Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
It’s truly been a great year. We traveled to Europe, had an awesome summer (Los Angeles Summer 2014), Hailey moved to New York, and — oh yeah — started a food blog! Almost exactly a year ago, Hailey and I sat at my dining room table and, over a cocktail, decided to start a food blog together. Now, to celebrate the best year yet, we’ve decided to do something sweet. Welcome to the 12 Days of Cookies!
Day 1: Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies
When Hailey was in town the other week, we put our baking expertise to the test with a copycat chocolate chip cookie recipe for one of our favorite bakeries in New York City: Levain Bakery.
The first time I had a Levain Bakery cookie was when my friends and I traveled to New York City in February 2013. While the rest of us suffered from pretty severe jetlag (read sleeping till the afternoon), my roommate Marta did not and decided to explore the city on foot. And, boy am I glad she did. On the Sunday before we were to leave the city, Marta (the heavenly cookie-bringing angel she is) brought us back four Levain cookies.
I can’t say enough about these cookies. They are dense yet slightly cakey, rich but not too rich, and one cookie will leave you satisfyingly full yet always craving more. (Last September when we went to NYC to visit Hailey, I asked Marta to buy me $20 worth of Levain cookies. If that’s not enough proof to how good these cookies actually are, then I don’t know what is).
The copycat recipe that Hailey and I found tastes pretty close to the original, but misses slightly. I can’t really put my finger on it … it doesn’t really capture the “dense but cakey” texture. Don’t let that deter you from this recipe. It’s a great cookie, and I’ll admit that Hailey and I ate our share right out of the oven.
I’ll leave you with this video.
Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker)
3 Cups of Bread Flour
1 Tsp. of Baking Powder
¼ Tsp. of Baking Soda
¾ Tsp. of Salt
1 Cup of Cold Butter, cut into cubes
¾ Cups and 4 Tsp. of Brown Sugar
½ Cup of Sugar
2 Eggs, cold and beaten
1 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract
1 ½ Cups of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Mix together the bread flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer or stand mixer, mix the cold butter together until it comes together as one lump. Add the brown and granulated sugars and continue to mix for another couple minutes, or until the sugars are completely mixed into the butter. Slowly add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract, beating at a medium speed until the dough appears lumpy. Reduce the electric mixer speed and slowly add the flour mixture. *Note: the dough will be thick.* Add the chocolate chips and refrigerate the cookie dough for a half an hour. **Note: we ended up skipping the refrigeration time, but it’s important as it helps refreeze the butter (fat) keeping the cookie dough stiff as you place it in the oven.**
After the cookie dough has time to set, heat your oven to 375 degrees. Roughly divide the cookie dough into 12 balls. ***Note: they shouldn’t be perfectly smooth and will be quite large — between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball.*** Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until golden on the top. Do not over bake!
Makes 12 servings.
**Note: Hailey and I received some suggestions via email to correct the cookie texture. Try substituting the bread flour for 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of cake flour. Further, rather than 3/4 cup and 4 teaspoons of brown sugar, use 1 cup of brown sugar. Thanks for the suggestions!