Guys, this is the recipe I’ve been waiting to share with you for a few months. If you’ve never been, Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side turns out some of NYC’s best (and biggest) cookies to the tune of $4 each. I know, $4 for one cookie? So you know they’re something special when locals and tourists alike line up rain or shine outside the tiny shop to buy some of their fabulous cookies. I know this all too well since I walk past it multiple times a day (and stop in more than occasionally)!
I’ve long wanted to replicate my favorite Levain cookie at home, the chocolate chip walnut. Levain’s cookies are incredibly large and seem to weigh about a pound each. Served still warm from the oven, the chocolate chips are just barely melted and inevitably end up all over your fingers, as Levain cookies crumble in the best way when you take a bite. But how to make such a dense, big cookie taste as light as Levain’s, with a crunchy outside and gooey inside? Lots of butter, lots of flour, and a touch of cornstarch seem to be the key. I can’t claim to know any deep dark Levain secrets, but these cookies turned out as close as I could have hoped to the real thing. Let me know if you agree!
45 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon for mixing with chocolate chips and walnuts
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- In a large bowl, combine 3 1/4 cups flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, white and brown sugars. Mix until well combined and creamy.
- Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Dough will be stiff.
- In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips and walnuts with 1 teaspoon flour, tossing to coat.
- Remove bowl from mixer and mix in chocolate chips and walnuts using a spatula. This will take a little time and muscle.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
- Divide cookie dough into 10 portions about 4 ounces each. Keep cookies in rough mounds (as opposed to flattening them out or trying to smooth them) and refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.*
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cookies are light golden brown and just barely cooked in the middle.*
*Popping the cookie dough in the fridge before baking helps them keep their tall shape.
*Err on the side of under baking - these are best when they’re gooey in the center!