Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

The first time I heard about the Levain Bakery cookies was on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay eons ago… I bet it was at least five years ago. I never quite got the picture of those massive cookies out of my mind. I still have never been to Levain Bakery, which also means I haven’t had one of their cookies. Still, they tempt me. Every time I see a copycat recipe show up on one of the blogs I read, or on Pinterest, I save it. Ever since my little chocolate chip cookie throwdown last fall, I haven’t tried any new chocolate chip cookie recipes. A couple of days ago, I decided it was time to throw another one into the ring. I sifted through the mountain of copycat recipes that are floating around online and settled on this one. If you like huge, chewy cookies packed with chocolate, then these are your heaven.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

In case you can’t tell from the photos, these cookies are absolutely, positively enormous. As is, humongous. Even my Chief Culinary Consultant, who loves super-sized desserts as much as I do, couldn’t believe how big these cookies were. I believe he referred to them as “ridiculously large”.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the cookies, but I totally loved them. Aside from being huge, these cookies really deliver in the thick and chewy department. They have slightly crisp edges that give way to a sky-high chewy cookie loaded with dark chocolate and walnuts. You could use semisweet chips if you’d like, but I do love the flavor of the dark chocolate. These cookies remind me of a slightly less amped-up version of The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Big, thick, chewy cookies with tons of chocolate and add-ins are just my speed. Since I’ve never had the real thing I can’t tell you how they compare, but I can tell you that these are utterly fantastic cookies that will make you swoon. Make them and don’t think twice!

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Filled Raisin Cookies
Two years ago: Basic Pesto Sauce Recipe
Six years ago: Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies (Copycat Recipe)

Yield: 12 cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A copycat recipe for the famous Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients:

3 cups (13½ ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
¾ cup + 4 teaspoons (6 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, cold, lightly beaten in a separate bowl
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it comes together in one cohesive mass, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and continue to beat for another 1 to 2 minutes, until all of the sugar has been incorporated into the butter. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating on medium speed until mixed, scraping the sides of bowl once (the batter will appear lumpy). Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the flour mixture until just a little bit of flour still remains. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts with a rubber spatula.

4. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, just grabbing it by the handful and roughly shaping it into a ball (it should not be smooth). Place them (evenly spaced) on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, or until light golden brown on top. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

(Recipe adapted from Cookie Madness)

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125 Responses to “Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies”

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  1. Annie on July 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

    These look really good. I love thick and chewy cookies.

    Reply

  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 17, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I loved your CCC throwdown last fall! I actually re-read those posts sometimes because I love cookie talk. Yes, I admit to really loving dissecting the why’s and why not’s of cookies. I have tried both C.I. recipes, the NYTimes recipe, and am currently crusting on cornstarch in cookies for the past 9 mos or so. It’s become my default but I’ve never made Levain because I always worry they will be cakey. Yours are super chewy looking and not at all cakey, which some photos I see of them on other sites they look dry and cakey. Yours are cookie heaven! You’re the first blog who’s ever inspired me to actually make them! Pinned!

    Reply

  3. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on July 17, 2013 at 12:24 am

    These look incredible, I love how studded with chocolate they are!

    Reply

  4. Tieghan on July 17, 2013 at 12:40 am

    These look incredible! I have actually never heard of these, but I read the instructions and it sounds perfect!! I must try these!

    Reply

  5. Becky @ lovetobeinthekitchen on July 17, 2013 at 12:54 am

    These look delicious!

    Reply

  6. Jaclyn on July 17, 2013 at 1:13 am

    These look so dreamy! Wish I had one now for a late night snack. Chocolate chip cookies are the best and I love starting with cold butter in chocolate chip cookies. Mine never look this perfect though :).

    Reply

  7. Marcie on July 17, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Holy moly! These are my kind of cookie – big, thick, and chewy. They’re so big, you only need one. This recipe’s a keeper!

    Reply

  8. Jenna on July 17, 2013 at 7:22 am

    yummy! cant wait to hop in the kitchen and make them! chocolate chip cookies and maple cookies are the only ones I love, but of the two chocolate’s number one.

