{Copycat Levain Bakery} Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Copycat Levain Bakery Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies are INCREDIBLE! Thick, chewy, soft and bursting with walnut pieces and chocolate chips, they're so easy to make and taste just like Levain's from NYC! Coooooookiiiiies again! Because cookies like these beg to be shared.

If you’ve never been, New York City has a tiny little bakery called Levain on the Upper West Side. Levain is easily missed as you pass by – but is landmarked with their royal blue awning and a small bench out front. You take a couple steps downstairs into the tiniest bakery where the aroma of rich milk chocolate is overwhelming and intoxicating. Bakers racks stand behind the counter, filled to the brim with freshly baked mounds of Levain’s signature Chocolate Chip Cookie, along with their other cookies, Oatmeal Raisin, PB Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chocolate Chip.

It’s a sight to behold, really, and I am thankful I’ve been able to eat one of their glorious cookies fresh from the oven. Soft and THICK, it’s a huge mound of buttery, vanilla-scented dough baked until the tops and sides are slightly crispy but where the insides are still soft and slightly gooey. Each cookie is LOADED with chocolate chips studding each and every bite, without it being too cloyingly sweet. And sprinkled throughout these ginormous cookies are salty walnut pieces that add a great textured crunch and saltiness to these fantastic, irresistible cookies.

While walnut chocolate chip cookies may not seem that fantastic, it’s probably because you haven’t had one of these cookies yet! Even I was skeptical that a standard walnut chocolate chip cookie recipe would be too boring, or just.. so what? but folks, these are anything but. They’re everything.

These Copycat Levain Bakery Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies are INCREDIBLE! Thick, chewy, soft and bursting with walnut pieces and chocolate chips, they're so easy to make and taste just like Levain's from NYC! Forreals, I could.not.stop.snacking. on these cookies. Like, if I ever become an inmate, I need these as my last meal.

The real key players in this all-star cookie game? Toasted walnuts, which are mandatory; tons of vanilla, because one teaspoon just isn’t enough; and double-dipping with the cookie scoop — one Tablespoon? Try two. Also, Levain’s known for their heavy hand with the chocolate chips, so for this, I used one whole cup of the morsels — semi-sweet, so they weren’t too cloying, but if you’re a die-hard chocoholic, feel free to use milk.

These Copycat Levain Bakery Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies are INCREDIBLE! Thick, chewy, soft and bursting with walnut pieces and chocolate chips, they're so easy to make and taste just like Levain's from NYC! And the inspiration for these bad boys?! The Walnut Harvest 2014 I attended on behalf of Diamond of California, who was also the inspiration for #NuttyDessertsWeek this week! Founded in 1912, Diamond of California leads the industry and was the first to implement the laser-sorting technology that accurately sorts walnuts by size, ripeness, moisture-levels, even color. All walnuts are purchased from local growers located in the Central Valley since California grows about 1/3 of the supply of walnuts worldwide and about 80% of the almonds! At the Diamond of California plant in Stockton, California, workers will crack up to ONE MILLION pounds of walnuts a day during season.

I had the pleasure of attending their Walnut Harvest to see firsthand how Diamond Nuts and their farmers harvest these walnuts fresh from the trees to package them into the product you purchase at the store. First, everything starts at the orchards of course! Hundreds and hundreds of miles of walnut trees as far as the eye could see!

d20The nuts grow on the trees in green hulls, which protect the walnut inside. When the walnuts are ready, the hulls will generally fall away. If not, once they’re at the sorting plant, a large steel-bristled brush will sweep away the hulls. Did you know that the hulls can actually get sunburnt? This will affect the quality of the walnut inside, so walnut farmers will occasionally apply sunscreen to the outer hulls to protect the walnuts inside!

d14Chandler Walnuts are one of the most popular varieties of walnuts that Diamond of California grows and produces. They’re the cream of the walnut crop and even taste fantastic right off the trees!

d9Later, our tour was able to sample some different varieties of walnuts at Diamond’s plant in Linden, CA. Most of the walnuts were mild and sweeter, but some had more bitter undertones. Overall, my favorites were Howard and Chandler, both buttery, mild, sweet, and perfect for baking.

d8Between all the walnut sampling, my tourmate-blog friends and I had plenty of time to take walnut selfies 🙂

d12

d7Diamond of California’s Walnut Harvest Tour was SO much fun! I learned so much about the walnuts (and other nuts!) that I regularly snack on and purchase for baking. Little did I know all of this was happening in my backyard, about an hour from my home, and has been for over 100 years. The folks at Diamond Foods (they also own Pop Secret, Kettle Chips and Emerald Nuts!) were so sweet, knowledgeable and friendly and ensured our experience was a great one — and filling, as we ate all the walnuts our bellies could handle 🙂 Thank you for the memories, Diamond of California!!

d11From left: Taste Food Blog, Amy’s Healthy Baking, Creme de la Crumb, Mom on Timeout, The Food Charlatan, me!, The Lemon Bowl, Completely Delicious, a local walnut farmer, and Snixy Kitchen

Okay. With all this talk of nuts, it’s time to get baking! And I have juuuust the recipe for you to try… I have a hankering this will become a new family favorite soon enough!

