Ooh, The Witches Brew

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What’s not to love about the Witches Brew? This gothic/eclectic styled coffee shop was the home to many high school hangouts several years back. There is a pretty diverse crowd here which is nice to see. The Witches Brew is everything I look for in a coffee house:
-Oversized comfy coucheswitches brew food
-Vintage decorations
-Funky menu items (food & drink!)
-Smooth music
*Awesome friends.
They have STELLAR teas here. Me being such a big Tea-Drinker, I know that every visit will be a great one. During the fall season, the pumpkin and chai make it’s guest appearance. My favorite! The cookies, cakes and other assortments of snacks are enough to convince me to travel to Hempstead anytime. Don’t forget this is a CASH only place! I have to make sure to go back here soon. It’s been a while and I’m waaay overdue for a nice chai latte and a giant ooey-gooey cookie.

Weekends can bring the crowds, so plan to wait a bit. And yes, the drinks may be a tad bit pricey but you’re paying for the ambiance, the service and good company! And as you can see by the other reviews, this coffee house is loved by many.

*I could totally picture the cast of FRIENDS hanging out here. This is like the hip version of Central Perk.

311 Hempstead Tpke

West Hempstead, NY 11552

(516) 489-9482

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Sweet, Sweet Levian

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

Oh, my childhood.

I have very vivid memories of coming home from school to the sweet, sweet smell of freshly baked cookies coming right out of the oven. I remember running up the stairs, so excited that I almost didn’t want to wait for them to cool. There’s something about your olfactory nerves — it can trigger the most vivid moments. Levain did just that.

This place has been on my “to-try” list for practically forever. I don’t make it to the UWS often, but since I was seeing a show at Beacon Theatre, naturally I had to go! From what I heard, there’s always a line… the inside is tiny… and it’s 100% worth it. At $4 a cookie, it’s not cheap but you’re paying for the king of all that is cookies.* From looking at the small selection, the obvious choice was the Chocolate Chip Walnut. Decent size, very pillow-y looking and that smell was heavenly. I just hoped it would taste as good.

One word: PERFECTION.
The best moment is when you take that first bite. Cookies have a serious power over people** and immediately transport them to their happy place. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Slightly crunchy on the outside but OOEY-GOOEY almost half-baked goodness on the inside. There is some serious magic going on in that kitchen.*** We were lucky enough to get a uber-fresh batch out of the oven. I was so surprised my cookie was strong enough to hold together. My experience there was everything that I thought it would be.

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

I don’t know if you’re the type to travel for food. But if you had to pick a place, THIS IS IT. You bet I’ll be back. No doubt about it.
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*Levain=Heisenberg of cookies.
**Instant smiles/positive mood. Cookies should be the solution to all our problems.
***I bet you there’s Keebler elves working in the wayy, wayy back of that tiny store. Wouldn’t be surprised.

167 W 74th St
New York, NY 10023

b/t Columbus Ave & Amsterdam Ave inUpper West Side

(212) 874-6080

levainbakery.com

Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

 

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Who doesn’t enjoy a warm chewy chocolate cookie? I know that during college I always needed a sweet treat to kick my energy level up a bit. I think this is a pretty simple recipe packed with rich chocolate good-ness. The cookie is moist, tender and those extra bits of chocolate just melt in your mouth.

Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

3/4 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups of chocolate chunks/chips (any flavor you prefer)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract (one at a time) until well incorporated.

In a seperate bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together. With the hand mixer on low, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to the wet, scraping the sides of the bowl if needed. (To make sure nothing gets left behind.) The cookie batter may be a bit thick. Take the chocolate and cut it into chunks and add to the batter. Drop cookie mix onto the baking sheet (tablespoon size).

Bake 10-12 minutes. Or until cookies have puffed up a bit and look done. Cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.