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  • - Today we're doing a cookie episode.

  • - Yes, cookies.

  • Gotta start things off right and get some cookie gravy,

  • AKA milk. - Milk.

  • I may be slightly lactose intolerant.

  • - Not cookie intolerant, right?

  • - No, no. - I'll drink milk to that.

  • (playful music)

  • Okay, I can't hide this anymore.

  • Adam messed up and instead of milk

  • we have drinkable yogurt.

  • It's so thick. - Today on Worth It,

  • we're gonna be trying three cookies

  • at three drastically different price points

  • to find out which one is the most worth it at its price.

  • - Nice.

  • - What is the best time to eat a cookie?

  • - Cookies are really an any time food.

  • I would eat a cookie before bed,

  • after bed, in the middle of the day.

  • - So we're on our way to Mah-ze-dahr Bakery,

  • having shortbread cookie. - Also you still

  • have milk on your mouth. - It's yogurt.

  • (upbeat music)

  • - My name is Umber Ahmad, this is Mah-ze-dahr Bakery,

  • and today we're trying our vanilla shortbread.

  • - Where does the name Mah-ze-dahr come from?

  • - [Umber] It's a word in the Urdu langugage

  • to describe the magic or the essence

  • that makes something special.

  • It's what draws you in again and again,

  • and we hope that that's what you find with our food;

  • you fall in love with us and you come back.

  • We were named Best Donut in New York City--

  • - Really? - By the New York Times.

  • And last year we were put on another New York Times list

  • of the 10 Best Foods of the Year.

  • - So you have all these fantastic pastries,

  • I wonder why is it important to still have

  • that shortbread at a dollar?

  • - We don't want anyone to come into the bakery

  • and think that they can't afford to be here.

  • There're certain things that cost a lot more money,

  • and there's bite-sized indulgences,

  • and that's what a shortbread is.

  • - [Andrew] Does it come in a couple different flavors, or?

  • - [Umber] It does, buttered pecan,

  • and we also do a chocolate sable.

  • - [Andrew] And what are the defining flavors

  • or essence of shortbread?

  • - It kind of shatters a little bit, which is really fun.

  • The most important thing, you can't hide behind shortbread.

  • It is what it is, totally naked.

  • So we start with the highest quality ingredients,

  • high fat butter, unbleached flour, Madagascar vanilla.

  • Erin Kanagy-Loux is our executive pastry chef,

  • and she's going to be working with me today

  • to make the shortbread.

  • Once we've made the dough, we run it through a sheeter

  • and we punch the cookies out, sprinkle sugar on them,

  • and then we put them in a 325 degree convection oven.

  • We tend to underbake them

  • and then watch the last couple of minutes.

  • Mah-ze-dahr Bakery was born of my love of food.

  • As a child, my family traveled all over the world.

  • We'd be in Sweden, and we'd have bread for breakfast,

  • and then we'd have to close our eyes.

  • My mom would say tell us what you taste.

  • It would have saffron in it and I'd say,

  • God this tastes like the rice in Spain.

  • Food became a way to connect people

  • through flavors and experiences.

  • - Do you still cover your eyes and eat food, or?

  • - I do, I don't cover my eyes in restaurants,

  • but my team tells me often that when I'm tasting something,

  • I'll close my eyes.

  • - We should do that. - Close our eyes and taste it?

  • - Yes. - Ooh.

  • - Whoa. - Thank you.

  • - Cheers.

  • (jazzy music)

  • - Oh man that smells-- - Like butter?

  • - Yeah, like butter. (Steven laughs)

  • - Cheers.

  • (funky music)

  • I can taste the butter, very present,

  • a slight hint of vanilla.

  • - It is the perfect drink accompaniment cookie.

  • - Yes. - And just nibble away,

  • not worried about getting crumbs on yourself.

  • - Oh, I got a lot of crumbs on myself though.

  • - Adam, could we get more?

  • - A bite? - Can I have another?

  • Yeah. - I want another one.

  • - I need another, Adam.

  • Now that's what I'm talking about.

  • This is when you get comped at the casino

  • and they bring over just a tray of chips for you.

  • - Wow. - Chocolate cheers.

  • (funky music)

  • (Andrew laughing)

  • - I cannot eat with my eyes closed.

  • - You know what this tastes like?

  • When you get a little bite

  • of the still-crystallized cocoa powder?

  • That's my mah-ze-dahr moment.

  • When I close my eyes and eat this cookie.

  • Just come in from playing in the snow,

  • my fingers are still a little numb,

  • I'm drinking my cocoa, and at the end of the cup.

  • - It's very weird to watch people eat

  • with their eyes closed.

  • - Really? - I'm just realizing that now.

  • - Also the smell of this cookie is a bakery at work.

  • - If this was a cologne, I would irresistible.

  • - Sure, but it will never be.

  • You could eat this cookie in any outfit.

  • Like this cookie is perfectly at home

  • wearing a tuxedo after the opera

  • or flip-flops and shorts on the weekend.

  • You could take this cookie to the ball,

  • you could take this cookie to the beach.

  • - This is my just woke up at 1:00 a.m. in my boxers,

  • I just wanna eat a cookie.

