My much discussed ORIGINAL AUTHENTIC Levain Bakery Copycat Cookie Recipes

If you don’t like this version, try my other version of the Levain Copycat.  A third attempt will be attempted some day soon.

That said, this is the first ever original copycat recipe for the Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Peanut butter chip cookies. When I created these recipes, there were no other Levain copycat or clone cookies anywhere online. I came up these recipes, along with the cold butter creaming method for cookies, in the summer of ’08, after dozens and dozens and dozens of test batches, to get the right texture and structure of the cookies. Sadly, it’s been taken/stolen by thousands upon thousands of others, proclaiming it their own creation(s).

UPDATE: Even though they refused to give me the exact recipe for the Levain Bakery cookies, someone ASSURED me that they DO NOT USE CORNSTARCH in their cookies. SO, if you see any recipes that include cornstarch, it will not give you a clone or copycat of the Levain Cookie.

I’ve been buying cookies from the Levain Bakery (sporadically) for several years now, and my god, they’re probably some of the best cookies I’ve ever had, whether it be the Chocolate Chip Walnut, the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, or Oatmeal Raisin. First off, they’re HUGE and gooey. One cookie is more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Secondly, they’re delicious!

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

That said, my main reason for buying them (outside of being a chocolate chip cookie nut), was to try and figure out this very elusive recipe. You cannot find it anywhere..not even copycat attempts. They’ve done a great job of keeping it completely vaulted from the masses.

One night, a few months ago, I noticed they were on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. Excellent! If I could just see the ingredients, and the method(s) they use, it could definitely help me on my way to cracking this seemingly uncrackable cookie recipe. Since I’ve been baking for almost 20 years, I’ve developed a knack for sort of being able to estimate amounts just by looking at the them. I recorded it on my DVR so I could keep referencing back to it.

While perusing through several baking and dessert sites plus blogs (using “Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie Recipe” as my search term) desperately seeking any extra info on these cookies I could find, I came across an entry at a dessert blog called Su Good Sweets (you can see how I came up with the recipes in this thread, including the creaming of cold, cubed butter to help maintain the structure of the cookie. I’m Lisa (obviously)), and the owner of this blog, Jessica, posted two cookie recipes by the Levain baking ladies that she found in Art Culinaire a few years back. One was for a Dark Chocolate Coconut cookie, the other a Ginger Valrhona cookie, which were solely created for Art Culinaire, so neither are a cookie they sell at their bakery. However, they could be of some help, especially in conjunction with the Throwdown episode.

Using these formulas, plus the DVR recording of the Throwdown episode, I’m pretty sure I was able to come up with a recipe close to my two favorites; the Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie that’s featured in the episode, and their famous Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter chip cookie. Although I’m not a fan of dark chocolate, the amount of melting peanut butter chips within the gooey chocolate, dilutes the heavy dark chocolate tones I don’t care for, so I can’t help myself!

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

So, after many testings and happy testers via friends, coworkers, and Levain fanatics, the verdict is that this cookie is just like or very close to Levain’s.  As an avid Levain addict myself, I think they look and taste very similar to the Levain cookies. Everywhere I’ve brought bags of  my Levain copycats, people think it is the Levain cookie upon looking and tasting, and some even declare that it’s lighter, and actually prefer it (that one shocks me). I bake mine a bit longer, since I don’t like them almost raw inside (just soft and chewy), and sometimes nuke Levain’s cookies for 5 seconds to remedy this (raw cookie dough sometimes gives me a stomach ache).

Levain Bakery Copycat Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie

For the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip recipe, I used the recipe for the Dark Chocolate Coconut cookie, with the following changes. Subtract coconut and walnuts, and add 2 cups of peanut butter chips, plus a little more baking powder.

For the Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie, I took the Ginger Valrhona cookie, subtracting all the spices, molasses, about 1 or more cups of flour, and adding/adjusting the leavening, 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup of whole, shelled walnuts (which I toasted for extra flavor) and also adjusting the sugar amounts so they wouldn’t be too sweet, like Levain’s.

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

To get 12 cookies, I scaled down each portion of dough per cookie to a teeny bit over 4 oz per cookie instead of the 6 oz they use at the bakery. This is the only way you can get 12 cookies out of this home friendly recipe, unless you double the recipe and portion them how you like. Regardless, a little over 4 oz of dough per cookie still makes a HUGE, mountain like cookie; barely any difference in size. If you want to use a full 6 oz of dough per cookie, you’ll probably only get 6-8 cookies out of this recipe, although I’m just estimating since I haven’t attempted this yet.

Having said all that, before I post the recipes, as of late, in the Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie, I’ve been increasing the brown sugar to 1 cup, while decreasing the white sugar to 1/2 cup. I find it gives the cookie more depth in flavor as far as a caramel like-molasses taste goes. However, try it as written, and then try it with the sugar adjustments and any other chips or flavors you may want to add. This is the fun part of baking and cooking, taking a recipe and making it your own! Also, PLEASE read the notes at the end of these recipes.

Levain Bakery Copycat Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie

One more thing before I post the recipes; the original Levain chocolate chip walnut cookie is richer than this cookie. I’m going to keep trying to get as close as I can, and I think experimenting with a combination of  different flours will be my first order. Also, using the freshest and best ingredients you can find will give you a better cookie.  For instance, using Hershey’s chips in lieu of Guittard won’t give you even half the rich, chocolatey, gooey goodness of a Levain cookie, so it’s truly worth the extra expense!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! I’d love to help everyone get this cookie right, and, of course, remedy any problems you may run into.

UPDATE JULY 2010 –   Another little birdy told me that 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed in with the flour and leaveners is a secret ingredient in the Levain cookie batter.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  I assume it gives you a more tender cookie upon cooling.  Of course, this could be yet another rumor, but it’s worth a shot! UPDATE: THERE IS NO CORNSTARCH in the Levain Cookies!

Update 2011:  I believe they cut in either pastry or cake flour to keep the cookies tender upon cooling and sitting.  Not sure of the amounts yet, but that will come with my third attempt.  If this is the case, cornstarch is not added (if you wish  to add it in the first place) In the mean time, this recipe makes a pretty darn good fat chocolate chip cookie. 

UPDATE JUNE- 2011 – I just received another little hint about the Levain cookies.  Ives, a reader and huge Levain cookie fan (she gets them like 4 times a week) noticed that they freeze the cookies prior to baking them!  Here’s the comment..

Hi,I am also quite obsessed with the Levain cookies and have been going to the bakery 4 times this whole month (I’m from the Philippines). Have you noticed that they put the balls of weighed dough inside the freezer and once it’s hard (but not frozen enough to have a layer of ice on the outside) they assemble 6 of them in the sheet to bake? Have you tried freezing dough and baking the frozen dough? I think this is the secret of the gooey middle! What do you think?

I think it makes complete sense, Ives.  How about it, all?  Another little hint that gets us a bit closer!  To all who try this, let me know how it works out for you!

Levain Bakery Copycat Cookie

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 dozen 4 oz cookies*
  • 2 sticks 'cold and cubed' unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar**
  • ¾ cup brown sugar**
  • 2 eggs
  • 3¼ to 3½ cups AP flour - spoon and sweep method
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I usually use half semisweet and half milk chocolate AND, a little birdy told me they use Guittard)
  • 1 cup walnuts***
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.. and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and nuts.
  4. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. The dough should be moist, kind of like cold cookie dough in a tube.. but not super sticky, so you can portion the cookies with your hands. Divide into 12 equal portions, about 4 oz each*
  5. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover and chill the dough balls in the fridge for about an hour. OR, just make the dough and cover it in a bowl for up to 72 hours, but no longer. Preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven 15-20 minutes depending on how gooey and raw you like the middles (I bake mine at 350 for 18-minutes since I prefer a less raw interior), until very lightly browned, taking care not to over bake. Let cool on rack and store what you don't immediately eat in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
*The Levain Bakery uses 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie. As mentioned above, If you want 12 cookies out of the above recipe, a little over 4 oz per cookie (4.1 to 4.2 oz. Use a kitchen scale) will get you that. If you want to use 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie, you'll probably get only 6-8 cookies (Bake 3 mins more).
** If you want a more 'caramel-molasses like' Chocolate chip walnut cookie, increase the brown sugar while decreasing the white sugar, so you still have 1½ cups total sugar. (Like 1 cup brown sugar to ½ cup white sugar).
*** Toast the nuts for more flavor, and use any kind of nut you like if you don't like walnuts (or no nuts at all).
-The Levain Bakery doesn't use vanilla extract in their cookies, as they feel it's unecessary. However, some feel you need it. You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons to the recipe if desired. Just add it after each egg is incorporated.

Levain Bakery Copycat Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 dozen 4 oz cookies*
  • 2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup good quality dark cocoa powder
  • 2¼ to ½ cups all-purpose flour- Spoon and Sweep method
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ cups peanut butter chips*
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well-incorporated, then beat in cocoa powder.
  3. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder until just combined. Gently fold in remaining ingredients.
  4. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, about 4 oz each*, and place each on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven 16-20 minutes depending on how gooey and raw you like the middles (I bake mine at 350 for 18 minutes since I prefer a less raw interior), taking care not to over bake. . Let cool on a rack and store what you don't immediately eat in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
*The Levain Bakery uses 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie. As mentioned above, If you want 12 cookies out of the above recipes, a little over 4 oz per cookie (4.1 to 4.2 oz. Use a kitchen scale) will get you that. If you want to use 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie, you'll probably get only 6-8 cookies (Bake 3 mins more).
**If you don't like peanut butter chips, use 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- The Levain Bakery doesn't use vanilla extract in their cookies, as they feel it's unecessary. However, some feel you need it. You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons to the recipe if desired. Just add it after each egg is incorporated.

Please take a look through the comment section of this entry.  There’s a lot of helpful hints that will aid in getting this cookie right!

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401 Responses to My much discussed ORIGINAL AUTHENTIC Levain Bakery Copycat Cookie Recipes

  1. Hi Lisa, welcome to the blogging world!

  2. lisamichele says:

    Thank you so much, Jessica! I finally succumbed! Your blog definitely played a part in helping that along. 🙂

  3. Hey Lisa! I’m a reader of Anna’s blog ( and that’s where I first found the Levain cookies. I’ve never tasted them but started to get interested about it and that’s how I found Sugoodsweets blog and that long comments thread.
    I made an experiment with the Levain cookie myself and would like to invite you over my blog to see it and let me know what you think. I’ve made the recipe with 4 different kind of leavenings being one of them istant yeast. That was my favourite by the way and since then some other people have tried it.
    From reading your post I’m guessing you won’t like it as much because they’re dense and on the rawish side (that was a good thing for me) but anyway I think you might enjoy seeing it.
    Welcome to the foodblog world, I’m fairly new myself.
    Cheers, Rita.

    Here’s the link for my post about the cookies:

  4. Thanks for you nice comment. As I saied on my blog, I would love to see what you think about it when you make it. Sure I’ll link to you!

  5. Denise says:

    Trust me all, you’d never know the difference between the Levain cookies and these. Don’t waste your money ordering them if you live far away from the city. Try this recipe. I was floored when I tasted them. I actually thought they were really Levain’s, but better, seriously.

    • Mary D. says:

      I am very interested in your chocolate cookie recipe. The one you feel is better than the Le Vain Bakery chocolate chip cookie. Where do I find it? I am so anxious to try it. I am also looking for a real good oatmeal raisin cookie that stays moist and chewy. Look forward to hearing from you. Mary D.

      • lisa g. says:

        Hi Mary D. I have a real good oatmeal raisen cookie recipe. I use a few spices to bring out the oat flavor w/o being overwhelming. Keeps the cookie interesting insteadof plain and boring. Its a Southern cookie recipe. I even use a tip to prevent dryness oatmeal cookies tend to get after baking. You just spoon the oatmeal into your masuring cup instead of scooping. This prevents packed oatmeal which if packed can lend 1/2 or more of oats per measuring cup.

  6. Jess says:

    YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY! they have great scones too!

  7. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Lisa –

    Thanks again for a great recipe & now the blog … Since Jessica uses a different blog site, I wasn’t able to use my full blog name …

    I remember seeing the cookie / bakery on both “Unwrapped” and “Roker on the Road” … a couple of years before they wound up on “Throwdown” …

    IF they had re-aired “Roker on the Road” that would’ve given you a much better idea of the specifics of the cookie dough components … esp since they use the top shelf of a multi-compartment bread oven and they put the cookie sheets on top of inverted sheet pans (to give them an insulated feature) … Plus, the temp they used was like 500 degrees as opposed to the 350 that they used in the movable convection oven on “Throwdown” …

  8. lisamichele says:

    tiamat! Glad you came by! Verrrry interesting observations about how they baked the cookies. I’m going to try that and add it to the above post with my results and comments.

    BTW, where’s your blog at? Link? 🙂

  9. Hendria says:

    these cookies do look very good…so amazing how you can make something so many different ways… 🙂

  10. Hi Lisa! I’m glad to see the creator of the original Levain copycat has a blog :).

  11. lisamichele says:

    Thanks, Cookie! I’ve been an avid lurker and occasional commenter on your tasty blog for a while now. I hope you come back, as I’ll be covering loads of other kinds of cookies, especially my rugelach, in a variety of cool flavor combinations 🙂

  12. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Lisa –

    You need to get a friend to work at the bakery …

    Somewhere there has got to be video of that Roker on the Road segment … But, I haven’t found it …

    And the idiot brain trust that’s running Food Network doesn’t seem to understand that there’s a demand for THAT particular episode … Roker on the Road has been delegated to 10am Tuesdays …

    They’re too busy giving shows to airheads and running 8 zillion shows by Guy & RR … I hate just about every new show on the network …

    I don’t have a blog yet … Just a blog ID … LOL

    I’ve tried experimenting with your recipe … and have come up with varying results … Oddly enough, it seems that a lot of the time, if I throw the dough in the oven frozen, it rises more than if it’s fresh or had been sitting in the fridge …

    Have you come up with a peanut butter and / or oatmeal raisin version of the cookie ??

  13. lisamichele says:

    tiamat, I totally agree with everything you said about the Food Network. It’s barely watchable anymore. I’d like to see real chefs again, instead of ‘personalities’ who seem to follow a set format instead of just cooking. That said, I am dying to see this ‘Roker on the Road’ episode you’re speaking of. However, I get the feeling they use different time-temps-methods every time they’re on TV, to throw the public off.

    In any event, I never have to refrigerate or freeze the dough before baking it, and I still get the rise. I know you know what you’re doing, but it’s amazing the varied results people have gotten from this recipe. Many have had no problems and got the big, high, chewy cookie, whereas just as many are getting ‘spread’. Do you have an oven thermometer? Are you starting with the butter cold?

    • Kristen says:

      Create on PBS has many cooking shows with real cooking, that’s all my husband and I watch now. I think you’ll enjoy that more.

  14. tiamatsrevenge says:

    I’ve been comparing notes with one of the ladies that comments on “cookie madness” and “sugoodsweets” as I know her from elsewhere … We’ve basically used the same brands of ingredients & cookie sheets & stand mixers … Hers never came out like mine … Her oven runs cold, so she knows how to adjust it …

    But, the one true difference that we found was … the way we measure & “pack” our brown sugar … She was barely packing hers & I was packing mine more … And it didn’t hit me til the last time I made them that this could be the reason “why” …

    I think the brown sugar packing as well as the flour measuring are the two main reasons WHY so many people have gotten varying results with your recipe … They see Giada & Ina dip their cups into the container & measure that way instead of the spoon & scoop/pack method …

    Yeah, I got an oven thermometer & it runs pretty true to scale … as it’s a newer oven …

    The butter is always cold … In fact, I measure everything out before I pull out the butter … One thing I started doing was putting the sugars in the mixer & mixing them for a bit to break them up & get them well combined (It makes it faster for the butter to cream into them) … I take the butter out right when I need to throw it in the mix & I cube it … Eggs are cold too …

    I’ve started throwing the baking powder/soda & salt in at the same time as the vanilla … I don’t get those phantom pockets of soda/powder that sometimes happens when I mix it into the flour first … and it also gives the leavening time to start working before the flour comes in … I also use plain old table salt & salted butter …

    I usually put about 3-4 balls of dough on the cookie sheet & shove it in the oven … then throw the rest of the dough into the fridge whilst I clean up & the first tray bakes … This keeps the butter cold & solid … Sometimes, I’ll throw a couple of balls of dough into the freezer to use later … But, every cookie dough that I make, I always put into the fridge to chill (esp at Christmas when I’m in mass production mode) …

    I did find that by letting the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet, they don’t get that overly hard outer shell and they stay softer longer … Yeah, the cookies do stay around for a few days … LOL When I pulled them off the cookie sheet after about 2-5 minutes, they seemed to get hard & crunchy … This was a trick they showed on “America’s Test Kitchen” when they made their Triple Chocolate Cookies …

    So, how about a peanut butter version?? LOL

  15. lisamichele says:

    tiamat, I always use the spoon and sweep method for these cookies (and most baking in general, unless a particular recipe calls for the scoop and sweep method). I need to add that to the directions to the recipe or the recipe itself, as it makes a pretty discernible difference in weight, and the final outcome of the cookie. One extra ounce, no matter how minuscule it might seem, can completely ruin a baked good. You know the old adage..baking IS a science!

