Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Levain's Cookie of Champions
You're probably wondering why I'm showing you a picture of a half eaten cookie, but if you've been to Levain Bakery even once, this picture will resonate. And if you follow me on Twitter, you've probably noticed I've posted about this delectable treat on a number of occasions - and since it's frequently on my mind, I just had to dedicate a post to it.
From a quick glance, Levain may appear to be just like any other bakery (no frills, small, a bit hidden) but once you start to approach it, the intoxicating smell will arouse all your senses. I can't even describe how happy I feel as I approach its simple storefront, ecstatic to breathe in that heavenly aroma of warm chocolate and freshly baked cookie dough.
Although you'll find yourself waiting in line at any time of day here, it's expedited quite quickly and even this mandatory ritual is part of the fun, building more excitement and anticipation.
I like that when your turn is up, your order is taken care of quickly and each time I've been, I always get a fresh, hot-off-the-cookie-sheet treat that makes me feel so so happy.
Even though Levain boasts various flavors of their famous cookies, including dark chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, the very reason to come here in my opinion is for their chocolate chip walnut cookie. It's what's put them on the map of dessert stardom and the main reason they'll remain there for a long time, so I think. For this reason, the latter cookie is the only one I've had here to date, and I strongly urge you to try it. Even if just once!
Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie - The first time I was about to try this cookie, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. And to be honest, it's like that each time - the intense anticipation of that life-changing gooey, chocolate treat is like nothing else. It's cookie crack, I tell you.
The first thing to notice is its sheer size - the cookie is not only enormous but its width is mighty impressive. Although it's technically a cookie, it can pass for a little cake.
And that brings me to my next point, which is the texture. As soft as a cake on the inside with crunchy outside edges, the texture of a Levain creation is like a piece of art. Taking a bite will set your tastebuds on a joy ride, as you'll experience an intermingling of warm, rich flavor, coupled with a healthy crunch of a delicious, chunky walnut. Even though I'm not sure they serve it, a glass of lowfat milk is absolutely necessary as a postlude. I say lowfat because any more richness would be simply obscene.
Service and Cost:
Even though Levain is a no frills kind of bakery, the staff is friendly and very efficient at getting people in and out the door. I haven't had any complaints and thus far, have experienced really nice, personable service.
Costs are expensive, at $4 a cookie, but so worth every penny - especially if you split it with another dessert fiend.
Levain Bakery - 167 West 74th Street, New York NY 10023
1/2/3 Train to 72nd Street