These Levain Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies are seriously AWESOME. Although Levain Bakery does not make a peanut butter cookie, these are made Levain Bakery-style – ultra thick, a whopping 6-ounces each and SUPER peanut buttery!
Even if you’ve never been to the famed Levain Bakery in NYC, I am sure you’ve heard of it. They’re known for their huge 6-ounce each cookies in four flavors: Chocolate Chip Walnut, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin. Lucky for you, I’ve made all those flavors into copycats, as well as my Levain-style version of a Funfetti cookie and a Red Velvet one! And now, I’ve made this peanut butter version!
Levain Bakery cookies are amazing when you’re visiting NYC, and while they do ship nationwide, it is very expensive last I checked. Why spend all that money when you can make a seriously authentic tasting bakery-style cookie at home in under an hour? No joke!
These cookies are seriously irresistible, surprisingly easy and taste like they came from a fancy bakery but are made in your own home kitchen. With a few easy tips and tricks, you can make these Levain Bakery-style cookies at home!
Here are a few key components to making Levain-style cookies, and those are:
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is my number 1 favorite cookie ingredient for yielding soft and tender cookies every single time. I love the light texture it gives cookies!
- Cake flour: Cake flour is Levain’s secret weapon for their massive cookies that have a tender crumb and a lighter texture, despite being so huge in size. If all all-purpose flour was to be used, these cookies would be very dense, almost like a scone. But by using half all-purpose flour and half cake flour, they are surprisingly lighter and more tender.
- Brief chill-time: These cookies are chilled for a maximum of 15 minutes for optimal results. We’ll only bake one sheet of cookies at a time, so while the small batch of cookies bakes, just keep the rest of the cookie dough refrigerated.
- Extra mix-ins: Do not be alarmed by the quantity of mix-ins in this cookie recipe! In order to maintain the structure of the cookie, 3.5 cups of mix-ins is required. Not only do the mix-ins help support the structure of the cookie, but they also add flavor and help prevent too much spreading.
And for optimal baking results, follow these tips:
- Shape: I like to shape these cookie dough balls rough and loose. Normally, we’d use a cookie dough scoop and get tight, smooth, compact balls of cookie dough. But for this recipe, I like craggy, rougher texture and a looser pack which gives better texture. For accuracy, I like measuring out 6 ounces of dough precisely using a digital cooking scale.
- Size: These cookies are very large at a whopping 6 ounces apiece each, so I recommend only baking 4 per baking sheet and staggering them on the baking sheet so they have plenty of room for when they bake – at least 3″ from one another. This staggered pattern on the baking sheet helps prevent them from forming one giant cookie in the baking process and keeps baking consistent.
- Do not over-bake!: Levain’s cookies are notoriously underbaked and gooey in the center and that’s our goal here as well, too! While everyone’s oven’s operate differently, generally your cookies will bake in the timeframe of 10-13 minutes. Mine baked at exactly 11:30. The cookies should have a light golden brown color on the outside and a dry, dull exterior but will be gooey and slightly underbaked in the center. I recommend baking 1 cookie dough ball in the center of a baking sheet first to gauge how quickly yours will bake as a test cookie before baking the rest of the batch. Remember, we’re only baking one sheet of cookies at a time in the center rack of the oven for consistency, and do keep in mind that the cookies will finish cooking up on the baking sheets once removed from the oven.
- One at a time: For best results, bake the 4 cookies per baking sheet, one baking sheet in the center rack of the oven at a time!
These cookies are the ULTIMATE Peanut Butter Cookie! Supremely thick, gooey, chewy and soft with tons of buttery and nutty peanut butter flavor, they’re stuffed with Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter chips that melt in your mouth! Absolutely amazing!
Levain Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies
- Digital kitchen scale, for accuracy
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups peanut butter chips
- 1½ cups Reese's Pieces candies
- Preheat oven to 410° degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cubed butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds on low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for another 30 seconds until mixture is creamy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and peanut butter, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cake flour, and all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until just combined. Fold in the peanut butter chips and Reese's Pieces candies by hand until fully incorporated. Chill the dough uncovered in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Using a digital kitchen scale for accuracy, weigh out 6 ounces of cookie dough in a loose, rough textured ball. I like to make my cookie dough balls kind of tall as well. You do not want the dough balls to be smooth and compacted. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls, staggering on the baking sheet at least 3" apart from one another, and only placing 4 dough balls per baking sheet.
- Bake one baking sheet at a time in the center rack of the oven for 10-13 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown and the exterior is dry and dull looking. Centers will be slightly underdone and gooey; this is okay and the cookies will finish cooking some once removed from the oven. Let stand on the baking sheets for at least 30 minutes before serving; the cookies are very delicate and fragile once removed from the oven and need time to set before being moved. Keep remaining dough refrigerated while other cookies bake.
Chewy, peanut buttery, rich and gooey – you’re going to love these!
Have a super sweet day!