    That said, I do not pack the brown sugar ‘hard’; but instead spoon it in until full, pressing down, but not packed in super tight.

    Once again..I also add the leavens and salt all at once, without combining it with the flour first. I did make a vague reference to that in the recipe via not directing people to mix the leavens and salt with the flour prior to adding it to the creamed butter, sugars, eggs, optional vanilla. After the wet mixture is thoroughly combined, I dump in the flour, and then the leavens and salt last. This is how I saw them do it on Throwdown, so that’s how I did it, and continue to do so.

    In regards to letting the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet, I ‘try’ to do that, but since I’ve started baking them only when I know people will be coming over or will be around to take some home (I can’t control However, I also keep perfectly portioned 4-6 oz balls of cookie dough in the freezer in a ziplock, so I can bake as many as I want when the mood hits, or for when people stop by), they usually pull them off the sheets practically right out of the oven, thinking they can eat more than one or two. Then after realizing how one or two is more than enough in one sitting, the remaining cookies are left out until they take them home, or I put them in an airtight container or tightly sealed ziplock bag. Without the container or a tightly sealed ziplock, the outer crust does get a titch hard after a few hours, hence why I will make sure no one touches them until they’re completely cooled down..ON the sheet. I think this point needs to be stressed also.

    Isn’t it amazing how so few teeny, tiny ‘blips’ can make such a difference in the outcome of these cookies? This again leads us back to, ‘Baking IS a Science!’

    tiamet, thanks again for your MORE than helpful contributions toward helping others get this cookie right. You are a master baker to the 100th degree, a baking brainiac, to put it simply! 🙂 I currently have an idea and formula zipping through my head for the Peanut Butter version of the Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie, (minus the walnuts, optionally adding peanuts instead), and as soon as I experiment, test, and taste, over and over, until I feel it’s ‘right’, I’ll blog it, along with an attemnpt to crack their Oatmeal Raisin cookie!

    Finally, let me know if any of the changes you mentioned above, finally resulted in a higher, thicker cookie for you 🙂

  16. lisamichele says:

    Hendria, it is amazing, isn’t it? You can take the base of this recipe and make it your own by adding different flavors, chocolates, nuts, or anything that suits your fancy, Clumbsy cookie made several versions of her own, one using yeast! She added a link to her experiments in one of the comments above 🙂

  17. madcapCupcake says:

    I think I am in LOVE. These cookies are evil. I must make some.

  18. tiamatsrevenge says:

    I think I got the highest / thickest cookie using light brown sugar as opposed to dark brown sugar (amt of molasses contributes to the “spread”) …

    Actually, I think the highest / thickest cookie was when I did 1C white to 1/2C brown sugar … But, the taste & color was kinda bland …

    When I measure the brown sugar, I use a Tupperware measuring cup … I’ll spoon in a couple big tablespoons of sugar & pack a lil … then a couple more & pack … and keep doing it til I get the sugar higher than the cup & level it off with the knife … This was how I was taught to do it …

    On Throwdown, I think the Levain girls added each item individually so that people would see each ingredient … and they started with the flour, then salt & “leavening” but mixed those all in at the same time …

    When I throw the leavenings in right after I put the vanilla in, it hits the vanilla & starts bubbling … But, I think this helps rise the cookies better … LOL

    I also found that by not over creaming the butter/sugar, leaving some visible chunks of butter prior to adding the eggs & flour, that the cookies do better …

    One other trick that I’ve started doing the last few times I’ve made the cookies (we call them “LFLs” for Lisa’s Fake Levains), is to put the sugars in the mixer bowl & let it run for a few minutes to break up the sugars & get them “combined” before I put in the butter as it doesn’t require as much creaming time …

  19. tiamatsrevenge says:

    If I’m adding nuts to the dough, I’ll use about 1 cup of chopped walnuts (sometimes a lil over) … Sometimes, I’ll go a lil over 2 cups on the choc chips … But always go with 3 1/2 cups of flour …

    I’ve made the cookies once without nuts … I upped the flour to 3 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup of flour … I think the dough could’ve easily handled 4 full cups of flour … I had also upped the chips to about 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups …

    I need to get some butterscotch chips to try … When I was a kid, my mom used to make choc chip / butterscotch walnut Tollhouse cookies using the recipe out of the 1961 Betty Crocker cookbook … The recipe is DIFFERENT from what’s on the back of the Nestle Choc Chips … The cookbook says the recipe is the one that came from Ruth Wakefield’s Tollhouse Inn … The cookies made from the cookbook recipe taste different & better than the ones on the back of the bag of chips …

  20. lisamichele says:

    tiamat..LOL@LFL’s! I love it! I’m so glad you added more hints. Thing is, I get great results every single time with my original recipe, but a little more flavor with 1 cup light brown sugar to 1/2 white sugar. They always remain high, yet heavy, in a good way (interior of melted chocolate chip-chewy/doughy goodness). I wish I could be in the kitchen with everyone so I could feel their dough prior to portioning it. I guess it’s just a matter of that, different ovens, different weather in different regions all over the world, not over creaming the butter and sugar, etc.

  21. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Lisa – I added your link for this page to one of the foodie blogs on the Seattle PI website … They had the link to the NYT article about choc chip cookies from last week and how it appeared that resting / chilling gave a different result to the cookies depending on the length of chilling time … It’s an interesting article … Someone’s already come here for the LFL recipe … LOL

    I always chill my cookie dough (esp oatmeal raisin which is just too wet to deal with right away) as it seems like I’m always exhausted after I whip up a batch & will sometimes bake one sheet & chill the rest …

    I hate to say it, but I think this last batch took about a full week to bake … LOL And the best cookies were the last 5 to get baked …

    I think with these cookies the approach is to make them more along the lines of scones / pie crusts … Don’t let the butter get too warm when making the dough, as it won’t have the same steam/raising power when baked …

    But, as we’ve seen … “HOW” one measures the flour & brown sugar (as well as egg size) makes ALL of the difference in the world …

    Thanks bunches for coming up with the recipe … You’ll never know just how many peoples’ lives you’ve positively affected with one little cookie …

  22. lisamichele says:

    tiamat, i knew something was up when the hits I got for this entry went OTT for a few days. Thing is, where are they all? 😛 I want to know how the cookies came out for them, and if I can help them in any way!

    Thank you so much for doing that and your incredibly sweet comments! You BELIEVE IN MY COOKIE (aka LFL)..LOL

  23. tiamatsrevenge says:


    The ep of “Unwrapped” with the cookie was on yesterday & today (July 14/15) … and I MISSED IT … I don’t see a replay scheduled for the next two weeks …,1976,FOOD_9955_30858,00.html

    If you look at the main page for “Unwrapped” … where the tv schedule is … It looks like there is NO rhyme or reason in the order that they’re airing the eps, which makes me think they might’ve gotten a clue and realized that people want that damn cookie … LOL

    Now IF we could only get them to air the “Roker on the Road” where Al’s at the shop & makin’ the cookies with the girls …

    Today’s ep is “Cookie Masters” … but the Levain girls are NOT on it … They appear to be airing the show in order as next week’s show is “Edible Art” …,1904,FOOD_10796_240,00.html

    I’ve been baking/cooking since I was a little kid … and I’ve never been truly satisfied with a choc chip cookie … Your cookie comes pretty doggone close … I wish I could recreate those cookies that I grew up on & loved so much (but I guess that’s impossible as our tastebuds aren’t the same as we get older & it takes more to wake them up) …

    You should email the “devouring sEATtle” blogger … to let her know that it’s your recipe … LOL

  24. lisamichele says:

    tiamat, Foiled again! I guess you’d have to look ahead every single day to try and find the Roker on the Road or another repeat of the Unwrapped episode. However, from what I’ve gleaned, it seems they change their ‘methods’ with each show they’re on, (as I’ve said before), to throw people off.

    That said, I think there’s really something to letting the dough ‘age’ for up to 36 hours prior to portioning and baking. I tend to wonder, since they bake hundreds of them a day, if the Levain ladies produce vats and vats of cookie dough per week, resting it in the walk in overnight or longer, so they only need to scoop and bake from the moment they open shop. If it improves the flavor as much as the experiment proved in your link, it’s definitely worth a try.

    OK, to all who try this recipe, let the dough sit in the fridge from anywhere from 12-36 hours, then portion and bake, and post your results! I’m going to try it within the next two weeks, myself. Try it too, tiamat, and see if it intensifies the flavor as much as they said, although I think the current flavor is pretty damn perfect as is ;D. Quote from my sister after leaving my place several months ago, with a bag of them, calling from her cell as she drove home “OMG, these are the BEST chocolate chip cookies I have EVER had!” And she’s a sweet tooth/chocolate chip connoisseur to the hundredth degree, and rarely gets that intensely ‘vocal’ about food in general.

    BTW, is it at all possible to form a paragraph in the wordpress comment section? lol

  25. Sally says:

    that recipe is almost EXACTLY like my mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe!!! the only difference is hers uses 1 stick of butter & 1 stick of Crisco. next time i make these, i’m going to try yours.

  26. lisamichele says:


    I live by the rule that anything other than butter in a cookie recipe is sacrilegious! The only time I use shortening in baking is in conjunction with butter in ‘basic’ pie crust recipes, when I want a tender and flaky crust. I’m such a butter snob/fiend, that I’ll be looking down at all of you before I get my first gray hair..LOL

    Definitely make them with ALL butter!! Also, try giving the cookie dough a 12 to 36 hour rest in the fridge prior to baking. Taste tests (if you look above) have shown it enhances the flavor intensely. I haven’t tried it yet, and I’m not sure if that’s how the Levain ladies do it, but it’s definitely worth a shot!

    Let me know how they come out! 🙂

  27. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Lisa –

    Most of the time, my cookie dough (with this recipe) sits in the fridge up to a week … Yeah, I know … How can the dough sit there for a week & not be eaten?? Too much of a good thing can be bad … LOL

    The flavor does intensify … But, it also seems like they raise better after vegging out for several days … Even the ones that were frozen as raw balls of dough seemed better than the uber fresh baked …

    It’s all about the hydration of the flour as well as the vanilla working with the brown sugar … I think it gives it an overall deeper flavor … Though, it seems like it needs more salt (when it’s left to sit for several days in the fridge) …

    One cannot be a complete butter snob … There are some cookies that seem to work better when you mix crisco & butter (like snickerdoodles) … LOL

    It’s been so long since I’ve seen that ep of Roker on the Road and Unwrapped … that I can’t remember how they do it … But, I know with Roker they did use an industrial sized Hobart floor mixer (it’s the big sister to the KitchenAid stand mixer – same company) … But, I don’t remember them cubing the butter for that since it was a ginormous batch …

    I think with “Throwdown” … The reason they put each ingredient into the mixing bowl separately was so that people would see that it’s certain ingredients in the cookie … and leaving the leavening as the mystery ingredient … But, based on every cookie recipe that I’ve seen as well as comments from the Levain cookie eaters, it’s always been clear that they do use baking powder … I want to say they may use Cream of Tartar too (but my experiment with it was only so-so) … LOL 😉

  28. tiamatsrevenge says:

    And it looks like Word Press (or at least in this particular blog) won’t let you create paragraphs … Oddly enough, I’m able to make paragraphs when commenting on the Fox News blogs …

  29. lisamichele says:


    I don’t make snickerdoodles very often, but when I do, I use melted or softened butter. I just feel shortening takes so much flavor away from cookies. However, I will admit I haven’t made a concerted effort to experiment with it that much. Like I said, I’m a butter snob, especially when it comes to cookies!

    On another note, after I finish an order for a pie this weekend, I’m going to try the ‘fridge aged’ cookie dough experiment, at 12, 24, and 36 hours, and possibly blog the results, depending on how ‘different’ each batch looks and tastes, to me. I’m really looking forward to it!

    Regarding Levain’s cookies, I have no doubt there’s most certainly baking powder in them. I would bet anything on that, as I’ve tried it without, using just soda, and it wasn’t the ‘Levain’ at all, even the taste was off.

  30. I came back to stare at the cookies.

  31. tiamatsrevenge says:

    With your fridge aged experiment … Try chilling them for 5 days … I know that’s next to impossible to do, but I think those are the best … I hate to say it, but I think with one batch, I actually went 7 days of aging the cookies … LOL

    Most of my tried & true cookie recipes come from the 1961 edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook … It’s older than me, but Betty was one mean baker / cook … LOL 😉

    • Nancy says:

      Do you have the Betty Crocker 1961 cookbook? would you mind giving me the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe from that book. I used to have the book and never kept that recipe–it was my favorite. thank you so much.


  32. lisamichele says:


    I aged my dough for 36 hours, and they came out a little ‘cakey’. Maybe the ‘aging’ process for this particular cookie/recipe, isn’t ideal? However, when I freeze portioned balls of dough, I get great results. Hmmm..another conundrum.

    That said, yep..’Betty’ rocked. Too bad they turned ‘her’ into so many processed mixes LOL The older the recipe/cookbook, the better the results, at times. I think years of futzing with recipes, can sometimes be a hinderance.

  33. Ling says:

    Hi Lisamichelle!

    I just wanted to know if you ever ate the Starbucks frosted brownie before? They have two- an espresso choco chip one and a frosted one…been looking to see if you or anyone ever tried it and figured out the recipe for it? It’s chewy and very moist with a semi hardened frosting on it! It’s heavenly!!

  34. Ling says:

    oops sorry..was looking to see if anyone has tried the frosted brownie and if they have a recipe that’s similar to it!!

  35. lisamichele says:

    Hey Ling! Long time no see! I haven’t tried the frosted espresso chocolate chip brownie at Starbucks, as I’m not a huge fan of coffee in general, but..I can give it a shot, once I buy and taste one (I can never pass up a If that doesn’t work, maybe someone out there can give it a shot, or IF they know the recipe, post it here?

  36. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Ling –

    You might want to try out a brownie mix that’s made by Continental Mills and marketed under the “Krusteaz” brand … as that is the “secret” brownie, etc of a lot of companies, esp if they’re based in the Pacific Northwest (aka WA state) …

  37. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Lisa –

    The last batch of the LFLs came out weird …

    It was warm in my kitchen, so the dough seemed more moist than normal as I think the butter started to get too soft … It had been warm & dry that day …

    I used light brown sugar and did a half & half mix of Nestle semisweet chips to Kroger butterscotch chips (which are smaller in size than the Nestle chips) … I broke open a new box of baking soda and a new bottle of pure vanilla …

    It took about a week to bake off the majority of the dough and I stuck 2 balls in the freezer for about a week … The very first cookies that I made, I did w/o chilling the dough and they did not raise very well … The dough prolly could’ve used more flour …

    The last batch that I baked that had only been in the fridge was about 5-7 days after I made the dough … And the dough was still somewhat moist … They still seemed more like a chewy cookie, but not as tall as the other times I’ve made them when the ambient temp isn’t as high …

    But, the cookies that had sat in the fridge for a week and then in the freezer for about another week seemed to get quite a bit of height when baked … I didn’t thaw the dough out & just put it straight into the oven after taking out of the freezer bag & freezer …

    Strangely enough … I think I really prefer the dark brown sugar compared to the light brown … I’ve upped the salt to 1 teaspoon of table salt, I actually think it could use more as it brightens the flavor of the chocolate and I use salted butter … I’ve also upped the vanilla to 3 tablespoons (Yeah, I know – the Levain girls would be shocked) …

  38. Ling says:

    Tiamat- thanks for the brownie tip.. will try that out and let you all know! Does anyone know of a good frosting for the brownie? The frosting that’s on the starbucks brownie is slightly firm and rich! I think they have two brownies at starbucks- one that’s an espresso chip brownie that cut into a wedge and a square brownie with the to die for frosting!! I’m so hooked!
    Lisamichelle- I haven’t made the Levain cc recipe for a while since I’ll just eat the WHOLE batch! It’s so good and too tempting!!LOL!

