So, if you've never been to Levain Bakery (you've probably heard of them, they're totally famous--the New York Times called them"Possibly the largest, most divine chocolate chip cookies in Manhattan," and they have been featured on the Food Network), I feel kind of bad for you. Here's why:
- You don't need detailed directions to get there--once you're within a block of it, you will smell the aroma of chocolate chip cookies, and it will draw you ever closer, not unlike little cartoon scent-swirls.
- Actually walking down the few steps required to walk into the bakery is kind of like walking into a big chocolate chip cookie (or perhaps heaven)--it is warm, and it smells like butter, sugar, and chocolate. And bread.
- The employees are nice. Every time I have been there, they have been sweet as pie to me.
- Your screen does not deceive you--the cookie pictured above does not only appear ginormous, it actually IS ginormous. Their cookies weigh roughly 6 ounces each, which, last time I checked, is pretty close to half a pound.
- In case you glazed over that last one: HALF A POUND OF COOKIE!
- But these cookies are not merely large in size--they are big in flavor, too. Buttery, lightly crispy on the outside, and chewy and gooey on the inside. I like the ones with walnuts, because they have a nice little flavor and texture contrast from nubbly little shards of nuts.
...and, dear friends, I will confess, I can eat one all by myself. In fact I have, just the other day, while doing an extensive CakeWalk of the Upper West Side of Manhattan (more on that later). True, eating a half-pound of cookie without also walking about 13 miles is probably not very healthy, but I assure you, it is still very delicious.
Summary: if you are in New York, go there. If you are not, buy the cookies online.
Levain Bakery, 167 W. 74th Street; shop online here.