tried Levains?"  Well hello, new best friend.

By the way Bekah, all this counting was for you. :)

Levain Bakery
167 West 74th St New York, NY 10023

No comments:

Post a Comment