  39. Ling says:

    I just remembered that the Levain girls were on the food network show Unwrapped about supersized food items. I think it was an old segment b/c it seems like it was at a different location than the one on Throwdown. Anyways to make a long story short, they said they use a bread oven to bake the cookies and are not sure of the exact temperature! I know for the Throwdown segment they said 350 but I don’t think so… everyone who has baked your cookies Lisamichelle have noticed the cookies need a high heat to raise the cookie to it’s famous height!

  40. lisamichele says:

    Tiamat – As always, your helpful hints and experimentations are awesome. Don’t stop! 🙂

    Ling – I hear ya about trying to stay away from baking them. Unless I have people to give them away to, I TRY to steer clear. lol


    Regarding the Levain ladies and the bread ovens, I get full puff and height at 350, but to get a bread oven ‘like’ effect, I would preheat the oven to 500, and bake them for 10 minutes at the most. Maybe even putting the pan on a baking stone, although that could bake the bottoms faster than the interior and top, and result in burnt bottoms, even with a silpat or parchment. I’ll have to try it eventually!

  41. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Ling –

    Try the Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge frosting … If the brownies sit on the counter for awhile, the frosting will harden … esp if they’re in a cool room that’s not humid and they’re cold when you frost them (or you can put them in the fridge after you frost them) …

    When the Levain girls were on “Unwrapped” as well as “Roker on the Road” … they were in their bakery … But, when they were on “Throwdown” with Bobby Flay, they were at some sports store or gym which is why they used a portable convection oven & said the actual temp (that they use for the convection oven) …

  42. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Lisa –

    I know this will be hard to do … But, you should try it … just for the halibut … LOL

    Mix up a batch of LFL dough … Let it sit in the fridge for like 4-5 days … Divide it up into balls like you would do, if you were gonna bake them … Then freeze them for say a week … Then bake them … I don’t know WHY they seem to get more height that way, but they do …

  43. Kate says:

    I was looking all over the net for a copy cat recipe but couldn´t find a good one – until now! These are by far the best cookies in the world!!!!! Better than Levain , imo.
    thank you so much

  44. lisamichele says:

    Tiamat – As you can see by my photos, height is not a problem for I’m still getting very big cookies, in height and heft, without doing anything more than mixing up the dough to the right consistency then scooping it onto the cookie sheet. I guess it’s one of those things where weather, oven temp, not enough mixing/creaming or overmixing/creaming etc etc etc, can lead to varied results. 🙂


    Kate – Thanks so much! I like ’em too..a lot! 🙂

  45. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Lisa – Yeah, I know the height & heft aren’t a problem for you …

    And definitely … over/under-mixing, kitchen temp, etc DO play a big role in how the final product comes out …

    I do get better results when the ambient temp is cooler as well as humidity up & barometer down … standard Seattle weather … LOL

    You should try the fridge/freezer experiment … just for kicks … LOL Plus, you’ll have more background information to help others when they come & find the recipe and need assistance … Become one with your inner Betty Crocker … LOL 😉

  46. lisamichele says:

    Tiamat – I did experiement with the cookie dough in the fridge for up to 36 hours (my cookies came out somewhat cakey when I did that. Maybe it’s just my recipe.), and I talked about it in this comment section above, as well as mentioning that I freeze balls of dough all the time and they always bake, rise high, and taste as if they were freshly made, straight out of the freezer. 🙂

  47. Barbara says:

    These were delicious!!!! I used all cold ingredients, mixed the sugars before adding cubed butter as another post reccommended. I then chilled the dough for 2 days to help the flavors meld. I used a raggedy 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie and baked about 10-12 min. on the convection setting. I received many requests for this recipe, although it does seem to be a more grown up taste, my kids all prefer aa more traditional homemade cookie, but I will be making this often.

  48. pomsy says:

    Hi there! i tried your recipe and it tastes great!!! but i have read one of the blogs in your comments regarding using bread flour and bread yeast instead. I was wandering if you have tried doing that and what is your reaction to that idea???

  49. Lori says:

    Impressive cookie! 🙂 I had no problem with the rise. I used a very rounded scoop using my large Pampered Chef scoop. I yielded 21 cookies from the recipe so they are large but not as large as yours. I baked mine at 375 for 14-15 minutes because they weren’t as big. It was funny to see my kid’s eyes bulge when they came out of the oven! Thanks for the recipe.

  50. Pingback: Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies « awaking madness

  51. lisamichele says:

    pomsy = I’m so glad they turned out well for you! Regarding the bread flour and yeast, I have yet to try it, but if you click on the link ‘Clumbsy Cookie’ in my blogroll to your right, or simply click HERE, which will bring you right to the page about the cookies. She came up with the idea, and you can read about it and see photos of her results. She also tried the cookies several other ways, and they all look great!


    Lori – I get the same look from kids AND adults alike when I show up with a pan or bag of them! I’m glad you liked them 🙂

  52. mary says:

    Your recipes look fabulous!!
    Is anyone trying to crack the recipe for the Levain Dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie?? I’m not a fan or nuts, coconut, etc. just choco-heaven please!!”

    any tips on how to make this cookie would be appreciated. It looks like paradise on the Levain website. All choco-gooiness!!!

  53. mary says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I forgot to mention that on the levain website,
    it appears that they not only use dark chocolate cocoa powder and semi-sweet chips, but also dark chocolate chips–I don’t know if they melt this into the dough or just have two types of chips folded into the batter.



  54. babs says:

    saw these cookies on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown and wanted to make them for my kids. Was so excited to see that someone did all the legwork for me. i have the recipe and read through all the comments, so I can’t wait to try them. my daughter looked on the Levian Bakery website and saw that they were $22 for 4 and she said she couldn’t eat them knowing they were that expensive.

  55. lisamichele says:

    mary – Thanks so much for the lovely compliment! For a copycat attempt of the Levain Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie, I use my copycat recipe for their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cookie, subbing bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chips for the peanut butter chips. Both chips should not melt into the batter if they’re ‘chips’ and not calets or any chocolate made for melting. Try it and let me know how it works out!

    babe – I’m so glad you want to give these cookies a try! Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if need be, and of course, let me know how they turn out for you 😀

  56. mary says:

    Dear Lisa

    Thanks for the tip re: dark choc-choc chip. I’ll do it, and post my results here. In the meantime, I went ahead and made the choc chip cookies without the walnuts and I followed Tiamat’s modifications. The cookies had good height, great flavor, though I should have probably baked them a little less to get that slightly uncooked middle. They were best straight out of the oven, though still tasty after a week in an airtight container.

  57. Emily says:

    These look AMAZING. I live a few blocks away from Levain Bakery and i see people with these all the time! I have had quite a few, as well! I’ve been looking for a copycat recipe, and all the other ones i have found look like they bear a certain bread-ish texture.
    These are the only ones that bare a good resemblance to the actual cookie- i thought they really were them!!
    I cannot waitttttt to try the recipes!

  58. Emily says:

    does anyone have a clue as to how different the cookies would be with margarine instead of butter?

  59. lisamichele says:

    mary – I’m happy they worked out well for you. Cookies are always best fresh out of the oven, and a good tip to regain that ‘just out of the oven’ flavor and texture after a few days, is to microwave them for a few seconds.


    Emily – I hope they turn out well for you! Honest to god, many Levain fanatics thought I they were actual Levain cookies when they saw and tried them! I think I’ve gotten pretty close to satisfy that ‘Levain’ craving, although I’m sure my recipe is NOT as close to theirs as I would like to Also, the reason some of the Levain copycats may look or taste ‘bready’ is because some of them use all bread flour, which is high in gluten. Regardless, I’m sure they’re delicious. Let me know how they turn out for you, and if you encounter any problems or dissatisfaction, let me know so I can help you remedy or improve them 🙂
    Regarding using the margarine in place of the butter, I’ve never tried it, but it could change the texture and flavor of the cookie, not to mention it’ll never be as solid as butter when cold, and I think the cold butter helps maintain the structure and rise of the cookie when baking. However, if you want to try them using margarine, make sure the label indicates it is recommended for baking purposes. Many margarines have a high water content and are not suitable for baking.


    On another note, here’s another tip to make the chocolate chip walnut cookies even better. Saute the walnuts in the recipe in a pan with a little butter until lightly toasted and (of course) buttery. Let cool. and then add to dough. It really takes these cookies up another level, and who knows, maybe the Levain bakery gals do the same ;D

  60. Emily says:

    i tried these (with butter), and the cookies were good, but they flattened! i even put them in the freezer for 15 min!
    any suggestions?

  61. lisamichele says:

    Emily – OK, here’s some questions/suggestions to your problem with spreading,,

    1. Was the butter cold when you creamed it? This is an important step in maintaining the structure of the cookie. You beat it until it’s fluffy, but not overly smooth like most cookie recipes.. Also, you can Refrigerate the butter/sugar mixture for about a half hour prior to adding the rest of the ingredients, to insure the butter didn’t cream up too warm.

    2.Did the dough feel slightly cool when you portioned it? Did you portion the dough to 4 oz per cookie?

    3. How much flour did you add, as I gave an estimated amount between 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups. If the dough was sticky, that means you needed more flour.

    4. What temp did you bake them at? I prefer 375 because the higher temperature seems to ‘set’ the outside of the cookie quickly, resulting in barely or no spread.

    5. Try the cookies using bleached flour instead of unbleached, as bleached seems to keep the cookie puffier for some reason. If you don’t want to use bleached, just increase the unbleached flour in the recipe, but make sure not to overdo it, as you don’t want a dry, crumbly dough!

    6. Make sure not to grease the cookie sheet. Parchment paper or a silpat is ideal.

    7. Do you live in a high altitude area?

    8. Finally, you said you froze them prior to baking them. Did you freeze them after they were already portioned onto the cookie sheet? This is the best way to do it to prevent spreading since the frozen cookie dough will warm up as you portion them. Also, although I don’t freeze them before baking, I would recommend freezing them a little longer than 15 minutes, maybe a half hour to 1 hour.

    Let me know if any of the suggestions work for you. If not, please answer the above questions so we can get to the bottom of this problem and give you the puffy, high and crispy/chewy cookie that this recipe produces 🙂

  62. misty says:

    Finally a copycat recipe for these darned cookies. I’ve been on such a quest since I saw the Bobby Flay episode. I will make these this weekend and report back, although I live in CA, so I have never actually had a Levain cookie. Happy cooking!

  63. misty says:

    Hello, I am back. I made these cookies today, and I must say they are quite tasty. Mine turned out good – a little under cooked in the middle, but not unedible, and it sounds like the real Levain cookie is somewhat raw in the middle. My main observations to this cookie from all the hundreds of others I have tried is that the dough (precooked) had an intense buttery taste – more so than other recipes I have tried, and I believe it is due to no vanilla in the recipe – possibly not overpowering the butter flavor. Second observation, that after baked (eating time) they had such a light and fluffy texture, but also a dense taste to them. They really are great cookies and I have never tried the true Levain cookie, but I think with some “tweaking”(i.e., cook time, heat temp, etc.) they could be even better.
    On another note, last week I made the NY times cookie recipe – I think it is the BEST chocolate chip cookie I have ever made and for me has a slight lead on the copycat Levain recipe. Anyway, with that said – Lisa, Thank you for figuring out the darn recipe – I was getting sick of seeing Bobby Flay and Al Roker talk and eat them and then find no recipe for the cookie online!

  64. tiamatsrevenge says:

    They really need to re-air the stupid ep of “Roker on the Road” where he made the cookies …

    It’s like the braintrust of FogleTusch do NOT want us to see it … Are they in cahoots with the Levain girls?? Air “Throwndown” a zillion times, but make RotR disappear?? LOL

    If a recipe calls for all butter, substituting margarine will greatly affect it … mainly in the structure, but also in the flavor … Most margarines have a higher water content than butter and the fat structure is different … The cookies that I have made with only margarine, turn out flat & greasy …

    The last batch that I made, sat in the fridge for a full week … What wasn’t baked off, got froze as balls … It was about half Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chips & half Kroger butterscotch chips … Next time, I’m gonna use the Nestle butterscotch chips with the Hershey’s Special Dark chips …

    I’ve tried several batches (err, sheetfulls) at 375, but I didn’t like the interior texture … So, I’m stuck at 350 for about 20 minutes making sure the oven is preheated …

    There’s posts on the Food Network site for people looking for the recipe … Someone thought that the one on SuGoodSweets is the REAL recipe … LOL

    Emily – It sounds like the butter got too warm and was creamed with the sugar too much … When the “fat” in a cookie is too warm, it will make a flat cookie … Unless you have a deep freeze, 15 minutes usually isn’t long enough to re-solidify the fat structure … It took a few times of experimenting til I got my version of Lisa’s recipe perfected …

    Mary – Glad to hear the modifications helped / worked for you … As I tell my non-baker friends, “Cooking is an art, but baking is a science” … So with science, one must experiment …

    Lisa – Not sure if you happened to catch this article in the NYT or not … It does play up our theory of chilling enhancement …

    The article also talks about the Levain girls … LOL

    I’ll have to re-read the other comments (when I’m more awake), to see if there’s any other tips / clues / hints that might come to mind … LOL

    I seriously need to start baking again … Luckily, the atmospheric conditions have improved dramatically … LOL

    And, I think I need to actually activate my blog with Word Press … LOL

  65. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Oh yeah …

    I posted the link to this page / recipe … on another blog at the Seattle PI in their readers’ blogs in the food section … LOL

  66. Marsha says:

    Lisa – Your copycat recipes for the Chocolate Chip Walnut and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies are the best cookies I’ve ever had. In the beginning I tried tweeking them a little thinking I could improve on them (vanilla, more brown sugar, etc.) but I’m back to your original recipe – it’s PERFECT!! Have you tried to come up with Levain Bakery’s Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe? Thanks for all your efforts to come up with the two you did.

  67. Danielle says:

    I was really excited when I saw this recipe because I am in love with Levain Bakery’s cookies. I was really nervous because I don’t have a regular electric mixer, much less an electric stand mixer with a paddle… I wasn’t quite sure how they would come out considering I had to mix EVERYTHING by hand. After reading all of the comments, I realize that this might not be the worst thing in the world, considering the issue of over-mixing. Regardless, the chocolate chip walnut cookies came out amazingly well. I used your suggestion and did 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar. I’m so thrilled! I cannot wait to share these with my family, friends, and colleagues. Thank you!

  68. Jane says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to crack these recipes… they have helped me feed my addiction to Levain cookies (quite literally) while I’m home in NJ for winter break.

    I made the chocolate chip walnut cookies and they came out perfectly! I just took out my first batch of the chocolate peanut butter cookie and while they still taste great, they spread out instead of maintaining the usual dense shape of a Levain cookie… I’m not sure what I could have done wrong. Butter and eggs were cold and I don’t believe I over mixed it. Did anyone else have this problem, or does anyone have ideas as to how I can have it retain it’s tallness next time?

    Thanks again for this recipe! 🙂

    • lisamichele says:

      tiamet – Thanks so much for your wealth of information and links. It’s so nice of you to share your suggestions and expertise to help people who’ve had some problems with the recipes 🙂
      Marsha and Danielle – SO glad they turned out well for the both of you! I cannot wait to make them again once I’m home!
      Jane – I’m glad the CC Walnut worked out well for you also! Regarding your problem with the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cookies, try adding more flour and let me know if that works out for you. If not, we can try something else 😀

  69. emily says:

    ok so i (finally) decided to give the chocolate chip walnut cookie another chance. Thanks for everyone’s advice!
    i did the following-
    -used 1 whole tsp baking powder (…er, which i discovered to be expired)
    -did NOT overmix the butter and sugars
    -froze for an hour and a half (as opposed to 15 minutes)

    they are still in the oven but did NOT flatten…i am very excited.
    the only thing is that they didn’t puff up, however, i can’t blame it on anything except my baking powder.
    i cant wait to eat them (compare them to levain’s), and then make them again with edible baking powder.

  70. tiamatsrevenge says:

    Emily – The best way to test your baking powder to see if it’s still good is …

    Take a glass of warm water & add about a teaspoon of baking powder to it. Depending on how much power is in the baking powder, it’ll fizz a lot or a little. If it’s still got a lot of power, it’ll fizz up a lot.

    The test is akin to adding baking soda to vinegar.

  71. emily says:

    thanks for the tip!

    ok, so the flavor of the cookie was good, and so was the shape,
    but it tasted a little… bready.
    i used all purpose bleached flour…
    any advice?

