It’s pretty hard to make a chocolate chip cookie that’s so delicious that people will line up and wait up to an hour for one that’s fresh out of the oven. But that’s exactly what Levain, a bakery native to New York City, has done.
Of course, not everyone is going to make a trip to NYC for a cookie (especially these days!). And even fewer people will want to spend the amount of money it costs to ship them across the country. True diehards will attempt to make their own at home — and we found a pretty great copycat recipe. But if you’re looking for the easiest, most affordable way to access a Levain chocolate chip cookie, head to the Whole Foods freezer aisle (or any of these grocery locations) and pick up a ready-to-bake box of them.
For important research purposes, Kitchn’s Email Manager, Hollis Miller, did the tough task of serving as our Whole Foods Levain correspondent. Here are her honest thoughts on the frozen innovation.
According to Hollis, these cookies are slightly bigger in size than half a normal Levain cookie, which makes them a normal-sized cookie by chocolate chip cookie standards. Each box has 8 cookies for $9.99, which “would be an incredible deal for the normal-sized Levain Bakery cookies (they typically cost $4 per cookie!) but this pricing is more in line for the cookie size you get,” says Hollis.
The cookies are pre-baked, so you simply heat them in the oven (to achieve that signature gooeyness) at 350°F for five to seven minutes. If you prefer, you can also leave them out on the counter and let them come to room temperature, but, according to Hollis, that’s much less exciting.
“The thing that struck me most was the chocolate chips. They taste super high-quality — especially when they get all melty right out of the oven. The cookies were a bit more crumbly than the original but overall tasted homemade,” says Hollis.
Of course the frozen version doesn’t fully capture the magic of a true Levain cookie (a difficult task). “I think a big part of that is that I was missing the cookie’s giant size,” says Hollis. Despite this, she says she’d get them again. “It’s nice to have them in the freezer to treat yourself to a last-minute dessert.” And you can always eat two, if you want!
Note: These frozen boxes are currently available in NY, NJ, DC, MD, VA, PA, and CT. For location updates, check here.