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Oh, the legendary Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies. Even if you have never had one, you've probably seen or heard about these jumbo-sized cookies. If not, you might be wondering what's so special about them...
The cookies have a lot going on with them. They're loaded with a dose of dark chocolate that oozes out of the cookie when you take a bite. The edges of the cookies are tender, buttery, and crisp. As you eat your way in a bit from the edges, the cookie becomes dense, soft, and chewy. Then when you get to the very center, you hit a lava of melted chocolate and gooey, under-baked cookie dough madness. It's a medley of textures and everything you need in a chocolate chip cookie.
So... you want to know the secret to Levain Bakery cookies? The secret to getting that 'crisp, chewy, doughy' texture starts with the size of the cookie.
Levain Bakery's cookies weigh in at six ounces! Less than six ounces will diminish the wonderful cookie dough lava in the center, and more than six ounces will make too much of the cookie remain under-baked. So make sure you have a kitchen scale on hand to measure out the dough.
Another big part of the cookie magic has to do with temperature : both the temperature of the butter and the temperature of the oven. While most cookie recipes rely on softened butter or melted butter, but this recipe calls for diced cold butter. It helps the cookies not to spread too much in the oven (and allows you to skip out on a chill time). The hot oven temperature also helps to crisp up and set the outside of the cookies while ensuring the centers remain a partially cooked doughy mess.
This "small batch" recipe makes four giant Levain Bakery-sized cookies. So, what are you waiting for? Make these immediately, and say hello to your new favorite cookie.
Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 115 g unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 110 g dark brown sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg cold
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 65 g cake flour *
- 125 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 180 g semisweet chocolate chips
- 115 g toasted walnuts coarsely chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
- Add the flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Separate the dough into four large, 6 oz hockey-puck-shaped cookies about an inch thick, then place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Bake for 15-16 minutes or until light golden brown on the top. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes to set.
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This is literally the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever made (and I bake a lot of cookies!!). Sometimes I’ll do half regular chocolate chips and half pb chips for a fun twist. Love them!
Please try to do a copycat Culture chocolate chip cookie!
I love these cookies! I'm not usually a fan of nuts in desserts, but they definitely have a place here. I haven't had the real Levain cookies so I can't compare, but if they are similar to these, I would love to try them!
I loved this recipe! Just wondering if I could replace the AP flour with gluten-free AP flour next time?
I haven't tried myself, so I can't guarantee that it would work! BUT I've heard of people using Bob's Red Mill cup-for-cup GF baking flour in other recipes of mine and having success.
hi mike thank you so much for sharing this recipe & having the metric available for each ingredient. My husband loves them! May I know what brand of chocolate chips do you use? Are there any other brands you recommend aside from the one you use for this recipe to get that melty chocolate chip?
I use Guittard and Valrhona for all my baking chocolate needs. These cookies were made with Guittard's semisweet baking wafers; they're super thin and the size of about a quarter, making them for perfect melty chocolate puddles!
Hello Mike.. I tried to make your recipe.. but one egg doesn't enough ? I used 2 egg to make the dough comes together.. I didn't bake them yet .. hope they become perfect ??
Thank you .. have a nice day..
Oh no! Hope they turned out okay, I'm sure only one egg is needed! The dough is very thick though. Try weighing your ingredients next time to make sure there's not too much flour or anything!
Hi Mike! I´m from Perú and in my country you can only buy chocolate chip cookies at Starbucks. I´ve been traying many recipes on the internet and this is by far my faavourite one. I used panela (or raw sugar idk) instead of brown sugar, bc it doesn´t exist here haha, also put something called chuño bc I runned out of cornstarch, and also put pecans, no walnuts. I was impressed because they´re sweetness was perfectly balanced, they´re crispy on the outside and sooo soft on the inside. Oh!,I filled some of the cookies with Nutella <3 I ended up dividing the recipe in 6 cookies, they were HUGE. You have no idea of how happy your recipe made me feel, I´ll try more of your recipes. Tyssssm 🙂
Hi Mike! I tried making this and while it tastes good, I couldnt get the ball-shaped form like a levain cookie should be. Mine had flattened out like a pancake after taking out from the oven. What are your tips to ensure that the cookies do not flatten out and maintain the ball-shaped form as they are heating in the oven? My butter is cold, and I even put the cookies in the fridge overnight before baking them. I dont know what I did wrong!
