Empire Cake, Chelsea
I was walking through Chelsea and came across the cutest little bakery, Empire Cake. I sampled several desserts and they were delicious. Sadly, I didn’t love the rainbow cookies. They were a bit more dry and cake-like than what I prefer. So I’m keeping it short but sweet, since everything else I tried was great.
Reply to mentalityisreal
mentalityisreal said: Why a c+? I find theirs to be on the classic to in terms of taste
RESPONSE: Hi there! I tend to prefer the creamier, more fudgy-type rainbow cookies. Italian-style cookies tend to me a little dryer and more cake-like, so it’s just a personal preference.
Continental Cookies, Hackensack, NJ
So ‘twas the night before Christmas, and I was stopping at The Food Emporium on my way come. Right in front of the entrance was a special table FULL of rainbow cookies. Upon closer inspection I found there were actually two varieties: Plain or Red Velvet.
Let that sink in for a minute.
I almost fainted. Now, I generally don’t consider pre-packaged supermarket rainbow cookies promising, but just one look at these fudgy cookies from Continental Cookies in Hackensack, NJ told me they’d be good.
Flash forward one hour, when I’m practically blacking out at my kitchen table double-fisting these babies. These are the kind of cookies you want to eat alone. In the dark.
I don’t recommend eating four of them at once, but that’s what I did. Damn. It was worth the headache.
Ferrara, Little Italy
Ferrara is an Italian Bakery institution. If you like Italian pastries, you’ll love it there. However, it’s just not my style. Much love to Ferrara, though — you don’t need my support as you’re always packed full of people. Respek.
Nussbaum & Wu, Morningside Heights
Yes, I went all the way up to Morningside Heights for a rainbow cookie.
Though destinations like 113th and anything usually inspire pouts, I happily taxi’d up to this cute Columbia University neighborhood for my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Er, my rainbow cookie at the end of the park. Something like that.
Tumblr user pink-aliens clearly knows the hood — and her glowing review of bakery/deli Nussbaum & Wu had me pretty hyped up.
The cookies were featured prominently in the display case, clearly a local favorite. They were also (I think) Kosher, which meant they weren’t the 100% indulgent buttery kind. But they were moist enough for a “good” rating from all three of the testers I took with me.
Will we be trekking that far again for the cookies? No. But if I was ever in the neighborhood and craving one, it would definitely suffice.
So I went to Nussbaum & Wu today with one of my best friends to get their amazing rainbow cookies. I can tell you that these are the best in NYC. I asked my friend to take a picture of me with them hahaha “for social media purposes.” But seriously - the best rainbow cookies in NYC.
The Bakery, Plainview LI
In the last post I spoke of following a lead for a great rainbow cookie place in Long Island. And this is it.
When I saw this article in Serious Eats in which the author not only describes rainbow cookies as “the stuff of dreams” but boldly proclaims her hometown joint as being the best, I knew I had to go there.
OMG am I glad I did.
The rainbow cookies at The Bakery (which has at least two Long Island locations that I know of) were a buttery explosion. I could barely stop eating them long enough to take a picture.
Were they better than my holy grail? No. But really damn good.
Bagel Master, Syosset LI
On a weekend trip to Long Island to investigate a serious rainbow cookie lead (more on this place later) I stopped into a local bagel place for, well, a bagel. But I couldn’t help but notice the expansive cookie selection to my left.
You know where this is going.
I peered into the bakery case and saw rainbow cookies in there (yay!) and asked if they were homemade. When they answered yes, I answered, “I’ll take two.”
Well, I was really pleasantly surprised. These were moist and marzipan-y, and definitely good enough that I’d get them again anytime I return to Bagel Master.
I had heard that Donatella (as in Arpaia, restaurateur extraordinaire, and the same Donatella of the former David Burke & Donatella) was serving rainbow cookie ice cream sandwiches at her eponymous Chelsea, NY restaurant. You better believe I headed straight there to find out for myself.
I was pleased to see that it was still on the menu, and even more pleased to see that it was served in two portions (it makes that whole uncomfortable having to share thing a little easier).
It was yummy, but not the most amazing thing I’ve ever had. Full disclosure: I’m not an ice cream person. But there’s no doubt that the presence of the rainbow cookie made the ice cream better, even for a non-ice cream lover.
Ralph’s Ices, Gramercy
Ralph’s Ices started in Staten Island, but it’s become a Long Island institution. Multiple Long Islanders close to me had proclaimed their love for Ralph’s but I was not a big fan of ice cream or frozen yogurt or any of the like. But when you tell me there’s a rainbow cookie flavor, I’m so there.
The short story: This was a life-changing experience.
There were actual, real, giant chunks of rainbow cookies smushed into creamy ices (think vanilla ice cream, but a little fluffier and icier).
I can’t imagine anyone who likes rainbow cookies wouldn’t like this. The end.
2nd Avenue Deli, Upper East
I wasn’t expecting to see rainbow cookies at 2nd avenue deli, nor was I expecting them to be good.
That’s not to say that Kosher delis don’t make good desserts (See post about Moishe’s), but I like my rainbow cookies with buttah. Lots of buttah.
Anyway, I was chowing down on my usual egg barley, sour pickles, matzoh ball soup, and potato latke binge when I saw the cookies on the deli counter. It’s not like I wasn’t going to try them, right?
Well, no surprise here, they were bland and dry. But given that they have to conform to Kosher standards, it’s somewhat understandable.