Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

A copycat recipe for the amazing chocolate chip cookies from Levain Bakery in New York City. These enormous cookies are crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, and might possibly be your new favorite cookie.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Guess what? It is national chocolate chip cookie week! A whole week dedicated to America’s (and more importantly, TheBetterHalf’s) favorite cookie. So to celebrate, some of my blogging friends and I are having a week-long chocolate chip cookie party!  Be sure to check out their sites this week for some amazing chocolate chip cookie recipes.

Now I love chocolate chip cookies, and have shared plenty of varieties on Chez CateyLou, but there is one recipe that I have been meaning to try and finally did– the famous Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies!

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Levain is a bakery on the Upper West Side of New York, and they have some of the best chocolate chip cookies in the city! It is a tiny little shop, but their cookies are anything but tiny. They are seriously enormous! They sell four flavors – chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and our all-time favorite – chocolate peanut butter chip.

I can’t even remember how I discovered Levain, but it was definitely love at first bite. I still can’t go to the Upper West Side and not stop in for a cookie. But it is a good thing that I’m not up there often, because I have a slight problem when it comes to Levain cookies….I can’t stop eating them. Seriously. They are addicting.

Their signature is that the cookies are served fresh out of the oven, so they are still warm and gooey in the centers. I mean try to stop eating a warm chocolate chip cookie. It really isn’t possible. But of course when I go to Levain, I have to get a chocolate chip and a peanut butter chip cookie. And thus, I end up eating them all, and feeling sick every time I go. Every.Single.Time. I need to learn a little self control. Maybe someday.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

There are a lot of copycat Levain recipes out there, but unfortunately they are all kind of a guess – Levain will not give out their recipe! I just called them to check…confirmed, they do not publish their recipe. But, Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker got pretty darn close with this recipe!

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Some keys to a true Levain style cookie.

1) They need to be HUGE. I’m talking at least 4 ounces of dough. You’re going to think that you are using too much dough…you are not. To get the authentic Levain cookie, you need an obscene amount of dough. There is a reason the cookies cost 4 bucks and weigh about 28 pounds.

2) The dough balls need to be chilled before they go in the oven so that they will get slightly crispy around the edges, but will stay super soft and doughy in the middle.

3) The dough balls need to be kind of free-form and rustic. Their cookies are not round and perfect but rather kind of craggy, for lack of a better word! So just grab a chunk of dough and plop it on the cookie sheet rather than rolling it into a nice ball.

4) Use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.

5) Include walntus in the cookie dough. They do not have plain chocolate chip cookies at Levain – only chocolate chip walnut.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Ok if you want to cheat on number 5 and not add walnuts, I don’t mind. I actually did half and half because even though I like nuts, I prefer my chocolate chippers without nuts.

A word about number 3 – I had a little bit of a hard time with this one. I’m so used to making my cookies round and perfect looking. But the first sheet that I baked just didn’t look like Levain. They tasted great, but the look wasn’t right. So with my second sheet, I took the perfectly formed dough balls, and just broke them into pieces. Then I kind of gently pushed the pieces together to form a mound and plopped them on the cookie sheets. Success! They really look so similar to Levain’s.

These cookies are amazing fresh out of the oven (in true Levain style), but they are just as good the next day!

And if you are ever in NYC, stop by Levain and try one of their cookies to see how you think they compare! But a word from personal experience, try to share…

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies | chezcateylou.com

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 10 HUGE cookies

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

A copycat recipe for the amazing chocolate chip cookies from Levain Bakery in New York City. These enormous cookies are crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, and might possibly be your new favorite cookie.

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 chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cold butter on medium speed for about one minute, until it comes together in one mass. Add the brown and white sugar, and beat for 1 - 2 minutes, until the sugar is well incorporated. Slowly add the eggs, then the vanilla, and mix until all ingredients are combined, scraping the sides of the bowls as needed. The batter may appear lumpy.
  3. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add the flour. Mix until it is just incorporated.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts by hand.
  5. Line a large plate or platter with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 10 pieces, about 4 ounces each. Roughly shape them into a ball, but do not make it too smooth and perfect looking. You want these to be mounds of rustic looking dough, not perfect dough balls.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  8. Place half the cold dough on the prepared sheet, spacing it a few inches apart. Bake for 16 - 22 minutes, until light golden brown on the top and edges. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Or serve them while still warm, like they do at Levain!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

http://chezcateylou.com/levain-bakery-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve never made these or tried the levian bakery version. Although that bakery is on my list of bakeries to hit next time I make it to the city/ These cookies look amazing!! Thick and chewy…just as I like my chocolate chip cookies. What a great way to start off the week!!

