- 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. - So this is a very
unique style of cookie. It's focused on the visuals, the artistry, and it's also extremely unique because we're not going to learn anything about the person who makes it. They would prefer that we just
focus on the cookie itself without the influence of
information about them. - I can't wait, this is
a very first on Worth It. - I'm so excited. They're not even gonna let us know where they work, what they do, it could be a Bat Cave, it
could be a Fortress of Solitude. - No interview, but we're
gonna now cut to something. (dramatic music) - [Shane] Would you look
at these beautiful cookies? These are the work of
Antolpo Icing Cookie, a custom cookie maker in Japan. So Andrew said you're not gonna learn anything about the people
behind these cookies, and that's true we're not gonna
get an on-camera interview, but we can let you in
on a few cookie secrets. The cookie you're looking
at now is about $90. It's a custom design, and it's based on a traditional Japanese motif. Shipping cookies obviously prevents them from getting too fancy with their designs, but luckily since they're
making a custom one for us here that's going
to be devoured immediately, they had the chance to be a
little more ornate with it. It takes this one person hours of painstakingly detailed
work to make this cookie. Each little layer of frosting has to dry before they can apply another one. So yeah, that's where the $90 comes from. Sure, plenty of cookies are cute, but Antolpo strives to
create elegant cookies. In their process of making iced cookies, Antolpo discovered you could use the icing to create three-dimensional designs. And the ultimate use of that technique is creating a bird with
individual feathers, each with their own depth. - Before we get to the main feature, we're going to have one of
Antolpo's smaller offerings. I don't believe that
there's a cookie in there. This looks like how jewelry is sold. This reminds me of the
packaging from Lego. I can't destroy this, Adam! Don't make me eat it, you eat it. No, we'll eat it. Okay, it's fine it's just a cookie. (gentle music) I can't believe I just did that. (gentle music) - It's awesome.
- Yeah. - It's not too sweet.
- No. - I like that a lot. - Can I finish this? - Yeah.
- Yeah. - That was a big bite. - Are you speaking Japanese or English? (Andrew laughing) - It tastes very nostalgic to me. - Oh.
- Really? - It's like something my mom made. - Why do you think that is?
- Cookie? (everyone laughing) - Every time I look at this, I smile. - It's crazy!
- When I look at pictures of it, I smile.
- Look! Can we do head for scale real quick? - Yeah. It's not just impressive in this scale. - Oh yeah.
- It's like a topographic map. - Yeah.
- You can see the Rocky Mountain as it
spills out into the Pacific. - Death Valley down here by the legs. - Yeah, look at that. - Can you tell that we're just trying to avoid eating this? (laughs)
- Yeah. I don't wanna do it.
- Where do you even start? - [Andrew] Let's start with the feet. Three, two, one. - I felt so bad doing that. I'm sorry.
- Cheers, Steven. - Cheers. - Very reminiscent of the shortbread. - I like this one more than the last one, 'cause it's bigger. - Oh God now I want--
- I know. - Now I got the taste in my mouth. (laughs) I went to break off more. You know how you're supposed
to leave a cookie for Santa? - [Steven] Can you imagine
Christmas Eve at Antolpo's house? - What would he do when
he came down the chimney? He was like, this? I thought I had the little
elves in my workshop. They've been out making
cookies for someone else! Wanna eat the tail section?
- No! - Really?
- I wanna keep-- - I wanna eat it.
(Steven gasping) It's like a little angel's wing. - You murderer! This cookie is literally just
four ingredients with icing. You have this elegant design
with this very simple food, which is what makes it so great. Yeah, Rie agrees with me, which means I know I'm saying something right. What was that?
- I just wanted to feel the texture in my mouth. - Oh, okay.
- It's so awesome. Yeah it feels so nice. I love this cookie.
- Okay. Let's let Adam and Annie have some. (playful music) - I can't do it.
- So weak. (playful music) - Which cookie was the most
worth it to you, Andrew? Rie I don't think you get one, because you only had one of them. - But my Worth It Winner is Antolpo. (laughing) - Alright, Rie gets one.
- You didn't eat the other one. - I agree actually,
Antolpo's my Worth It Winner. - Really?
- Look, something that makes me not want to eat it but is also delicious,
what is that thing called when you have like your
cognitive dissonance? Cookie-niv-nitive dissonance. - Who to pick, who to pick? Antolpo, a feast for the eyes, Levain a feast for my thighs. (laughing) My Worth It Winner, Mah-ze-dahr. It was the best taste per net weight of any of the cookies we had. And that's a criteria
that I'm going to choose to value the most because all the cookies were genuinely so delicious. It's the mah-ze-dahr, you know? I can't put my finger on it.
- That's fair. - You weren't there,
but mah-ze-dahr is like the je ne sais quoi.
- The magic-- - I don't understand French. - Is there a Japanese
phrase for secret sauce? - Secret sauce? (speaking foreign language) I think it's called a hidden flavor. - What was that?
(speaking foreign language) Who said it better? - Well say that again.
(speaking foreign language) - What?
(Andrew laughing) Annie, who's your Worth It Winner? - Wow.
- That's right. And, finally, Adam? Next up, what are we gonna see, Andrew? - We're gonna see egg-shaped things, fish-shaped things, box-shaped things. What does that mean? You don't know.
- If you could just rhyme, You could be Dr. Seuss Two.
- I would be Dr. Zeus, 'cause that's how good I
would be at rhyming at it. C-A-L-O-R-I-E-S, we gettin' calories. - [Steven] Oh yes.