Sunday, August 18, 2013

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

I went to New York City a few years ago and one of the items on my must-do list included a stop at Levain Bakery on the city's Upper West Side.  I had read about the famed chocolate chip cookies, I had seen them on TV, and I just knew I had to try them.  Well, the cookies did not disappoint.  They were huge, wonderful creations filled with nuts and chocolate chips, with a crisp exterior and a super thick, chewy interior.  Bloggers have been trying to recreate the recipe for years, and this one comes pretty close.  To get the proper texture and feel of a Levain cookie, you must make these into the very large size cookies indicated in the recipe.  They will be huge, but making them small will not yield a cookie that mimics Levain's, and the whole point of this recipe is to make a copycat.  You will definitely impress your friends with these wonderfully decadent treats.

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Brown Eyed Baker

3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons (6 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, cold, lightly beaten in a separate bowl
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until it forms a cohesive mass. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating on medium speed until mixed, scraping the sides of bowl once (the batter will appear lumpy). Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the flour mixture until just a little bit of flour still remains. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts with a rubber spatula.

4. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, just grabbing it by the handful and roughly shaping it into a ball (it should not be smooth). Place them (evenly spaced) on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, or until light golden brown on top. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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