These Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies are INSANE!! They taste super authentic to the original Levain Bakery cookies from NYC without the long travel time (or long line!) to get them!
I have major dreams of packing up everything and moving to New York City with my dogs.
After visiting NYC for the first time as an adult fleeing a breakup in 2013, I fell in love with the city and everything about it: the bright lights, the sounds, the food, the style, the attitude, and even the creepy people in counterfeit Elmo costumes in Times Square. I felt like I was a missing puzzle piece for NYC, like I was meant to live there.
The only downside, of course, is NYC is across the country from my family, whom I’m super duper close with. I can’t imagine not being able to drive over to my parents house to bug their dogs or to grab lunch willy nilly with my mom.
So believe me, I have been working on convincing them to all move up caravan-style across the country with me. Who knows, maybe when I make it big, I can buy a NYC penthouse for all of us to live in 🙂 (JK. Been there, done that and I need my own space!)
As I said, one of my fave things about NYC is the FOOD. Anything you want, anytime you want and it is GOOD. When I went the first time, my gracious host took me to Levain Bakery. At first I was skeptical about waiting in a long line for a cookie, but once I bit into the hot, gooey cookie, something transcendent and magical happened. This wasn’t any ordinary cookie: it was a life-changing cookie of epic proportions.
And whether or not you’ve heard of the infamous Levain Bakery cookies, you have GOT to try this recipe for Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies!!
First off, these cookies are MASSIVE. At a whopping 6 ounces (!!!) each, they’re just as big and hefty as the OG. Second, they’re made with cake flour which is authentic to Levain’s recipe. Cake flour gives these cookies an amazing light and beautiful texture. Third, they are JAM-PACKED with peanut butter chips. Doubtful you’ll get a bite without some gooey pocket of peanut butter!
What I love about these cookies is they come together super fast – faster than waiting in the bakery line down the block! They only need a 15-minute chill time which is crazy awesome, but you do need to bake each sheet one at a time for optimal flavor and texture.
Levain Bakery’s cookies are huge, thick, and underdone in the middle which gives it that signature gooey goodness. These cookies are no exception and also have the soft, underbaked centers. As they cool off, they’ll firm up more, but you do want to wait a good 30 minutes after baking before splitting one open as they are very fragile straight out of the oven.
Here are some successful tips to making these cookies!
- A few factors keep these cookies nice and thick: cornstarch, which aids in thickness and softness; tons of peanut butter chips, which keep the dough from spreading too much and helps add tons of flavor; and refrigerating the dough briefly to help set the dough and prevent too much spread.
- For best results, I recommend forming the cookie dough into loosely shaped balls rather than a tight, compacted cookie dough ball we’re used to. The cookie dough balls should be kinda rougher textured and definitely not as smooth as when you use a cookie dough scoop. For the perfect portion, use a kitchen scale to weigh out exactly 6 ounces of dough.
- Because these cookies are HUGE, I recommend baking only 4 at a time on the baking sheet, staggering the dough balls about 3″ apart from one another. The dough obviously spreads some during baking, but this will keep the cookies separate.
- Don’t over bake these! Everyone’s oven temperature varies of course, but the optimal time for these cookies is around 8-12 minutes – the large range in baking time varies according to your oven. If you bake them too long, they won’t have that signature gooey, melty center. If you underbake them, they’ll fall apart. My recommendation is to test-bake one or two cookies first to gauge what timing is best for you.
- And for best results, bake in the middle of the oven, one sheet at a time!
Now who is hungry?!
*adapted from Kirbie Cravings
Authentic Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
- Digital kitchen scale, for accuracy
- 1 cup COLD unsalted butter cubed in small pieces
- 1½ cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3¼ cups peanut butter chips
- Preheat oven to 410° degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cubed butter pieces and granulated sugar for 30 seconds on low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 30 seconds, then increase speed to high and beat for about 30 seconds or until fluffy and light.
- Add in the eggs, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla. Add in the cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cake flour, and all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the peanut butter chips until combined.
- Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
- Using your hands, scoop out 6 ounces of cookie dough (use a digital scale for accuracy). Roughly form the dough into a ball shape - it should not be compacted and smooth like a normal cookie dough ball. Place 3" apart staggered on a baking sheet, only 4 cookie dough balls per baking sheet.
- Bake one sheet at a time in the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, up to 12 minutes, checking after the 8 minute mark. Cookies should be dry and dull on top and slightly underdone in the center; they will continue to cook and set up outside of the oven. Once cookies are finished, let sit on the hot baking sheets for at least 30 minutes before moving, storing, or eating for the gooey, melty center. Cookies will be very fragile straight out of the oven.
Thick, chewy, gooey and melty deliciousness! You guys are going to LOVE these outrageous cookies!
Have a super sweet day!
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