  • - I take back the outfit thing.

  • You in your boxers eating this cookie is unacceptable to me.

  • - Fine, I'll put on a shirt-- - Unacceptable.

  • - Before I eat this. - Sure, thank you.

  • - Can I feed you?

  • Okay.

  • That shortbread cookie-- - Yes.

  • - So good.

  • - It was very good.

  • When you think of--

  • We're getting spoiled today, guys.

  • - Usually sweets before a meal

  • is not the right way to go,

  • but cookies are one of those things

  • where I don't mind making them my pre-game meal.

  • - I mean cookies' the perfect afternoon dessert.

  • The like four o'clock cookie-- - Yeah.

  • - Is truly a thing to behold.

  • - So the next cookie is actually pretty much a meal.

  • - Yes, I think it was invented to be calorific.

  • - Calorific.

  • Anyway-- - So.

  • Yeah it's gonna be a day full of cookies,

  • but cookies are an any time food, so--

  • - That's right. - No big deal.

  • (jazzy music)

  • - Hi, I'm Connie McDonald. - My name is Pam Weekes.

  • We're at Levain Bakery and you're gonna be trying

  • our world famous cookies today.

  • - So you've known each other for--

  • - Very long time. - Yeah.

  • - Can you tell us about how you met?

  • - We were actually training for an Ironman triathlon.

  • - [Connie] And sharing the cookies

  • just like made it all the more fun.

  • - Was the cookie an after bike ride thing?

  • Was it in your bib-- - After?

  • - during the bike ride? - Both.

  • - [Andrew] Did you ever take it on the ride?

  • - Yeah.

  • You know sustainable and often durable enough

  • where you can just put it in your bike shirt and go.

  • - How many different types of cookies do you have here?

  • - [Pam] Chocolate chip walnut, oatmeal raisin,

  • a dark chocolate chocolate,

  • and a dark chocolate peanut butter chip.

  • - [Connie] With the chocolate chip walnut cookie,

  • it's creaming butter and sugar,

  • adding eggs, flour, salt, leavening,

  • semi-sweet chocolate chips, and walnuts.

  • It's just like really good ingredients.

  • So simple. - We try to keep

  • things simple. - So when you

  • first baked these cookies,

  • what was the motivation for the style?

  • - [Pam] The size gives us the crunchy outside,

  • the gooey inside. - So it's less about scale

  • and more about textural effect.

  • - Exactly. - 'Cause I've heard

  • a lot of people say like oh Levain,

  • that's the giant cookie place,

  • but no it's the place where it's the perfect combination

  • of textures. - Yeah.

  • - That's nice, I like that. - Put that on a T-shirt.

  • - [Pam] Yeah. (people laughing)

  • (jazzy music)

  • - Ooh, feel how heavy this is. - Can I?

  • This is like one child. - Yeah.

  • We've gotten every type of cookie.

  • This should be the chocolate chip walnut.

  • Check out how far apart my fingers are.

  • - I can't wait to see the inside.

  • Oh, that's gooey.

  • Look how many chocolate chips are in here.

  • This is crazy. - Yeah.

  • (jazzy piano music)

  • - I can't talk 'cause my mouth is so full.

  • - I need milk again.

  • - You get so much in one bite,

  • crunchy, crispy, gooey. - Ooh-eey.

  • - Ooh-eey.

  • Not Ew-eey gooey 'cause it's not ew.

  • - No it's more like ooh-ee that's gooey.

  • The walnut really does do something

  • for the chocolate chip cookie

  • that I wasn't expecting.

  • It smells like good chocolate.

  • Is that stupid to say? - No.

  • (jazzy music)

  • I was expecting it to be too chocolatey.

  • - Yeah, it's really not, it's very good.

  • - When is the best time to eat this Levain cookie?

  • - I would eat this cookie any time.

  • - Any time? - Yeah.

  • When would you eat this cookie?

  • - I guess you're right actually.

  • - Tell me a time that you wouldn't eat this cookie.

  • - Like, I would eat it right now.

  • You know? - That's a good answer, yeah.

  • - You know what I mean? - You think about it

  • and now you want it. - Exactly.

  • - [Andrew] Okay now we'll do the oatmeal.

  • - It never gets old how heavy this cookie is.

  • - No, it feels like a good meatball.

  • - That might be the one. - People sneeze

  • at the oatmeal raisin, I think they're sleeping on it.

  • - [Steven] You know what I just realized?

  • - That we've eaten three cookies

  • and now I need to go do a triathlon?

  • - The most tempting thing when you're making cookies

  • is to eat the cookie dough.

  • You're getting that texture, too,

  • in the middle of the cookie.

  • - I've never really seen the appeal of raw cookie dough.

  • - What's wrong with you? - I think

  • for the first time I'm getting that satisfaction

  • in a way that I find acceptable.

  • - Worth It cookie fact, we're not doing a fact today, sorry.

  • - For this next part, we're gonna be traveling

  • to Japan again.

  • - We made it!

  • What a ride, huh?

  • Today we're in Tokyo and we brought

  • our very best friend, Rie McClenny.

  • - Hello. - Andrew found a

  • amazing cookie, maybe one of the best in the world.