Appreciate your reply xx
These cookies are not shaped like a ball, you may want to find a different recipe if that's what you're looking for! They're a thick cookie, but have an even thickness due to shaping them by hand rather than using a cookie scoop. Here's a video showing how I made them and what they're supposed to come out looking like: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17889428713505521/
Hope this helps!
I made these, but I feel like they spread too much.
I used cold ingredients and refrigerted the dough for two days. Maybe I flattened them too much? Would that do it?
That's likely the issue, especially if you refrigerated the dough for two days. These cookies don't really spread much!
Would I get the same type of cookie if I deduct the sugars by 50%, I do not prefer sweet but I really want to make these the exact kind.
Not at all. I would recommend following the recipe as written or looking for another Levain copycat recipe on google!
Hey, Mike! Would be okay if I omit the nuts?? Would the shape and the texture keep the same?
Or should I add more flour or chocolete!?
Thanks in advance!!!
I would add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of additional chocolate chips if you want to remove the nuts!
What’s the different btw AP flour with cake flour and with bread flour? Which one is better? Thank you in advance:)) by the way i really enjoy all your baking ❤️❤️?
This recipe uses cake flour, not bread flour! When you use cake flour, it creates a more tender crumb on the cookie. Bread flour has a higher protein content which makes for super chewy cookies, generally speaking.
hi do you think will it be okay if I double the recipe? thanks 🙂
You can absolutely double the recipe! Enjoy! 🙂
The cookies came out really good, and they are humongous! Will they still come out ok if I made smaller portions? Also, I only had self-rising flour, but they still seemed to come out ok.
I'm not sure if you'll be able to achieve the same overall gooey/chewy/crisp texture but the cookies will come out fine! They'll likely take less time to bake as well, however, I didn't test smaller cookies myself so I can't say for sure!
I made them a little smaller.. About 125 g per cookie which made 6 cookies. Just baked them about 2 to 3 minutes less and they still had that slightly underbaked center and nice crisp on the outside.
Do you think freezing the shaped, unbaked dough to bake later would be ok?
Absolutely! You can bake the shaped dough directly from the freezer, just add an additional 2-3 minutes of bake time. 🙂
Hi Mike.. Thank you for sharing this recipe..
I've baked this couple of times and the kids absolutely love them... I was just wondering what type of oven do you use? When baking these cookies, do you use only the bottom heat; or what mode in the oven do you use?
Hi Lisa! So glad to hear that!! I have a very tiny (& old) gas stove that heats from the bottom only. 🙂
Is it okay To use light brown sugar if I don’t have dark drown ?
would you say that this recipe is overly sweet? if I want it to be less sweet, how much sugar should I cut down?
You could take out 1/4 cup of sugar and be okay. I haven't tested anything less than that!
hi! which sugar should we take out? the granulated sugar?
I don't recommend removing or altering the amount of sugar used! But you could try to remove 1/4 cup dark brown sugar.
I tried to properly convert the measurements to cups but as you can probably imagine, I was unsuccessful.
Not surprised! Investing in a scale is a good idea! Also, this recipe has cup measurements listed (as do most of my recipes). If you look under the ingredients list in the recipe card, there's a button/link that allows you to switch over to U.S. customary measurements. 🙂
Would bread flour work instead of cake flour?
I would advise against using bread flour as it has a much higher protein content. You can either make your own cake flour using all-purpose flour & cornstarch (14 tbsp flour + 2 tbsp of cornstarch sifted together will yield about 1 cup of cake flour) OR you can just substitute it with all-purpose flour in the recipe! Hope this helps!
You don't know what you're missing!
The first time I made these, it was 11pm and my boyfriend kindly let me pause the movie we were watching. I had a craving! But 1 hour later, due to it being the first time baking in my new flat - the cookies were very dark and crumbly after only 9min of baking. This is when I knew: the oven was absolute trash. Did I still eat and love the cookies? Absolutely! But little did I know their full potential...
A few days ago, I made them again, at my parents house (I wasn't risking it again). Everyone sang high praises. My boyfriend dislikes chocolate - he ate half a cookie! My mom and I are over the moon about these cookies.
Sure, I've never had the original, but these cookies are divine and a gift. Share, but hide one cookie for yourself - they're that good!
Leonie, I’m so glad you gave these another go and they came out perfectly!! They’re slowly becoming my favorite cookie recipe!