Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! (how to)

levain bakery cookies recipe

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies; learn how to make gigantic soft and chewy cookies crammed with melting chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts, in the style of New York’s Levain Bakery!

 

You would probably roll your eyes at me if I told you that a single cookie could serve 2 people, right?

I felt the same. That is, until I saw the Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies.

levain bakery cookies recipe

levain bakery cookies recipe

“Nestled in New York City’s Upper West Side, Levain headquarters is a cozy neighborhood bakery where locals are greeted by name. A steady stream of loyal regulars stand side by side with tourists, eager to sample the legendary baked goods. From an inventive array of rustic breads to the world-famous six-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie, everything is baked on-site, fresh every day from the finest natural ingredients.”

Sadly, I’ve never had the chance to visit Levain, or New York at all for that matter. However, after my surprising success at recreating the glory of the Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake, I figured I could bring New York City to my little Scottish seaside kitchen once more and recreate them myself!

The Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies went viral a year or two ago. From Buzzfeed Food to Insider, every big social media outlet was sharing them in awe. No one could get over the SIZE of these things. Each one bigger than your whole hand and heavier than your youngest family member. These cookies are thick and heavy, with a crisp golden brown exterior and an utterly divine soft and chewy melting centre. Every bite is heady with the scent of brown sugar, the richness of melted chocolate, the satisfying crunch of toasted nuts and the dense butteriness of soft cookie dough.

Making these in our little flat, my boyfriend thought I’d completely lost the plot. Handling giant lumps of cookie dough was something he was certainly intrigued by but no doubt a concern for the stability of my mental state crossed his mind too. Upon showing him a picture of the Levain chocolate chip cookies, he completely understood my interest. Seems even a coeliac like him can get excited by the thought of a boulder-sized cookie.

levain bakery cookies recipe

The main interest that I have in these cookies, aside from the sheer gluttony of the portion size, is whether something that large could actually taste good. We’ve all seen ridiculous giant foods before on TV and online but I’m never convinced that the flavour would live up to the publicity. It was time to test that theory.

Click here to see exactly how I made and taste tested these giant Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies on my YouTube channel!

After some examination of several of “copycat” recipes I found online, I concocted a recipe to try out myself. Converting cups to grams, testing the dough both chilled or room temperature, and tweaking the ingredients juuuuuust a little bit, I created the cookies you can see pictured.

levain bakery cookies recipe

The traditional Levain recipe uses walnuts, I only had pecans to hand and honestly, I prefer the flavour and texture of pecans anyway! I also used some good quality dark chocolate chips rather than the American “semi-sweet” variety. I chose to chill the dough before baking, as I always do when making cookies, as it lends a better texture and more full flavour. However, the rest is all pretty close to the original from what I can gather, including the fact they apparently don’t use any vanilla extract.

The result of this little homemade experiment was pretty damn good. Crisp edges, gooey insides, an obscene amount of chocolate, it was never going to be bad, right?

levain bakery cookies recipe

You can see my full reaction in the video, but these were delicious. They weren’t quite perfect in my opinion, my tastes would have liked a little more salt and to add that vanilla extract, but it was a great cookie nonetheless. I must say too, while the prospect of a giant cookie is a beautiful thing, I don’t know if these were crazy good enough to be as legendary as they are? Don’t get me wrong, they tasted great, but I’ve definitely had better baked goods. Honestly, that might have just been a case of mine not tasting as good though!

Either way, after a few tweaks, the recipe below will give you what is apparently an authentic taste of Upper West New York. Use it to create your own Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies and see what you think!

 

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! (how to)

Yield: 6-8 giant cookies

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! (how to)

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies; learn how to make gigantic soft and chewy cookies crammed with melting chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts, in the style of New York’s Levain Bakery!

Ingredients

  • 220g (14 ½ tbsp) soft butter
  • 200g (1 cup) soft light brown sugar
  • 100g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 400g (3 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 300g (1 ⅔ cups) milk or dark chocolate chips
  • 200g (1 ½ cups) walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven – 220 C / 200 C fan / 400 F / gas mark 6 – and line two medium/large baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugars until smooth and combined.
  3. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each one.
  4. Stir in the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt until just combined into a thick dough.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts until evenly dispersed.
  6. Chill the dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  7. Using your hands, separate the cookie dough into 6-8 large lumps on your prepared trays.
  8. If you like a nice, round cookie like the ones pictured, shape them into roll balls. If you don’t mind a rustic look, simply leave them as they are!
  9. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown, and crisp on top.
  10. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely on their trays, they will need about 10 minutes to firm up before you can taste one!
  11. Enjoy!

Notes

BE A MAVERICK: if you prefer another kinds of nuts, feel free to use peanuts or hazelnuts etc!

MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: use a dairy free butter or coconut oil and ensure you use dairy free chocolate chips.

http://maverickbaking.com/levain-bakery-chocolate-chip-cookies-how-to/

12 Replies to “Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! (how to)”

  1. Ashley Alvarez says: Reply

    Hi! I want to make this recipe but I’ve never heard of castor sugar? Is that regular granulated sugar or powdered sugar? Please help!

    1. Hello Ashley! Caster sugar is what we in the UK call sugar that is finer than granulated sugar but not quite as fine as powdered sugar. If you are based in the USA/Canada it may be called Superfine Sugar? If not, granulated should produce a very similar result!

  2. First time commenting – really liked the video

    Was wondering; you recommend more salt and vanilla extract. At what stage of the recipe would you recommend putting vanilla extract in, and how much?

    Good luck with the channel in the future!

    1. Hello Aylwyn! I would recommend adding the vanilla to the butter and sugar stage, and the salt at the end. Thank you very much, and enjoy! 🙂

      1. Thanks for replying. What volume of vanilla extract? And when you say salt at the end, do you mean sprinkle the cookies with rock salt once out of the oven, or adding a teaspoon of kosher salt into the finished dough before going into the fridge?

        Thanks in advance

        1. Hello again. I would add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and I would add some regular salt to the dough before chilling (we don’t have kosher salt where I’m from!). Hope that helps? 🙂

          1. This absolutely helps! 🙂 Really appreciate it. Gonna make these on Friday, so I shall let you know how I get on

            Also, kosher salt is just what’s known as fine salt, rather than rock salt, in the UK (since I’m a Glaswegian, probably should’ve said that in the first place! Apologies)

  3. Hi

    Mine burned all from the bottom on gas mark 6 and colour of my cookie don’t look like yours helpppp what flour do you use and brown sugar and butter :)) any tips

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Emma, I’m sorry to hear that! I typically use a fairly cheap supermarket own-brand flour, Billington’s sugar and Graham’s butter, nothing fancy. How long did you bake them for? Was the dough chilled before baking?

      1. Hi

        Should I put two tray toghter yeh dough was fully chilled

  4. Mehmet Ali Yılmaz says: Reply

    Hello,
    I’ve tried too many recipes, and today I did the first time with your recipe of levain bakery cookies. I didn’t use any walnuts or any nuts. Do I need to increase flour weight? The dough is a little liquid and sticky. I put it in the fridge and bake in the morning. ı baked them 200 C for 8-9 minutes. I’m waiting for your advice. Thank you.

    1. Hello there, thanks for your comment. Using the measurements in this recipe the dough should not be liquid or sticky, it should be very thick and stiff. Did the cookies turn out ok once baked?

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