The Cookie Encyclopedia – The Best of NYC’s Chunky + Dinner-Plate Cookies


What do your memories of cookies involve?  Before NYC, “cookies” for us evoked the following memories: i) the plate of cookies that as children, we would place on our dressing table with a glass of milk to greet Santa Claus as he delivers presents; ii) the round tin box of buttery Danish cookies or the tartan box of Scottish shortbread biscuits that our father would bring out to partner with his afternoon coffee; or iii) the flaky Chinese biscuits with a baked honey centre that our family would hunt down on each trip to Malaysia.  Since NYC, we have learned two things.  First, that a “biscuit” is not a “cookie” in American-speak (in fact, a “biscuit” is more a “scone” here in NYC).  And second, that cookies of the type that any amateur home baker can bake, can be monetized into a most lucrative munching phenomena.  And so, we pen a first of what will undoubtedly be many more entries to the encyclopedic world of cookies in NYC.  Here’s a toast to two categories of cookies – the best of i) the chunkiest and ii) the largest chocolate-chip cookies in NYC!!

Cookie Category 1: 

Loving the chunks

Let us commence with the CHUNKY contenders, because in the U.S., the loudest and most gregarious will oftentimes dominate – whether in the schoolyard, at work or …in politics.  At least in the dessert world, such is warranted.  For cookies of such voluptuous proportions that would make a Raphaelite sculpture go green with envy, consider the following:

  • If you prefer a chunky cookie with an exceedingly molten heart, visit either Gooey On the Inside (a hideaway basement-level cookie den in the Lower East Side) or Duchess Cookie (another hideaway secreted inside the Gansevoort Market, making for a sweet snack to accompany the dessert fiend on a stroll along the nearby Chelsea waterfront);
  • Alternatively, if you prefer a chunky cookie with a very high chocolate-to-dough ratio, the somewhat misshapen, yet delicious, lump from Culture Espresso is hard to resist.

Our favourite chunkiest cookies in NYC may be found at Levain or Chip.  These two cookie-ries bake cookies where broken chunks of chocolate are embedded into a golden brown mound.  A slight bite to the rim yields to a centre that indulgently pulls apart to reveal a just half-baked cookie heart.  And by contrast to many other bakeries offering cookies, cookies from Levain or Chip are served WARM!!

Cookie Category 2: 

Cookies for dinner

Because size matters when we talk about sweets, you may find in NYC, dinner plate-sized cookies.  That is, cookies that are so round and so large that they might possibly eclipse the moon if held against it.  We have nibbled through – but have never been able to finish:

  • The heavily studded, harder to bite into than a Texan cowboy’s boot, variety from Besfren;
  • The softer, buttery, prone-to-crumble chocolate chip cookie from Bouchon Bakery;
  • The very weighty half-pound, cake-like discus from City Cakes; and
  • The thin vegan-and-dessert-addict-friendly crisp from Sweets by Chloe sprinkled with sugar crystals and infused with cinnamon espresso.

Our favourite dinner plate-sized cookie could be narrowed down to two contenders.  First, there’s the cookie from Jacques Torres with a surface resembling the famous salt plains of Bolivia, but which taste like chocolate chip heaven on Earth.  Our second favourite would be from Petrossian, a cafe in the style of Old Europe (with equally grumpy service) which serves up a cookie embedded with both chocolate chunks and pecans that you can taste with every bite, crunchy on the edges with a just-right tender pull as you near the centre.

Look out for our next installment to the NYC Cookie Encyclopedia to be published soon!!


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