Bakeries, Bite vs. Bite

Chocolate Chip Cookie, Levain vs. Torres – NYC

December 4, 2010 | 8 Comments

chocolate chip @ levain

Perhaps it’s the weather, but I’ve been having a mean craving for chocolate chip cookies these days. So a few weeks ago when I saw Jacques Torres Chocolate en route to Levain Bakery for a chocolate chip cookie, naturally I popped in and got another cookie. So with two different chocolate chip cookies in tow, another Bite vs. Bite was inevitable.

This was a close one to judge. Seriously, it was like Awesome vs. Awesome. Levain’s Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies ($4; pictured above), made with semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts, are legendary for their sheer girth and semi-raw core. (Oh god yes, semi-raw cookie dough!) The cookies are crunchy on the outside and soft and dense on the inside. But most notably, Levain’s cookies are huge. One is enough to share between two people. Be greedy and you’ll feel like death, sweet sweet death, but death nevertheless.

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Jacques Torres’ Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie ($2.50) in comparison seem undeniably small and flat. However, these flat disks are packed with flavor, in particular, that of dark chocolate and lots and lots of butter. My boyfriend started calling these the “fried ones” because the edges were so buttery and crisp. The rest of the cookie was nice and chewy. So as you can guess, in this Bite vs. Bite, chocolate chip cookie, the winner is Jacques Torres. Levain brought size and raw cookie dough in the match, but Jacques Torres brought dark chocolate and butter. Never underestimate the power of butter.

Levain Bakery
167 W 74th Street (b/n Amsterdam & Columbus Ave; map)
New York, NY 10023
212-874-6080

Jacques Torres Chocolate
285 Amsterdam Avenue (b/n 73rd and 74th St; map)
New York, NY 10023
212-414-2462

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8 Comments

  • Nicholas at 10:56 pm on December 4, 2010

    It’s Levain all the way for me. 1/4 pound of chocolate chip cookie + walnuts might seem a bit too much for most, but that’s just the right size :)

  • James at 12:04 pm on December 5, 2010

    I see very little reason not to make a sandwich with Jacque Torres cookies as the bread and Levain’s cookie as the filling. You could also sculpt vanilla ice cream around the Levain cookie, then freeze the entire thing for the next time you’re out of groceries!

  • wonders at 12:14 pm on December 6, 2010

    OMG! I love Jacques Torres’ chocolate chip cookie cause it’s crispy and chewy and not overly sweet. BUTTT I also love Levain’s dark chocolate peanut butter cookie….I will not choose, and since they’re so close to one another, I can have both! -=D

  • bionicgrrrl at 4:33 pm on December 6, 2010

    @Nicholas – Levain is good too! I just love Jacques Torres a bit more.

    @James – Egad, that’s a lot of cookie! Btw, Jacques Torres has ice cream sandwiches at their shop. It’s pretty good, but I like their cookies warm. You can ask for a warm cookie or microwave the cookies at home for 15 secs.

    @wonders – I’m a huge fan of Levain’s dark chocolate pb cookies too! They seriously make me swoon. So good. Mmmmm….

  • Danny at 3:56 pm on December 8, 2010

    Yea you need some liquids with that cookie from Levain. It’s like a sugar monster. I love it though. haha

  • bionicgrrrl at 2:29 pm on December 10, 2010

    @Danny – Sugar chocolate monster! You need lots o’ milk!

  • Diana at 5:41 pm on December 14, 2010

    LOVE Levain’s. Wish they came slightly warm though. I think the whole concept behind the Milk & Cookies place is that any cookie straight out of the oven is the better than a room-temp cookies at the best bakery in town.

    Mini Levain cookies would be great too.

  • bionicgrrrl at 12:02 am on December 15, 2010

    @Diana – Oh yeah, warm cookies always taste best. I made sure when I did the comparison, both were room temperature. And yes, mini Levain cookies would be great, but I think the draw of their cookies is their size. Minis just wouldn’t be same… although I would still eat them. :)

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