If you've never gotten the chance to try a Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie from Levain Bakery in New York City, you're missing out, but lucky for you, Levain started selling their cookies at Whole Foods. They come frozen and fully baked. Frozen, baked cookies seem like an interesting concept, and it's hard for me to believe that they would be anywhere near as good as the fresh ones, so I decided to find out. 

NYC Adventure

I set out across SoHo yesterday morning, despite the rain, to get a fresh baked cookie from Levain's Lafayette St. location. I called my dad on the way to tell him about my article idea and he thought it sounded like I was just making a good excuse to eat a bunch of delicious cookies. I can't say he's wrong.

I was planning on eating the cookie immediately after buying it, but unfortunately, it wasn't warm and I thought it'd be better to compare two warm cookies, because that is the best way to eat them after all. I then backtracked my steps to go to Whole Foods to get my frozen box of cookies and headed back home.

Laina Bayles

After unpacking the frozen cookies, I immediately noticed a size difference. When I tried my first Levain cookie a few years back, I couldn't get over the size of it; they really aren't kidding when they say each cookies weighs 1 lb. The boxed cookies were probably half the size of the fresh ones. Quite the let down.

Laina Bayles

The Fun Part

The back of the box gives the baking instructions. I preheated the oven to 350º and baked a frozen cookie for 5 minutes. I then, of course, had to check the inside by doing the ultimate cookie break test.

Laina Bayles

This cookie break was not impressive. There wasn't much of a chocolate pull from the chocolate chips and the inside was a little dry which can be seen. As for the taste, it tasted like a regular chocolate chip cookie. It was good, but nothing special by any means. It was also on the cakier side which I personally don't like when eating a cookie. I would prefer to make my own rather than go out and buy these. 

I then lowered the oven temp to 300º and placed the fresh Levain cookie in the oven. I let it heat up for about 5 minutes and boy was I excited to do this cookie break. 

Laina Bayles

This cookie break did not disappoint. There was so much melted chocolate and the inside was a little bit gooey giving it that moist appearance. As for the taste? Phenomenal. The outside was crispy and the inside was soft. The walnuts gave it that subtle nutty and buttery flavor that throws this cookies over the top. I couldn't help but finish the whole thing.

And? The Verdict?

As I expected, the frozen cookies did not compare to the fresh ones. As much as I think it's a great idea that Levain wants to put these out in grocery stores, it gives a bad impression to those who have never tried the real ones.

So what do you do if you want to try one but can't get to NYC?

In stores, Levain Bakery offers 5 flavors; Chocolate Chip Walnut, Two Chip Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip (my personal favorite), and Oatmeal Raisin. In Whole Foods they offer 4 flavors; Chocolate Chip Walnut, Two Chip Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin. 

I know that Levain delivers all 5 of their different cookies nationwide through their website and I've been fortunate enough to have had them delivered to me in the past. They come in baggies of four, and are the same 1 lb size as the ones they sell in stores. I pop them in the oven at 300º for 5 minutes and they come out tasting fresh, as if the Levain Bakery is in my kitchen (keep in mind, I live in Nebraska). So if you're looking to try a Levain cookie, I suggest getting them delivered to your door instead of heading to Whole Foods to buy the frozen ones.