These are not from City Bakery (too crispy and marzipan-y). Nor Jacques Torres (too sweet). Not Bouchon (too buttery) either. After making Levain Bakery copycats, eating the real deal and amassing 310+ comments, those are close but no cigar.
My favorite chocolate chip cookies are not from a bakery per se. I’ve been telling people about them for years, but it hasn’t caught on. So now I’ll shout it out for everyone to hear.
First, some criteria. Chocolate chip cookies should not be the size of your face. Bouchon, you sophisticated French bakery, what were you thinking? Maybe you can take a page from French Women Don’t Get Fat about portion control. Second, CC cookies should not be crispy. Then they’re just like crackers and what’s the point? Lastly, CC cookies cannot have nuts. It totally disrupts the texture. Okay, I’ll let the nut people put nuts in their cookies, but not mine.
The magical place I speak of is Times Square Hot Bagels on W. 44 St. and 7 Ave. (Update: they closed in Nov. 2012. RIP!) They’re one of the few places in New York that makes traditional bagels, but never mind that, we’re talking cookies here. They’re pliable, toffee-esque (probably from brown sugar) and chock full of chocolate CHUNKS. One will set you back about 80 cents (they’re $12.50/pound). You can eat one or two and be satisfied without feeling gross afterwards. Since they’re at the crossroads of the world, you don’t have an excuse not to try them.
I first heard about these through church. After service, there was a huge table of humble-looking cookies. I was wowed and only had these clues: a checkerboard logo and some name with “Times Square.” Eventually, I tracked down the store.
A little caveat: sometimes the cookies from the shop are a bit hard. They can easily be fixed with a sprinkle of water and 10 seconds in the microwave. The only guarantee of getting a fresh cookie is to attend the evening service at Redeemer church. Try it: you might like the cookies. And the service. Senior pastor Tim Keller is like a modern day C.S. Lewis. He randomly speaks throughout the day, but he’s always at the 6:00 service at the Hunter College auditorium (69 St. between Park and Lex). Well actually he’s on vacation (no doubt reading more philosophical material) till Aug. 16, but you get the idea.
Times Square Hot Bagels
200 W. 44 St. (by 7 Ave.)
New York, NY 10036