I've already posted a Levain copy cat recipe, years ago, before I'd even been to Levain (a NYC bakery that is famous for their GIANT and delicious cookies). And those cookies were good...great even. But Levain? They were not. Now I've been to Levain more than a few times (and miss it desperately). And I'm older. And wiser. And married (as if that has any impact on this but stay with me). And I can tell you that THESE COOKIES....are practically a perfect match to the originals (the recipe itself could be very different in all actuality but the end result-these cookies....they taste just like Levain in my opinion!)
A few notes: You pretty much NEED a stand mixer with a paddle attachment...I don't think you can properly cream the cold butter otherwise (trust me...in my pre-KA stand mixer days I tried and failed). You're also going to want decent quality chocolate chips (I'm a fan of Ghirardelli, personally). I let the cookie dough balls rest overnight--which might not be necessary but I'm guessing that for the best results it probably is. Also, walnuts: you could leave them out or not toast them if you so desire but again...might not be exactly the same. Still good, just not the same. Finally: a kitchen scale helps to ensure that you measure out 5.5-6 oz. dough balls but if you evenly divide the dough into 10 you should have about the correct amount. And yes, I know that 6 oz. is pretty giant for a cookie but that's what makes them Levain cookies! And entirely irresistible.
*sigh of happiness* it's good to bake delightfully decadent desserts (especially cookies) again!
The cookies are big and sturdy on the outside and gooey and flavorful on the inside! They're full of delicious and gooey chocolate with little bites of toasted walnuts for texture and I definitely would say they are worthy of having a line out the door ;)
I'm so excited about this recipe...these cookies were everything I wanted them to be!
THE Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie
Slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction's "Big Chocolate Chip Cookies"
Makes 10 very large cookies.
- 2 sticks (or 16 tbsp. or 1/2 lb.) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 and 1/2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy and blended (this may take up to 5 minutes or so).
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, until each is well combined. Then mix in the vanilla.
- On low to medium-low speed mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until just combined.
- On low speed mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts (you may need to do this by hand as well) until evenly distributed and incorporated throughout the dough.
- Weigh the dough into approximately 5.5-6 oz. balls, rolling into an even ball after measuring the correct amount for each-you should have 10 balls of dough.
- Place dough balls on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet and cover completely with plastic wrap. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight (you can let them sit for up to 42 hours but overnight is good).
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F degrees. Place about 5 chilled dough balls each on 2 lined baking sheets (or just use one baking sheet--but you'll need to put half the dough balls someplace else to sit until it's time to bake them).
- Bake cookies (one baking sheet at a time) on the middle rack in the fully preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (16-17 generally is the perfect amount of time)-until the outsides are golden and the insides are slightly underdone.
- Let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Best eaten fresh! Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days (for best results, heat leftover cookies in the microwave for 10-20 seconds on high, until the middles are slightly warm and gooey again).
P.S.--Michael thinks these cookies taste BETTER than Levain's! I think that's impossible but hey :)