  72. Ken Wenrich says:

    Great stuff. Keep up the good work.

  73. Marsha says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I have made sooooo many batches of the Choc Chip Walnut, Chocolate & Peanut butter chip and the Chocolate Coconut. I’ve used the Choc Chip Walnut recipe but substituted Macadamia Nuts for the walnuts and white choc chips for the choc chips and added 1 teaspoon vanilla. They were very good! Have you had any luck with the Oatmeal cookie recipe?

  74. lisamichele says:

    Marsha – White chocolate chunk-macadamia nut cookies are one of my favorite cookies in the,world! Remember the old Mrs. Field’s cookie shops in the food courts at the mall? I’d never leave without a big bag of WC-Macs, hot out of the oven. Too bad she sold out to some crappy processed baked goods corporation, but we still have them here in central Jersey! That said, my Levain copycat with the WC-Mac come pretty close! I’m glad you made them that way and liked them!


    Regarding the Levain Oatmeal Raisin cookies, I never got the chance to experiment due to an accident that annihilated my knee, surgery, and now physical therapy 🙁 (You can read about it starting with my Lavash cracker and vegan dip entry and the entries following).


    When I’m able to get back into the kitchen on two legs, that’ll be one of the first tasks I tackle!

  75. Kate says:

    I found your chocolate chip recipe but was sent to your website when I was looking for a fluffy, not flat or cruncy Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe. I live at 8000 feet and it’s hard. I use half butter-flavored crisco and half butter and extra flour but they still need improving. Have you been able to do with oatmeal what you did with chocolate chip cookies (i never got the chocolate gene!)

  76. lisamichele says:

    Kate _ i haven’t yet gotten to working on something close or similar to Levain’s big, fat Oatmeal Raisin Cookie due to a knee injury, surgery, physical therapy et al. Once I’m able to get into the kitchen, I’ll be right on it, since it will take some experimenting, not something I can do at a table while people bring me what I need! lol
    With that said, Cook’s Illustrated has a recipe for a big, fat Oatmeal Raisin cookie that’s supposed to be very good. I don’t think I can post it here due to copyright infringement and the fact that it’s a pay site and magazine. However, if you send your email address to me at [email protected], I can send you the recipe 🙂

  77. Kate M says:

    I had a Levain bakery cookie this weekend for the first time and knew that when I got home to Boston I needed to find a copycat recipe 🙂 I just took the second half of the batch of these guys out of the oven and they are DELISH!!

    I prefer to have a chewier inside but with the first sheet I had trouble getting the tops to brown – by the time the tops were golden, the entire cookie was cooked through. So on the second sheet, I baked the cookies for about 19 min at 350, then switched on the boiler for a minute or so, and voila! Golden-topped cookies with chewy/raw interiors.

    I did chill for about an hour before hand – and used cold butter/eggs. And mixed by hand! That’s a good pre-cookie workout.

  78. Dana says:

    I just finished baking the chocolate chip walnut cookies. I was worried they wouldn’t turn out great. BUT they are amazing! Puffy, chewy, crisp on the outside. Do your cookies came out as pale as the ones in your photos when you increased the light brown sugar to 1 cup?
    You have a gift for replicating recipes.
    I used the following tips if anyone out there is having trouble with the recipe:
    Cold Ingredients
    Measured ingredients accurately (Weight or spoon/sweep)
    Preheated oven
    Used the 375 F temp rather than 350 F
    Baked for 20 minutes
    After portioning dough I put the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes
    Used 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar as Lisa stated
    The recipe lisa is fail proof.
    I think the reason some people might be having trouble is due to rushing (measuring ingredients) and skipping steps or using a lower protein flour than the one you used. One of the key pieces of advice you stated is to avoid over mixing.
    Get well soon can’t wait for your next delicious discovery!

  79. lisamichele says:

    Kate , I’m so glad you liked the cookie! My cookies never come out a really deep, golden brown, just patches of brown, but if you recall, when you tried the real Levain cookie, their’s aren’t a deep, golden brown either..sort of patchy brown like mine. Regardless, I like your tip on baking them at 350 for 19 minutes, as friends and family LOVE the raw’ish’, gooey cookie dough interior. Like I said in my entry, raw cookie dough tends to givs me a belly ache, hence why I bake them longer if I’m going to eat some. Also, a big, fat YES on the hand mixing arm workout! I need to make them again soon so I can enhance my occupational therapy exercises LOL
    Dana – Also glad they worked out well for you! When I increase the brown sugar and decrease the white sugar, the overall color of the cookie is darker, and the cookie is more flavorful in that chocolate chip ‘molasses like’ way, but I still get a slightly patchy browning on top. That said, thank you so much for your great tips! I love it when everyone adds their own little tips and tricks, as not only is it helpful to many, but gives me ideas too! I’m going to rework the recipe soon to see if I can improve on it (even though I love it as is) and get some better photos of them too, since I was using a rinky dink camera back then, and umm, I couldn’t take a photo to save my life (Still learning and I have a lot to learn LOL). I also need to get to work on that Oatmeal-Raisin copycat!

    So sorry for the delayed response!

    • Jarod says:

      What a successful reverse engineering! I’ve been a sucker for Levain cookies for years, and it’s so much more satisfying to make my own cookie dough, keep it in the freezer, and lop of a chunk or two when my wife and I want fresh cookies from the oven.

      You said you would be getting to work on the Oatmeal raisin recipe. And I’m just wondering how that’s coming along… Eager for your posting on that… Thanks again!

  80. stephanie driscoll says:

    Hey any chance of guessing at what is in their cinnamon rolls? I think tweeking the hot crossed bun recipe is a great start, but it looks like they have the “carmel” inside. No need for an icing. I am in the West so I am guessing. If you get one, I would LOVE it. So would everyone else who saw Oprah.

  81. lisamichele says:

    stephanie I didn’t see the Oprah show they were on and have yet to try one of their cinnamon rolls, but as soon as I get my hands on one, I’ll give it a shot! I looked at the site where they show the video with Mark Consuelos at the bakery, and it looks to me that the filling is cinnamon, butter or margarine and raisins, the cut rolls placed on top of some kind of sugar/brown sugar/butter amalgamation to create the caramel topping. Check it out here, along with a recipe that may emulate it quite well.

  82. Ross says:

    Just wanted to say this recipe is great. I got to taste yours and the Levain genuine article for the first time in the last few weeks, and among friends and family, I think your recipe is preferred. Either way, excellent reverse-engineering and THANK YOU!

    As you’ve noted, I did notice that small differences in flour amount used can produce a vastly different cookie. Have you considered adding the flour weight to the ingredients list? It’s not really necessary since your description of the stickiness is a good measure, too.

  83. josie says:

    i love this cookie! i rolled them so big that my dough only yielded eight. i baked them about five minutes longer, given their larger size, and they didn’t end up doughy on the inside at all. i was a little disappointed by that- they were just barely in the crumbly stage, but they are still great! i have never been blessed with a real levain bakery experience, but i will be baking these cookies again (and again). next time i will roll them a tad bit smaller and bake them for a tad less time. thank you so much for this excellent recipe!

  84. Branwen says:

    WOW!! My girlfriends and I just did a Food Tour in which Levain Bakery was our first stop, and we were upset that we didn’t think to buy any to bring home!! Thanks so much for the recipe, it’s just as I remember it, and now I replicate that yummy goodness at home!! YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
    Branwen 🙂

  85. Jarod says:

    What a successful reverse engineering! I’ve been a sucker for Levain cookies for years, and it’s so much more satisfying to make my own cookie dough, keep it in the freezer, and lop of a chunk or two when my wife and I want fresh cookies from the oven.

    You said you would be getting to work on the Oatmeal raisin recipe. And I’m just wondering how that’s coming along… Eager for your posting on that… Thanks again!

    • lisamichele says:

      Jarod, glad you like them! I have not yet tackled the Levain Oatmeal Raisin cookie yet, but if you subscribe to my feed or by email, it’ll keep you updated as to when I do 🙂

  86. Marilyn says:

    Hi everyone! Being moderately allergic to dairy I am always seeking out ways to make my favorite ‘dairy foods’, dairy-free. I did use margarine in my version and I think they came out very well. In fact all of the consumers loved them! Now, only two of them actually had the original butter version, but they agreed that the margarine version was very good. Of course that rich, buttery taste is lost but considering my circumstances I can live without it. I recommend using margarine STICKS with an 80% fat content (usually labeled as 1 tbsp = 100 cal). I used Earth Balance Natural Buttery Sticks (which happens to be vegan). DO NOT use the margarine that comes in tubs – these have a higher water content, as mentioned below, and will cause your cookies to spread. The margarine sticks I used did not cause the cookies to spread at all. In fact the cookies pretty much looked like mirror images of the butter version.

    I kept the sticks in the fridge just before use. After mixing together with all the dry ingredients and chips I put the dough back in the fridge for ~10 min. Btw, I also added vanilla after the eggs.

    My first batch browned a bit too much (baked for ~20 min at 350 F)and had the slightly crispy exterior. But inside the texture was very similar to the butter version. The next batch I baked for ~18 min – these were perfect. The crispy exterior was gone, inside cooked all the way through without drying out the cookie. The texture was still very much like the original butter recipe.

    So, in the end I am very pleased at the way the cookies came out. For this recipe it is possible to sub the butter for margarine and get cookies that don’t lie flat! 😉

    • lisamichele says:

      Great comment and tips, Marilyn! I’m so glad your adjustments turned out so well. I’m sure there are many readers who would prefer to use margarine over butter and you just gave them the go ahead 🙂

  87. Barbara says:

    I’m so happy that I found this blog!!! The “throwdown” episode aired last night and my kids were watching it with me. At the end of the episode when everyone was eating and commenting on the cookies my kids turned around and told me that we have to try making these cookies : ) I’m going to try your recipe this weekend. I’ll make a batch to store in the fridge for at least 3 days and the other batch I’ll freeze on the cookie sheet for about an hour and half. I’ll come back and post my results.

    Thanks for posting the recipe and to all those that left comments from their own trials : )

    • lisamichele says:

      Barbara, sounds like an awesome plan! May I suggest upping the amount of brown sugar in the recipe, while decreasing the amount of white sugar? It gives the cookie much more flavor, like Levain’s. I’m looking forward to hearing how they turned out for you!

      • Barbara says:

        Well, I’ve come back to report on my attempt with these cookies.
        I am extremely happy with the results as is my family : )
        I followed your recipe however, I increased the total bake time by
        1 minute and used the broiler to brown the tops just a bit.
        This cookie recipe is a real winner!!

      • Barbara says:

        OOps I forgot to add that the centers turned out very soft
        yet cooked (since I don’t like them raw) and about 1/2 inch
        in height!

      • lisamichele says:

        Barbara – I’m so glad you liked them! As I mentioned in my entry, I also don’t flip over raw middles..they always result in a stomach

  88. Mary D. says:

    I am very interested in your chocolate cookie recipe. The one you feel is better than the Le Vain Bakery chocolate chip cookie. Where do I find it? I am so anxious to try it. I am also looking for a real good oatmeal raisin cookie that stays moist and chewy. Look forward to hearing from you. Mary D.

  89. lisamichele says:

    Mary, I’m not sure which cookie you’re talking about. I posted the recipe for copycat of Levain’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cookie, if that’s the one you’re referring to (???) The Oatmeal Raisin I have not tackled yet, but for now, I would recommend Cook’s Illustrated recipe for big, fay chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookies 🙂

  90. Judy says:

    Thanks for the great work on these cookies. As a newly trained pastry chef and someone who has heard about Levain Bakery Cookies and had just seen the “Throwdown” episode I’ve been trying to figure out how to recreate them as well..but didn’t know where to start. I found your blog from doing a Google search. I have never actually tried Levain cookies because I live 3,00 miles away and can’t wait to try yours. They’ll be the closest I get to the real thing. Re the white & brown sugar I just wanted to add that Cooks Illustrated recently had a”Perfect Chocolate chip cookie” recipe where they use more brown sugar(though the dark one not light) than white because it makes a chewier cookie, so you’re right on recommending that in your comments.

  91. Judy says:

    Oh one more thing. In my training it was ingrained in us that we must weigh all our ingredients for accuracy, and that’s what I’ve been doing with all my baking. I’ll convert some of your volume measurements to oz. Do you think that will make any difference good or bad? Thanks.

    • lisamichele says:

      Judy, thanks so stopping by! As a newly trained pastry chef, any tips you have in making these better, after tryuing this recipe, would be greatly appreciated, even though you’ve never tried the actual Levain. Nothing wrong with creating an awesome CC cookie no matter how close it is it is or isn’t to Levain’s!

      With that said, of course you can convert the ingredients to weight, and that’s the best way to measure ingredients ‘accurately’ for baking anyway. I just never have the patience to do the weighing and math. Thankfully, some challenges I’m a part of do it for me LOL

  92. Denetta says:


    Well, I saw the “Throwdown” episode just last night on August 16, 2009 and had to find that luscious Levain cookie recipe!! I am awesomely blessed that you have done the work of perfecting the recipe that was on the SuGoodSweets site. I just find it easier to follow a recipe straight as written instead of trying to remember to omit this and add that. Thanks for doing the work for so many of us. It’s very appreciated, you know. Always better to follow one who has already tried and found success!! I’m gonna bake up a batch within the next 2 weeks. By the way, what is AP flour? Is that all purpose flour? I thought you said that we should use cake flour to make the Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies? Is there a particular brand that works better? Thanks and God Bless!!

    • lisamichele says:

      Denetta – AP is the abbreviation for ‘All-Purpose’ Flour. I find bleached AP flour gives you a better rise, but bleached or unbleached is fine. As for my comments about the cake flour, I haven’t tested it yet, but I’ve heard that substituting a few tablespoons of cake flour for the AP flour in the recipe gives you a less dense, more tender cookie. Give it a shot and let me know how it turns out! Also, you’re very welcome, and thanks for your lovely comment!
      Regarding Sugar Substitutes, Stevia is one, cup for cup in baking. Date sugar for brown sugar supposedly works well, as does Brown Rice Syrup (1 Cup Brown Rice Syrup is equal to 1 1/4 cups brown sugar or white sugar, cannot remember if it’s both or just one or the other). Someone to ask would be Marika of Madcap Cupcake. She knows her sugar subs in baking!

  93. Denetta says:

    Oh, Lisa, one more thing. I have been trying to find a good-tasting alternative to sugar and brown sugar that is natural, not artificially made, and can be used for baking. I am diabetic (so is my husband and brother in law) and really need to be baking with something other than sugar that also tastes good. Are there any suggestions and where can I buy? I live in Southern California. Thanks~~

  94. Paulm says:

    Thank you Lisa!

    Like Danetta, I saw the Bobby Flay and Levain cookie “Throwdown’ last night, and I should’ve known when I went on Levain’s website I would be floored by the prices $5.50 per cookie PLUS horrific shipping! So, Im so glad I found you…Im going to whip up some using your recipes this weekend. I’ll update you! Thanks!

    • lisamichele says:

      Thanks Paul! Yes, they can be quite pricey! I’m glad you’re going to try them and looking forward to hearing back! Remember to read some of the tips in this comment section, as they’re very helpful. Also, I would increase the brown sugar and decrease the white sugar in the recipe – more like Levain’s, flavorwise, in my opinion 🙂 However, the recipe as is, is still a phenomenal cookie!

      • Paulm says:

        Hi Lisa –

        Well!! Your copycat recipe came out just PERFECT! I toasted the
        walnuts and followed your recipe to a “T,” including increasing
        the brown sugar to 1 cup and decreasing the white sugar to a
        half cup – PHENOMENAL! I am going to try it next with a whole
        wheat white flour to see how the texture changes. I’ll let you
        know about that as well! I am so pleased with the way they came
        out Lisa, thank you!! 🙂

  95. crossroad says:

    they came out looking exactly the same as the picture and like on tv! actually, i got approximately a dozen using an ice cream scope to portion, but for me they weren’t sweet enough, and i felt something was missing…. maybe its vanilla?

  96. David says:

    Just made these and they are DELICIOUS!

    • lisamichele says:

      Paul – I’m so glad you liked them! I’m looking forward to hearing about your results using the WWW flour. We’re craving some right now, so I just may whip up a batch!

      crossroad – Yes, it could be the vanilla, as it enhances most, if not all, baked goods for the most part. Many have ignored the fact that the Levain ladies omit the vanilla and used it anyway, with great results. If that doesn’t help, increase one of the sugars by about 1/4 cup, or 2 tablespoons of each sugar.
      David – That’s what I love to hear!