These Copycat Levain Bakery Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies are INCREDIBLE! Thick, chewy, soft and bursting with walnut pieces and chocolate chips, they're so easy to make and taste just like Levain's from NYC! *adapted from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe

4.8 from 5 reviews
{Copycat Levain Bakery} Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies & My Walnut Harvest '14 Recap with Diamond Nuts!
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
These buttery, soft & chewy cookies are XXL-sized and packed with plenty of brown sugary & vanilla flavor, gooey semi-sweet chocolate chips, and toasted walnuts for a cookie experience you won't forget! One of my favorite cookie recipes yet!
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Diamond of California Shelled Walnut Pieces, toasted*
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Lastly, beat in the cornstarch, baking soda, salt and flour until a soft dough has formed. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces gently.
  2. Refrigerate the cookie dough for AT LEAST one hour, up to overnight. This is MANDATORY and chilling the dough is necessary to produce thick, fat, chewy cookies that do not spread. Don't skimp on this step!
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone liners or mist the sheets lightly with cooking spray. Portion ¼ cup sized balls of dough (or two Tablespoon-sized cookie dough scoop's worth of dough) into huge balls of dough and place them onto the baking sheet. Bake for approx. 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cookies will be lightly golden on top and may appear slightly undone; this is normal as they will continue to set up as they cool. Do NOT over-bake them! Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Serve cookies warm or room temperature, if desired. For the full Levain Bakery effect, serve them warm!
  5. **TO TOAST WALNUTS: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the walnut pieces on the baking sheet in an even layer. Toast for about 5-10 minutes, turning walnuts every so often, until fragrant and nutty. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly. Allow to cool before stirring into dough.**

These Copycat Levain Bakery Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies are INCREDIBLE! Thick, chewy, soft and bursting with walnut pieces and chocolate chips, they're so easy to make and taste just like Levain's from NYC! Thick, FAT & buttery cookies scented with a heavy hand of vanilla extract and bursting with warm brown sugar flavor — studded with rich, gooey semi-sweet chocolate chips and nutty, toasted walnut pieces as an added crunch.. these cookies are memorable and so freakin’ fantastic. For the full Levain Bakery effect, eat them warm with a huge glass of milk — I dare you to stop at just one!

I really hope you’ve all enjoyed Nutty Desserts Week as much as I have! I was so inspired by my generous friends at Diamond of California and I hope you’ll be inspired by their awesome lineup of products (and my recipes this week!) too. Be sure to check out their website and follow them on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM & PINTEREST.

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was generously provided with a trip to Diamond of California’s plants in Linden and Stockton, CA. All opinions and recipes are 100% my own and I was not otherwise compensated for this or any posts. 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Next time I’m in New York, I need to check this bakery out!

  2. These cookies look delicious!! And what an awesome trip, I love using Diamond Nuts! 🙂

  3. I am dying over how thick and puffy those cookies are! I must have some!!! And what an absolutely fun trip! So many familiar faces…it looks like it was a blast!

  4. OMIGOSH they look very Levain-esque!!!!!

    Awesome job girrrrrrl-these look phenom.

  5. I’ve never had a Levain cookie (seriously missing out on life) so I obviously need to try these!! They look so delicious. Love how thick and full of chocolate they are!

  6. Beautiful photos. I made an attempt to follow your recipe today. I have just a couple of Q’s.

    On the butter – did you really mean 1 1/2 cups? I ended up using 2 sticks because the dough was so dry.

    Dry dough. That was my second Q. 🙂

    Jerry

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Jerry!

      Yes, 1 & 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup is the correct amount of butter. I like mine softened because it makes it easier to beat together with the sugars. Perhaps your butter was still a little too cold? Otherwise, I’m sorry it was dry, but I hope using the 2 sticks made it okay!

      • My dough was dry too not nearly enough moisture. I ended up improvising and added small amounts of milk so I could shape them. I wonder if 1 1/2 sticks of butter is more than 3/4 cups. On a high note they still taste good. Haha. Jojo

        • thedomesticrebel says:

          Next time, you can always add an extra egg or continue adding milk. Hope that helps, and sorry it was dry for you!

    • Hey jerry mine was dry too. I was thinking that 11/2 sticks doesn’t look like 3/4 cups to me. I ended up adding drops of milk just enough to be able to shape them, your idea sounds better. I’ll shall try again because they still tasted good. Jojo

  7. Stephanie H. says:

    Hello,

    I just wantedto leave a comment about this cookie.

