I am a true believer that everyone needs a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have been on the hunt since the recession of 2008. Recently due to my large collection of internet cookies and VPN location, I came across a recommendation to try out Levain Bakery. The bakery is located in New York City, and it opened in 1995. The original cookie was developed as an energy bar for the founders’ athletic lifestyle. Word got around of their incredible cookies/power bars and they began to sell quite well. The bakery now has 8 total locations, and is available in the frozen section in some grocery stores.
As a reward for completing her block one exam, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies, specifically “Levain” style cookies for my wife. After extensive research (YouTube videos) it seemed that their recipe is similar to a regular chocolate chip cookie with some minor tweaks.
I will save you precious time and give it to you straight!
These are the ingredients that you will need:
1-1/4 Cup of butter
16 oz (1lb) or 450g of chocolate, something around the 55-75 % cacao
1-1/2 cup of cake flour
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of corn starch
1-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1-1/4 cups of brown sugar
½ cup of regular sugar
And about 3 hours of your time, of which 1-1/2 hour is for chilling and 12 minutes for baking time. You can easily squeeze 2 episodes of The Queens Gambit **I mean 2 echo lectures.
PLUS: one or two baking sheets, and parchment paper
The first thing to do is to get the butter to room temperature, better yet let’s transfer it into a saucepan and warm it up!
While the butter is melting, let’s chop the chocolate bars into exactly 500 pieces, I’m kidding, you will want 501 pieces.
The pieces do not have to be finely chopped, I encourage you to leave some big chunks in there too!
Let’s put this to the side and we’ll use them in a bit.
Let’s start with our DRY mix, this includes mixing both flours, salt, corn starch, and baking soda in a single bowl.
Remember it is crucial to use CAKE FLOUR!
Putting the DRY mix aside, let’s add the brown and regular sugar to our butter and give it a swirl.
Let’s add 2 eggs, one at a time.
After that, we’ll have to add 3 egg yolks. (cholesterol on cholesterol!
Let’s mix this one more time!
Let’s mix the DRY and WET parts now.
Let’s add the chocolate and walnuts. Put some elbow grease in it!
Refrigerate for an hour. The chilling process will only make the cookie manageable, NOT edible!
If you want a uniform cookie, I recommend you weigh them. For this particular attempt, the goal was a 6oz cookie or about 170 g. (Spoiler: they came out pretty big, I recommend you aim for a 4 oz cookie or 115 grams—something bigger than a ping pong and smaller than a tennis ball).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cookie on top of it. As you scoop them from the scale don’t feel the need to make them spherical, leave them with the little imperfections.
Let’s bake (once the oven is preheated)! Set your temperature to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, or 220 degrees Celsius and bake for 10-13 minutes
Let them cool for about 45 minutes and enjoy!
Now I have never really had Levain’s cookies. I have only seen the cookies in different videos, so I can’t say how close they were to the real thing. But I will say that they were very delicious! For those of you that have had the brand name cookies, don’t come after me if they do not taste like Levain’s cookies. I hope you enjoyed reading about the process. I recommend trying it for yourself since traveling to NYC to get one from Levain is not possible for all of us.