New York City: Cookie Town

Let’s put on our New York City thinking caps and play word association.  Ready?  I say Jacques Torres, you say… chocolate.  I say City Bakery, you say… pretzel croissant (or hot chocolate, since it’s their 19th annual hot chocolate festival this month).  I say Serendipity 3, you say… Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.  I say Dorie Greenspan, you say… Baking? Paris? French cuisine?  But if I say Dorie and Josh Greenspan, you say… cookies!  Mother and son’s outrageously popular CookieBar pop-up in 2010 had New Yorkers lining up for freshly baked cookies until they sold out – which they did rather quickly.

Well… they’re back!  CookieBar 2.0 is popping up again in time for Valentine’s Day, and will be at Mizu salon on the Upper East Side during the week of February 7th.  This means two things: 1) New Yorkers and visitors to New York City during this time are lucky.  And 2) my parents have to make room in their freezer again.

Cookies in NYCCookies in NYC

Unfortunately my trips to New York from Switzerland haven’t coincided with these sweet pop-ups yet, but I took it upon myself to see if the CookieBar selection freezes well, and would taste fresh on the other side of the ocean.  Think of it as research for their online store in the works.  The verdict: yes; yes indeed they do.  They freeze very well, and survive translatlantic flights too (when my parents brought them on a trip here).  The winners were thin and incredibly chewy molasses spice cookies, sweet and salty peanut butter crisscrosses and perfect sablés, sugar-topped and espresso-chocolate, the latter I especially loved with a tall glass of milk.  The coconut lime shortbread and amazingly chocolately chock-full (Valrhona) chocolate chunkers were not far behind. (recipes are from Dorie’s cookbook, Baking From My Home to Yours)

Cookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYC

This year, the favorites are back with their signature round shape and straight sides; and worry not, that means the famous World Peace Cookie too.  (Check out the full cookie menu).  There are also new creations that will soon find their way into my parents’ freezer and then on a plane to Zürich for Taste Test 2.0. Jammers are three treats in one: sablé, Sarabeth’s jam (strawberry-raspberry or pear-pineapple) and streusel topping. And Broundies sound like pure heaven: an ingenious marriage of brownie and blondie. Don’t forget the caramel blondies too, which in CookieBar’s words, are “a sweet that stretches the borders of cookiedom.” Can’t wait to taste them all, defrosted in Switzerland soon.

I recently shared my favorite sweet spots in New York City with Canadian blogger, lifestyle and entertainment expert, Kim Vallee.  Five of my six choices have exceptional cookies, among other goodies. (We all know I’m a cookie girl.)  And so, after you lucky New Yorkers have filled up on those purple boxes at CookieBar, exchanging hellos, laughs and cookies with Dorie and “The Kid,” here are a few more addresses in Manhattan to get your cookie fix.

Cookies in NYCCookies in NYC

Jacques Torres, Mr. Chocolate, hardly needs an introduction.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his mudslide cookies have a fan club of their own.  But my Torres cookie of choice is the classic chocolate chip.  Eaten on the spot at Chelsea Market, warm from the oven, it’s nothing short of irresistible. So resist not.

Although my main reason for going to City Bakery is the unparalleled Pretzel Croissant, the cookies at the counter always make it into my hands too. Again, no point resisting here either.  Large, thin, crispy, chewy, caramelized, chocolately… these are the things sweet dreams are made of.

Cookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYC

At the always bustling Momofuku Milk Bar, the Corn Cookie remains my personal favorite.  It’s always fun to taste the original Compost Cookie there as well, as its endless variations continue to come out of my oven at home (recipe here).  Oh, and for the record, I don’t have any complaints about their birthday cake truffles either.

Cookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYC

I’ve mentioned a stellar chocolate chip cookie at Spot Dessert Bar before, and it’s still high on my list.  Below right, it’s simply huge, has multiple layers of chocolate (as well as grated coconut) and is seriously decadent.  As are the mega cookies from Vosges, a name most people associate with chocolate, rather than cookies.  I am a loyal fan of their exotic candy bars, yet must say that these massive treats are worth the attention too. The same flavors of bars show up as cookies, like the Naga exotic cookie, with sweet Indian curry powder, coconut, pumpkin puree and milk chocolate chunks. You have to try it to believe it.  After one bite, when you’re convinced, put the Caramel Toffee (sweet butter toffee, milk chocolate chunks) or the Costa Rican (dark chocolate chunk) cookie in the microwave for about 10 seconds.  Heaven.

Cookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYC

Last but not least, a restaurant that’s worth going to for one cookie alone (even though the entire menu, savory and sweet, 3 meals a day, is worthy of praise too). Karen DeMasco‘s Nutella cookie (below left) at Locanda Verde.  Need I say more? I enjoyed a marvelous breakfast there – thanks to the toasted hazelnut French toast with citrus salad and apple cider doughnuts, and to my breakfast date, friend and pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon. I recommend letting your cookie radar take you to Peels on the Bowery as well, where you can devour Shuna’s cookie plate, while deciding which cake, pie and sundae to have next. Hint: you can’t go wrong with any of the above. (DeMasco’s treats below)

Cookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYCCookies in NYC

Of course there’s cookies from Levain Bakery, Tate’s and Ruby et Violette too, other perennial favorites of mine.  Without forgetting a NYC classic, the black & white cookie from William Greenberg.  So many cookies, so little time.

What are your favorite cookies in New York City? Anyone going (or already been) to CookieBar?

24 Responses to “New York City: Cookie Town”

  1. Tweets that mention New York City: Cookie Town | MyKugelhopf -- Topsy.com says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Titelius, Travels With Two, Gail Dosik, Kerrin Rousset, Gogotrip and others. Gogotrip said: New York City: Cookie Town: Let’s put on our New York City thinking caps and play word association.  Ready?  I s… http://bit.ly/eNWSJr [...]

  2. dorie says:

    Thank you so much for your sweet, sweet words about CookieBar. Josh “The Kid” Greenspan and I can’t wait for tomorrow, our opening day. I hope I’ll see your parents there again and one day … one day … I’d love to look up and see YOU! xoDorie

  3. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite says:

    Sigh. I wish I could go to Cookie Bar next week but it’s not going to happen. One day! In the meantime, I have printed out these addresses for my upcoming visit to NYC – it’s always great to disoover new treats on every trip!

  4. Kerrin says:

    dorie, I can certainly imagine you are all so excited for the big opening day tomorrow ! It’s going to be another sweet success ! And you bet you’ll see my parents there — and let’s just say they’re not going *only* for me ! ;) Bonne chance for tomorrow to you and The Kid ! xxx

    Mardi, one day, you and me both ! =) I am so with you – what are travels for, if not to discover new treats ?! And what a sweet trip that will be. Hope you have such a fun and delicious time in the Big Apple !

  5. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    When I saw the announcement that Dorie was having another CookieBar day, I immediately thought of you – hoping your parents would be stocking up on your behalf! :)

    I think the question for me is, would those cookies survive a flight to Australia??? Hmmm, not sure. I have only made a few cookies from Dorie’s book, I think time to make some more to compensate for living SO FAR AWAY FROM EVERYONE!

    If you can believe it, my sister and my best friend both have trips booked to NYC around Easter time. (Coincidence!) I’ve been giving them some recommendations of places to go, and will certainly have to add this post to the list (and also keep this in my back pocket for whenever I am in NYC next!).

    Thanks for sharing such a great selection of must-go places.

    Good luck to Dorie for tomorrow’s big event. I’m sure it’ll be a sell out in hours!

  6. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    I’ve had the cookies from Levain Bakery, Momofuku Milk Bar (although not the corn cookie – must try that next time) and Jacques Torres and they are all heavenly! I want to try the ones from City Bakery next.

  7. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday says:

    I wish I had cookies from any one of these places. I live in Canada so I suppose getting them shipped to me would be my only option. It’s good to hear that they ship well!
    … or I would at least the recipes so I could make my own.
    I need to invest in some good baking cookbooks. Any recommendations?

  8. Emma says:

    Cooo-ooooookie crisp!

    Sounds delicious…. I also thought of you when I saw the announcement for 2.0. Enjoy your cookies par avion!

  9. Kerrin says:

    Julia, yes yes and yes ! Funny that your sister and best friend will both be in the Big Apple at the same time. Oh my, will you give them a list of sweet stuff to bring back for you ? You must ! If you can’t go with them, that is ! ;) I saw your latest post is one of Dorie’s recipes (her World Peace cookies), can’t wait to hear about the next batch…

    Sylvia, oooh you know the best of the best ! =) What is your ultimate favorite ? Did I miss any here ?

    Samantha, I bet you have a few excellent places for cookies where you live, no ? As for baking cookbooks, here are two great roundups with plenty of excellent titles to choose from:
    http://www.pbpulse.com/dining/tried-and-new/2010/04/12/james-beard-foundation-recommends-baking-books/
    http://doriegreenspan.com/2010/12/every-year-about-this-time.html
    Let me know what you get and what you think ! Happy baking =)

    Emma, haha, yes, cookie crisp ! Bam, right back to my childhood I go. Maybe that’s where my love for cookies all started. ;) Thanks for thinking of me.

  10. mom says:

    OKOK….I will stop by the Cookie Bar to get my fix and some cookies for the freezer for your next visit. My favorite cookie is the World Peace cookie from Dorie!!! I can not forget to mention the pretzel croissant….this is mouth watering. I was waiting for lunch but cookies sound much more interesting…..

