Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Post image for Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

by Amber on May 1, 2011

You might be looking at that photo and thinking to yourself, “Amber, that’s just another chocolate chip walnut cookie. Yum, but, come on! It’s been done!”. Well, my friend, you’d be right, except that that right there is a Levain Bakery chocolate chip walnut cookie, that I made at home.

The Levain Bakery is famous in this area, and honestly, beyond. It’s been the subject of New York Times articles, Food Network Shows, and many a food blogger discussion.

These cookies, they’re special. They’ve got weight. They’ve got this outer.. shell, for lack of a better word. When you bite into the cookie, the outer layer has a crunch to it, a bite. But it’s ever so slight, and gives way immediately to a texture somewhere between cake and chewy that I thought I’d never be able to duplicate.

Then, I was doing some research on flour for a friend (and myself), and came across the existence of Pastry flour. I’d never before heard of it. Apparently, because it’s really only available commercially. Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my noggin. Of course! No one’s been able to recreate the Levain cookies because we’re not using the right kind of flour. More importantly, we’re not using the right kind of flour mixture. Luckily, I found a pretty easy formula to recreate pastry flour, and was on my way.

I’m excited to say that both The Brit and I agree these are spot on to the Levain Bakery Chocolate Walnut Cookies. It’s got that crisp exterior and toothy interior. The walnuts and chocolate sing together. James loved the cookies so much he invented a new word: Deluscious. Hah!

Have you been to Levain Bakery or ordered their cookies before? I’m excited to hear if you think this recipe is as close as I do.

For the next few days I’ll be in California learning all about Walnuts, so I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my favorite walnut recipes with you. I hope you enjoy these perfectly chocolatey and walnut-y Levain Bakery knock-offs.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Maris (In Good Taste May 1, 2011 at 7:49 PM

The only thing I thought when I saw these cookies was OMG I must have one!


Cookbook Queen May 1, 2011 at 7:52 PM

How awesome!! I am totally excited to try these. I’ll definitely have to have a Levain cookie ( or two) to compare it to while I’m in NYC!! :)


Shaina May 1, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I can’t wait to try these! My favorite were the oatmeal raisin ones, so this will hopefully give me the right method to use trying to recreate those.


cakewhiz May 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

i want to jump into my screen and grab one…lol. they look so fluffy and chocolatey!


Amanda May 1, 2011 at 8:27 PM

YOu are so good girl! I would not even know where to being in breaking down and building back up a recipe.! :)


Nancy @TSP May 1, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Amber – these look spectacular. I can only imagine how wonderful they might taste. Beautiful photos, BTW.


DessertForTwo May 1, 2011 at 9:14 PM

How yummy!

If you’re in Cali to learn about walnuts, you’re probably going to be in my town, actually…we’ll chat about this ;)


Jamie | MBA May 1, 2011 at 9:39 PM

Oh, girl…these look amazing. I have tried to recreate these cookies several times, but they were always lacking that “shell” that you speak of. I’ll have to try these next!


Lisa May 1, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Amber, I’m so glad you liked them, and they look perfect! As one who used to enjoy several Levain;s a week, I can honestly say that mine are still not quite Levain’s, but some like them even better, which shocked me lol Lighter is what they call them. Levain’s are super duper rich and more tender, the latter of which is something I’m going to work on for a third attempt :)


Sylvie@GITK May 2, 2011 at 2:12 AM

You have no idea how happy you’ve just made me! I have a deep love for Levain cookies but have never been able to recreate them at home, I’m so excited that you’ve cracked the code. They really do have such a special mix of crunchy outside and moist interior that no other chocolate chip cookie has ever been able to beat.


naomi May 2, 2011 at 2:20 AM

I have not had one of these Levain cookies, but I’ve heard so much about them. That said, yeah, I’m gonna have to try your knock-off!


sweetsugarbelle May 2, 2011 at 7:02 AM

Not sure if it’s a good thing that you have me wanting to eat or make cookies at six in the morning after my first ride on my new eliptical, LOL, but now, since I have this beast, I will be able to do it sans guilt! They look and sound delish…or should I say delush!!!


JenniferA May 2, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Interesting! I’ve made these with the Kerrygold butter but not with the cake flour. They were outrageous just with the good butter! Must try again with the flour – oh, such a hardship. ;-)

p.s. – try them sometime with pecans – maybe not same as Levain, but so good!


Amy May 2, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Whoa…these look perfect. I could go for a couple of dozen of these.


