Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The BEST Cookie EVER: Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

Here is #2 on my Top 5 Favorite Treats:

When Tim and I lived in NYC we discovered a little bakery on the Upper West Side called Levain Bakery

For a girl who loves treats, discovering this bakery was life changing. Whenever I bake cookies, I enjoy them but I can't help but think about how much better the Levain cookies are. What is the secret???

I decided to look online and see if anyone had tried to re-create the Levain cookies. Apparently, I am late to the party.  Soooooo many people have already tried to figure out the recipe for these cookies! I spent a good number of days researching their attempts and the differences in their ingredients and baking time until I decided on the perfect copy cat recipe.

It's been a couple of years since I've had a Levain cookie and my memory is not perfect.  
While I don't think I've created a perfect match, I think what I created is DAMN close!  I brought them over to my mom's house for my brother's birthday party and my niece begged me to make them again!  Don't worry, E!  I can hardly wait to bake them again!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour (do not substitute)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup (2 sticks) "cold and cubed" European style unsalted butter (I used Plugra)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown
2 large cold eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Yield: 14 cookies

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place whole walnuts on an ungreased baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.  Check on the walnuts periodically to make sure they don't burn.  Place walnuts on a cutting board and let cool.  Chop coarsely after cooled.

2.  In a medium-sized bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and corn starch.  Whisk for 1 to 2 minutes until all dry ingredients are well mixed and there are no lumps in the flour mixture.

3.  Put white and brown sugars in a stand mixer bowl and mix until well combined and almost all lumps have disappeared.  Cube 1 cup (2 sticks) of chilled butter into 1” pieces.  Add cold cubed butter and continue to mix at medium speed.  I didn't think you could mix cold butter into sugar but if you mix long enough it will combine.

4.  Add eggs, one at a time, continuing mixing until well incorporated.  Add vanilla and mix in.

5.  Add flour mixture to sugar/egg mixture in increments until fully incorporated.  

6.  Remove bowl from stand mixer and mix in chocolate chips and walnuts by hand.

7.  Form cookie dough balls weighing approximately 4 ounces each.  If you don’t have a kitchen scale, form 14 cookie dough balls trying to keep them all around the same size so that they will bake uniformly.  {Can to show scale.}

8.  I put all of the cookie dough balls in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.

9.  After the cookie dough has refrigerated overnight, adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line large baking pans with parchment paper.

10.  Place cookie dough balls on parchment paper lined baking pan.  Do not flatten!  I wouldn't put more than 6 cookie dough balls on a baking pan.  I baked four at a time.

11.  Bake for 15 minutes.  I tried baking a few cookies at 12 minutes, a few cookies at 15 minutes and a few cookies at 17 minutes.  The cookies that were baked for 15 minutes turned out the best.  They were slightly browned on the top and mostly cooked through, but still a little bit of doughiness to them.  Everyone's oven cooks different though, so keep an eye on them.

12.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet for approximately 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.

These cookies are so huge and chunky they could be a meal replacement!

My mom and I are taking a trip to NYC this summer.  We will definitely go to Levain.  I am going to be extra observant and see if any of the employees will share tips with me!  I'll post an updated recipe if I get any information!  If you have any tips to share with me, please post in the comments.  Thanks!

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1 comment:

Sapphire said...

Thank you for sharing this!! I've been trying to find a blow your socks off Chocolate Chip Cookie!! I can't wait to try this one!!

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