If you haven’t been to the infamous Levain Bakery in NYC, you are seriously missing out. It is a tiny hole in the wall cookie shop on the Upper West Side and they sell maybe the best chocolate chip cookie that I have ever had. I know, that’s saying a lot. Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks so because the line to get your hands on one of their oversized treats usually spans the entire block. I have waited over an hour before, but it is always well worth it.
A couple weekends ago when I was in the city, I had a serious chocolate chip cookie craving and decided it had been way too long since I had visited Levain. I don’t know what I was expecting, but given the time of year, the line was especially long and I didn’t have a few hours to patiently wait. I was pretty bummed and have been craving that cookie ever since, so I had no choice but to make some myself. Luckily, there are many copycat recipes floating around the internet and I was able whip up a whole batch of cookies in a quarter of the time it would have taken me to wait in line at the bakery. While Levain has never published their actual recipe, this version from Michelle came out pretty darn close to the real thing!
If you can make it to the city, definitely go devour each of Levain’s four kinds of incredible cookies, but if you live far away, at least you can now sample them from home.
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup + 4 tsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, cold, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it forms a cohesive ball, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat another 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing. Scrape the bowl if necessary.
- Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until very few streaks of flour remain. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts with a spatula. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and very roughly shape into a ball (shouldn't be smooth). Place 6 cookies on a baking sheet at a time and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake cookies for 18-24 minutes, until golden brown. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.