This recipe is great! Really easy and super delicious. I did sub 1c of chocolate chips for one of the cups of PB chips. I also don’t have a scale, so I just used a large kitchen spoon. The dough balls ended up being about 1/4c in size, yielding 16 cookies. I baked them at the 410 temp for 8min until they were “light golden brown and exterior was dull/dry looking.” After waiting the 30min for them to cool on the pans, my husband and I tasted, and 10/10 will make these deliciously doughy cookies again!
Omg, these cookies were absolutely incredible!!!! I’m a peanut butter fanatic but also a cookie snob and these were literally some of the best cookies I’ve ever made (and eaten)!!! Unbelievably amazing recipe!!
Shut up, these are incredible! Great recipe and totally delivers on PB flavor. I sprinkled a little salt on the cookies halfway through and that bumps up the flavor even more. Thanks for sharing!
All of your Levain cookie recipes look so flippin’ good, especially this one!! They look sooooo dangerous that I’m afraid to make them! ? Do you think it might turn out well if you put in pieces of Reese’s cups? ??
Amazing cookies! I did change the mix ins a smidge – I use (1) bag of PB chips, (1) 4 oz movie theater box of Reese’s Pieces and (1) 7.6 oz bag of Reese’s minis. Best PB cookies ever!
These were absolutely amazing! I subbed out Reeses for chocolate chips. My kids said they were the best cookies they had ever eaten and my husband was just as happy. So delicious I cooked for exactly 12 min
Great recipe – any chance you will be adding a Levain Sugar Recipe anytime soon? Or a lemon cookie? Or maple?
These were excellent. I subbed peanuts for the Reese’s Pieces, and they were still plenty sweet. Great recipe!
These were the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had, bought, made in my entire life! I am a huge peanut butter connoisseur. Currently I have 27 different kinds of peanut butter in my kitchen! I made these last weekend for the first time in my family and I ate them up in two days. Just stocked up on ingredients to make more this weekend. Honestly this is the best recipe in the world.
So gooey and delicious!
These were SO good! Love how detailed the recipe is and they turned out delicious!!! My oven might run a little hot because 8 mins was good for me. 12/10 would recommend!
Is the cubed butter cold or room temp?
Do you chill these before baking? You wrote in the post to chill for 15 minutes but it is not in the instructions. Thanks!
Hi Shana, oops, that’s my bad! I will fix it. Yes, they need to chill for 15 minutes. Fixing now!
ATK has started to differentiate between the use of bleached or unbleached cake flour. Which type did you use in your recipe?
Hi Stripes, I use bleached.
Excited to try these! Do you think this dough would freeze well?
Hi Jennifer, yes, the dough should freeze well! Just form them into the shaped and weighed balls of dough first and freeze, then thaw mostly to room temperature before baking!
Can this dough be frozen?
Hi Laura, yes, but I would recommend freezing the balls pre-formed (rather than a bowl of dough) to make them easier and ready to bake.
Excited to try these! If I wanted to make these cookies smaller than 6 oz (like a regular cookie size), would I still cook these on 410 degrees and for how long? I realize that the texture probably will be different because they won’t be as gooey inside but 6 oz is a big cookie for me 🙂
Hi Megan, yes to the same temperature but perhaps for 5-8 minutes or so? Definitely check around that mark and add more time if needed. I would do a test batch with one cookie and see.
I only have a hand mixer, hoping that still ok
The best peanut butter cookies ever! I didn’t have cake flower, so I “made” some by taking 1 cup of all purpose flower, removing 2 TBS of flour and adding in 2 TBS of cornstarch. These came out amazing!
Help! Mine spread out instead of being thick and dense!
Hi Jillia! A couple of things: was real butter used, or margarine? Margarine would cause spreading. Was your baking soda fresh? Even if it was still good on the expiration date, if it hasn’t been used in awhile, it could have gone bad and that would cause spreading as well.
I used real butter and fresh baking soda. I used natural PB (it was Jif Natural though so it isn’t like I had to mix it for use)
Emily Miller Clark says
your problem is probably the natural peanut butter.
Do you pack the brown sugar? I never know what to do if a recipe doesn’t specify.
Hi Elissa, you don’t need to!
Maria V says
If you love peanut butter, these are for you. They turned out perfect, which is unusual for me. I love super soft cookies. Ten minutes and they were just right. I will make these again!
Robin Rankins says
Delish, such a yummy cookie!!!
I made these following the directions except they stayed in the fridge for about 8 hours. No time to bake them sooner. They are really good, but the funny thing is that they don’t really taste like peanut butter cookies. 🤷♀️ The picture makes them look darker than they really are. 😊
Oops. I was going to attach a picture
Do you think it would work if I substituted butterfinger bits (in the baking aisle) for the reese’s pieces? That is what they had at my grocery store, and I’m wondering if that would still give the batter something to grip onto as well as the reese’s pieces. I did find the peanutbutter chips, so I will still have those to add in as well. I’m really looking forward to trying these!
Hi Mandy, yes that should work!
Does anyone know the ingredient measurements in grams since cups are extremely unreliable (and inconsistent across different countries)?