Dining trends may come and go, but cookies are eternal. And for good reason: There are few foods that more skillfully combine comfort, nostalgia, pleasure, portability, and economy than the cookie, be it thin and crispy, plump and cakey, molded into bars or served as sandwiches stuffed with marshmallow fluff, buttercream, or gelato.
The word “cookie” derives from the Dutch koekje. And while cookies arrived in America before the Dutch did, New York, thanks to its first Dutch settlers, can lay claim to the word itself, which was subsequently Anglicized and spread across the land. So in a nod to both the city’s history and its current abundance of superlative bakeries, we present our picks for our 10 best cookies.
As always, our list may not conform to your own, so feel free to tell us what we missed — or perhaps have never had the chance to try — in the comments section. And please note that while some may define brownies as cookies, we don’t; also, as much as we love them, we’re not including ice cream sandwiches, either, as they merit their own list.
10. Momofuku Milk Bar’s corn cookie (everything that’s good about a corn muffin, in cookie form), 207 Second Avenue, no phone
9. Boomtown Bakery’s mint Oreo cookie (gluten-free and vegan, and still utterly delicious), boomtown-bakedgoods.com
8. Little Buddy Biscuit Company’s ginger-molasses cookie (chunks of crystallized ginger, spice, and plenty of chew), 635 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-369-6355
7. The Meatball Shop’s brownie cookie (dense and chocolaty as a brownie, complete with a crackly shell), 84 Stanton Street, 212-982-8895
6. The Treats Truck’s peanut butter sandwich cookie (basically just peanut butter, butter, sugar, and perfection), treatstruck.com
5. Birdbath Bakery’s chocolate chip cookie (perfectly straddles the crispy-chewy divide, and packs enough butter and chocolate to incapacitate an elephant), multiple locations, birdbathbakery.com
4. Takahachi’s almond-miso cookie (chewy and soft, with both floral sweetness and salty depth), 25 Murray Street, 212-791-5550
3. Baked NYC’s whoopie pies (cakey, creamy, and utterly deserving of their namesake exclamation), 359 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, 718-222-0345
2. Levain’s walnut-chocolate chip cookie (weighing in at almost a quarter-pound thanks to hefty cargo of whole walnuts, butter, and chocolate, considered by many to be the form’s Platonic ideal), 167 West 74th Street, 212-874-6080
1. Bouchon Bakery’s Nutter Butter (a transcendental riff on the childhood favorite; capable of inducing both food comas and hot, salty tears of joy), 10 Columbus Circle, 212-823-9364