  11. valentina says:

    Sweet Kerrin, I’ve never been to NY so I have no contribution to this blog in terms of my hot list. I do however loved reading about all those places. Vosges seems like my kinda place. After looking at all those photos I might have to prepare a modest cookie batch for myself. This article gave me cookie envy.

  12. Ilana says:

    very thorough… and mouth-watering! must get my hands on some of those! ps – did you know that city bakery now sells their hot chocolate in resealable containers?!

  13. Kerrin says:

    mom, why do I have a feeling that you don’t exactly mind having to do this sweet favor for me ?! haha ! Just make sure you don’t actually eat *all* of Dorie’s cookies ;) And yes, I know that you love City Bakery’s pretzel croissant – like mother, like daughter. Forget lunch, cookies sound way better to me.

    valentina, love it – cookie envy ! =) The cookies I want right now are the ones that will be coming out of your oven. What are you going to make ? Mmmmm, now it’s ME with cookie envy.

    Ilana, thanks ! And wow, I didn’t know that City Bakery sells their hot chocolate in containers like that, cool. So tell us, how big a container did you buy ? ;)

  14. valentina says:

    I made a batch of Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from David lebovitz website. Delicious.

  15. dessertbuzz » Blog Archive » Cookie bar 2.0 is back + a superb roundup of New York City cookies (via Switzerland) says:

    [...] we’re on the subject of cookies, I have to direct readers to My Kugelhopf, who have a superb piece about New York City’s best cookies.  They cover all the usual [...]

  16. Strawberry Cake says:

    I am taking my son to NYC for Spring Break, can’t wait to try some of these cookies! Thanks for sharing

  17. Andrea M. says:

    Dear Kerrin,

    It’s torture waiting almost 2 weeks (or more) to read an updated blog from you. And why is that? As you only have Alps, Chocolate, wandern gehen, beautiful mountain lakes, romantic cobblestone streets, pretzel croissants!, butterkäse, church bells, rösti, raclette, street markets, biking, picturesque cathedrals and castles to get in your way…..what’s up with that????

    Just sayin’.

  18. Anne says:

    Hello world?! Where ist my ticket to NYC?! Haven’t been there yet and can’t wait anymore now to taste my way through all those cookie bakeries!

  19. Swiss reader says:

    Hello, Good afternoon

    I’m a slurker since a while. To be honest, I was looking for a “Guggelhupf” recipe and found your blog… and I was amazed that someone would write about chocolate and sweets with such passion. And your fotografy made me an addict to your blog.
    From your blog I started searching other food blogs and found out that there is a huge community blogging about food… it’s crazy!!

    Since I’m from Switzerland I would love to know if you have any cookie places here.. In your Blog-Birthday-Post you wrote there aren’t a lot of places… but maybe you know one? It’s sad but the best chocolate chip cookie that I bought in Switzerland was from Subway..

    Finished with the novel..

  20. Kerrin says:

    valentina, I bet there are none left now, but I could so go for one of your home-baked Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies right now ! Yum. Told ya it was my turn for cookie envy.

    Strawberry Cake, oh how wonderful ! You’ll have to report back and share your sweet New York City finds !

    Andrea, I love your comment, it has me smiling ear to ear. And well needed, as I only wish my reason for being offline was one of those above. Just did a new blog post that should explain. But I hope to be back on the sweet blogging track real soon. Hope all is well on your end.

    Anne, hello Frau Cookie ! Yes, you certainly need to check out the cookie scene in New York. It’s calling your name =)

    Swiss reader, I’m so glad you stumbled upon MyKugelhopf (did you find a good gugelhopf recipe ?)! Thanks so much for your comment, and yes totally – the world of food blogs has become enormous ! You can spend all day going from one blog to the next – so much amazing stuff online. But we need to talk cookies – we can’t let you go back to Subway ;) Are you in Zürich ? If so, you might want to try Cakefriends near Bellevue. Or for packaged (yet artisanal) cookies from other countries, Globus and Jelmoli have a fine selection. I’m usually baking my own, but if I think of other places here, I’ll let you know. Hope you enjoy Cakefriends !

  21. Jackie (Phamfatale.com) says:

    I’m going to be in NYC next Spring, can’t wait to check this cookie place! Thanks for the heads up!

  22. Sprinzette @ Ginger and Almonds says:

    These looks so lovely – I can’t wait to find more enticing recipes on your site.

  23. jen laceda says:

    yes, I forgot all about Vosges’ cookies!! Love them! I’m also a big fan of Ms Greenspan. Seriously, we need to get our ‘Food Ex’ business developed. LOL!

  24. Hotel New York | Compare & Book Latest Hotel New York Deals | New York City: Cookie Town says:

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