    Reply

    • Navar on July 17th, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Jenna,
      I am intrigued… Maple Cookies? Can you send a recipe?

      Reply

  9. Lori on July 17, 2013 at 7:22 am

    How many WW points are these? lol. I will have to make a batch for my son who is home for the summer.

    Reply

  10. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on July 17, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Mmmm…love this cookies! Big, thick and chewy…just how I like them!

    Reply

  11. Melanie @ carmelmoments.com on July 17, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Wow. They look so perfectly good! One for chocolate chip cookie recipe to try. Thanks!

    Reply

  12. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on July 17, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I have been searching lately for a copycat recipe!! I think I am going to try yours. I live in NYC and LOVE Levain. I have to refrain from going there though because the cookies are so enormous and delicious that I end up eating the whole thing and making myself sick!! They also have a chocolate cookie with PB chips that is to die for!!

    Reply

  13. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on July 17, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Oh, goodness! I remember that episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. And, you did a CCC throwdown? I must read your archives, Michelle. Something fun to look forward to reading. Your Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies ROCK! Love how moist and chewy they look with all those chips studded in there!

    Reply

  14. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on July 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

    These look like dang big, delicious, cookies! Yum!

    Reply

  15. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion on July 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

    OMG I love these… I must make them ASAP!

    Reply

  16. Jamie @lifelovelemons on July 17, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Ohhhh I’ve been wanting to make these forever! They look amazing!

    Reply

  17. Navar on July 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

    In the recipe after the three cups of bread flour there is a (13 1/2). What does this refer to? It wouldn’t be 13 and half ounces?

    The cookies look wonderful and I am going to make them!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 17th, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Yes, it’s 13.5 ounces. My apologies for the typo; I have corrected it above.

      Reply

  18. Brenda Watts on July 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

    AWESOME Chocolate Chip Cookies!! So Moist, Flavorful and Chocolaty ..YUM :-)

    Reply

  19. Cindy D on July 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Oh my, these look awesome! A few years ago I was on the hunt for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe and I tried so many recipes…gained a few extra pounds in the process ;-) I ended up with the one that has pretzels, white choc chips and milk choc chips…but after seeing these, it might be time to try a new recipe! Thanks

    Reply

  20. Rebecca on July 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

    My husband and I made the long trek across Manhattan to Levain Bakery last year! As we stood in line to get one of each of their 4 cookies (that’s 24 oz of cookie!), I heard a girl behind us tell her friend that she usually finishes her ONE cookie over the course of a few days because she just can’t each that much. Weakling.

    We then proceeded to grab a stool and devour all of ours! Being so big, they had a great mix of textures that I’m excited to be able to recreate now with your recipe!

    Reply

  21. connie on July 17, 2013 at 10:15 am

    what is the reason for bread flour and I don’t understand the measurements 3 cups and in parenthesis ( 13 1/2)) what is that or is it typ-o

    Reply

    • JenB on July 17th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      I might be wrong, but I suspect the 13 1/2 refers to amount of protein in the flour. All purpose flour has around 10-12%, while bread flour has around 14-16%. Protein content has a lot to do with gluten production within a baked product. See here for more detailed explanations. http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-cake-flou-74565

      Reply

      • Marla on July 18th, 2013 at 10:44 am

        As Michelle mentioned in one of the comments above, it was a typo that has since been corrected. It refers to the weight of the flour in ounces.

        Reply

  22. Pru on July 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I have been on a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. You see, I cannot bake to save my life. Ask me to prepare a 12 course dinner blindfolded..no problem, but a chocolate chip cookie will send me into complete and utter panic mode. I used to blame my oven, the weather, or the “inferior” ingredients… but since then, I’ve admitted that the problem is me. It is truly me.

    I am going to give these cookies a try, maybe next week, when the temperature goes down (ha, blaming the weather again!)… I will let you know how they turn out. I have a slight feeling of hope, maybe these will be the ones to help me turn my baking reputation around! Thank you for sharing this!!

