Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - 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.