Cracking the Cookie Code: Levain Choc Chip Walnut Cookie Attempt #3

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Have I finally cracked the Levain Bakery Cookie Code? I had my third attempt at duplicating the best cookie on Earth and this time I think I may have done it! I can now sleep soundly at night without tossing and turning over choc chips, walnuts and oven temps :)

 Levain Choc Chip Walnut Cookie Attempt #3

My husband Paul and I first came across the Levain Bakery while on a 2 month expedition of the modern jungle which is New York City. Manhattan Island is my favorite destination and whenever I think of the time we spent there I long to go back. I was instantly envious of all New Yorkers when I bit into my first ever Levain Choc Chip Walnut Cookie – it just wasn’t fair that they could enjoy these cookie masterpieces anytime they liked while I lived half a world away. I vowed to myself then and there: I would not stop until I could duplicate this recipe, until I too (like all the Manhattanites) could have these fabulous cookies available to me any time I wanted one.

 Levain Choc Chip Walnut Cookie Attempt #3

We were lucky enough to have one day in Manhattan a couple of months ago while on a world cruise and the Levain Bakery was an absolute must! We were first off the cruise ship and headed straight to the Upper West Side to order my 10 cookies (Yes, I spent $40US on Choc Chip Walnut Goodness!!). We picked up a bottle of milk at a corner store then found the first available spot to sit and savour a cookie each – it was heaven!

These cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and full of gooey half baked cookie dough on the inside. They are best eaten on the day of baking but I assure you that won’t be a problem! They are fabulous – large enough for a whole meal, giants of the cookie world and are accompanied perfectly with a glass of ice cold milk.

So here it is – the Levain Bakery Copycat recipe an adaptation of this recipe from food.com, please try it out and tell me what you think. Does it taste like a REAL Levain Bakery Choc Chip Walnut Cookie?  Well, I think so!

 Levain Choc Chip Walnut Cookie Attempt #3

Levain Bakery Copycat Choc Chip Walnut Cookie

Note: Start this recipe the day before

Makes 9 x 6oz Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 170g (6oz) dark chocolate (semi-sweet) chips
  • 170g (6oz) dark eating (semi-sweet) chocolate
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup icing (confectioners) sugar, sifted
Method
  1. In a large mixing bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles crumbs.
  2. Stir in sugars until well combined, add eggs and mix until dough forms, stir in chocolate and walnuts.
  3. With kitchen scales, divide cookie dough into 170g (6oz) balls. Roll the balls in icing sugar and chill dough balls in the refrigerator for 24 hours or over night.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a large flat cookie sheets with baking paper.
  5. Place 3 balls of chilled dough on the cookie tray and bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown on top. (Leave the remaining dough balls in the refrigerator until ready to bake.)
  6. Remove from oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes, then place on wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough balls after cookie sheet cools.

 Levain Choc Chip Walnut Cookie Attempt #3

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27 comments to Cracking the Cookie Code: Levain Choc Chip Walnut Cookie Attempt #3

  • Love this recipe!! look yummy! gloria

  • i just booked my flights home to nyc for xmas and will add this place to my list of things to do. in the meantime i’ll have to try to make these myself…hard to pass up the best cookie on earth!!

  • These look so inviting – crumbly and crunchy. Just my kind of biscuit (or cookie!)

  • Oh these do look good. I’ve bookmarked them, and will try them out soon! YUM!

  • TheresaNo Gravatar

    It looks like you cracked the code. Looks just like them. Can’t wait to make these!

  • Love how everything turned out to be perfect! I should try to make this for the upcoming holiday season. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Those are very original! Beautiful and tempting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • looking for a recipe like these cracked top chocolate chip cookies. theses are gorgeous.

  • These look so chewy and delectable!

