Apparently, Thursday, May 15, is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day -- though who deemed it thus is a mystery to me. I generally refrain from celebrating such ... unorthodox holidays, but I'm willing to make an exception for the world’s best cookie.
Long Island is fertile ground for the dotted darlings.
At Chip ’n Dipped in Huntington (342 New York Ave., 631-470-2579), homey cookies are baked throughout the day and, after 11 a.m., they are displayed on a warming plate so customers can enjoy them at their tender, gooey best. Cookies are $2.25 each, buy three get the fourth free.
At Sweet to Lick Vegan Bakery (78 Hillside Ave., Williston Park 516-385-8833), Michael Sabet proves that you don’t need to use butter or eggs to make a great chocolate chip cookie ($1.50).
St. Rocco’s Bakery (4 St. Rocco Place, Glen Cove, 516-427-5333) claims that its chocolate chip cookies are “the greatest on earth.” I wouldn’t go that far, but they are very good, with the bittersweet chocolate melting right into the cookie proper. ($9.99 a pound — one costs about $1.10).
If you’re on the North Fork on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, make it your business to stop by the Lunch Truck in the parking lot of North Fork Table & Inn (57225 Main Rd., Southold, 631-765-0177) where partner-pastry-chef Claudia Fleming’s supernal chocolate-chip cookies are $1.50 apiece, $7.50 for a half dozen. The cookies are also available at the restaurant’s mobile North Fork Food Truck; check its whereabouts on Facebook.
I’ve never had better packaged cookies than Tate’s Bake Shop’s — frankly they’re better than a lot of homemade cookies it’s been my misfortune to endure. Made in Southampton, they are widely available at markets and delis. Or order them online (at tatesbakeshop.com) by midnight on Thursday and you’ll get 25 percent off (a package of three 12-cookie bags usually goes for $22.50 plus shipping). We are also partial to Tate’s whole-wheat-dark-chocolate-chip cookies, made with earthy (but not overpowering) whole-wheat flour and bittersweet chips.
For the ultimate in chocolate-chip-cookie luxury, pay a visit to Grand Lux Café (630 Old Country Rd., Roosevelt Field, Garden City, 516-741-0096). The restaurant offers six baked-to-order desserts, among which are terrific chocolate-chip-pecan cookies, warm, buttery and butterscotchy with a perfect balance of nuts and chocolate. A box containing a dozen is an insane $7.95.
For the ultimate in chocolate-chip-cookie quality and economy, make your own. Here’s the best recipe I know of:
LISA’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
It's hard to improve upon the Toll House cookie recipe located on the Nestle's chocolate chip bag, but this is a strong contender. I like to use Ghirardelli’s double chocolate chips or Trader Joe’s Dutch chocolate chips.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1½ sticks butter, at room temperature
½ cup Crisco
2/3 cup sugar
1½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
16 ounces chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. With an electric mixer (or vigorously with a wooden spoon), cream butter, Crisco, white sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Finally, fold in chips and nuts.
2. With wet hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.