  97. Paulm says:

    Hi Lisa! Well, again, another HOME RUN with the WWW flour! It altered the texture a bit (a ‘change’ from your original but also nice I might add!) – it brought out some more of the toasted walnut ‘nutty flavor’ and added some ‘buttery flakiness’ to the chewy texture. It was a change but also worked very well! I’m going to make the dark chocolate ones soon – after I take off a few pounds from all these cookies Ive been making – and eating! They are truly wonderful. I’ve brought them into work too, they are a phenomenal hit of course, and everyone is begging me to make more! Thank you again Lisa! Paul

  98. mrsblocko says:

    These choc chip cookies are my favorite! I raved about them here:

    Thank you soooooo much for this killer recipe.

  99. Annetuara says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..


  100. Alyssa says:

    I’ve had Levain’s cookie and wanted to replicate it desperately since I live in Michigan. You nailed it! I’m now a devoted follower! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  101. Recipe cakes says:

    Thank you so much, Lisa! Mmm.I like it.

  102. Chris says:

    These are the craziest cookies! Totally worth every calorie haha

  103. Jennifer says:

    My son will eat anything, but the husband is picky. I made the choc chip walnut cookies and the son and husband approved whole heartedly. I weighted the dough to 4 oz and got 14 cookies. The last 4 cookies I put in the frig until the others were done. Those 4 took longer to bake. I am north of Boise Idaho and started out at 18 minutes at 350. I kept an eye on them and it took about 20 minutes total. I did the 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white. Great cookies, cant wait to try the others.

  104. Jessica says:

    I made the Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies but left out the nuts. I also increased the cook time to around 25-30min and increased the cookie size to 7oz. I put them rounded in the freezer on a pan for about 15-20min then straight to the preheated oven. I got 6 giant cookies that did not fall! Thanks for the copycat recipe they taste delicious and beat the heck out of paying $2.39 + tax per cookie which is what they sell for by me.

  105. Karen says:

    I’m anxious to try your version, having made two others already, including Lisa’s from the other site with a bit of a modification regarding the use of both baking powder and soda, as I couldn’t figure out why you would need both. Regardless, I thought the cookie came out very similar to the ones I’ve had from the bakery, but needed to be sweeter (planned to use more brown sugar next time around). Also, I’ve been experimenting with baking one at a time in the morning (the batter stays in the fridge) the night before because I remember that the Levain’s cookies had a hardish shell but were still soft and chewy on the inside, which I’m assuming has to do with bake times. After sitting overnight, they weren’t as soft as the originals, which have never had special storage. They’ve sat inside their cardboard box for several days. No airtight anything.

    Your recipe is next. Fingers crossed. Thanks so much!

  106. Trixie says:

    Lisa – my friend is dying to get these cookies right (dk choc pb chip) and made a batch this morning. Unfortunately, they turned out many many shades lighter in color than yours (and certainly than the almost-black Levain cookies). Help?

    As I understand it, she used Hershey Special Dark Cocoa Powder and even shaved in a bit of Valhrona chocolate bar. Though delicious, her cookies are only a shade or so darker than a normal, non-chocolately cookie. Any ideas on this?


    • lisamichele says:

      Trixie – I’ve used many different cocoa powders when I’ve made this cookie, and all have resulted in a dark brown, rich chocolate color. In fact, I used Hershey’s Special Dark in my last batch and they were the darkest they’ve ever been! How much cocoa powder is she using? A Dutch process cocoa would most certainly give her a deep brown color 🙂

      • Marj says:

        Hello! I am Trixie’s friend. I used 1/4 cup of Hershey’s Special dark and 1/4 of shaved dark chocolate. The insides are a very rich dark brown/black but the outsides are not. The cookies at Levain are seriously almost black.

      • lisamichele says:

        Marj, try 86ing the shaved dark chocolate and using all dark cocoa powder. Funny that you’re having such problems with the color, as mine even tend to come out too dark!

  107. Lisa Ann says:

    Lisa, my dearest name-sake,
    Please attempt to copy-cat the oatmeal-raisin cookie, You can’t get it wrong! Two successful cookies so far why not go for three? I have total FAITH in you girl!

    • lisamichele says:

      Thank you, Lisa (great name, I’ve gotten quite a few requests for an attempt at those, and once my plate is a little more empty, I’ll get started on it. However, I still have to get busy on my third Levain chocolate chip walnut attempt! Oh, simple cookie, why do you fool me so much? LOL

  108. Pingback: These Cookies Are Druckin DERANGED « Mother Drucker

  109. lisa says:

    I found Levain Bakery quite accidentally when we were recently visiting NYC and staying on the upper west side. My nose led me to the bakery, as I smelled the yummy aromas before I knew the bakery existed. I had one bite and knew I was hooked – we stopped in everyday of our 7-day visit after that to get my “fix”. Now that we are home I have been doing endless google searches for the Levain Secret Recipe. I have viewed hundreds of entries re: this recipe, but I feel it was kismet for me to find your blog. I have tried your 2nd copycat recipe 3 times. All 3 trials were very good. The first time I followed your recipe exactly. On the 2nd and 3rd trials I made some changes that I think improved the cookie. The changes are: #1 I used 2 full fresh organic eggs plus one additional yolk – this seemed to help the texture of the cookies. #2 I used 2 2/3 cups of King Arthur AP Flour + 1/3 cup of cake flour (this also seemed like a slight improvement)l. During my last trial I forgot the cookie dough in the frig (it was ‘aging” like fine wine in the frig for over 5 days!) That batch of cookies was totally fantastic! #3 I baked the cookies a bit longer – about 23 minutes – since I like them light brown and crispy on the outside and slightly gooey on the inside. Next time I am going to bake the cookies on the bottom of an inverted cookie sheet after 4 days of “aging”. Thanks so much for your diligence and your attention to small details. I sincerely appreciate your input.

    • lisamichele says:

      Lisa – Wow, your improvements on the cookie..especially the addition of cake flour, the egg yolk and the aging, was along the lines of what I was thinking of for my Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie Take 3! The authentics are sinfully fantastic and like you..while living in the city, it was almost a daily fix for me. However..since I no longer live in the daily fix is kaput, so when I do have one sporadically, I realize my copycat attempts are not quite there Thank you so much for sharing your tweaks on the recipe..I can’t wait to try it!! 🙂

      • Bob S. says:

        I have read a few posts about “aging” the dough, and I must agree. The “aging” of the dough defiantly makes them better. I make the dough, cook a few cookies for the night, and freeze the rest. The remaining batches being cooked from frozen are always better than the first batch.

        I make the chocolate peanut butter chip a few times a month. I have also made them with mint chips, they taste like a chewy mint girl scout cookie.

        Thank you so much, Lisa, for posting this recipe. All of my co-workers now think I’m the man when it comes to cookies.

      • lisamichele says:

        Bob, aging definitely makes a huge difference! I’m so glad you like them and you’ve become the cookie baker extraordinaire at work! I’m going to have to try them with mint chocolate chips. If you come up with any tricks or tips to make these even better, in your cookie baking endeavors, please don’t hesitate to let me know! 🙂

  110. jolie says:

    these are great people! i just made them and did add some penzys vanilla. used ghiradelli dark choc chips and they are great! baked them on convection for about 21 minutes and got 10 huge cookies out of the recipie! used organic flour and sugar and did do the 1c of brown and half of regular sugar. i will be making these again!

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  112. Ling says:

    Hi Lisamichele!

    I tried your walnut cc recipe last year and recently tried your copycat choco pb cookie recipe and it is soo good! Thank you so much! The cookies make everyone happy and my kids just love them and keep asking for me to make more of them! I guess I’m going to be baking some tonight!

    Thanks again!

  113. Barbarainnc says:

    Any body ever weigh out the flour?? What is 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 c equal to in weight?

    • Barbarainnc says:

      forgot to add what is the weight of the sugars?

    • lisamichele says:

      I’ll have to get back to you on that, scale is busted 🙁 However..1 cup of flour…spoon and sweep method, is usually 4 oz and 3/4 cup granulated sugar equals 6 oz. 3/4 cup brown sugar is about 6.5 oz.

  114. The dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookies are great broken up and mixed into home made ice cream. I do a home version of the popular McDonalds favourites for the children. It’s cheaper, I can control the ingredients and we have so much fun.

    Making cooking and baking fun is the key to educating children about healthy diets 🙂

  115. hailey says:

    i LOVE it

  116. hailey says:

    love it =)

  117. ncav36 says:

    I have not actually tried the Levain Bakery cookies, but I watched the “Throwdown” last night and was absolutely dying to find a recipe to make them! There is nothing better than a huge chewy chocolate chip cookie.

    I searched the recipe this morning, and then rushed home on my lunch break to give them a shot. The only thing I did differently from your recipe above (which I didn’t see anyone else mention in their comments) was to WEIGH the ingredients, rather than just use measuring cups. This could be why people have had varying results. veryone measures differently.

    I’m an engineer (chemical) so I have the natural desire to do things precisely. I learned at a young age, from my grandfather (a baker) that it is best to weigh your ingredients because that way you’ll always have the same amount. When you measure with a cup, brown sugar for example, you can never be sure you’re packing it the same. If you weigh it, you’ll always have the correct amount. So, that’s what I did; I weighed the flour and the sugar according the recipe found on The cookies came out great… fluffy, moist in the center and full of flavor. I used 6 oz of white and 5 oz of light brown sugar. I think the only thing I would do differently next time, is to add more sugar and use more light brown than white. They just weren’t as sweet as I was expecting. I might use 8 oz of lt brown and 6 oz white.

    Overall, I thought they were very good. I’ll continue to make tiny adjustments here and there each time I make them. Thanks for the recipe!

    • lisamichele says:

      The changes you made sound awesome! It does need more sugar and definitely brown sugar because my version is missing a deeper molasses flavor that the Levain has. I’m so glad you had success, though! Who may have nailed the Levain! Thank you so much for your nice and informative comment and let me know if you come up with any other ideas and tricks to making this recipe closer to the Levain CCW cookie!

  118. your girl123 on aqw says:

    i made theam delishious

  119. your girl123 on aqw says:

    love it

  120. Ruthanne says:

    Thank you for the excellent recipe and tips. My husband has declared this the best chocolate chip cookie he’s ever had. Thanks for the continuing tips too!

    • lisamichele says:

      Ruthanne – I’m so pleased to hear that! It may not be quite Levain’s, but it IS a really good fat and chewy chocolate chip cookie. The tips will keep coming until I get it right!

  121. Stacy says:

    Hi, Lisa!

    I got inspired to make your recipe after watching the Throwdown episode today. I added the cornstarch. Using 3 cups of flour, mine looked like those on T.V., but they were not exceptionally sweet as one of the judges said. I didn’t pack the brown sugars because I was afraid it would overpower the cookie. Not knowing who your “bird” is, I was wondering if the cornstarch actually could be powdered sugar because powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. I would love to hear if you do pack the brown sugar. Though I have never tasted Levain’s cookies, I loved the consistency of yours. Thanks!

    • lisamichele says:

      Stacy, you could pack the brown sugar if you like. Yes..I know baking is a science, but for some reason, a little extra sugar doesn’t change the outcome of the cookie outside of sweetness. That said, no..I do not think the cornstarch is powdered sugar. It may not even be cornstarch and just may well be a combination of flours (AP plus cake and/or pastry flour – although cornstarch would certainly soften the AP flour in a good way) I’m currently experimenting with a Levain Copycat Part Three – using a combo of white flours, so stay tuned for that! 🙂

      • Stacy says:

        Thanks, Lisa! I’m looking forward to Part Three. I guess I better hit the gym first so as not to pack on the pounds.

  122. Mthomasiv says:

    Hi Lisa,

    This is an amazing post you’ve got going as has lasted for more than 2 years now, LOL. I stumbled upon it because I was watching the Bobby Flay show and saw the Levain episode today. I lived in Brooklyn for 2 years and never even heard of Levain….how embarrassing, lol.

    Either way, I’m inspired to try my hand at this cookie. I have a descent recipe that I make myself, but this one seems FAAAR superior.

    But before I start, I have a few questions just for certainty’s sake. Do you use light or dark brown sugar? And 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups flour is correct right? By number that seems like quite a bit of flour, but I just wanted to double check….and if so, which do you typically go with; 3 1/4 or 3 1/2? Like you mentioned earlier, any difference in amount can ruin a batch so between the two, which would you recommend? Also, is table salt fine as opposed to Kosher salt?

    BTW, a Flickr user mentioned finding your recipe and keeping it exact aside from using all brown sugar. Have you ever tried that? Her recipe was also one of the factors that caused me to inquire about the flour amount because they reported only using 2 3/4 cups which is significantly less. I’m thinking they made a typo since no one here has mentioned flour as an issue.

    Thanks so much ahead of time, and I’m looking forward to getting down on a batch or two of these!!!

  123. Mthomasiv says:

    How about that!!!! I just happened to look at your recipe index and saw that you’re CCC part deux update answers nearly ALL of the questions I just asked, lol. I would still like to know which flour amount that you would use in terms of the 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 range because that’s an entire 1/2 cup difference which makes me a bit nervous, lol. Would it be safe to hit the middle and go 3 cups? Like the chemist who posted earlier, I’m kind of a stickler to exacts….although in baking there is no true right answer (though it is indeed a science). Thanks again!

    • lisamichele says:

      Mthomasiv – Yes, baking is a science (my mantra that I ‘sometimes’ stick to lol), but in the case of these cookies, as crazy as it sounds, I go by feel. When the dough is workable without sticking to your hands in a goopy way (if you watched the episode, they were able to portion the dough with their hands and no mess), you’ve added the right amount of flour. It should feel like cold cookie dough from a tube. Add in increments starting with 2 1/2 cups and work your way up until it feels like that. I know it sounds crazy, but it really Until we can get the recipe for the REAL Levain CCW cookie..I stand by that!! Let me know how they turn out for you! 🙂

  124. Mthomasiv says:

    Cool, thanks for that. It makes a lot of sense. One other thing, is sifting the flour not necessary? I was always under the impression sifting was the way to go in ALL baking recipes, but I’m starting to think its more for cakes than anything else.

    • lisamichele says:

      You’re very welcome! Noo..sifting is not necessary since the weight of a sifted cup versus a spoon and sweep cup is pretty drastic in a recipe. Plus, if a recipe calls for sifted flour, it will read either:
      2 cups flour, sifted ( sift after measuring) OR
      2 cups sifted flour (measure after sifting), which are actually two totally different weights/cup amounts. Hope this helped! 🙂

  125. OXANA says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! i made it as soon as i found it and it turned out great! my kids and i loved it! you are an angel for doing all the hard work for us!

    • lisamichele says:

      Oxana, I am so happy you liked them! Please check back for my next attempt at them, although the current CC cookie recipes are pretty yummy regardless of whether it’s exactly like Levain’s or not 🙂

  126. Mthomasiv says:

    Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for the prompt responses. You seem to be a truly down to earth young lady that’s truly passionate about your craft and it easily transfers to all us eager to learn your masterpieces.

    I have a couple more questions. First, would unsalted “sweet cream” butter like Land ‘O’ Lakes be ok? I’ve baked with margarine most of my life, so I have very little experience with real butter. At the store I didn’t see any butter that’s salted or unsalted NON sweet cream although I only went to one store so far, lol.

    Also being that I’ve never had the actual Levain cookie, which would you recommend me baking between your first or second edit? I’m assuming since you went through the trouble of making corrections, the second one is the one you’re more proud of, but keep in mind I’ve never tasted Levains, so I want to bake the recipe you’ve found to be most successful and overall tasty as a standalone chocolate chip cookie.

    Thanks so much!

  127. Mthomasiv says:

    Also, one other thing I just noticed on a reply to your “part deux” ccc recipe is that you said you lessened the amount of sugar because of Nick’s comment on Throwdown. But actually, the total sugar amount is a 1/2 cup MORE in the second edit than the first. Just wanted you to take a look at that so I can be clear. I’m excited about these and gonna try to bake them this weekend 🙂

    • lisamichele says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely and flattering comment, M, and I’m more than happy to answer your questions!

      Regarding the butter, sweet cream butter is absolutely great to use, just make sure it’s unsalted, since it’s sold salted and unsalted. Unsalted butter is always preferred and most always called for in baked goods since the recipe dictates the amount of salt that goes in.

