Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

February Foodie Pen Pals

It’s a busy week on this little blog! I have four required posts scheduled on the same two days, so I’m doubling up on posts today. Hope you don’t mind! This post is all about the fantastic Foodie Pen Pals, and my delicious treats from my most recent package. This month for Foodie Pen Pals, I received a package from Susannah at La Vie et Me. It’s like she already knew me and my crazy sweet tooth, because she sent me an all-cookies package, with samples from four incredible bakeries on the Upper West Side of New York City. I’d been to a couple of the bakeries that had cookies featured in this package before, but a couple I’ve never visited, so I was glad to get to sample what they have to offer. There was also the little note that you’re required to write to your pen pal and she clearly put a lot of thought into it. She talked about a lot of things and even suggested that I check out Village Bakery if I ever need to buy some new kitchen gadgets! Before I dive into the package contents, I should say how creative I thought it was to feature just one item in a package, and then include different variations of that item. I suppose it could backfire if you sent cookies to someone who’d rather snack on salty stuff all day, but man this totally made my week! Cookies are such a soft spot for me, especially cookies from some of the greatest cookie creators on the East Coast, so this was really more than I could have asked for.

The first cookie I tried, and far and away my favorite in the whole package, was the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip from Levain Bakery. I’ve been to Levain Bakery once before, and happen to believe their cookies are my favorite cookies in the entire world. There aren’t even enough descriptive words in my vocabulary to explain how fantastic their cookies are – so huge and fluffy and flavorful and moist, they are a completely different breed than any cookie I’ve ever tried before. I don’t know how they manage to maintain such a perfect shape and size in the oven, but when they come out they are almost gooey in the centers, and impressively hefty. These cookies are no joke! Just one feels like it weighs about a half-pound, which cannot be good for me, but do I care when it tastes like this?! (No.) I’d previously tried both a Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip and a Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from there, so this was a new kind of Levain cookie for me, and it was amazing. I’ve been trying to drag Kevin to the city for months just so we can stockpile their cookies.

This perfectly crispy, crunchy, chewy sensation was a Chocolate Chip Cookie with Sea Salt from Cafe Lalo, a place I have never been. It was just how I like my chocolate chip cookies – chewy in the center and crunchy on the edges. It has a nice buttery flavor, bittersweet chocolate chunks, and plenty of salt sprinkled on top to give the flavor some extra oomph. I found this cookie had the perfect balance of flavors and textures, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The third cookie I tried was from Magnolia Bakery, a Brown Sugar Cookie. Despite it’s rather unexciting appearance, it was actually quite yummy. The texture was a bit more brittle than a regular sugar cookie, but it was still nice and chewy, with a hint of molasses flavor. I’ve been to Magnolia before for their famous cupcakes, but haven’t ever tried any of their other confections, so I was happy to try something different.

The last cookie in the package was a Compost Cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar. I’ve made my own compost cookies before, but never had the real thing, and it was amazing! Very dense and heavy, with lots of contrasting sweet and salty flavors. This was one serious cookie, loaded with so many different flavors and textures that made it loads of fun to eat. As with all the others, I really enjoyed it! Another delicious and successful month with Foodie Pen Pals – I already can’t wait for next month! If you’re not a part of the group or are interested in learning more, check out Lindsay’s blog. If you’d like to see the package I put together for this month, head over to Sarah’s blog Walking on my Own 2 Feet to check it out.

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