the sweetest things

One recent afternoon in NYC included these treats:

Bar Boulud
Vanilla Rolled Cake, Berry Marmalade, Strawberry Sorbet
Strong, vibrant fruit flavor, disappointingly dry cake

I've tried their cupcakes before and was underwhelmed.

The cupcake of the day, however, seemed special.
I'm a sucker for anything caramel.

Though the cake was slightly dry, we gobbled it up. 
We particularly enjoyed the caramel frosting, though everything
about the cupcake was on the VERY sweet side.

Several people have told me about the Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from Levain Bakery.  
I was curious, particularly after their throwdown with Bobby Flay.

Their offerings were limited, which isn't a bad thing.  If you do a few things, do them well,

and make them fist-sized.
They were GINORMOUS.
Please, don't be dry.

They weren't.  While nibbling at the 6-ounce-cookies, I was telling The Sister how my favorite cookie in the city was Jacques Torres', and after exiting Levain and walking towards the subway, we serendipitously happened on his store, right around the corner!

 I finally realized that the "leaves" design are actually cocoa pods.

The shop is sparkly and filled with all good chocolate things—
hot chocolate mixes, chocolate covered nuts, bars, gift boxes, truffles, and, of course,

his fabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies.
You can ask for them warmed, if you like.
We like.


chunky vs. flat
rustic vs. refined
semisweet vs. bittersweet
walnuts vs. no nuts

After tasting the cookies back to back, I remain on Team Torres.  The flavor of just sweet dough/hint of salt/dark chocolate combined with the textural contrast of crisp edges and soft interior create a perfectly balanced, elegant chocolate chip cookie.  

Stay tuned for a re-creation of the cookies...


  1. Rebecca! How are you not 500 pounds??? I want to eat the computer.

  2. thanks for the recommendations...i'm ready to go into the city to try them cookies now.

    how do you get such great pictures from your camera? what kind of camera do you use? mine tends to be blurry :( as you can see from my photos.

  3. Kimberly- I make me hungry, hehe. Considering how much I think about food...

    Jamie- Thanks! I use a Panasonic Lumix.

  4. Hi Rebecca. Great pics. You should try the cupcakes @ Sugar Sweet Sunshine (Lower East Side) next time you are in NYC. The coconut, lemon & pumpkin are really good.

    K. Retino

  5. I've been to some of the 'in' cupcakeries, and was also underwhelmed with the dry cupcakes.

    I prefer vanilla extract in my chocolate chip cookies...Levain doesn't.

    Did a post on both Levain and J Torres. I loved the J Torres chocolate.

    Thanks for sharing your food experiences!


  6. I've lived many places but only the bakeries of Paris beat those of New York. I loved your post today. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Ken, I've been meaning to try out SSS, having read about it earlier in the year. Should've swung by on Sunday when we were LES...

    Carmen, I will check out your posts!

    Mary, Tell me about it. I LOVED being in Paris and stopping every other block in a patisserie to buy a financier, madeleine or Gateau St. Honoré. Thank goodness I walked everywhere. I would have returned home 10 pounds heavier.

  8. OMG! these pictures are making me drool! i really want some cookies now hehe

  9. Eating your way through the bakeries of New York looks like a lot of fun! The Jacque Torre cookies look especially good.


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