      As for which Levain recipe I would choose, it’s really tough, since both are yummy. I would say the second recipe IS a little sweeter and richer, whereas the first one is puffier and less sweet, although you could up the sugar if you like. I hope these answers helped! Please don’t hestitate to ask away if you have any other questions 🙂

  128. Mthomasiv says:

    Ugggh!!! I planned on using my mother’s mixer this weekend to make the cookies, because I thought she had a paddle attachment for her Kitchen Aid mixer. She doesn’t. All she has is the big singular wire wisk attachment. Can I use that, and if so, how should I go about it time and speedwise to achieve the desired consistency? Also, I do have one of the small manual hand crank mixers but it kinda sucks, lol. Would this be better to use?

    • lisamichele says:

      Sure it’s ok to use the wire whisk attachment, especially to cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (medium-high speed), then beat in the eggs. However, when adding the flour and leavenings, mix on a very slow speed until it’s streaks of flour remaining. Mix the chips and nuts in with a spoon. The manual hand crank would be fine to use too, but a lot more labor involved!

  129. susan says:

    gonna try these tomorrow! 🙂
    I’ll tell you how it goes, thank you for the recipe!

  130. Michelle says:

    Hi Lisa, I love your cookie recipe!I found it and made some cookies after watching Bobby Flay’s “Throwdown” featuring the Levain Bakery choc. chip cookie. I have been on a quest to find a recipe for a thick, puffy, gooey cookie and this is it! I would love to make a peanut butter cookie using this basic dough recipe. Any ideas on how much peanut butter?
    Thanks, Michelle

    • lisamichele says:

      Michelle..I would hate to give you an amount of peanut butter without trying it myself..but try 1/2 cup, creamed in with the butter and sugars, to start. Also, look up peanut butter cookie recipes and see the amounts of peanut butter added in relation to the amount of butter, sugar, eggs, flour and leavenings in my recipe and if it’s close, you should be good to go. I wish i could do it for you now, but I have a little deadline at the moment. However, as soon as I do some research, even before I try making them with peanut butter, I will report back and/or email you asap!

  131. Ann says:


    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You have finally given me a recipe for Chocolate Chips cookies that I have been searching for! I baked the Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies (sans walnuts) today and they are WONDERFUL! My husband is a flat, crispy chocolate chip cookie guy and I was tired of making them. I, myself, love to bake and experimented TONS to get my cookies like this recipe, but could never get it quite right. Of course I won’t be able to make these cookies as much like, because I’ll be the only one eating them…all things in moderation. Thanks again for the recipe. Love your blog!


    • lisamichele says:

      Ann..I am always so thrilled to hear when these cookies turn out great and people love them..and you just brought a smile to my face! I’m so glad you like them, and thank you so much for the nice comment about my blog 🙂

  132. Kim says:

    this is the second time around for trying the cookies, and they spread the first time i tried it and again just now…help : )

    • lisamichele says:

      KIm..before we start troubleshooting, do you recall what we tried last time, like chilling the dough…increasing the baking powder etc??

      • Kim says:

        hi lisa, thanks for the quick response…i chilled the dough for about 4 hours, i didn’t increase the baking powder, but will try next time…they still taste amazing (so thank you for all of your hard work in posting the recipe and suggestions), i just want to try to get them not to spread….thanks again!

  133. Michelle says:

    Hi Lisa, I tried making the peanut butter cookies today and they turned out great. I just added 2/3 cup of chilled peanut butter and used the 3 1/2 cups of flour. They probably could have used a little more pb flavor, but they were still delicious! Thanks again for your recipe, Michelle

    • lisamichele says:

      -I guess adding more peanut butter..maybe natural instead of the supermarket brands (I heard that it gives you more PB flavor in baked goods) will up the peanut butter flavor? I’m so glad it worked, Michelle, definitely will file it away for now and try it myself when I get a chance! 🙂

  134. Charlene says:

    I just got back from Levain in East Hampton, Long Island and bought 2 of each kind – over $25.00 – UGH! I have been on the quest to find a recipe for these since I first saw them on Throwdown – My fiance loves these darn cookies and I am going to try your recipe – I was trying to watch Connie make the cookies, but all the ingredients were already in separate containers and she was just adding them to the mixer – She did use a giant Hobart mixer with a paddle attachment, (I think a whisk would incorporate too much air, but one never knows) The girls were scooping them onto parchment lined trays and covered them with plastic wrap and put them in a large refrigerator. They did not bake them on an inverted cookie tray. They took them right out of the refrigerator and took the plastic and placed them in the oven. – I am going to try to re-create them next week-end and I will let you know how I make out. Thanks for sharing your recipe and I am glad I stumbled upon your blog.

    • lisamichele says:

      Charlene..thanks soio much for your observations! Their recipe is such a closely guarded secret..I don’t think it will ever be leaked. I suppose they now combine the flour and leavenings into a mix so employess won’t know the recipe either! I’m so glad you’re going to try my recipe. It’s not quite Levain’s (still wokring on it), but it is a good, fat chocolate chip cookie and much MUCH cheaper! LOL

  135. Mthomasiv says:

    Hey Lisa,

    So I made the cookies last night and had mixed results (no disrespect to the recipe 🙂 Here are the pros and cons of my attempt:

    The pros were that the recipe was easy and for the first time, I used ingredients that I found to be far superior to others I had used in the past, i.e. butter and Ghiradelli chips over margarine and Toll House. And unlike some on here, my cookies puffed up resulting in nearly the IDENTICAL look as yours in the pics so I was proud when I pulled them from the oven.

    But the cons made for an overall not too successful attempt in the taste department.

    1) My cookies were EXTREMELY dry. Since I used a wire wisk attachment on my blender, I had to cream the butter and sugar longer than I expected (not to mention the solid sticks of butter nearly sent my mixing bowl flying, LOL). Could this be a factor? Another reason I creamed the b&s so long is because I seemed to keep finding lumps of brown sugar in the batter (which ultimately worked itself out after adding the flour). Also, I didn’t add the extra egg yolk that someone advised for chewiness. In case you’re wondering, I used 3 cups of flour.

    2) Speaking of sugar, my cookies weren’t sweet enough at all. I used the total 1 1/2 cup sugar amount from recipe one (except I used 1/2 cup white, 1 cup light brown). It’s obvious I should have followed your tip in part deux, adding the 1/2 cup more of dark brown. Honestly, I think dark brown may be better overall for me. In my experience, I found that the batter would always be extremely light with light brown compared to the deep tan with dark brown that I prefer.

    On the grand scheme of things, I’m beyond trying to recreate the Levain cookie. Right now, I just want a delicious cookie I enjoy, which I truly believe can be achieved from this recipe with the right tweaks. I’m gonna make another batch tomorrow. If you would, give me some tips after reviewing my results.

    BTW, I think I prefer thinner, but chewy cookie, more like the ones Bobby Flay used to compete against The Levain ladies, so could you tell me what to leave out or add to achieve those results? Some thin cookie recipes I’ve seen online had no eggs (which seems bizarre) and NONE I saw had baking powder. I’m definitely gonna cut down on the flour. Any advice you give would be much appreciated because I plan on making a batch for my family and I’m definitely hoping for better results this time around. Thanks so much again, and wish me luck this go ’round!

    • lisamichele says:

      M – I’m sorry the taste and texture didn’t turn out as you hoped, but here’s some tips.
      Yes, the over beating and non uniform results could have resulted in a dry cookie. Over beating does two things.. it develops the gluten in the flour making a tougher cookie and it drives the contained air from the batter so the cookie is not as light. Another tip, why don’t you try baking them at 375-400 for about 8 minutes? You don’t happen to live in a high altitude area, do you?

      You could also try adding the egg yolk if none of the above work and/or cuttingg in a little bread flour (for chewiness) or cake or pastry flour (for tenderness) into the amount of AP flour so the combined flours equal 3 cups.

      To avoid over beating, let the butter come to room temp and cream it, along with the sugars, with a wooden spoon. When the final dough is ready, scoop the proper ounces onto a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let chill for about 4 hours – then bake.


      As for the sweetness, definitely up the sugar to maybe a total of 2 to 2 1/4 cups, using a mix of white and brown, heavier on the brown, dark if you prefer, or a combo of dark and light. Also, always use fresh, soft, brown sugar. Hardened brown sugar will not add enough moisture to the cookie.


      I hope some of these tips will give you that ‘elusive’ really good chocolate chip cookie. BTW, for a thinner cookie, melted butter or very warm butter, and maybe a little less flour. Have you used Flay’s recipe for his CC cookie? It’s on the Food Network site 🙂

  136. Mthomasiv says:

    I retract one of my last statements. One other recipe had baking powder. And as for the one I saw with no egg, I’m totally convinced that was a typo (or recipe for cookie dough ice cream mix, LOL)

  137. C says:

    could you tell me why the cocoa cookie recipe call for less flour, less sugar, and no baking soda (compared to the chocolate chip walnut cookie)

  138. Judy says:

    Hi and thank you so much for the recipe.
    The cookies were great right out of the oven but then later in the day became hard and dry. I’d love your input as to what i can do next time. Thanks so much

    • lisamichele says:

      Hi Judy,

      That’s exactly what I’ve been working on..a way to tenderize them so they remain crisp onthe outside and soft and chewy on the inside after a day of sitting. One idea is to cut in cake flour with the AP flour and/or add one egg yolk to the recipe. Try that, and let me know if it makes a difference 🙂

  139. Judy says:

    Thank you Lisa, i actually tried the recipe again using the 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar, also added an egg yolk, and 1 T of cornstarch. after baking, i left the cookies on the baking tray as someone suggested. I’ll let you know how it turned out cuz they are all cooling now. They were awesome out of the oven thought!!

    • lisamichele says:

      Judy..I hope this tray turns out better upon sitting! As for the encrypted part when you reply..I’m not sure I follow. You said you wanted it so you do not see any typos?

  140. Judy says:

    how can i make it where when i type the reply, it’s encrypted and i can’t see my typing mistakes….?

  141. Judy says:

    for some reason, when i typed a message, it would show up encrypted and i couldn’t see what i was typing. Now it seems ok. Weird.

    Anyway, the cookies came out much better than before. They are still not as soft and chewy as when right out of the oven, but definately not dry as my previous try. Thank you for the recipe!!

  142. lisamichele says:

    Hi all..I wanted to add this email I received from a gal named Seyi. Very helpful and interesting tips!

    Hey Lisa,

    I stumbled upon your blog after visiting Levain’s website. I used to live in New York and it was part of my summer routine to grab a cookie on my way to Central Park. I relocated to Florida and Publix chocolate chip cookies weren’t doing it for me.

    Given the hefty price to have their cookies shipped, I decided to find the recipe and try my hand at it. I made 4 batches through the week using your recipe. Here are a few of my notes.

    •1 tablespoon of cornstarch ruins the cookie and leaves you with a horrible stomach ache. The amount should be decreased to at least 2 tsp.
    •Use mini semisweet chocolate chips instead of regular size to have more chocolate in each bite.

    •Go for the chopped walnuts instead of regular and add a 1/4 cup more for tad bit more texture.
    •Adding a 1 tbsp of cake and cookie emulsion ( after the eggs provide a fuller taste.

    •Reduce flour to 2 1/4 cups
    •Bake at 350 degrees for 8 min. (This maybe just for me because I have super strong oven and use the convention bake setting instead of regular bake. Who knows?)

    I just wanted to provide some feedback, especially since the rumor of a 1 tbsp of cornstarch is totally incorrect.

    • juliej says:

      Hey Lisa,
      I have been baking since I was 7 and looking for the perfect CCCookie. I saw the Throwdown and I went nuts. Here in San Francisco they have Specialty’s Bakery where they make fat cookies like that. I made the Levain’s Choc.Choc.Peanut Butter Chip and they turned out great. I wanted to find out if you used cornstarch in the CCCookie, and what the final effect was on the cookie. Also, I wanted to make sure I understood the sugars correctly. Is it 1 cup white sugar, and 1 1/2 cup brown? (I always use dark brown, unless I am baking a cake). Thanks for taking the time to post these recipes. I have had so much fun playing w/them!

      P.S. I made the Big Chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookie and it turned out great.

      • lisamichele says:

        Julie, I have yet to try the cookie with cornstarch, but just put it out there because a few readers and ‘birdies’ suggested that might be a secret ingredient. Personally, I think it could be a combo of flours. This particular recipe for the CC walnut copycat calls for 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup light brown sugar. However, on my second attempt at it, (see the ‘Reworking the Levain Copycat cookie’ entry), I used a combo of dark brown, light brown and granulated 🙂

  143. Diana says:


    Love, love, love your choc chip copycat cookies! Any chance you have the oatmeal raisin copycat worked out? If so, please share….I’m a great copycat baker, but not one who can engineer a recipe! Thanks!

  144. Pingback: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever. « Let's Talk Cookies

  145. Judy says:

    oooh, i’d also LOVE the oatmeal cookie recipe when you come up with it. Thank you so much for sharing these incredible recipes!!!!!!

  146. Kayte says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I love love Levain cookies and we are doing a bake off at work so I thought I would give making them a try. My only question is, so much of the beauty of Levain is reliant on the cooking time and since I am making these for a lot of people to try, I want to make smaller cookies than the normal gigantic traditional Levain ones. Do you have a suggestion of how long and how hot I should bake a small spoonful cookie?

    Thank you and I can’t wait to try your recipe!!

  147. lisamichele says:

    Kayte, I’m so sorry for the got in the way big time! That said, I would bake a small portion (I’m assuming your basic chocolate chip cookie size) at 350 for 8-10 minutes 🙂

  148. molly says:

    hot damn, i just made these (with cornstarch!) and they are hella HELLA good. thanks so much for the recipe!!

  149. Pingback: Giant Double Chocolate Cookies | Blissful Baking

  150. Pingback: Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (or at least my attempt at them…) « life!

  151. mjwlovemy sweets says:

    i’ve spent this morning reading every comment after finding your recipe for levain cookies. i’ve learned sooo much! after watching ‘the best thing’- chocolate series last night, i HAD to find the recipe for their dark cho. choc. chip cookie that rocco d. was drooling over (as i sat drooling over the site of it, too! lol) I SO want to make that one! i only have internet on my phone..that’s why i’m not capitalizing, etc. lol. anyway..that cookie looked like my idea of heaven! & thanks for being a good teacher..& everyone else too!

    • lisamichele says:

      You’re very welcome!! Let me know how they turn out when you make them! Remember, use good quality chocolate chunks or chips, the kind that doesn’t have the wax stabilizer that keeps the shape of the chips when baking 🙂

  152. mjwlovemy sweets says:

    just checking to see if you replied about the dark cho. cho. chip cookie reicipe yet.

  153. lisamichele says:

    Hi jana. I have a copycat recipe for the Levain Bakery Dark Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just substitute all dark chocolate chips or a combo of chocolate chips, like semi-sweet-milk chocolate or dark bittersweet-semi-sweet for the peanut butter chips in my above Levain Bakery Copycat Dark Chocolate Peanut butter Chip Cookies 🙂

  154. Fariba Kerendi says:

    Just watched an episode of “the best thing I ever ate” and those darn Levain cookies were on it!!! Dark choc chip cookies were calling my name so I decided to try and figure out the recipe. Of cpurse I did an internet search first…Imagine my delight when I stumbled on your site only to find you had done all the work or me!! Lisa!!!! You’re the best! Thank you!!! Will let you know how it goes…

  155. Pingback: The Cookie that beats up other Cookies | Let's Talk Cookies

  156. Guest10100 says:

    How can I make the cookie fat and not flat?

    • lisamichele says:

      Try chilling the formed cookie dough balls on the baking sheet for about an hour before baking. Also, make sure you’re not over beating the butter. If it gets warm, that could be causing your cookies to spread and flatten – you want it to remain somewhat cool in the dough – which is why my recipe calls for cold butter to start with. Let me know if it works out. If not, we’ll troubleshoot some more.

      • Guest10100 says:

        Thanks for the tip. Before I try this again, would it be to much to ask for you to summarize the changes you plan on making to the revised copycat cookie?

      • lisamichele says:

        Guest, I don’t have all the changes set in stone, just testing different combos of flours. The only ‘revision’ I could give you now, although I haven’t tested it yet, is to try cutting in some pastry or cake flour with the amount of AP flour In a few months there should be a post up with my third try 🙂

    • juliej says:

      Hi! I used an extra egg yolk, and 2 tsp of cornstarch, which I don’t think I needed. Mine came out fat! Try that. It works

  157. I just found your blog by searching for the Levain cookie recipes. I might make the chocolate peanut butter version, they look amazing!

  158. Andrea says:

    I stumbled upon Levain bakery years ago when we were going to watch them blow up the Thanksgiving parade floats. There was a huge line so we figured it had to be good. Since then I have been trying to find a copy cat recipe. I FOUND IT!!! I made them tonight and they were as good as Levain! Thanks for cracking the recipe code.

