Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
The BEST Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. The Famous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe that everyone goes crazy over!
I've got issues.
I am a cookie junkie of epic proportions.
There's probably a support group somewhere for people like me.
When I was a teenager, I would go to the library and thumb through cookbooks to find every single chocolate chip cookie recipe and would beg my Mom to try out the recipe creations almost daily. Issues, I tell you.
I started off by following recipes and then I thought....let's take a walk on the wild side and start experimenting by throwing stuff in and see what happens. What's the worst that can happen? Well, that's another story. Little tweaks here and there were the difference makers - browning the butter, raising or lowering the temperature of the oven, and trying out some interesting ingredients.
When I won a trip to NYC to film a perfect cookie segment for the Cooking Channel's Perfect 3 Show in the Food Network studios, I went online to seek out the best bakeries in Manhattan. The highest rated cookie was awarded to Levain Bakery and I knew that it had to be mine. Pronto.
Oh, and it was legit. Legit and different. Unique in such a way that I had to figure out how in the world they did it. I became a mad scientist in the kitchen to figure out the how to make the Famous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I developed a massive crush on a cookie.
I have never, ever worked on a recipe as much as this one. Another trip had to be made to NYC in the name of food science to do some more investigative research. A trip to the Truvia Baking Star competition in NYC meant multiple trips to buy my favorite cookie. We rode our bikes in the freezing cold just for that one bite. By the time we arrived, my feet were frozen, but sacrifices have to be made, right?
I came home and tweaked some more and then it happened.... that glorious batch was perfection and I finally had it.
I was taught in kindergarten that it's nice to share so that's what I am doing. Sharing my years of experimenting so we can all have Levain at home. It's just the right thing to do.
Let's start with the basics.
Use cold butter. Cut into small cubes. Since you are collecting it straight out of the fridge, you need to cut it into small pieces so the butter and sugar can become friends and make a creamy masterpiece. It takes about 4 minutes for them to warm up and become besties.
This is where it's all over for me....cookie dough. It's my kryptonite, unfortunately, and I blame my hips on this goodness. Who else loves this stuff?
Now, these aren't some ordinary bite-size cookies. No these are a full-on meal. Well maybe for some people. Here's the deal - you make them big. Really big. Like only four can fit on a cookie sheet, BIG. These are the BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER. Yep, I said it.
Usually, with thick cookies, they turn out like hockey pucks - cakey messes that hardly resemble a gooey cookie.
This is where these are different. We are going to crank up the heat in the oven to cook the outside quickly and leave that center nice, warm and gooey. As a cookie should be.
There are a few ingredients and techniques that set these cookies apart. First, you use cornstarch to add thickness without making the cookie dry. It does wonders in these cookies! Using cake flour also lends to a more tender cookie but you can also substitute all-purpose flour. Here's one of my favorite cake flours -- King Arthur Cake Flour
I am a huge fan of using nonstick silicone baking mats (Silpat) placed on top of the cookie sheets, which allows the cookies to be easily removed from the pan and to bake nicely. My cousin gave me a set as a gift years ago and I had no idea what I was missing out on! These are ones I have loved --Silicone Baking Sheets - 2 pack
You may want to eat these Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies the second they come out of the oven, but patience is a virtue and you must exercise some with these cookies. They need to "set up" so give them at least 10-15 minutes before you devour them. The amazing part of these cookies is that they are the only cookies I have ever made that are still cookie perfection even after a few days.
If you LOVE these cookies, you will love these other Levain Bakery copycat recipes:
- Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
- Levain Bakery Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Pin on Pinterest:
Now go make some Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! You need one (or two or three....no judging here) of these warm, gooey cookies, a big glass of cold milk and a to-do list with nothing on it except catching up on Netflix or those cheesy Holiday Hallmark movies that somehow keep playing on my TV.
If you are a huge fan of Levain Bakery cookies or just eating the best chocolate chip cookies, you will love my other copycat recipes -- Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies and Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies.
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The cookies are delicious! I’ve used this recipe twice. I am having an issue with the cookies spreading and being undercooked in the center.
I am using the center rack. I also tried to refrigerate the 2nd batch of 4 to help prevent spreading. I placed the cookies back in the oven to bake the centers more thoroughly. They had a nice edge and were still moist inside.
Are you using the center rack also?
Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Great tasting cookie! Just trying to get the technique down. Thanks so much for the recipe and your time. Take care.
I made these cookies twice. They always come out flat. I used cold butter, exact measurements and my oven wasn’t too hot. No expired ingredients. I love the taste and texture and would like to achieve the thickness in the middle of the cookie as the original. Any ideas?
Hi Nancy! Are you using 3 cups of flour total between the cake flour and the all-purpose flour?
Hi!!!!! I’m so excited to make these!!! I’m a cookie addict , just like you ♥️
The only problem I have is that in my country we measure the butter and almost everything in grams… can you please help me with the amounts of each ingredient? I looked it up in google but each website has a different number of grams for a cup of butter, a cup of flour, etc 😭
Hope you see my comment!
Thank you and have a wonderful weekend♥️
I totally agree with you, best chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER!! I left out the walnuts (we have some picky eaters) and thought that it tasted perfect, definitely fine without walnuts. Thanks for the recipe!
