Levain Bakery

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CHOCOLATE CHIP WALNUT COOKIE | NEW YORK CITY

Levain Bakery.  The legend.  It was at the top of my tasting list on my last trip to New York.  Before I left for the trip, everyone said I HAD TO VISIT LEVAIN.  In all caps.  Just like that.  I kept thinking to myself, “There’s no way that this cookie is that good.  It can’t be!”  Guess what?  IT WAS. 

A giant mound of chocolatey goodness, the Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie is in a league of its own.  It is served so warm that it’s hard to get it to even stay put together!  This is one of those cookies that defies imagination.  How is it so big, yet so soft at the same time?  I don’t like walnuts, but they kept the cookie from being too sweet and added a nice layer to the texture. Do I like walnuts now?  How is this all possible?

I had a friend describe Levain cookies as a giant wad of dough.  I think that’s pretty accurate!  What’s incredible, though, is that this mountainous cookie has a crisp, golden brown outer layer.  Just underneath, there’s an extremely chewy, doughy center that melts in your mouth. And the chocolate?  It is everywhere.  I mean EVERYWHERE.  It was hard to take a beautiful photo of the center because I had chocolate all over my hands and, let’s face it, a gooey cookie just doesn’t really photograph well.  

In summary, there’s a reason why this cookie is the granddaddy of them all.  It’s one-of-a-kind.  Worth the wait.  A must-have. 

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THE COOKIE TOUR STOP

I visited the location on West 74th Street.  We were very lucky and the line was short when we arrived (little hint—they have a Cookie Line-Cam on their web site!).  Even the locals were amazed at the lack of people waiting.  When we got inside, we discovered why there’s always a line outside—aside from the incredible cookies.  The interior is simply a counter.  There is little space to sit or stand.  Make your decision quickly, because everyone wants to get through as quickly as possible.  The aroma from the cookies is delicious.  Grab a few and be on your merry way.

it was a snowy Saturday when two of my favorite Cookie Tourists and I visited Levain.  Instead of digging in right when we left the bakery, we walked across Central Park to the Met.  It was a dream New York day!  We sat in The Met’s cafe to eat our cookies.  I’m not sure if that’s frowned upon, but we did it anyway! 

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WHILE YOU’RE THERE

While you’re there, you have to try the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie, too.  WOW.  It is incredible, too.  It is the same magical mound of cookie with the crispy exterior and gooey center.  The dark chocolate dough is just bittersweet enough.  It pulls apart and is also big enough to share.  Grab one of each and share with a friend!

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