Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Shawnda on March 14, 2010

in Chocolate,Cookies and Bars,Freezer Friendly

Chocolate Chip Cookies

All good cookies start out the same: as good cookie dough.

My husband prefers his cookies as “pre-cookies” – cold and uncooked lumps of dough straight from the mixer bowl while dodging my dough scoop. And growing up? So did my siblings and I. There was no fighting over who would get to lick the beaters in our house. No, sir! Two beaters, one rubber spatula, and a mixing bowl. 4 batter-covered items, 4 kids. Something tells me my mom knew exactly the kind of mess she was avoiding when she baked.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dawn from Vanilla Sugar whipped up a batch of Levain Bakery-like chocolate chip cookies, that upon seeing in my Google Reader, I decided that I had to make them. Like now. You shape the dough into 4 ounce balls? Quarter-pounder cookies? 5 inches across and over an inch thick? Now that’s a cookie. (Disclaimer: I’ve never had real-deal Levain Bakery cookies.)

I immediately dumped the Foodie Baby in my husband’s lap and ran for the kitchen. And when she’s old enough to have one of these cookies, she’ll understand. And if she’s really my kid, she’ll approve :) These cookies are puffy and gigantic, over an inch thick – closer to two! And I can’t tell you how long they keep their tender, puffy goodness… they don’t last very long around here. They are definitely replacing the old house favorite.

Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Big, fat chocolate chip cookies.


  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter (very cold, shredded with your food processor)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (13 1/2 oz)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Beat the cold butter and both sugars until just combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.
  2. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the mixer bowl and mix just until blended. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and mix until distributed. (The dough will be VERY stiff at this point.)
  3. Divide the dough into 12 balls, approx 4 oz each (think a little larger than a golf ball; a slightly rounded 2.5-inch scoop will do the trick perfectly) and place on an ungreased baking pan.
  4. Chill the dough for 20 minutes. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until browned on the edges and set in the center.
  5. Let cool completely on the pans before transferring to airtight storage.


Yields: 1 dozen cookies

Adapted from Vanilla Sugar

Estimated time: 45 minutes


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kat March 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Okay, anything calling for shredded butter I have to try!


2 Tracey March 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

These look amazing! I love thick, cakey cookies and these appear to fit the bill. Thanks for sharing!


3 Aimee March 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm

The quintessential chocolate chip cookie! :)


4 Mary Lynn March 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Oh my…those look amazing!


5 Fallon March 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Oh wow…these look so good! I love a chocolate chip cookie with a good amount of depth to them!


6 Gretchen Noelle March 14, 2010 at 4:10 pm

These look really tasty! I love that they look so thick instead thin!


7 Memoria March 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm

These cookies look fantastic. Now I have another CCC recipe to try out!!


8 Joanne March 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm

4 oz cookies! That’s crazy talk. And by crazy I mean crazy delicious. I definitely need to try these. Yesterday. Like you.


9 Chris March 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Wow…yum! My mom and I always hit Levain when I visit her in NYC. I must try these and send them to her. ;)


10 Christina March 15, 2010 at 7:16 am

This looks like an incredible cookie! At first I thought it was a scone =D Does it kind of have a crumbly texture because of how the butter is cold?


11 Cara March 15, 2010 at 8:10 am

So was the first instant of your husband preferring cookies over dough?! That’s where I thought you were going with this so I am curious because I prefer my cookies unbaked too :)

I’ve been so hooked on the melted butter choco-chip cookie recipes, that it’s refreshing to know I might be missing something with cold butter. I’ll keep this in mind next time I’m ready to make some cookies!


12 wendy March 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

These look amazing, but I just can’t dirty the whole food processor to shred the butter. Maybe i’ll try them without shredding and report back!


13 Lauren March 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I agree with Wendy. I am DYING to make these, but I’m pretty sure my food processor does not have a shredder. How would these be if the butter was just cubed or something similar?


14 Alice March 16, 2010 at 7:06 am

I’m a fellow Texan, but I love the Levain bakery in NYC! I make sure to swing by every time I’m there. This definitely reminds me of their wonderful cookies – will have to give it a try soon!


15 Katie March 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Levain’s cookies simply cannot be beat, but I’m definitely going to give these a try!


16 Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) March 20, 2010 at 4:15 am

I’ve been meaning to try these since forever! They look amazingly good :)


17 foodiebride March 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Lauren – My food processor came with a grater disk. If it hadn’t… I’d probably hand my husband a frozen stick of butter and the cheese grater and let him know he’s the only thing standing between us and dessert :) The shredded butter incorporates really quickly without having to overwork the dough and is probably what makes them almost scone like in texture.


18 Jessica June 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm

After staring at these since March I finally had a chance to make them. I don’t have a food processor but I just took the cold butter and used my cheese grater. I’ve never had Levain cookies, but mine came out great with my cheese grater shredded butter.


19 Jessica October 3, 2011 at 7:32 am

How long do you think the cookie balls would keep in the freezer before baking? Is this something I can just freeze and bake a few cookies as the craving strikes?


20 foodiebride October 3, 2011 at 7:55 am

Absolutely – that’s exactly what we do! I freeze them on a plastic covered plate or tray until they’re frozen solid (a couple hours or so) and then move them to a gallon zipper bag. They need a few extra minutes when baking from frozen, but they’re as good as making the dough fresh.


21 anickH April 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

your husband and i would make great “food friends.” he likes doughy cookies and runny egg yolk covered panckes. im the exact same way. my blog even proves this. and people are weird to me about it, like they think i have a problem. but then they always beg me for my cookies. so i dunno. people sub-conciously like “the doughy,” they just have a hard time admitting it. anyway this is pretty much the recipe i use.Its perfect for the doughy cookie lovers. but thing is, you have to under-bake. i only bake these for 7 minutes. if u dont underbake, the cookies turn out as hard rocks (due to the high flour content)


22 babyruth December 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Wouldn’t the shredded butter mix with the sugars, equal same results as mixing butter with sugars until pea size or crumbles but not until creamed. I won’t spend the time shredding butter & dirty up more dishes. Just a thought. Please let me know what you experience. Thanks


23 Shawnda December 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Give it a try!


24 Sharon August 26, 2014 at 9:37 am

I just made these for the second time. Both times they came out looking exactly as the pictured and taste great. I was lazy and skipped the food processor step and just cut the butter in small chunks.


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