Hi there Friend!
It's time... finally!
For this week's The Short The Sweet, I'm sharing a list I've been waiting to send you since forever. Why?
The summer coming on? The need to eat some of my feelings? The influx of friends and fam visiting NYC and me wanting to surprise and delight them? Whatever the reason, the time is right!
For your reading and eating pleasure, I present to you...
The 3 Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in New York City
(And if you don't live in NYC ... keep scrolling to the end to get my fav recipe so you can make your own!)
247 W 36th St., btwn 7th and 8th
This hipster coffee shop, deeeeep in the Garment District (a store selling only buttons, anyone? Or how about only zippers? Or only sequins?), has a line out the door at 4pm and it's as much for the chocolate chip cookies as it is for the mid-afternoon caffeine crush.
These cookies get my top spot because they have it all - a generous load of bittersweet chocolate, enough salt to really set the sweetness abuzz, and a tooth-i-ness that's the perfect combination of crunch and creamy, luscious doughiness.
They make 'em in small batches throughout the day, so the cookies are always hot and fresh. (Hugely important to me!)
Beware: They sell out instantly. If you don't have 15 minutes to spare waiting for another batch to come out of the oven, then call ahead and reserve a few or a dozen. The cookie hotline is 646-861-3553. I keep a stash in my freezer. Not the same, but it gets me through.
Oh! And one more thing...
Do not go to the two other locations of Culture (both on 38th St). I've tried both, assuming that the cookies would be "the same."
Only get your chocolate chip cookies at Culture 36 on 36th Street.
(Now you know the depths of my cookie geekery.)
Upper West Side
440 Amsterdam Ave at 81 St.
Depending on the week, and my mood, this could be my #1 cookie.
The Orwashers cookie has a deliciously shellacked crust on the bottom that is unlike any other cookie I've had.
My hunch is that this has something to do with the fact that Orwashers is a bread bakery. They must bake the cookies in the same oven that churns out the best baguette in the city. (True! Their baguette is swoon-worthy.)
How else could their cookies have this caramelized density and just-this-side-of-burnt quality that is so utterly irresistible?
And no, the cookie isn't crispy through and through a la Tate's cookie.
The Orwashers chocolate chip is amazingly soft and chewy on the inside. I've counted three (!!!) types of chocolate in the cookie, so they've got the entire sweet to bittersweet flavor range covered.
Cookie mic drop. (Someone send me a GIF of that, please.)
Upper West Side
167 West 74th Street, btwn Amsterdam & Columbus
While you're in the 'hood getting a cookie at Orwashers, deputize another friend in your party to go stand in the long, snake-y line that emerges from the cartoonishly small doorway that is the minuscule counter known as Levain Bakery.
NYC cookie snobs are surely nodding their heads in approval; this place is legendary. Why did I rank Levain's cookie so low, you ask?
One word: Nuts.
I am categorically opposed to a chocolate chip cookie with nuts.
Except for the cookie from Levain. I'm willing to overlook this usually fatal flaw because it's just so damn good: a pillowy mountain of warm dough, oozing chocolate, impossibly held together by the thinnest crisp of an outer crust. Yes, please!
The Parting Shot
"Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly."
— M.F.K. Fisher
Don't live in NYC?
I got you!
Bake my current favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. (Cake flour? Yeah, cake flour!) #You'reWelcome
Share this post with a friend who does live in NYC.
Save it for when you visit! If you're buying... I'm there. ;)
Want to challenge my ranking or alert me to a cookie I missed? Leave a comment and tell me what's what. Bring it on! I ain't scared.
I read everything you send my way... even rants about why nuts belong in chocolate chip cookies.