The Cookie of the Summer Is One I Did *Not* See Coming

An iconic New York classic gets a major upgrade

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Mark Weinberg

Few things can truly be categorized as quintessentially New York: yellow taxi cabs, dollar slices, Jewish delis, the L train. But after living in Manhattan for almost a decade (and finally earning my official New Yorker title), I find none more iconic than the black and white cookie. Beloved (unironically) by all five boroughs, the black and white cookie boasts a long and mysterious history, and since its inception in the early 20th century, there’s nary a bakery in town that hasn’t tried its hand at creating it.

Nowadays, cookie culture in NYC runs rampant. Eager eaters form lines that snake around the block to welcome new openings, fresh releases and viral hits. Atop the cookie empire sits Levain Bakery, a pastry mecca with 14 locations all over the country.

Earlier this spring, as they near their 30th anniversary next year, Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald (the founders of Levain Bakery) opened a new location in the Flatiron neighborhood of NYC. To commemorate the launch, the duo debuted a brand-new offering: the Black & White Chocolate Chip cookie, a take on (you guessed it) the famous city staple. “To celebrate our first New York opening in four years,” Weekes and McDonald share, “we knew we had to do something extra special, which is what brought us to developing our Black & White Chocolate Chip cookie, our own unique take on the iconic NYC treat.”

levain black and white cookie stack
Mark Weinberg

As a B&W lover and longtime Levain fan, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough. And to my delight, it did not disappoint.

Ooey, gooey and oh-so-delicious, the Black & White Chocolate Chip cookie captures the essence of the NYC classic with the signature Levain twist—crispy on the outside, doughy on the inside and big enough for two (or three). Beneath the jet-black dough laced with extra dark cocoa sits a minefield of semi-sweet chocolate chips and velvety white chocolate chunks—a trio of flavors in perfect harmony. Though it bears little physical resemblance to the original B&W, it’s a fudgy take on its cakey predecessor: moist, dense and baked to perfection (and officially, my new favorite).

Sadly, Levain’s black and white cookie is only around for a limited time, so I have a feeling it’s about to become the most sought-after cookie of the season. Pick one up fresh out of the oven exclusively at the Flatiron location or sent right to your doorstep with nationwide shipping when purchased online.

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Executive Managing Editor

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