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The Levain chocolate chip cookie: The choice of top pastry chefs

Over the years I have found that New Yorkers have strong opinions about their favorite chocolate chip cookie.  I think this is because our personal cookie style and texture preference is solidified during childhood.  As we age, the emotional connection remains.  And the easiest way to reconnect with your childhood is to experience your favorite cookie.  Or, it could just be people like butter, sugar and chocolate chips!

Recently, I asked some of the best pasty chefs (who aren’t listed on my restraining order), who bakes their favorite chocolate chip cookie?  I expected to get 20 diplomatic  answers of “well–it’s hard to say, ther’re all so good…”  But to my surprise, many  were willing to share their their opinions.  All of these chefs spent some time working in New York kitchens.

The chocolate chip cookies from Chikalicious

Antonio Bachour, Executive Pastry Chef at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and Top Ten Pastry Chef doesn’t mince any words “I like Levain Bakery [that's definitely] my favorite chocolate chip cookie in New York City.  I also like Milk & Cookies”

Milk and Cookies chocolate chip cookie

Johnny Iuzzini, former Executive Pastry Chef at Jean Georges and Head Judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts likes Dorie Greenspan’s Cookiebar.

Dorie Greenspan's cookies from Cookiebar in the oven

Chris Ford, Executive Pastry Chef at Michael Mina’s Wit and Wisdom in Baltimore and of winner of Food & Wine’s first People’s Best New Pastry Chef likes Chikalicious‘ chocolate chip cookie.

Laurie Jon Moran's ice cream sandwich from the NY Wine and Food Festival

Laurie Jon Moran, Executive Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin says “I have not tried Dorie Greenspan’s cookies yet, but Levain Bakery has never been nudged from the top of my list”

Petrossian's chocolate chunk pecan cookie

Shawn Gawle, Executive Pastry Chef at Corton and 2011 Starchefs.com Rising Star Award winner and Food and Wine Best New Pastry Chef nominee (recently featured on DessertBuzz) also likes Levain.  ”It’s just the best there is!”

Pichet Ong, Chef and Pastry Chef Consultant, wouldn’t commit to any one NYC cookie–however he did say this “raw sometimes intimidates me a little but I do like [chocolate chip cookies] crispy outside and pillowy and chewy inside. And the quality of the chocolate is important to me – which makes it hard as many [bakeries] won’t spend the money for a good chocolate chip cookie in NYC.

Tina Wong, a top NYC food photographer from The Wandering Eater doesn’t think you should settle when deciding on a chocolate chip cookie “I want a little bit of everything. Crispy on the edges and a little bit gooey in the center but not raw à la Levain.”

Francisco Migoya, Associate Professor of Baking and Pastry Arts at the CIA and former Executive Pastry Chef for the French Laundry Group didn’t name names but did give his preference for a cookie with a “chewy center and crisp on the outside”.

DessertTruck Works chocolate chip cookie

Some of DessertBuzz’s other favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies include those from Dessert Truck Works [retail store closed] , Jaques Torres (this author’s favorite), Silver Moon Bakery and Petrossian.  Read more about the DessertBuzz Favorites here.  For a second opinion check out the December 2009 Serious Eats  ”Best chocolate chip cookie in New York” round-up.

Jacques Torres cookies are kept on a hot cast iron hot plate

Levain Bakery now has 2 locations in the city (167 W 74th and 2167 Fredrick Douglas Blvd) as well as one in South Hampton.  Their website is here.

Dorie Greenspan’s Cookiebar is mostly via mail order but they frequently have popup shops in NYC.  Cookiebar’s website is here.

Milk and Cookies is located at 19 Commerce Street.  Their website is here.

Dessert Club Chikalicious is located on 204 East 10th Street (at 2nd Ave).  Their website is here.

Jacques Torres now has 5 locations in New York City.  Their website is here.

Dessert Truck Works is located at 6 Clinton Street.  Their website is here.

Petrossian in located at 911 7th Ave.  Their website is here.

Silver Moon Bakery is located at 2740 Broadway at 105th St. Their website is here.


3 Responses to “NYC’s Chocolate Chip Cookies: Top Pastry Chefs (and bloggers) chime in with their favorites”

you knew my chocolate chip cookie radar would go off on this post ! LOVE it. and love doing the cookie rounds of all my faves when in nyc – levain, jacques torres, city bakery, momofuku, vosges… thanks for a few above to add to my usual list: http://mykugelhopf.ch/2011/02/new-york-city-cookie-town/

and can’t wait to taste all these next month when i visit. (that means you & i need to plan a sweet rdv, niko !)

@kerrin deal! Great cookie roundup BTW.

[...] we just did a round-up of what NYC chocolate chip cookies pastry chefs like best, I have to mention Ms. Cook’s chocolate chip cookies first.  She uses Valrhona 70% gianduja [...]

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