With my impending trip to New York City, I’ve been thinking about how quickly I can sneak out to my favorite cookie shop, Levain Bakery. It is actually one of the first places to which I learned to navigate my way to in the city. It didn’t take me long to learn that I had to simply board the 1 Train and exit at the Columbus stop, and after departing the subway station in to a beautiful park, I head north to 167West 74th Street. Even if I didn’t know the address, I could put my Southern nose into the air and smell my way to the little shop. And, when I say little, I really mean little. I could also just look for the line because it is always out of the door and into the street. You even have to duck to avoid hitting your head as you descend the steps into the little bakery.
Levain Bakery is a tiny little shoppe that sells the best cookies in the world. My favorite cookie is their dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie. That little stinker will fill your hand and the hand of the person standing next to you. Of course, I’m not sharing, I’m just saying. In fact, son-in-law knows not to touch mother-in-law’s cookie. Mother-in-law doesn’t share her cookie with nobody! It has actually become our little joke when we visit. But, if I start with that story, we’ll be here all day and I want to tell you about cookies.
Levain Bakery (here’s the link: http://www.levainbakery.com ) only makes four different types of cookies; Chocolate Chip Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. They also make a variety of buns, muffins, breads, and rolls. I’m sure that everything they make is good, but I don’t think I’ll ever make it past the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. Most folks come home loaded with souvenirs, me – I come home loaded with cookies.
Out of fairness, Levain Bakery does have two other locations and I would actually prefer you use one of them – only so they don’t run out my cookie before I arrive. Levain Harlem
I was surfing the net one day and found some “Cookie Facts”. Now, just keep in mind, we Southerners like to think we invented everything, and that includes the cookie. So…with that in mind – did you know?:
1) The chocolate chip cookie is the official state cookie of both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. (I need to see if we have a state cookie.)
2) The chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930 at the Toll House Inn Restaurant in Massachusetts (at that time, Massachusetts was in the South). One of her favorite recipes was for Butter Drop Do cookies. The recipe called for the use of baker’s chocolate and one day Ruth found herself without the needed ingredient. She substituted a semi-sweet chocolate bar cut up into bits. However, unlike the baker’s chocolate the chopped up chocolate bar did not melt completely, the small pieces only softened, thus creating the first known chocolate chip cookie.
3) Americans consume over 2 billion cookies a year, or 300 cookies for each person annually. (That’s less than one a day – I think it should be 365 cookies myself.)
4) The Chocolate Chip is the most popular type of home-baked cookie.
5) Chocolate Chip cookies are Cookie Monster’s favorite. His birthday is November 2nd and his original name was Sid. (Now, this I did not know.)
6) America has designated April 30th as National Oatmeal Cookie Day!
Now that I have given you a little knowledge, let me entice you a bit. These pictures are from the Levain Bakery Site. This time next month, I’ll be eating one of those Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies – I guarantee you!