  • SusanNo Gravatar

    I would love to hear how they turned out for you all when you give them a go :P Thanks you for all the great comments!

    iga@thedelishdish: I’m so jealous! Not only for going back to NYC for Xmas but that you were lucky enough to grow up there! Definitely pop into Levain Bakery – you will not be disappointed :)

  • I love that feeling when you’ve deconstructed a recipe and it tastes right…, high fives for this one, not just for succeeding, but for staying on the war path until the job is done. I’ve got a few ongoing wars happening at the moment too and I can’t quite get ‘that secret ingredient’, but it’ll happen.., I know it will. (she says with fingers & toes crossed).

  • My favorite cookie in the world, too! I’ve made a copycat version of these many time, whenever I’m really wanting/missing a Levain. Here’s the recipe I have found as close to the real thing.
    http://lisamichele.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/reworking-the-levain-copycat-cookie/
    I will give yours a try sometime as well and let you know.

  • Hi Susan
    Thanks for dropping by and the opportunity to visit your blog.I do the same but I try to crack savory recipes which I think is much easier than a baked recipe where precision is key.Kudos to you.
    Sandhya.

  • How great to be able to have your favorite cookie any time you want now! They look like a delicious treat.

  • These cookies look delicious…. Thanks for the tip on Levain, too. I will plan to visit next time I’m in NYC.

  • Oh I know that feeling well, tossing and turning over oven temps and ingredients…glad you cracked it. They look great!

  • I’ll certainly be making these this week – but I have loads of pecans so I will sub them. Thanks for doing all the “leg-work”!

  • SusanNo Gravatar

    Awesome Amanda! I would love to hear how they turn out for you :)

  • I love these cookies. I have probably only had them a handful of times in my life but each experience was wonderful.

    Attempt #3, this must be it! They look so good!

  • TiffanyNo Gravatar

    I’ve never been to Levain, but I came across your blog through searching a mock Rocher recipe and decided these cookies look too good not to make. I was missing a few ingredients, so I substituted butter with shortening and caster sugar with regular white sugar. You said the dough is supposed to be refrigerated overnight but I couldn’t wait so I baked up two cookies in the toaster oven after 4 hours of refrigeration. Holy shit, they are AMAZING. LOVE the crumbliness on the outside and the buttery (uhh, shortening-y) taste on the inside. A few things I might change the next time I make these (you know I will!) is using pecans instead of walnuts (they break more easily in your mouth) and perhaps try to find caster sugar because right now I can taste the sugar granules in the cookies, which is not bad but I want to see if it’s better without. Anyways, hands down BEST COOKIES EVER! If I ever go to NYC, I’ll go try the real thing!

  • TiffanyNo Gravatar

    Since you’re so good at copycat recipes, I was wondering if you could try your hands on these:
    http://ullja.wordpress.com/category/ulljas-chocolate-shortbread-cookies/

    I’ve never had these cookies but the mint chocolate chip ones look absolutely divine (like scoops of ice cream!). If you could just get them to look that nice, I’m sure they would taste great.

  • Sorry…but these look like hard, brown rocks…..Levains look gooey and moist. Keep trying!:)

  • SusanNo Gravatar

    Hi Tracy,

    These cookies are anything but hard rocks :P I recommend you try them, you may be pleasantly surprised!

  • These really look amazing! I have to try them!

  • Hello!No Gravatar

    Hi!
    I’ve actually seen two people from the staff of the Levain Bakery doing this cookie on youtube. But they didn’t show how much you needed from everything and they didn’t say how long you should have it in the oven.

  • MamabearNo Gravatar

    Thanks for the great recipe! I cooked a few cookies last night after only 4 hrs in the fridge (I just couldn’t wait!) they turned out marvelous – we ate them warm, of course! I used baker’s flour instead of plain flour and substituted 1/3 cup castor sugar for 1/3 cup golden syrup (to make them extra chewy – hubby likes ‘em like that), and added extra choc chips (’cause I like ‘em like that!). Sooo yummy! Loved the icing sugar on the outside – extra outer crunch. I’ve never been to Levain Bakery – I’m in Australia…but they were fabulous anyhow!

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