Eating a chocolate chip cookie is like getting a cozy, comfortable hug from someone you love. There’s something special about consuming a warm, gooey, oozing mound of sweet goodness that provides waves of fond nostalgia, taking you back to simple, happy times. It’s no wonder over 7 billion chocolate chip cookies are consumed a year in the United States alone!
August 4th is National Chocolate Chip day, and you better believe The Frugal Foodies are celebrating with some of New York’s best mega cookies!
Let’s start with a little history…..
The chocolate chip cookie dates back to the 1930s at the Toll House Inn in Whitmam, Massachusetts where Ruth Grave Wakefield cooked and baked for tired, hungry travelers.
One story is that it was a complete accident. One day, Ruth Grave Wakefield was whipping up a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies, only to be out of baking chocolate. She got creative and chopped up a Nestles chocolate bar to substitute in. Mrs. Wakefield expected the chocolate to melt through, but was surprised to find it stayed chunky, and was even more surprised to find that this mishap was outrageously delicious.
The acclaimed food writer, Carolyn Wynman, asserts that a perfectionist such as Ruth Wakefield would have never allowed her pantry to run out of baking chocolate. Rather, the chocolate chip cookie was likely a product of hard work.
While my heart would love for the chocolate chip cookie to be a product of a kitchen disaster given my track record for getting creative in the kitchen, I suspect the latter is true.
The origins are debatable, but the aftermath is not. Mrs. Wakefield’s “Toll House Crunch Cookie” swept through Boston, and was featured in her “Tried and True” cookbook. Nestle caught wind, and her recipe was printed on the back of the Toll House chocolate chip package in 1939. While this cookie master didn’t receive direct monetary compensation, she got a lifetime of free chocolate (sounds like a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.)
The chocolate chip cookie became an iconic Depression Era staple as it was easy to hold, energy dense, and a decadent escape from a harsh reality. It’s journey continued through World War II as women baked the treats for the heroes on the front line.
The chocolate chip cookie continued to grow and evolve, and today you can get it in hundreds of different forms.
One particular adaptation is the new concept of the mega-cookie that has taken New York City by storm.
These mega-cookies are the size of your first and take some solid bicep strength to lift up to eat. They are soft and gooey on the inside yet miraculously crunchy on the outside, and the ultimate way to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day on August 4th.
The Top Four New York Chocolate Chip Mega Cookies
4. City Cakes
Get ready for some heavy lifting with a gigantic half pound cookie from City Cakes. The massive mounds of sugar, flour, butter, and add-ins make for a decadent cookie that is soft, dense, and gooey on the inside and crisp on the outside. Each cookie has the ideal amount of chocolate, and be sure to either get it warm or to stick it in the oven for a couple minutes to experience it’s true beauty.
Chip took the New York cookie scene by storm in 2017 as people lined up for these giant mounds of deliciousness. The chocolate chip monsters make for a quintessential cookie experience; chocolatey, oozy, and perfectly sweet. They are everything you want in a cookie, and an “old reliable” rather than “breakaway star”, which is why is ranks #3.
Frugal Foodies Tip: While Chip makes a mean chocolate chip cookie, we’d recommend going for the inventive flavors like funfetti, blueberry cheesecake, and Key Lime Pie (a new release that is something special folks.) It’s hard to find a loaded cookie that’s actually as good as it looks, but Chip hits the nail on the head.
Funny Face Bakery is an East Village spot specializing in giant cookies decorated to look like a face (hence the name Funny Face). You can munch on celebrities ranging from Trump to Albert Einstein as well as several breeds of dogs and cats and a handful of funny symbols, but behind the sugar cookies lies some of the most epic chocolate chip cookies the city has to offer.
The beautiful hand fulls of baked perfection have a crispy outside with a decadently oozing inside that is jam packed with an outrageous number of chocolate chips. Each bite is sweet and chocolatey with the perfect texture to ooze ratio. It is an eating experience where the only words you can manage will be “oh my god this is amazing……”.
This is THE best cookie that ever existed, and you can quote me on that.
The crispy, golden exterior houses a molten, perfectly doughy delicious center that melts in your mouth and warms your heart. There is an ideal distribution of chocolate chips and it has the perfect level of sweetness that is just enough without overwhelming your taste buds. Every time I eat one I have a euphoric moment of wondering how I deserve to exist when there’s something THIS delicious in the world.
It’s something you must experience to believe.
Just as a fair warning…. Levain cookies will forever change you cookie standards.
Acknowledging the Runner Ups…
Let’s give a shout out to some mega cookies that deserve a little love.
Gluten free friends, our sincerest regards for missing out on the big players in the New York cookie scene. But we have good news, your cookie dreams can be fulfilled at Pop Bake Shop. The chocolate chip cookies are the size and texture you want in a mega cookie, and the flavors are perfectly tasty with a nice chocolate chip distribution. However, the cookie tastes slightly bland, and lacks that “it factor” that leaves you salivating for more.
Frugal Foodies Tip: Go for one of the inventive flavors instead. We’ve tried out the peanut butter S’mores and were quite impressed with the melted marshmallow and the healthy dose of crunchy peanut butter.
OR just skip the cookie and go for the carrot cake…. you can thank me later.
Spot Dessert Bar gained internet and Instagram fame with elaborate, photogenic desserts like the Matcha Lava cake that gushes out a green center and The Harvest which is a cheesecake served in a pot. With such innovative desserts, it’s easy to overlook something as basic as a cookie, but the giant pillowy cookies that are served warm at Spot deserve a second look. The oreo chocolate chip cookie checks off the crunchy outside soft inside criteria, but is a bit too sweet and, a bit unmemorable, which is why it didn’t make the top four list.
The “do it for the ‘gram” let downs
Instagram is an awesome way for underdogs to catch a break in the brutal New York food scene, but sometimes the pictures don’t live up to the hype. (Check out Is Instagram Ruining Food? if you’d like to know more of my thoughts)
Worlds Best Cookie Dough is a West Village spot that offers edible cookie dough along side massive shakes, ice cream, and cookies. We tried out the Oreo chocolate chip cookie dough cookie, and “Cookie” isn’t quite the right terminology for this gooey mound of cookie dough surrounded by a partly baked exterior. The obligatory cookie pull is nothing short of epic and you’ll need the spoon they give you, but the exterior isn’t quite crispy enough, and it is so overwhelmingingly sweet.
Save your dollars and head to the nearby Chip on Bleeker St. instead.
Gooey on the inside certainly lives up to it’s name, but while it excels in texture, it lacks in flavor. I knew my mega chocolate chip cookie was destined for failure as the gentle pull apart revealed scant traces of chocolate chips; a key component for a proclaimed chocolate chunk cookie.
The gooeyness boarders on being underdone, and, surprisingly enough, the cookie isn’t sweet enough and tastes bland and rubbery.
Perhaps a more inventive flavor such as dunkaroo or S’mores is the way to go….
Wrapping Things Up….
Celebrate chocolate chip day with a mega cookie, or even grab your apron and spatula to whip up your own!