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