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The Art of a Cookie

October 3, 2011

Some people are inspired by the sounds and music of an opera whose curtain has just drawn.  Some people are delighted when they finish the last page of a novel that they haven’t been able to put down.   What quickens my pulse and thrills me is when I leave a place, whether it’s a bakery or a restaurant, feeling as if I have just uncovered a secret and have been initiated into a club that only a select few have the privilege of knowing.

La Boite a Biscuit is not really what you would call a secret given that it actually received quite a bit of culinary press when the store first opened back in January (google it if you don’t believe me).  But th Hell’s Kitchen bakery has certainly flown under the radar and when I read about this amazing Snow Cloud cookie that was made there only once or twice a year, I knew I had to track this rather known bakery down myself.

The bakery is located on an inconspicuous block on 11th Avenue, away from the traffic and lights of Midtown.  The spacious store front was not what you would call a typical bakery with its sleek white walls and minimalist modern decor.  Chef Lior Lev Sercarz was there personally the evening I dropped by and he was nice enough to chat with me and entertain my pedestrian questions while I browsed through his 40 spice mixes and admired the cookies.  He was so humble and down to earth that I had no idea of his accomplishments and pedigree until I came home later that night and did a little bit of googling.  I could have stayed there all night talking to Chef Lior and picking his brain.  I left that evening feeling inspired by the passion that Chef Lior had for his business and giddy to try my purchases, a box of snow cloud cookies and a tube of his seasonal biscuit.

Chef Lior only makes 5 cookies incorporating spices each season and none of them repeat.  The Tapuz cookies that I grabbed are shortbread cookies sandwiches with a spiced orange marmalade and long raisins in the middle.  They are barely sweet and so crumbly, perfect for a cup of tea or coffee.

And the snow clouds, oh the snow clouds, the only cookies of Chef Lior to make repeat appearances at the incessant request of customers.  The name truly describes the feel of these tiny morsels as you bite into them.  The center is made up of slightly spiced dates, enrobed in a soft and tender pastry.  At first bite, I can tell that these are not your typical cookies and require patience and artistry, a perfect “signature” cookie of La Boite a Biscuit I would say!

La Boite a Biscuit | 724 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10019 | http://laboiteny.com/index.html

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