Best Bakery for Cookies in NYC
I'm looking to bring freshly baked cookies to a party. I'm looking for quality cookies that will be a hit. I'd like to avoid Mrs. Fields and find something as good or better, but less commercial.
I'm looking for typical American cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal, ginger, etc.) Does anyone have any suggestions for a place that makes tasty cookies?
Chocolate-Chip Cookie Update
This is a belated summary of the past week's noshing:
Balducci's -- Packaged cookies of several varieties sat in front of the bakery counter. One package looked identical to Kathlene's, but with a different name tag (no choco-chip, but the same varieties of non-choco-chip as found that day at FoodWorks); another was Eleni's (sp?), which I found at Grand Central to be very expensive but otherwise nothing special; another was labeled "low-fat," so I didn't bother. There were also large, flat, unpackaged cookies atop the counter, which I didn't try. Madeline: To which of these were you referring as "fantastic," "crispy," and "buttery?" Please do tell!
Zabar's -- A larger, higher-quality version of Entenman's soft cookies. If you like Entenman's, you'll just love these. Pre-packaged in a plastic clamshell container.
Eli's (purchased at Zabar's) -- Either reformulated since I tried them at Eli's, or they have a quality-control/freshness problem. Hard and crunchy last time, this time somewhat chewy. With buttery cookie, excellent bitter chocolate, and crisp nuts, these should have been my favorite, but just didn't seem to add up; there may also have been some problem with the aftertaste. Pre-packaged.
FoodWorks -- Didn't have Kathlene's choco-chip, so I tried the house smaller, unpackaged ones. Of the crispy variety; not bad, but unexceptional.
City Bakery -- Screamed "home-made with the best ingredients," but didn't quite do it for me. Soft, but a bit too sugary and granular, with surprisingly little butter taste, and the chocolate was still gooey, a turnoff for me. Should appeal to fans of Taylor's (or Levain's, which are even more enormous than Taylor's, more like small cakes than cookies). Dynamite hot chocolate, though, if not quite so intense as Payard's.
ABC Carpet and Balthazar (memories of about a month ago) -- Somewhat similar, with lots of butter, and chocolate and nuts more integrated into the batter than discrete chunks; ABC crunchy throughout, Balthazar chewy in the center, crunchy around the perimeter. Not sure why, but as with Eli's, I didn't like these as much as I thought I should have.
The search continues...
There are several places I like for bringing cookies to a party, though they might not all have the type of cookies you mentioned.
Bruno's Bakery on LaGuardia betw. Bleecker and W. 3rd. I get 1 to 2 lbs and an assortment of 4 to 6 types. I always include the pignoli nut cookies, the lace cookies, the checkerboards, and sometimes the bowties (a bow- tie shaped butter cookie with cinnamon-sugar on top). I made hit at a new years party once with just a lb. of pignoli cookies and a lb. of the lace cookies.
Then there is William Greenberg & Sons (or just Greenberg's), a sort of an institution on the upper west side somewhere. Never been but have been to gathering s where people have brought cookies from there and they impressed me.
I had the same situation with cookies from John Vie on 6th Ave. in the village.
Also, Once Upon a Tart (Sullivan betw. Prince and Houston) has wonderful cookies of the type you mentioned and unusual decorated cookie-cutter cookies as well.
re: Jessica Shatan
There was a William Greenberg's on Bway in the low 70's (?) but it closed a while back - the spot probably houses another Starbucks by now. But, I think there was another location on Third Ave around 34th - don't know if that's still there, this was a few years ago when I lived near there.
Fisher & Levy does other cookies - at a former job, the office used to get them with catered lunches for meetings and they were the most "fought over" items - once the senior partner had his.