When I first moved to New York, I had a lengthy to-do list. An incredibly unusual to-do list. Most people can’t leave the city without hitting up the Empire State building or Statue of Liberty, going to a Yankees or Mets game, or doing classically New York things, like hailing a cab or eating $1 pizza.
Not me. My entire list was desserts-focused. Blame it on running a food blog in college, or having a one-track mind, but when I got here, I had to try Levain Cookies. The softball-sized wonders were often shown on Food Network, and they looked like massive blobs of barely baked dough, AKA nirvana.
And, after becoming obsessed with the very thought of those cookies, I soon found myself creating a list of places known for their chocolate chippers:
- Jacques Torres
- Empire Cake (formerly Lulu’s)
- Koffeecake Korner
As time went on, my list grew, with Levain tied with Jacques Torres for the top spot, even though their cookies are wildly different. Levain’s are fist-sized pockets of dough, slightly chewy on the outside, pure molten goo on the inside. Torres prefers a more golden brown, caramelized cookie, with a good crunch to it and chunks of chocolate that serve as layers to the treat itself. Every bite’s infused with ribbons of cocoa.
Still, I wasn’t totally satisfied. Then Chip opened in Astoria.
I had to go twice, to confirm it wasn’t location-based bias. After living in Astoria for five years, I tend to think everything’s better there (best bagel in New York? Brooklyn Bagel, all the way). The cookies are a little smaller than Levain’s, but every bit as pillowy and gooey in the center. They’re a little more golden, too, and loaded with chocolate — something I appreciated from Jacques Torres’s cookie. And, you can get a classic chocolate chip without walnuts, which was my biggest gripe with Levain.
Look what happens when you break a Chip chocolate chip cookie open. Just look:
It was everything I’d hoped for, except for the price. Like all of the other specialty cookie shops in the city, this treat will set you back almost $4 apop. Thankfully, though, the sweets are massive enough to share.