  2. says

    When I read that you always had two cookies from this store, Cate, I thought ‘Oh, that’s OK.’ But then I read how big you said they were! But warm cookies? Hmm, I think I would probably have 3! I love how thick they look!

  3. says

    I had no idea of this momentous week occasion! Haha I am in love with national chocolate chip cookie week since it means I can have chocolate chip cookies every day right? 😉 Okay seriously though these cookies look like the BEST. The thicker and more chocolatey a cookie is, the more I like it! And 4 ounces of dough – that’s a thick cookie! I’m definitely going to try these the next time I’m doing chocolate chip cookies :) Hope you are having a great weekend Cate!

  4. says

    Now these are my kind of chocolate chip cookie! They look so delicious and I never would think to use bread flour to make CCC, I cant wait to try this recipe and enjoy a couple of these cookies with a big glass of milk to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie week! Pinned :)

  5. says

    I hadn’t heard of these, but after reading your whole post, I am utterly convinced I MUST make these. Any time cookie dough is described as enormous and obscene, I’m sold. And you are so right- no one can say no to a warm chocolate chip cookie. Haha, I ear myself dick at certain places every.single.time too. Self control is not my strong suit either!

      • says

        Oh wow, never again am I commenting on the phone – *sick* I really meant “eat myself sick” -> sorry! Oh, and I will let you know soon! We have a major baking day this afternoon – these are on the list!

  6. says

    I love Levain Bakery Cookies. Have you tried their all chocolate one? O.M.G. for reelz! I forget that you live in the city too. I have yet been up there. The only reason why I know about them is because a friend of mine always brings me back some when he goes. I swoon!

    • says

      I sure have had the all chocolate one…so good!! All their cookies are seriously addicting!! You have quite an amazing friend – I wish I had someone bringing me Levain cookies!

  7. says

    These cookies look absolutely amazing! I love how big and thick they are! I think I would have to go with the chocolate chip or peanut butter chip version as well. Putting this bakery on my list of places to visit for the next time I go to New York!

  8. says

    Yes!!! Levain Cookies are the best! And you are so right… definitely share. And get milk. Milk is a necessity. I love all their cookies, but my new fave is definitely the chocolate peanut butter one. SO good. Whenever I’m up in that area, I usually make it a point to also stop at Jacques Torres around the corner, and Beard Papa for some cream puffs. It’s the dessert trifecta, haha!

    I really love that you made this copycat recipe. Totally need to try!

    • says

      Hi Michael – thanks for stopping by! Definitely put Levain on your list the next time you are in NYC! Checking out your cake now….of course I love chocolate!!

  9. says

    Hi Cate! I can’t wait to try this recipe…I have such a weakness for Levain’s cookies! Also, just wondering if you have found or created a good copycat recipe for Levain’s chocolate cookies??? That PB chocolate cookie is my absolute favorite!

    Let me know if you have a chance :)
    Lauren

    • says

      Hi Lauren! You are going to love this recipe! I have not tried to recreate their chocolate cookies, but now I am going to!! I loooove the PB chocolate one, it is so good! Hopefully I’ll have a good recipe for you sometime in the future :)

      • says

        Awesome! I found one on another blog that seems promising….if its good I will send the link :) (Otherwise I’ll just eat the chocolate chip until I explode, so pretty much a win win)

  10. Thea la O' says

    Hey! Love this recipe by the way , but what kind of chocolate chips do you use? Dark or semi-sweet? and which one do you think would taste best?

    • says

      Hi Thea! I’m so sorry for the delay in responding, somehow your comment got lost in my spam filter! I use semi-sweet chocolate chips, although I think that any type would taste amazing! Or maybe even a mix! Happy baking, and thanks for stopping by.

  11. says

    I made these today after a serious craving had me look up a Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. AMAZING. So, so delicious. My husband, who normally doesn’t say much in the cookie department unless it involves peanut butter, said, “these are no joke!” and inhaled the whole cookie.
    It’s big enough for a meal, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I got a dozen large cookies from the recipe (I had 16 and then re-distributed to get to 12) and my oven’s cooking time was 17:30. I left out the nuts because I always wished Levain had a nut free option. I made three plain for my son who doesn’t like CC (WHA???) and he loved it as a giant sugar sort of cookie. His review – I wish my mouth was bigger so I could eat the whole thing at once!
    Thank you so much for posting!

    • says

      Hi Cristina! Thank you so much for the comment! I’m so glad your family liked these – they really are an incredible cookie! I’m with you – I always wish Levain had a nut free version! Good thing we can make them for ourselves!

  12. Darren says

    I was at Levain last week buying some for a couple that had just gotten married. I did the same when they got engaged and the bride refused to eat it. Talk about will power.

    Anyway I live at 7,000 feet. How would you suggest I adapt the recipe (flower and liquid wise) for altitude?

    Thanks for this.

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