    Reply

  23. Lindsey on July 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

    These look fabulous. I have tried so many different CCC recipes and have narrowed it down to 2 favorites, however I may have to give this recipe a try. The cookies look so thick and so chewy and you can’t ever have too many recipes for CCC.

    Reply

  24. Kathy on July 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Now these are my kind of cookies!

    Reply

  25. Hari Chandana on July 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Wowww.. Mouthwatering cookies.. Yummy !!!!!

    Reply

  26. Fran@fransfavs.com on July 17, 2013 at 10:41 am

    When I made a Levain Bakery ccc clone, it changed my ccc-baking-life forever! To.die.for!! As you know, we bloggers have been trying to duplicate the Levain chocolate chip cookie for several years now. A lot of us suspect that they use pastry flour to make theirs. My recipe calls for ap flour as well as cake flour and a tablespoon of corn starch which is supposed to replicate pastry flour. I finally dug down deep and ordered a 4-cookie sampling of the actual Levain Bakery cookies that have become so famous. I’ve made clones of all four (3 are posted with the 4th due to post shortly). My husband and I both agreed that each of my clones tasted better than the mail-ordered Levain’s. I don’t think it was a fair fight since I don’t know how old the Levain’s cookies were when they arrived. They were mighty good for sure, but the freshly baked clones were better. Love your photos and they make me realize that I need to redo mine–my photography skills were in their infancy when I posted mine!

    Reply

  27. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on July 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Oh my goodness. I can never resist trying out new chocolate chip cookie recipes. I’m always looking for one even better than the last! I love how thick these are!

    Reply

  28. Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen on July 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Everytime I used to see pics of these cookies they always seemed oddly bread-y looking to me but your pics just look gooey and delicious!

    Reply

  29. Dorothy on July 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! That episode of Bobby Flays throw down has haunted me for years! haha I was SO upset when the recipe wasn’t in the book! I LOVE a really good chocolate chip cookie and am always trying new recipes but mostly find them “lacking”. I can’t wait to try this one!!!

    Reply

  30. Monica on July 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Hi Michelle, I can’t resist a “copycat” recipe, either! I just a friend of mine post a comment on FB about visiting Levain and enjoying the famous cookies. I have to go one day soon. Sounds good…

    Reply

  31. Rachel on July 17, 2013 at 11:42 am

    i LOVE levain cookies – positively, my favorite cookies ever. Cannot wait to try these!!

    Reply

  32. Wanda on July 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I have been making these cookies since I saw them made on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I search and searched until I could find the recipe, or something close to it, and these are our absolute favorite. Although the original recipe doesn’t call for vanilla extract, I do use it, along with the seeds from 2 vanilla beans. Wonderful! I usually substitute half of the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips. If I have them in my pantry, I may also sub macadamia nuts for half the walnuts.

    Reply

  33. Kristi on July 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Delicious! A good chocolate chip cookie is always the best.

    Reply

  34. Kirsten on July 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    You should order Levain’s cookies online! I did this immediately after seeing the Throwdown episode several years ago and they were great! They come frozen (you can get a variety) and you just pop them in the oven to bring them back to their fresh, melty state :)

    Reply

  35. Val Skinner on July 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I was just thinking about this episode! It’s been a while since I saw the throwdown, but if I remember correctly the bakery owners needed to come up with a cookie to carb-load for triathlons. I have one coming up so I guess I’m going to have to try this recipe out. Can’t wait.

    Reply

  36. Shari on July 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Michelle, knowing how much you love chocolate chip cookies, I’ve often wondered whether you knew about the Levain clones! I’ve made several batches of Levain copycats, the chocolate PB chip, chocolate chocolate chip and of course, the walnut chocolate chip. I make sure all my ingredients are super cold, then let a tray sit in the freezer for maybe an hour before popping into 350 degree oven for 16 minutes. They come out sooo gooey inside, with a great crisp edge. Have never used bread flour tho. Must try your version this weekend!

    Reply

  37. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on July 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I’ve never been to Levain Bakery, really because it takes me alot of energy to go anywhere above 23rd St, but I might have to try to get there now! Or maybe I will just stay inside with my air conditioner and make your version, I think I will go for that one.. I know yours will be yummy!

