There aren’t many things that are better in life than a giant, gooey, decadent cookie. You know, the type that is so unimaginably delicious that you have to close your eyes with an involuntary smile as the outside world dims and your palette greedily processes the sensory experience.
A cookie is truly is the perfect dessert.
- It is easy to eat without making a mess.
- You don’t need to fuss with plates and forks.
- You can easily transport a whole batch long distances.
- It can be dressed up to the nines or simple and classy while still tasting delicious.
- Most importantly, cookies are accessible to every single person regardless of age, income, or race.
Cookies are one of my personal favorite desserts, not just because they taste good, but because of the memories they evoke. Each time I chomp down a saucer of joy, I get hit with waves of fond nostalgia. I remember my mom baking hundreds of cookies like a madwoman each Christmas, I think about roaming the streets of New York with friends in the summertime, and countless laughs shared with people I love.
New York City has been my home base for the past five years, and let me tell you, the cookie scene is nothing short of epic.
You can get your classic saucer shape cookies at institutions like Schmackary’s and Insomnia, but you can also get ginormous mega cookies the size of your fist that are crunchy and golden on the outside while being wonderfully gooey on the inside. (Check out my guide to the best NY mega cookie HERE.)
Levain Bakery, the crème de la crème and mother of all giant cookies, completely transformed the cookie scene in 1995 when it first opened on W. 74st. The giant 6-ounce mounds of pure bliss were unlike anything the city had ever seen. The dense, gooey center yet perfectly crispy exterior made for a revolutionary dessert experience that transformed cookie culture. The bakery has been going strong ever since, and, in my humble opinion, I think it deserves the title of “#1 Cookie in the World”.
“Whoa! Bold statement Katie!”
It’s bold but true!
Other bake shops specializing in giant mega cookies have entered the scene. City Cakes, Funny Face Bakery, and Chip NYC all bake up some seriously epic cookies, and certainly give Levain a run for it’s money.
I’m always on the hunt for a cookie that stacks up to what I can find in the Big Apple. From the streets of Japan to the malls in Hong Kong to the mom and pop shops in Virginia, I’ve eaten more cookies than I care to admit. While one at a Taipei speakeasy got fairly close, most have paled in comparison.
And then I got to Sydney.
While scrolling through Instagram, I came across Sweet Splits, a delivery cookie shop in Sydney with cookies that certainly looked impressive. I tapped on the page, and “New York Style Chunky Cookies” was written in the bio. Two days later and I had a lovely box of six mega cookies at my quarantine hotel room doorstep.
Would they give the New York giants a run for their money? There was only one way find out!
Battle # 1: Funfetti
Sweet Splits vs Chip NYC
Vanilla Funfetti takes me back middle school birthday parties at Skatetown USA, plus, I’m a sucker for any sweet treat splattered with sprinkles. So naturally, the first cookie I gravitated towards out of the Sweet Splits pile was the Birthday Cake. The dense vanilla base is like cake batter in both texture and taste with no shortage of white chocolate chips and sprinkles. The ooey-gooeyness is wrangled in with a nice crispy outside, making for a pleasant texture.
Chip, another NYC cookie superhero, has a funfetti cookie that is pillowy and soft with an authentic funfetti cake flavor. While Sweet Splits and Chip are neck in neck, Sweet Splits has a secret twist. Cracking open the Birthday Cake cookie reveals a molten Nutella center that is nothing short of genius.
The winner is….
Battle #2: The OG Chocolate Chip Cookie
Sweet Splits vs Levain Bakery
The OG Choc Chip from Sweet Splits is reminiscent to Levain in appearance and flavor. The cookie pull reveals a delightfully even spread of both milk and dark chocolate chips and a soft cookie base that isn’t overdone. I particularly appreciate the ample addition of the dark chocolate to cut down on the sweetness, making for a sophisticated flavor experience that is a notch above your usual choc chip cookie.
The Sweet Splits cookie is delicious, and if it was the only giant chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had in my entire life, my jaw would be on the ground. However, it didn’t quite have that same goo to crunch balance as Levain.
And the winner is….
Battle #3: Unique and Inventive
Sweet Splits: Coconut Dulce de Leche vs Chip NYC: Key Lime Pie
I didn’t know what to expect when cracking open the coconut dulce de leche from Sweet Splits, but I was instantly salivating as the cookie pull revealed a dripping layer of dulce de leche filling. The flavor profile is wonderfully unique, and it features a vanilla base with both caramel and white chocolate chips that complement the sweet dulce de leche. The secret flavor pop that sets this cookie apart is the addition of coconut, which adds a bright, tropical flavor and a slightly meaty texture that balances out the gooey filling.
When thinking about the unique cookies I’ve had in New York, the first that comes to mind is the Key Lime Pie cookie from Chip NYC. This seasonal specialty is offensively delicious, with a vanilla base sprinkled with graham crackers and white chocolate chips surrounding a delectably perfect dollop of key lime pie filling.
Many inventive cookies try too hard and end up falling short, but both the Coconut Dulce de Leche and Key Lime Pie have complex flavor profiles that work.
And the winner is….
A tie. Both are too good to choose!
Battle # 4: Cookie Inspired by a Cookie
Sweet Split: Biscoff White Choc Cookie vs BaKD: Dunkaroo
The Biscoff White Choc Cookie from Sweet Split is the ultimate Biscoff explosion. It consists of a vanilla base packed with Biscoff cookie chunks in addition to being completely stuffed with a thick layer of Biscoff. It is nothing short of divine, and if you like Biscoff, you will LOVE this cookie. My first Biscoff experience was in college, and I vividly remember sitting around in my friend’s dorm room at 1am, being complete flabbergasted by the toast smeared with this delicious mystery spread. Let’s be honest, crushing cookies down into a spread to slather onto anything and everything is genius. This cookie brought back those memories, and I enjoyed every bite.
The best cookie inspired by a cookie I’ve had in New York is the Dunkaroo from BaKD. BaKD, like Sweet Split, focuses on its delivery cookie services, but you can also find the occasional pop up at various street fairs. The Dunkaroo Cookie has a cinnamon cookie base filled with white chocolate and graham crackers, and it is completely stuffed with sprinkled vanilla icing. It tastes exactly like the classic 1990s treat, but better.
Both cookies inspired by cookies taste great and bring back good memories of simple times, but the Dunkaroo from BaKD is just a tad too sweet for my liking.
And the winner is….
Some final thoughts….
Extravagant and #trendy desserts are all the rage on Instagram, but I can tell you first hand that thousands of likes doesn’t actually mean it tastes good. This rings true for plenty of mega cookies players including Duchess Cookies and Gooey on the Inside. Yes, a galaxy cookie filled with glitter looks astoundingly epic, but who cares that it looks beautiful if it tastes bland and uninspired?
When stumbling upon Sweet Splits, I was worried this would be the case. However, I am happy to report the cookies are in fact as good as they look, and they absolutely give New York a run for it’s money.
Don’t believe me? Click HERE and try some for yourself… you can thank me later ..