This Levain Cookie Recipe is a copycat version of the famous Levain Bakery’s signature cookie: chocolate chip walnut! These ultra-thick cookies are crispy on the outside and ooey-gooey in the middle.
I like cookies, Trevor likes cookie dough. These cookies are the best of both world’s, because the outsides get crispy and cooked, but the insides are practically warm cookie dough — what’s not to love?!
What are levain cookies?
Levain Bakery is a popular bakery located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. After its opening in 1995, the bakery quickly became famous for its crunchy yet ultra-thick and gooey cookies.
The most popular of these cookies is the chocolate chip walnut cookie…which is what we’re making today!
Why are levain cookies so popular?
Levain cookies are not only delicious — they’re crispy on the outside, while remaining cookie-dough-like in the center, but they’re MASSIVE! Seriously. A standard cookie from Levain Bakery weighs 6 ounces.
The same goes for these homemade Levain cookies. To make each cookie thick and gigantic, we’re using 1/2 cup of dough per cookie.
These popular cookies use every day ingredients you probably already have on hand!
- Unsalted Butter – incorporated into the cookie dough cold to help them hold their signature ultra thick shape as they bake. If the butter is warm, the cookies may flatten and spread too much.
- Brown Sugar – gives the cookies a soft, chewy texture and also prevents the dough from spreading. Use dark brown sugar for its ultra warm, molasses-y flavor.
- Eggs – binds the ingredients together and provides a rich flavor and texture.
- Vanilla Extract – adds warmth and depth of flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour – gives the cookies structure. Be sure to use the spoon and level technique so you don’t over-measure your flour. Too much flour and the cookies will be scone-like.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder – we’re using both of these leavening agents to give the cookies as big of a lift as possible. Ultra thick and fluffy is the goal!
- Salt – cuts the sweetness from the sugar and chocolate chips.
- Walnuts and Chocolate Chips – the classic Levain cookies mix-ins. I use semi-sweet chocolate chips (but milk or dark will work as well) and chopped walnuts.
How to make
This copycat Levain cookie recipe takes 10 minutes to prep!
- Use a stand-mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Scrape down the sides then beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined, then stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Pack a 1/2 cup measuring cup with the dough to make 8 scoops. Roll into balls then place onto 2 baking sheets lined with silicone mats. Place in the fridge and chill for 1 hour.
- Bake one pan of cookies at a time at 400ºF for 15-20 minutes, cool, then serve and enjoy!
Do you have to chill the dough?
Yes! Chilling the cookie dough before you bake the cookies helps them hold their shape and structure so they stay thick. If the dough is too warm, the cookies may spread and flatten too much as they bake.
Do you need to use mix-ins?
Yes! The mix-ins fill out the dough and give the cookies structure so they’re extra thick. If there aren’t enough mix-ins in the dough, your cookies may go flat.
- Use cold ingredients. Get your butter and eggs straight from the fridge so they don’t warm the other ingredients in the cookie dough. Colder ingredients make for thicker, fluffier cookies.
- Don’t skip the mix-ins. The walnuts and chocolate chips help the cookies stay thick and fluffy as they bake.
- Chill the dough. The cold dough holds its shape better so the cookies don’t go flat.
- Don’t overcook. The edges should be golden-brown but the centers should be gooey and chewy. If the centers look slightly undercooked, they’re probably done!
How to store
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge if frozen then enjoy cold, bring to room temperature, or microwave to warm.
Levain Cookie Recipe
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs cold
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour spoon and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts roughly chopped (the size of the chocolate chips)
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Use a stand mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar together until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down sides, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix until just combined, then mix in walnuts and chips.
- Pack 1/2 cup measuring cup with dough to make 8 scoops - dough is sticky, that’s ok!
- Roll into balls, then place onto the prepared baking sheets (4 on each sheet).
- Chill for 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Working with one pan at a time, bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes*.
- Remove from oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before serving.
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.