    It is indeed the perfect cookie.
    Perfection in every way!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do love them and so does my family!
    Thank you for sharing

    Stephanie

  8. Hi Hayley,
    I love the Levain cookies. I have just made yours. They taste delicious. They are flat though. Any suggestions, I am not sure why

    BTW I have tried other copycat recipes, some use bread flour Yours is by far the best tasting. When I made the others they did come out like in your picture.

    Thanks

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Robin! The only reason I can think that they came out flat is that they weren’t properly chilled long enough. I also used a rather large scoop and “stacked” the dough so it was tall rather than a squat ball. I hope that helps for next time!

  9. Hi Hayley,

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. Any chance you might be able to do a copy of the Levain oatmeal cookie? Those are my absolute favorite!!! Crossing my fingers…

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hey Rudy! Those are my favorite, too! I’ll definitely brainstorm the perfect oatmeal Levain cookie recipe… thanks for the suggestion!! 🙂

  10. I must say I loved this recipe! Made them today and they are delightful. My wife doesn’t eat chocolate so I added toffee and walnuts for hers. She loved it and ate all!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Teisha – I am SO happy you and your wife loved the cookies! The toffee addition sounds AWESOME. Thanks so much for commenting! xo.

  11. Hello! If i dont want to use all the dough can i freeze it or but it in the refrigerator? And how long is it safe to keep in there? Thank you in advance!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi! You can absolutely freeze the dough in portioned dough balls. Just portion them out as if you were baking them, freeze them like that on the baking tray, and then pop ’em into a freezer-safe bag. I would say they’d be okay in the freezer for about 2 months, no longer. And just bake them straight from the oven for a few minutes longer than the recipe suggests.

  12. Very disappointed with this recipe. I have been on the hunt for the perfect thick chocolate chip cookie and thought I had finally found the light at the end of a dark and flat cookie tunnel only to be mistaken. I followed the recipe perfectly and they were some of the flattest cookies I’ve ever made. Not sure what is different but they were the farthest thing from what is pictured above.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Bella, I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t turn out properly for you. Some of the reasons could be that the dough wasn’t sufficiently chilled long enough, or perhaps your leavening agents were expired, resulting in a flatter cookie. However, sorry it wasn’t a success for you!

      • Hey there! I am so sorry about my previous comment I definitely made a mistake but could not figure to how to delete my comment. I misread the sugar quantities and thought it was 3/4c of both brow and granulated sugars so I re-made them the following nigh and they were delicious and not dry and most importantly the perfect consistency!! feel free to remove the previous comment.

        • thedomesticrebel says:

          Hi Bella, no worries! I’m so glad you had a chance to remake them and that you enjoyed them! Thanks for your feedback 🙂

  13. I’m so glad I found this recipe! A restaurant near me has the BEST cookies – fat, thick, chewy, and moist – and I’ve been trying to find a recipe that comes close so I can make them at home. I think I found it in this one! My fellow taste-tester said they’re very close. 🙂

  14. I tried making a batch of this yesterday and I test baked a little chunk and it absolutely tasted good! I was just wondering why I was able to mold 24 pcs of 2 tablespoon-sized scoops. I noticed that each mold weighed 37grams. This is too small, right?

  15. I baked these today (11-11-16) and they are amazing. I followed the directions exactly and the cookies were perfect. Huge, thick, soft cookies. This is my new favorite recipe.

Trackbacks

  1. […] My Levain-Bakery Copycat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies. Okay, so I posted these in October BUT they’re still a November favorite seeing as I’ve made them twice (!!) since posting them only a week prior. They’re soft, chewy, filled with toasted, sweet walnuts and semi-sweet, rich & gooey chocolate chips for the ultimate cookie. Once you take a bite of these, you won’t want any others! […]

  2. […] As you guys probably know, a couple months back I had the pleasure to tour the Diamond of California Plant in Stockton, CA for a California Walnut Harvest! […]

  3. […] {Copycat Levain Bakery} Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies […]

  4. […] The Domestic Rebel / Via thedomesticrebel.com […]

  5. […] 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. 2. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Lastly, beat in the cornstarch, baking soda, salt and flour until a soft dough has formed. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces gently. 3. Refrigerate the cookie dough for AT LEAST two hours, up to overnight. This is MANDATORY and chilling the dough is necessary to produce thick, fat, chewy cookies that do not spread. Don’t skip this step! 4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone liners or mist the sheets lightly with cooking spray. 5. Using 3 tbsp scoop, place dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 11-12 minutes until tops are golden and edges are lightly browned. Cookies will not appear done at first, but will set upon cooling. You don’t want to overbake! Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 19 cookies. *adapted from The Domestic Rebel […]

  6. […] I live in Boston and cannot just take a walk there when I want one of their cookies, this copycat recipe from The Domestic Rebel appealed so much to me. While I should have made the cookies bigger to get […]

  7. […] choosing to start with a recipe that called for cornstarch.  I started with a recipe from The Domestic Rebel with a few tweaks.  First, I didn’t toast my walnuts, and I don’t think I will […]

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