Three Baking Sheets May 2, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Oh yes. These are insanely good. About a quarter of the batter ended up in my stomach before making it to the oven. Like Jennifer, I made them with all-purpose flour – will have to try it with cake flour next time.


Nate @ HouseofAnnie May 2, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Wow, now I gotta find me some bittersweet choc chips to make this. Thanks for sharing!


Lilly Sweibel May 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM

These cookies are great! Any variation of chocolate chip cookies appeals to me!

This is a personal favourite of mine (simple,easy, and tasty)



Mary May 2, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Oh my! These look ridiculously delicious! I’ve heard about these cookies but have yet to experience one…

Bookmarked to try!


Robyn | Add a Pinch May 2, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Oh my word!!! I need a few dozen of these and pronto!


Wenderly May 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Love those photos girl! I do believe that I am tasting with my eyes!


Michelle May 2, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Your description of these cookies made me drool. I am not kidding…


Tracy May 2, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I have never tried these cookies from the bakery before, but they sound incredible! I’d have to leave the walnuts out, but the thought of that cakey cookie surrounded by a slightly crunchy shell…YUM.


Jen Schall May 4, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Can’t wait to hear all about your trip to California… So exciting! And, these cookies look just fabulous :)


Katherine June 13, 2011 at 10:34 PM

These are absolutely delicious. I just made them and they are definitely my favorite chocolate chip cookie so far! I used good quality european butter and I really think that makes a huge difference and I used ghirardeli chocolate. I baked them on convection for 10 minutes with 6 cookies on a sheet. I think next time I’ll use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet milk mixture. YOU HAVE TO MAKE THESE!!!!


Angela @ The Dancer Bakes July 15, 2011 at 9:59 PM

I just discovered Levain Bakery over Memorial Day weekend and I now crave their cookies regularly. If I can make them at home I will be the happiest woman alive. Thank you for this!


Kerry F March 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM

I made these cookies a few weeks ago and wanted to let you know my husband and I have decided they are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. I used regular butter instead of the Kerrygold (even though it’s hard to resist buying something with your name on it!) and I used Hershey special dark chips and pecans. Yum yum yum. They are going to be my go-to recipe. Thanks so much for posting!


Amber March 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Kerry, I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming back to tell me. Nothing makes a food blogger’s day like a return comment telling them how much a recipe is enjoyed.

You really did make my day.


Kerry F March 24, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Your welcome! : ) I wish I had one right now….


Pam June 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I made these cookies this morning and they were delicious!! I also used regular butter, and I used all semi-sweet chocolate chips. The texture and height of the cookies were just wonderful – no flat cookies here!! As of this afternoon, they were still moist and soft inside and did not turn into hockey pucks – I undercooked them slightly as directed. Next time I may use a heaping half cup of white sugar instead of a level cup, as they weren’t quite sweet enough for me, though changing to all milk chocolate chips might also do the trick. I like things REALLY sweet! Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe!!!


Fran@fransfavs.com July 26, 2012 at 7:23 AM

Amber, thanks for cracking the code! I made and posted these OUTRAGEOUS chocolate chip cookies on my blog recently and I am still floating on a chocolate chip cookie high! Love your blog–when you have time, stop by and visit mine! http://www.fransfavs.com/2012/07/levain-bakery-chocolate-chip-walnut-cookie-clone/


Amber July 27, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Fran, thanks so much for the link love! I do love these cookies so much, though I recently had a discussion with a friend that has me ready to tweak the recipe even further. If either of us do, I’ll be sure to post about it!


Homeschooling Mom April 10, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Made the dough yesterday and it took everything in our power not to eat the dough unbaked! We let it hang out in the fridge overnight and in the meantime my 12-year-old analyzed the ingredients and figured out price-per-cookie. The only difference from your recipe was that we added a tsp of vanilla paste. We used expensive ingredients – Luprak butter, organic eggs, Scharffen Berger semi sweet chunks, Ghiradelli milk chic chips — still our cookies were less than half the price of Levain’s. $1.88/cookie for our cookies, and yes – we did take into account the massive size of Levain’s. my kid got a kick out of that!

We baked a dozen first thing this morning and enjoyed them very much. These were good cookies, thank you for the recipe! These were not our favorite, though. This one ranked below our favorites: the Torres NY Times “48-hour” cookie, Alton Brown’s “the Chewy”, and CI’s brown butter chic-chippers.

Still, we enjoyed the experience. Thanks again for the recipe!


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