Tried this 3 times and each time perfection. I use vanilla and pecans and cookies are half sized. When no one to share with I freeze the baked cookies with no issues. Good for a month. Thanks for the recipe!
Hello! Thank you for the helpful tips on how to improve cookie thickness. Using cold butter is a great suggestion to prevent cookies from spreading too much while baking. Additionally, measuring ingredients accurately and avoiding overmixing the dough are important steps in ensuring the desired texture and thickness. Thank you for clarifying the purpose of the nuts. I appreciate your insight and I'm sure these tips will be helpful for anyone struggling with flat cookies.
I have a doubt about the egg size, it’s medium, large, extra large?? Also can you drop the ingredients list in grams measure please?
Thank you very much!!
This may seem like a strange thing, but I love how well these cookies keep. When I make other cookies the leftovers seem to dry out and get tough. The leftovers of these (there are hardly any, but I try to save some so I can continue to enjoy them) stay perfectly soft and delicious for a few days. Love it!
This isn't chewy, the middle is just raw dough, anyway to cook it a little more evenly?
I’ve made these twice now and they are by far the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve tried! I loved the levain cookies so being able to make them at home is the best. The first time I made them exact to the recipe, and the second I made them smaller and omitted the walnuts. Both times they turned out perfect - crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. This recipe is a keeper for sure! Thank you!
1. Any recommendations on type of chocolate chip (milk, semi-sweet, dark)? Do you use chunks?
2. If omitting the walnuts, would you add more chips?
A little bit confused about the flour mix is is 1.5 cups of each type for a total of 3 cups or only use one type of flour at 1.5 cups
3 cups flour total
Love these cookies!!! They are my new recipe!! I like the idea that they stay longer than most chocolate chip cookies if I don’t need them all😂😂
I was truly skeptical about Levain style cookies but for once the hype is real! This recipe yielded the best, most luxurious chocolate chip cookies ever. Thank you so much for sharing!
Loved these, but would like instructions to make regular sized cookies out of this recipe. Think I’m going to leave out the walnuts and add in vanilla next time.
I always add vanilla. For smaller cookies just use same recipe but scoop with a small ice cream/cookie scoop. Then reduce cook time by a few minutes. Just watch them so they don’t overbrown. I do smaller all the time.
Hi Susan! I totally agree with Ed’s comment. You can make the cookies smaller, but they might lose some of that chewy soft center/ crispy edge texture. If you’re okay with that, then go ahead and make the cookies to be the size that you want and just watch them closely so that you don’t overtake them. Hope that this helps a bit!
Heidi M Jackson
Hi Susan! In my experience (and I make these a couple times a month) I just make the size whatever I want, keeping an eye on the baking time. No special instructions needed! Enjoy!
These are by far the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made!
I used the basic dough recipe and instructions and have started to alter the ingredients. Thank you !
Thank you so much, I am so happy to hear it!
I love cookies that use brown butter. How does using melted browned butter instead of cold butter affect the end result? If it affects the result negatively, is it possible to brown the butter, refrigerate it until cold, and then use it in the recipe?
I sometimes brown my butter whether using it immediately as melted or let it solidifies; trust me this brings out the absolute best flavor when u brown the butter; in this recipe, I would let the butter get cold thereafter and use it accordingly to the recipe. U will love the diff; I do this with chocolate chip toffee cookies 😁
Hi Arthur! I absolutely LOVE browned butter as well. The problem is the butter needs to be cold to keep the cookies from spreading too much on the pan. If you’re able to, you can brown the butter then let it get cold again! I haven’t recipe tested this yet, but that’s what I recommend. Good luck!
Do you think the reduced amount of moisture in the brown butter (due to its browning process) might have a negative impact in the recipe?
I have baked this several times now and my family and friends love them. But i bake without chestnuts. Is it the chestnuts that give the cookies the thicknes? Because mine is pretty flat. They do have some thicknes but not as yours.
Hi Leif! The nuts are more for texture rather than thickness. If you’re struggling with flat cookies, there’s a couple things you can do.
Make sure you are using cold butter. Warm butter or room temperature might make the cookies spread on the pan more.
Make sure that you’re measuring your cake flour correctly. It is a big part of what makes cookies thick.
And try not to overmix the dry ingredients! This will make the dough too tough.
Hope this helps!
I haven’t tried it in this recipe yet but when I make regular choc chip cookies with browned butter I pour the butter into a measuring cup and add back enough water (usually as ice cubes) to make up the water lost in the browning process. So if I started with 1c butter, I add enough ice (usually just a couple of cubes) to the browned butter to make it 1c again.
what kind of chocolate chips and salted or unsalted butter (what brand do you use)
are both flours by king arthur?
Hi Lauren! I typically use Ghirardelli or Guittard chocolate chips, or I’ll buy and chop up a Trader Joe’s pound chocolate bar. The chocolate bar typically gets a little meltier!
I use all types of butter, but if you chose to use salted, I suggest reducing the added salt in this recipe by 1/4 a teaspoon.
I use King Arthur and Costco all-purpose flours.
Hope that this helps!