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New York City’s most beloved cookie, the Levain Cookie is perfectly crisp around the edges with an irresistible thick and gooey center. Each bite is loaded with chocolate chips and chunks of walnuts, and better than the last. These are bound to be your new favorite cookie!
What is so special about Levain cookies?
The Levain Cookie from Levain Bakery is New York City’s most famous cookie, and for good reason! Their signature recipe is the wonderfully HUGE chocolate chip walnut cookie. It’s exactly what you want in a chocolate chip cookie, crispy on the outside while staying perfectly gooey in the center. Originating in 1995 when two friends selling fresh-baked breads whipped up a batch of the very large cookies, and they quickly became a favorite of New York City locals and visitors.
The Levain cookie recipe is just as easy as your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, but the ratio of ingredients and the size of the cookie make it absolutely amazing and a must-try! You could say these cookies are life-changing. One try and you’ll never want to make another chocolate chip cookie!
Ingredients for Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
A few essential ingredients and the ratio of ingredients make these cookies a cult favorite! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- Butter: It’s best to use unsalted butter that is slightly softened but still cold.
- Dark Brown Sugar: More brown sugar than white keeps the cookies softer and chewier in the middle with crispy, delicious edges.
- Granulated Sugar: For the perfect amount of sweetness.
- Eggs: Use 3 large room temperature eggs to create the perfect rich texture.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds warm sweetness.
- Flour: Levain cookies use a mix of cake flour and all-purpose flour to get the perfect texture. I don’t recommend using any other flours for this recipe.
- Baking Staples: Baking powder, baking soda and salt ensure that these copycat Levain cookies bake properly with the right amount of tenderness and lift.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: The classic chocolate variety for chocolate chip cookies!
- Walnut Pieces: Chunks of walnut pieces are a signature ingredient in these iconic cookies. See tips, below, for a nut-free option.
How to Make Copycat Levain Cookies
Trust me when I say that these will be one of the best chocolate chip cookies that you will ever eat! Why else would people travel to New York just to try one? They are that good.
- Beat Butter and Sugar: Add the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until combined.
- Beat the Eggs and Vanilla: Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined.
- Stir in the Dry Ingredients: Add the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until just barely combined.
- Add Chocolate Chips and Walnuts & Chill Dough: Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces by hand. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Place Mounds of Dough on a Pan: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough from the fridge and weigh out 12 6-ounce portions. Don’t roll the dough together, just make it into messy blobs of dough. Levain Bakery doesn’t “make baseballs” of the dough and prefers it to be rough and textured.
- Bake: Place in the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes, until the top and bottom of the cookie are beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 12-15 minutes, allowing them to continue cooking.
- Serve: Once cooled, enjoy the same day they are baked.
Tips for Making Levain Cookies
Here are a few substitutions and tips, so that this copycat Levain Cookie recipe turns out perfectly.
- Make Them Nut Free: If you remove the walnuts, be sure to replace them with an equal amount of chocolate chips. The walnuts provide volume and if you remove them without replacing them, the cookies won’t maintain the structure needed for a true oversized Levain cookie.
- Don’t like semi-sweet? Use milk chocolate! Or peanut butter or butterscotch chips. Really, any kind of chip will work wonderfully.
- Cake Flour Substitution: If you don’t have cake flour, don’t replace it with all-purpose flour! The cake flour has less gluten and lends a softer texture to the cookies. Instead, measure out 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour and then remove 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons of flour. Replace that with 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons of cornstarch. Whisk together and then proceed as directed in the recipe card.
If you are lucky enough to have leftover Levain Cookies, here are tips for storing and warming them up!
- Room Temperature: While these cookies are best enjoyed still warm out of the oven, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Rewarm: To reheat, place the cookies in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for just a few minutes, until warmed through.
- Freezing: To freeze for later, wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a large freezer bag. Remove the individual cookies as desired and reheat in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5-10 minutes, until heated through.
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- Add the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined.
- Add the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until just barely combined.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces by hand. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and weigh out 12 6-ounce portions. Don't roll the dough together, just make it into messy blobs of dough. Levain Bakery doesn't "make baseballs" of the dough and prefers it to be rough and textured.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, until the top and bottom of the cookie are beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 12-15 minutes, allowing them to continue cooking.
- Serve the same day they are baked. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.