    Reply

  38. Becca @ Crumbs on July 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    All I can say is YUM! Will have to try these, and very very soon!

    Reply

  39. Maegan @ The BakerMama on July 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Levain cookies are insanely amazing! You have got to go there next time you are in NYC! I plan trips to NYC just to go there and I bring a huge bag of them home with me to freeze so I can fulfill my cravings until I can go again. Your copycat version looks pretty amazing so I’ll definitely give them a try!

    Reply

    • Maegan @ The BakerMama on July 19th, 2013 at 1:04 am

      I just baked and ate one (or two!) of these and they are perfect! The crisp on the outside and the chewy chocolate inside makes me feel like I’m sitting on the sidewalk in front of Levain Bakery enjoying one of their fresh baked cookies. This is a great recipe! Well done!

      Reply

  40. Tracey on July 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I first read your post at 6 am this morning and I seriously haven’t been able to stop thinking about chocolate chip cookies since. I think you’ve inspired me to turn on the oven tonight to make them in spite of the 90+ degree temps!

    Reply

  41. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on July 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Oh wow, totally craving cookies now! These look amazing!!

    Reply

  42. JenB on July 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Made these today and they baked up like a dream. Really! I, too, have never been to Levain Bakery but have been on the search for a Levain clone because I adore the tall, chunky, moist cookie as opposed to the flat and crunchy kind. I didn’t have bread flour so I used all-purpose flour and replaced 1T of flour from each cup with 1 T. wheat gluten. I omitted the walnuts for allergy reasons. I baked on a plain dark pan (not air bake type) with parchment paper and they were done and even a bit dark at the 18 minute mark (ovens may vary). I baked one large, full size cookie to test and it was PERFECT and I kept it all for myself. Because humongous cookies aren’t as practical in a house full of toddlers I opted to split each large cookie into two smaller ones (yield 2 dozen instead of the original 1 dozen). I reduced baking time to 13-14 minutes and they were still plenty large and beautiful!
    THANK YOU for a fabulous recipe!!

    Reply

  43. allie@sweetpotatobites on July 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    mmm I love the look of these cookies. I live in CA so Levain Bakery isn’t anywhere near me but I hear they are quite good. I’d probably swap out the walnuts for pecans though.

    Reply

  44. Allie on July 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Just made these tonight and they not only look gorgeous, but taste amazing! I would add just a pinch more salt, but that’s more of a personal preference. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Reply

  45. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking on July 17, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I saw your picture of these on FoodGawker and even though I just made yet ANOTHER chocolate chip cookie recipe two days ago (The NY Times one -so good!), I had to click. It’s a compulsion. And now I need to make them. These have just been placed at the top of my To Bake List. I have a problem!

    Reply

  46. Ela on July 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I’ve tried this before from cookie madness and it was awesome. I’d like to bake your adapted recipe soon. You should also try the peanut butter one from the same blog. It’s to die for.

    Reply

  47. Johlene on July 18, 2013 at 1:45 am

    These look amazing.. great photos!!!

    Johlene
    Flavours & Frosting
    XX

    Reply

  48. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on July 18, 2013 at 1:55 am

    my husband just begged me to make these based on the photos!!!!!

    Reply

  49. anna on July 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

    do you think i can use all purpose flavor instead of bread flour??? here in Brazil i can’t find the bread flour!!!
    i love your recipes so much!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 19th, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Anna, You won’t get as thick or chewy of a cookie with all-purpose flour. If you have another type of flour in Brazil that has a higher protein content, I would use that.

      Reply

  50. joan on July 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I might be the only person who thinks that the Levain cookie is over-rated. It’s a ginormous cookie (with a ginormous price, I might add :$4.00? if I recall correctly All right, maybe it was $3.75, but that was a while ago). The middle of it is pretty much unbaked, gooey cookie dough, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but, I don’t know, it just didn’t do it for me. I tried the chocolate chip walnut, which they told me was their best seller, so I anticipated Nirvana, which it wasn’t. I went to the bakery and got a fresh one, so no excuse, Levain. Am I just a freak, or does anyone else share my opinion?

    Reply

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