    • lisamichele says:

      I haven’t cracked it quite yet, Andrea, but I think this is a really good chewy, fat chocolate chip cookie nonetheless. I’m so glad you like them! Stay tuned for another attempt to get as close as possible 🙂

  159. Alexandria says:

    Hi, I really want to make this cookie, but before I do I have a few questions maybe you can help. I live in louisiana opposed to new york so how will the climate and dry heat affect the outcome of this cookie for me, what kind of adjustments should i make?

    • lisamichele says:

      Hi Alexandria (pretty name). Most cookies will lose the moisture quickly in a dry climate, so If you won’t be eating them quickly, it’s best to wrap them well and pop them into the freezer. You ‘could’ increase the butter in the recipe, but since it hasn’t been tested, I would just freeze and remove the amount you want to eat at any given time.

      • Alexandria says:

        also does it matter if you use a silicone baking pad or not i honestly perfer baking on a normal baking pan also did you ever try the cheryl s. version that she posted to your revised recipe on sep 5, 2010

      • alexandria says:

        thank you i will let you know how they come out.

  160. Alexandria says:

    oh, also my husband always store cookies on top of bread to keep them soft and moist after he bakes them and it really seem to work,

    • lisamichele says:

      I don’t think using a an unlined baking sheet would matter at all. Maybe butter or lightly spray the pan prior, and keep and eye on them. As for the bread trick for softening cookies, love it..have used it on occasion 🙂

  161. Gia says:

    I absolutely love Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies and I haven’t found the right combination of ingredients to match the original. Can’t wait to try them. My mother in law who has been baking for years is going to be the baker and tester.. I will let you know as soon as they are done.

  162. Gia says:

    Hi there. I just sent in a note on your blog and I posted my Last name. Could you please leave it out when you post when I write to you? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much!

  163. Gia says:

    Please send me your e-mail. I would like to send you a picture of a oatmeal copycat that didn’t come out right. Maybe you could help me perfect it! I have yet to try the chocolate chip walnut cookie.

  164. Gia says:

    My oatmeal raisin cookies came out really bad. I can’t even begin to describe them. They were burnt and moist. I think the Levain girls put more flour in there than oatmeal. They were too oat mealy and I don’t know how to remedy them. I also kept the temp at 400 degrees because I thought I had read on your blog that you should put the temperature higher so they rise.

    I will keep trying until I get it right. Keep me updated on any trial runs that you hear about or try yourself. We are counting on you Lisamichele!

    • lisamichele says:

      I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out. This is why I’ve avoided the Levain Oatmeal Raisin, as I don’t think oatmeal can subbed into the chocolate chip cookie dough recipe, that easily. On the bright side, we all go through this when baking..the good old science that’s trial and error, and most always leads to test, fail, test, fail, until you finally reach your ultimate goal. My Levain copycat was three weeks of continuous experimenting! Many fails!


      That said, keep on trying, and I can’t wait until you hit it!! Promise you will share? I will email you when I finally start testing the Levain attempt part three!

  165. Pingback: THE walnut chocolate chip cookie « lovintheoven

  166. Deenie says:

    Hello Lisa!! (My new BFF!! lol!!) Just wanted to let you know that I found your site maybe about a week ago……….and in that time, I have made your Levain Choc Chip Walnut Copycat Recipe….. (wait for it!!!)………THREE TIMES!!! And all three times….yumminess infinity!! All three times I played with the temp and times to see what levels of gooeyness would result. I must say, all the levels of gooeyness and “doneness” that I got were ALL delish!! Seriously……I keep telling myself that I WILL NOT make these again…….at least for a while, because my waistline just can’t afford it!! (Yes….I KNOW that I don’t hafta really eat them, that I can give them away and share…….but I AM WEAK!!) But then I find myself “dreaming” about these puppies and since you don’t hafta let your butter soften……..well, they come together pretty quickly from the time you decide you want to make them to the the time they are coming out of the oven and going into your mouth!! ANYwayz……….all of this dribble was to say THANK YOU for such an awesome recipe!! I AM IN LOVE with these cookies……..and I’m also in love with all the great compliments I keep getting about these hugetastic nuggets of love!! THANK YOU, BFF LISA!!! =)

    • lisamichele says:

      Wow, Deenie!! Thank you, and I’m so glad you and everyone who tried them, loved them! I also love that the old butter is key to the poofiness in the cookie, as it DOES save time. Keep on enjoying these, and keep checking back as I’m going to make a third attempt on the Levain copycat. This is one is not quite there, but I ended up with my own awesome fat, chocolate chip cookie with this recipe! May even like it more than Levain’s lol

      • Deenie says:

        Hey Lisa!! Just had to share: I made these for a work potluck just the other day. They were a HUGE hit!! Seriously, EVERYBODY kept coming up to me and RAVING about the cookies and how they couldn’t believe someone actually MADE them — some people thought I had gone to Starbucks and BOUGHT two dozen cookies. Even the next day after the potluck, the compliments STILL kept coming!! And apparently a lot of the guys at work went home and told their wives about “This INCREDIBLE Chocolate Chip Cookie” they had at work, and came up to me with instructions from their wives to “GET THAT RECIPE!!!!!” STILL LOVING THIS RECIPE!!! Thanks AGAIN!!!

  167. Pingback: Reworking the Levain Bakery Copycat Cookie « Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

    • lisamichele says:

      DEENIE! I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I am to hear that! You brought a huge smile to my face because there’s nothing like knowing that something you created is making so many happy!
      I still remember the nights I spent testing and tasting and playing with leaveners, then realizing upon tasting another Levain a few months later, that it wasn’t quite there yet, and feeling disappointed. Then, BOOM, suddenly you have a good amount of people coming to your blog and telling you that YOUR oookie recipe, the one that isn’t quite ‘Levain’, is the bomb. I’m so happy I was able to give you something that made both you and the people in your life, say ‘WOW’. Keep on enjoying, and thank you coming here and telling me this! 😀

  168. Gia says:

    Hi Lisa.
    I have copied your blog and I am continually reading it over and over again so I can get any suggestions from your bloggers on that Levain Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. I’m going to keep trying and I will definitely pass the recipe on to you if I think they’re close to Levain’s. We are still enjoying your CCW cookie recipe since I only bake a few at a time. Thank you for all that you’ve done to create the amazing copycat cookie recipe I read your blog almost every day looking to see what new comments have been posted.
    You’re amazing!


  169. Gia says:

    By the way, I just read a section of your blog by Marylin. She was looking for a recipe for cc cookies without dairy. Well I do have a really great recipe for dairy free Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake. It’s totally easy and yummy. It’s not overwhelming and scoop of ice cream or whip cream on top is out of this world.
    Let me know if I should send it to you via email if you want me to try to pot it on your blog. I’s a combination of two recipes.


  170. lisamichele says:

    Gia, by all means, PLEASE post the dairy – free recipe in the comment section for that reader and others who are dairy sensitive or intolerant. The pudding cake sounds amazing! Also, I just know you’ll nail the oatmeal raisin cookie. Isn’t the testing fun?
    Finally, THANK YOU so much for your awesome comments and feedback. so flattering! Totally makes my day! 🙂

  171. Gia says:

    Hi Lisa.
    Here’s the recipe.

    Ok, here it goes! (It’s part of Anne Thorton’s recipe and part of my friend Cynthia’s)


    Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake

    (I know it sounds weird, but it’s amazing)

    -1 2/3 c flour
    -1 c brown sugar
    -1/4 c cocoa
    -1 tsp baking soda
    -1/2 tsp salt
    -1 c water
    -1/3 c oil
    -1 tsp vinegar
    -1/2 tsp vanilla


    1. Heat oven to 350.
    2. Mix dry ingredients.
    3. Stir in rest of ingredients.
    4. Pour into ungreased square pan (8×8 inches)

    It might bubble if you pan is short on the sides, so just place a cookie pan underneath it.

    –Topping to be made and poured over cake mixture–then baked–


    1/2 c granulated sugar
    1/2 c packed light brown sugar
    1/4 c cocoa powder
    1 1/4 c hot water

    1. Whisk together the sugars and cocoa and sprinkle evenly over the batter.
    2. Pour the hot water over the top, resist the temptation to stir it into the batter.

    -Bake about 30-35 minutes.
    -You want the center to bubble and look almost set, almost like and undercooked brownie.
    -Take out of oven and let stand 15 minutes.
    -Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. Serve with dairy free ice cream or whatever else you like.

    Good Luck with it!

    • lisamichele says:

      Gia, thank you so much for posting this recipe! I used to make something like it when a sweet craving came on suddenly and it was late, since it’s so quick and easy. It’s not only dairy-free and delicious, but the perfect impromptu dessert if you have company! I’m sure many Levain fans will try it and love it when perusing these comments! 🙂

      • Gia says:

        Hi Lisa.

        I tried again for theLevain Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and I think I’ve got it. Let me explain. I love the height and texture, but it might need a bit more sugar. It seems extremely buttery, maybe too much so. I taste a bit of bitterness. I also think there should be more raisins since I remember the Levain ORC were much sweeter.

        I think I was right in that the Levain Cookie is not grainy. It had more flour in it, but it was much sweeter.

        I will send you the recipe and you can help me tweak it. By the way, I placed the dough in a ball for about 30 minutes and then baked it in a regular oven at 350. I did take a picture with my
        I-phone but I don’t know how to download it and send it to you. My son will come home later and I will send you several pictures.

        Here is the recipe —Please help me perfect it. Or if anyone else has any suggestions, please let me know. Suggestions are very welcomed.
        I used your CCWC recipe and a combination of 3 others.

        —–Levain Copycat Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.—–

        -2 sticks unsalted butter
        -1 cup light brown sugar
        -1/2 cup granulated sugar
        -2 eggs
        -1 teaspoon vanilla
        -2 cups oats
        -1 cup raisins
        -2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
        -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
        -1 teaspoon baking soda
        -1 teaspoon cinnamon
        -1/2 teaspoon salt
        -1 teaspoon cornstarch

        Mix all wet ingredients(including cold cubed butter) and add dry.
        Bake at 350 20 minutes.


        BY the way, I only baked one cookie and I froze the rest in balls for when everyone comes home.

        I loved the presentation. it’s the recipe I need help with.


    • juliej says:

      Gia & Lisa, I used cornstarch in my cookie recipe, and I don’t think the Oatmeal Raisin needs it. Also, I soaked my raisins for 24 hours in the egg mixture, and used all d.brown sugar. U sed cornstarch in the CC cookie recipe, and it don’t think that one needs it as well.

      • Gia says:

        Hi Julie. I used it only because I didn’t want a huge cookie to spread out like a pancake. I remember reading that cornstarch will keep the cookie together on Lisa’s CCWCookie. I’m not a pastry chef and don’t really know the ins and outs. Thanks, my next batch I will leave it out. Any other ideas? How about the slight bitterness?

        What do you think Lisa?


      • lisamichele says:

        julie ^ Gia – I don’t think the oatmeal raisin would need need cornstarch at all. The only reason for the cornstarch isn’t to keep the cookie together, but to keep it soft and tender upon cooling and sitting. This is why I’m almost convinced they incorporate pastry flour into these cookies with the AP flour, instead of cornstarch, but if cornstarch gives these cookies more of a thin, crisp shell – gooey interior, then no reason not to add if you don’t have pastry flour.


        Man, I gotta get to work on the CC Walnut copycat part three! lol


        OH, BTW, that oatmeal raisin recipe is looking good! Hopefully everyone can chip in and make it perfect! 🙂

      • David says:

        Very excited to see an attempt at the Oatmeal Rasin. Looking for it is how I found Lisa’s blog. There is definitely a greater flour/oatmeal ratio than my regular Oameal cookies (usually 1 to 2). I think they are a bit cakey, so i like the idea if two kinds of flour. Lastly, as I was eating one and I was thinking it almost has a scone-like quaility to it…like a combination cookie and scone. I’ve seen the scone recipe on the Food Network
        I’m wondering if there are any idea to steal from it.

        GREAT BLOG, Lisa!!!

      • lisamichele says:

        That’s a great idea to ise that scone to try and figure out the oatmeal raisin cookie, David! Unfortunately, I haven’t done any Levain cookie experimenting in a while, but I’ve bookmarked the link and filed it with my Levain links. Also..thanks or thinking my blog is great!! :Makes me smile 🙂

  172. sara says:

    am so excited to try the recipe!since i left ny am dreaming of this cookie..but there is noway to get it in i hope your recipe is close 😉

    • lisamichele says:

      Hi sara, It’s close, but not quite Levain yet. However, it’s an awesome fat and chewy chocolate chip cookie, and some have even said they prefer it to Levain, but probably because it’s a little lighter and a tad less sweeter. Let me know how they turn out for you!

  173. Ives says:


    I am also quite obsessed with the Levain cookies and have been going to the bakery 4 times this whole month (I’m from the Philippines). Have you noticed that they put the balls of weighed dough inside the freezer and once it’s hard (but not frozen enough to have a layer of ice on the outside) they assemble 6 of them in the sheet to bake? Have you tried freezing dough and baking the frozen dough? I think this is the secret of the gooey middle! What do you think? 🙂

    • lisamichele says:

      Hi, Ives!! I had no idea!! That would make complete sense!! Thank you so much for your astute observation! I’ll add it to both of my Levain cookie posts, with credit to you, of course! 🙂

    • juliej says:

      I do that with mine, and then pull them out to bake at 375. At the 7 min mark I rotate them in the oven. It does work. I literally pull them out of the freezer and put them in the oven. They are fat and soft in the middle

    • juliej says:

      I meant to add this to my comment, you hit the nail on the head with the baking part of the cookie. nailed it:)

      • lisamichele says:

        julie, I know it’s th same as refrigerating them for a longer period and then baking versus a much shorter time in the freezer, but ANYTHING I hear that these ladies do when it comes to making and baking their cookies, I will post immediately, even if it isn’t a huge or surprising discovery LOL So glad the baking time is just right for you! 🙂

  174. Ives says:

    Thanks for the credit to the frozen dough technique! I havent tried it myself! but I think it works! hahaha 🙂

  175. Ives says:

    Can someone tell me why when I bake my cookies the under part is burnt? I placed the sheet in the middle and tried it on the top shelf but still got burned. But the top and middle of the cookie was perfect! Help! 🙁

    • JD says:

      Buy a new cookie sheet, a light colored one. I baked some cookies at Christmas on one of my mom’s more abused cookie sheets (it was dark) and they burned on the bottom despite other pans of cookies coming out fine. This had never happened to me before. I threw out the pan and all subsequent cookies came out as anticipated.

  176. lisamichele says:

    Hi Ives 🙂 Your oven could simply run very hot. Do you have an oven thermometer? It tells you the exact temp of the oven when you’re preheating and baking. For now, try lowering the temperature of the oven and/or baking for a shorter amount of time.

  177. Kathy Wagner says:

    At our church picnic yesterday, the baking contest was chocolate chip cookies. I made the recipe above and won first prize! They are my family’s favorite recipe and always turn out perfect. Note: I use 3 cups of flour and Ghirardelli chips – 1/2 semi sweet and 1/2 milk chocolate. They store or freeze really well. Thanks for the great recipe. Now all my friends want it!

    • lisamichele says:

      Kathy..Congratulations on first place!! My little..well BIG, fat cookie is now a contest winner 🙂 I’m so glad you, your family and friends love them! I use either Guittard or Ghiradelli..,,gives you the best kind of melty, chocolate goo throughout the cookie!

  178. Vandna says:

    Great site. I’m going to try these recipies, but without eggs. I will try a few things and report. I’m sure it won’t be as good as with eggs. Not sure how it would taste as I don’t eat eggs. It took me 15 yrs to crack eggless cakes and I started a business from home ( from that recipie. I’m going to go for these cookies and try them. Not sure what the people from UK will make of really massive cookies.

    • lisamichele says:

      I’m so interested and looking forward to what you come up with minus the eggs. In these cookies, it’s more the butter whipped cold that gives you the airy, puffiness, so I’m betting you come up with a winner! Going to go check out your site 🙂

  179. Brian says:

    I made these last night, and they came out perfectly! Fantastic. Thanks for the recipe!

  180. Vickie says:

    I tried this recipe with the cornstarch and they puffed so beautifully and taste amazing!!! I originally found this site looking for a recipe for Mrs. Selma’s Cookies but I think this will do just fine instead… Thank you so much!!!

    P.S. I used mini M&M’s and peanut butter chips instead.

