adventures in weekending: the cook(ie)-off

Recently, I’d come across articles regarding where to find the best cookies in NYC. And the two places that were most often mentioned were Jacques Torres Chocolate and Levain Bakery. I’ve tried Levain’s monstrous cookies several times before and have practically fell over from sheer delight. But I was intrigued by the comparisons. Could Jacques Torres’ cookies be better? Last weekend, I went on a quest to find out.

Contestant 1: Torres’ Chocolate Chip Cookie. No small chips here, only long pieces of quality disk-like chocolate chunks made exclusively for Torres. Chewy texture with a very buttery dough. Perfect for one hungry cookie fiend.

And contestant 2: Levain’s Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie. Giant and over-sized. Crisp edges with a warm, almost-doughy inside. Can be shared, but why would you want to?

As I had expected, Levain’s remained closest to my heart. Torres’s cookies were absolutely amazing in that there was an abundance of delicious chocolate in every chewy bite. But there’s something about the soft, slightly under-baked, ooey-gooeyness of the inside of a Levain cookie that makes my knees weak. And in this case, size does matter.

Bottom line: Torres is for the cookie traditionalist, while Levain is for the type of person who likes to eat the cookie dough before it’s put into the oven (and has no regard for calorie intake). Enough said.

However, let me just say this: finding the best cookie is like finding the best slice of pizza in NYC (or anywhere). There is no be-all and end-all. It lies in tastes. Some people like gigantic cookies with rich, soft interiors. Others prefer their cookies flat and crisp. Or chewy. Or slightly burnt. Or with nuts. How do you like yours?

Are you craving cookies now? Here are some tried and true chocolate chip recipes from around the web:

  • Best Chocolate Chip Cookies from AllRecipes (more than 3,300 people from around the web have tried and reviewed this recipe, which averages 4.5 out of 5 stars)

    -jillian m.

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