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August 16, 2008

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Alicia

This is so good to know b/c I didn't think those cookies looked good on TV. As I have said to my friends, more isn't necessarily better.

Lorraine

Great first hand taste test! Where is this bakery?

Katrina

I was in NYC in April and had the Levain cookies. I actually thought they were REALLY good, different, but good. It's just a matter of tastes. I thought these were fun and I felt "naughty" having such a big cookie (although I didn't eat it all at once). I LOVE choc chip cookies, and it was great to taste a different kind, as it seems most are otherwise similar. I also love the "Neiman Marcus" copycat that is similar to your trademark cookie and Jacques Torres ccc's (tasted those in NY, too.) and have been making the NY Times Ultimate since it came out a month or so ago--it is currently my favorite. There's something to that chilling theory. So, it really is all a matter of taste. I thought Bobby's cookie in the throwdown was too flat and crunchy looking. To each his own. I'm glad you tried it. I actually didn't like the Levain oatmeal really at all--as you said, "where were the oats?" I'm going to put it at the top of my next-to-make-list to try yours, OCG. If you're in NYC, you have to say you tried the Levains. Okay, I'll shut up now! :)

Oatmeal Cookie Guy

Hey, Alicia! I agree...more isn't necessarily better. I think it does boil down to a matter of taste, though. But I was expecting a whole lot better for the $3.75 price!

Oatmeal Cookie Guy

Hey, Lorraine. It's on the UWS on 73rd or 74th. Jon and I were hoping we'd like them better than we did.

Oatmeal Cookie Guy

Hi, Katrina. You know, there is something to be said of the anticipation and experience factoring in to the overall taste. I wasn't expecting much, so that may have colored my impression of the Levain cookies.

In general, though, I'm more of a crispy/chewy texture fan, and these cookies just didn't deliver for me. And I was expecting big flavor, not just a big cookie. (Now that I think of it, these were more like scones than cookies.)

I haven't tried Jacques Torres's cookies. Maybe that will be my next bakery-made cookie to taste test!

Katrina

I do think the Levains could benefit for a bit of vanilla, which they don't put in their cookies. But it's an intriguing cookie. Do you have any other recommended bakery cookies to try in NYC, I will be back there in Nov.
If you like chewy, crispy cookies, and chocolatey, you will like JT's. Although they don't have oatmeal, so you might not! ;)
I'm heading to the kitchen right now to make yours. (Had to get to the store this morning for milk chocolate bars.) Will let you know what I think, but I know I already like the Neiman cookie, so I'll probably like yours, too. I WILL have to bake some today, but will save some for the chilled dough effect!

Oatmeal Cookie Guy

Hi, Katrina. If you're coming to NYC, I can't possibly recommend Doughnut Plant ( http://doughnutplant.com ) highly enough. That is definitely a bakery not to miss. City Bakery is also really popular ( http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-city-bakery-new-york ). I have to admit, though, that I think CB's cookies are a little overrated for the price.

I'll definitely have to try JT's cookies. And I'm not sure if Max Brenner ( http://newyork.metromix.com/restaurants/traditional_classic/max-brenner-chocolate-by-east-village/57815/content ) has cookies, so I'll have to investigate.

You're right about Levain and vanilla...I just remembered that they made a point of saying in that episode of Throwdown that they didn't use vanilla. I'm not sure that's such a good strategy.

It's hard not to eat cookie dough that's resting overnight. But it is sooo worth it! I hope you like my recipe. Let me know how they turn out. :-)

Katrina

Hey, made some of your cookies yesterday (unchilled dough) and made some today at 24 hours chilled. Also ate WAY too much dough. I really like the oatmealy dough for snitching! The cookies are good. I overbaked the first batch (12 min.) a bit, and after baking the rest at less time, they are good. There are so many of them I had to stick a bunch in the freezer and will be getting rid of the rest. I also played around with some of the dough as I'm testing a brownie/cookie dough type cookie and happened to have your cookie dough at the time. It is SO fun to play around with cookie making--thanks for a blog that inspires me to keep doing so!
Thanks for the recommendations of bakeries. I will be making a long list and see what I can do in the probably only two days I'll be there! Haven't even heard about the Doughnut Plant, so will have to check it out.

Oatmeal Cookie Guy

Hi, Katrina. 4 dozen *is* a lot of cookies. (Thank goodness I have willing cookie tasters to take these guys off my hands.) I just found out my office is ordering in cookies from Levain Bakery to celebrate this month's birthdays on Monday. D'oh! I've heard mixed reviews of Levain from people at work: the same people who said the chocolate chip was divine complained that Levain's chocolate cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies were bland. No surprise here, but when it comes to food, it's all about taste.

Oatmeal Cookie Guy

...but it looks like pretty much everyone in the office agreed with me. I heard one person say the Levain cookies tasted like balls of lard. Ouch!

eks

levain makes the best cookies in the country- the chocolate chips are sweet and decadent enough and balance out with the crunchiness and saltiness of the walnuts
the PERFECT cookie!!!!!!
at least the nation agrees *no offense intended*

Oatmeal Cookie Guy

Sorry, eks. But I have to *strongly* disagree. The Levain cookies were dry and tasteless.

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