  181. Pingback: Have You Met My Friend, Chocolate Chip Cookie? | Cookie Talk

  182. Matt says:

    I just visited NYC for the first time in November, and Levain was on my “must try” list after seeing it on so many shows. As expected, they pretty much ruined all other cookies for me ever. I just tried your recipe, with 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white, plus a teaspoon of cornstarch, after freezing the dough for a couple hours, with the oven at 375 (i actually halved the recipe… thats how much self control i was [correctly] anticipating), and they took about 20 minutes here in Miami, but were PERFECT!! thank you so much for helping me to get my big, gooey cookie fix so far away from Levain!!

  183. Lynn Malik says:

    Now I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a good baker and it looks as though a bomb of baking-ness went off in my kitchen before the cookies are even halfway ready to go in the oven. Anyways, I digress. Before my mother died she sent me to this page so I could make these for my now husband. Not being a great baker I saved it to my email and forgot about it. I was going through my email looking for the recipe I saved for holiday cookies that were failproof and made a hundred times. Again, coming across these. I figure, why not? Thinking they would cone out flat and one big huge cookie I prepared to take a pizza cutter an just divvy it up after. I was so wrong. These came out perfect and so flipping almost-makes-me-wanna-cry good. So, maybe I am a baker after all! Thanks so much!

    • Lisa says:

      Lynn, you have no idea how happy that made me. This is one of the best parts of food blogging – knowing something you created was such a success for someone. However, I don’t think I’ve ever turned a non-baker into a possible baker. I’m thrilled!! I hope this makes you want to bake more often!

  184. April says:

    I’ve never had a Levain CC cookie but these look delicious and I’m willing to give it a try! Can you please list the flour in grams or ounces?

  185. George Amnell says:

    I am not a good baker. Everytime I try these recipes they end up as one big cookie and don’t seem to rise. They taste pretty good though. How can I get them to look like real cookies?

  186. Pingback: Peppermint Patty Stuffed Chocolate Cookies « wafoodie

  187. Basia says:

    I learned only last year that the original Toll House cookie recipe called for aging the dough for 24-48 hours before baking! As society began moving ever faster, home bakers no longer wanted to delay or plan that far ahead for a simple cookie. To speed the process (which made baking the cookie more popular and therefore sold more chocolate chips!) Hershey dropped the aging time from the recipe they included on their bags of “Toll House” chips.

    I’m really grateful to everyone who has tried weight conversions. I learned from bread baking that flour changes so much seasonally – specifically in moisture content, which affects the weight of it as well. Tricky!!

    And finally, the Levain girls posted their own video, too. While they say they show how to make the cookies – of course they don’t!

  188. Cammy says:

    I saw something about these cookies on TV and I recall them saying that since they bake them in their bread ovens, that get particularly hot, that that makes them cook quickly, leaving the center doughy and the outside crisp. So no doubt a hot hot oven is essential. Sorry if this is repeated info! I couldn’t read through all the comments!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, Cammy..yes, this has been discussed, BUT – the Levain ladies are making dang sure no one finds out their secret, so on some shows, they claim they’re baked for 350 F for 15 – 20 minutes..and on other shows, it’s the super hot oven! For the most part, I think trying them at 500 F for 5 – 7 minutes is worth a shot. I haven’t tried it myself yet.

  189. JD says:

    Aha! I suspected they at least refrigerated their cookies before baking them to prevent too much spreadage and keep them nice and ‘tall’ after seeing the Dark Chocolate one on “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. We WILL crack the code, especially as I can neither go to a Levain Bakery conveniently nor afford $66 to have them shipped to my house. I bet being a little frozen helps make a crispy outside as well. To the bat cave . . . I mean kitchen!
    Also wonder if, being a professional bakery, they have steam injected ovens which helps produce a light but crispy crust on bread and may also do so for cookies. I may also experiment with steam while baking . . .

    • JD says:

      I also wonder about adding food-grade vegetable glycerin, not an ingredient many home bakers would think of. But it is hydroscopic and mold resistant so helps baked goods stay fresh longer. I will try it and report back with results (if I remember.)

      • Lisa says:

        JD – what a wealth of info! I do agree that their bread ovens just might play a part in the crispy exterior and chewy interior. I wonder if preheating the oven to 500F, with a pan underneath the rack the cookies will be on, and throwing some ice cubes in that pan as soon as you slide in the cookie sheet, shutting the oven door quickly to lock in the steam, like I do in my ‘regular’ oven when I bake bread, would give us what the Levain ovens give the Levain cookies? I think that’s an experiment that needs to be put to the test.

        Looking forward to hearing about your results using food grade vegetable glycerin!

  190. Stuart Pomper says:

    Hi Lisa, A bit of history about myself-I’ve been baking for over 30 years, in my kitchen & in Restaurants. When my grandkids came to visit, we bought cookies from Levain and flipped. I found you on line & have been making these cookies for about 3 months now. EVERYONE says that it’s the best thing that I bake. I shaved & froze the butter before mixing, added the cornstarch, and refrigerated the golf balls overnight, the only alteration in the recipe. So, you get a THANK YOU from me & my grandkids, and a HUG ! Stuart

    • Lisa says:

      Stuart, it’s comments like yours that make food blogging worth every nano-second. Your comment completely made my day, and I can’t wipe the smile off my face. I’m so happy you and your grandchildren love them so much!

      Refrigerating cc cookie dough overnight is now so key to great chocolate chip cookies..I can’t imagine not doing it!I think your frozen butter idea is brilliant, and I will definitely try it! Until then, keep on enjoying *HUGS*!

  191. kalthum mohammed says:

    Hi, I have been watching it and trying … wah lah u r a saver thanks for the so called copycat recipe will try and send in my report …… thank you 10x (not a baker thou’ but crazy abt trying recipes especially choc. chip cookies) ……. lol

  192. chasar9 says:

    Hi lisa! I just wanted to tell you that i tried the second version of the chocolate chip cookies (using bread flour) and i’m just so thrilled with the results!!!! The cookies are thick, and soft and they seem to last longer in a container. Never would’ve thought to use bread flour (high gluten flour) in a chocolate chip recipe but it works!!!
    Thank you for all your hard work in testing recipes and sharing them with us here. It’s much appreciated!

  193. Pingback: » Tuesday Treats – Levain Copycat Cookies

  194. Pingback: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies | My Baking Addiction

  195. irgo says:

    followed the recipe to a “T” and ended up with a cookie that looked and smelled like the real deal but tasted too “cakey” Husband is a Levain afficionado and had two comments: “not as sweet as the original cookie” and “I think that the salt in the cookie removed all the moisture from the flour”

    I am going to try these again, but next time, I am going to add a little more sugar and I am going to possibly use “crisco” (SCOFF) to help brown the outter crust and make a moister cookie. Also, I used unsalted butter, so next time I am going to cut the salt down by half (we are a low sodium household, so that could explain the salt sensitivity). I

    • Lisa says:

      Hi irgo! Thanks for your feedback! I purposely reduced the amount of sugar that they I think they use because although I love the Levain cookie – it’s a bit too sweet for me. As for the cakey texture, I can’t figure what may have caused that, but Levain is known for under baking their cookies, so maybe try 5 minutes at 500 (Found out they use super-hot, steam-injected, bread ovens) instead of 18 to 20 at 350? I had also mentioned in my post, besides decreasing the sugar, that I baked them a longer because I don’t like them too raw in the middle. Also, did you mean you used salted butter? I only ask that because the amount of kosher salt is small, but I totally understand how it could stand out since you keep low-sodium. Let me know how your crisco batch turns out! 🙂

  196. orientalbelle says:

    Hey, there. Thanks for posting the recipe and keeping things updated. I always thought (and was told) that I made pretty fabulously awesome chocolate chip cookies, but after watching Throwdown, I knew I’d met my Everst. I’ve seriously contemplated spending the $53 to have 4 Levain chocolate chip cookies shipped to me, lol, but I have yet to sample the original. I tried the recipe yesterday, and I’ve divided up the dough into 4 different cooking batches to try out different baking methods. I used bread flour because of a fluke mix up at the grocery store. I was worried about the bread flour being overly glutenous and making the cookies tough, but then I remembered on Throwdown that the Levain ladies stated they invented the cookies originally because they were tired of powerbars, and they wanted something different. It seems to make sense to me that they would use bread flour in order to get more protein in with their carbs. The cookies turned out really well, soft, moist on the inside and crisp outside. Even my mom, who is a bit of a chocolate chip cookie snob to begin with, said they were to die for. I can’t wait to try them with AP to see what the results yield since the first ones were so good. I know you listed the tip that you could throw ice in a 500degree oven to create a bread oven effect. How did that work out for you?

    • I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but as a bread baker, thought I’d throw in my .02 on the ice question. I have a small stainless steel roasting pan which I fill with water and place directly onto the bottom of the oven during baking. It does, indeed, help give a crisp but thin crust. I’ve never understood the logic behind using ice, but adding a steam source to your oven does help to crisp an outer crust.

      • Lisa says:

        basia..I’ve used the pan of water method too, but like you said, the injection of steam in bread ovens is what gives breads those lovely, crispy crusts, so a handful of ice cubes thrown in right before putting the cookie sheet in, would mimic that…well..come close. If you try it, please let us know how they turn out!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi orientabelle! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I’m really happy you and your ‘chocolate chip finicky’ Mom loved the cookie using bread flour . I concur that it would make sense to use bread flour since they’re both triathletes, and want protein with the sugar boost. I have not yet tried the 500F oven with the ice cubes yet, but when I do,, you will either hear about it here, or I’ll send you an email 🙂

  197. Pingback: Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies — Little Bitty Bakes

  198. anna says:

    i recomend pressing the dough balls down a little bit so there not to thick

  199. anna says:

    mine came out way to thick

    • Lisa says:

      They are supposed to be pretty thick, anna, but since they were too thick in your case, your idea of flattening them prior to baking, is fantastic. You could also skip refrigerating the dough before baking 🙂

  200. Pingback: Looks & Love » CHOCOLATE CHIP WALNUT COOKIE BAKE OFF!

  201. Pingback: Looks & Love » Mock-Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie – Attempt #1

  202. I just made and posted these absolutely AMAZING chocolate chip cookies! The knock-off recipe I tried called for a cup of cake flour which along with all-purpose flour makes the equivalent of pastry flour (I assume). Pastry flour is supposed to be the secret ingredient used by Levain Bakery to give the cookies their fabulous texture. I think it’s a total winner because I can’t imagine the original cookies being any better than this knock-off. I experimented with freezing the dough but soon decided that wasn’t the way to go. Stop by and check out the recipe…

  203. Pingback: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chips Cookies | Muffin maniac

  204. Liz says:

    Another one to try!!! Thanks, Lisa!

  205. Pingback: The Levain Bakery Cookie Experience | Big A, Little A

  206. Pingback: Copy-cat Levain Chocolate Walnut Cookies « spoonfuloffashion

  207. Pingback: Double Chocolate and Mint Chip Cookies | Allison Parr

  208. rarupina says:

    Dear Lisa, I’m a new fan of Levain Bakery Chocolate Chips Walnut cookies looking for the secret recipe 🙂

    I’ve found on Levain’s facebook fan page a couple of pics of the crew forming the cookies
    Have you seen the dough texture? It seems extremely clumpy and reminds me of sablé… Is it possibile?

  209. yolanda turner says:

    I’m not thrilled with making such large cookies. Has anyone tried to make smaller ones? If so, are there any tips regarding cooking time or anything else important?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Yolanda, of course you can make them smaller. The normal baking time for 1 to 2 tablespoon size chocolate chip cookies would be 350 F for anywhere from 8 – 12 minutes.

  210. DD says:

    These came out quite good but there’s no vanilla and they really seem to be missing some subtlety of flavor as a result. Every other cc cookie recipe I’ve ever made has vanilla. Has anyone added vanilla to these? Is it, perhaps, a typo that there’s no vanilla included?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, DD…the Levain Bakery is notorious for not adding vanilla to this cookie. Perhaps they figured out a secret or have a secret ingredient that makes up for it. This is why my cookie still isn’t exactly like Levain’s yet. Unless I figure it out, by all means..add some vanilla when you add the eggs 🙂

      • DD says:

        Thanks for your prompt reply! I’ve never actually had the Levain version but would probably prefer to have some vanilla…so next time! But these are still very tasty.

      • Lisa says:

        You’re Welcome, DD! I’m glad you liked them and no doubt they will be even tastier for you with the vanilla 🙂

  211. Yum!! This is almost exactly the choco chip recipe I have used for years. Don’t even know where I got it, but it is fool-proof. Differences: 1 egg, 3 c. flour, 1 c. brwn sug, 1/2 c. granulated sugar., 2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 c. chopped, toasted almonds instead of walnuts, 1 c. milk choco and 1 c. semi-sweet chips. Try it 🙂

  212. Pingback: What I Ate Wednesday #36: It’s Really Real! | Barr & Table

  213. Dean Russell says:

    They were great and easy! Thanks

  214. Dottiepark says:

    My daughter worked at Levain for several weeks, at the counter and portioning out the dough in the back (but not mixing, so she has no clue about the recipe). She swears there is oatmeal in the cookie now, BTW. But the thing she noticed was that when they scoop the dough, it is a very loose ball…not compact, as I would do it. And not to be a spoilsport, but those damp, underdone cookies gave me heartburn!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much for those hints straight from Levain, Dottie. They keep this recipe so secret, that I heard the dry mix is in bags so no one knows the ingredients or amounts of each ingredient! Someone who used to work there there emailed me and said it’s just a huge tollhouse cookie..all ingredients the same..just much fatter. I’m going to try that..maybe with a lttle ground oatmeal, and see what I get. Also..I’m with you..I don’t like it that raw in the gives me a belly ache!

  215. I just stumbled across this and was reading through comments etc. I haven’t read all of them but vanilla versus no vanilla comes up a bit… what if..instead of using actual vanilla in the recipe when adding the white sugar…. you add vanilla sugar…? you can buy it or make it yourself….I am not familiar with the cookies in question you are trying to copy. Just a thought. Not sure if there is a difference in flavor between using pure vanilla extract and vanilla sugar but there would be reg moisture of the cookie dough as vanilla extract is wet versus vanilla sugar being dry….. I get the impression some think vanilla enhances the flavor….I haven’t tried your recipe but next time I make choc chip cookies maybe I will do this one…. maybe it will be so awesome it will be my secret….. I have always used recipe on the back of the nestle tollhouse choc chips… oh and for those who like something new. I have been known to use dark choc chips and between 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of chipotle pepper powder in my cookies. My advice start with 1/2 tsp and add in 1/4 to 1/2 tsp increments depending on your sensitivity to spice/heat adding to taste and noting what works for you. If freezing/refrigerating the dough for several days prior to baking I would opt for closer to 1 tsp as sitting might make them slightly spicier. You want a hint of heat but not for it to be the focus….if that makes sense. Bake on peeps! Bake on…

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  217. marina maria says:

    HI Lisa,

    I’m from Brasil and i just got back from NYC. Eating the Levain chocolate-chip walnut cookie was one of the best moments i had in the city, so I was looking for a recipe that could make me remember that wonderful cookie. I tried yours today with a few tips I read in the comments:

    – As you said on the notes, I used 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 of granulated sugar.

    – As for the flour, I used 1 cup of cake flour and 2 cups of AP flour.

    – After shaping the balls, I left it overnight in the fridge.

    – Instead of baking at 350, I baked at 480. I preheated the oven for 15 minutes with a baking stone and then put the baking sheet on top of the stone. They baked for 10 minutes and came out so beautifully golden, but the bottom was a little burnt. So next I tried with the stone in the bottom of the oven instead of on the grid and they were perfect.

    The consistency of the cookies was spot on, exactly like the Levain ones, but you are right, there is still something missing in the flavor: it is very delicious, probably one of the best cookies I ever had, but I don’t know what it is. I have to keep trying to figure out. Anyhow, thank you so much for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you for that comment, marina! I still cannot figure out what’s missing! Sometimes I wonder if it’s really just a giant tollhouse cookie like some say? Then again, I’m also thinking they use a certain kind of chocolate. ACK, the mystery has yet to be solved. Having said that..I’m glad you liked this cookie, even though it’s not exactly Levain’s…yet! 🙂

  218. Maria says:

    I commend you for doing your research! Well done!
    Unfortuanelty, the dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie just tasted like a brownie for me. Too much semi sweet chips, maybe? Is that the exact recipe you use? Bc use your pictures look fantastic!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, should taste slightly like a peanut butter chip brownie, but with the texture of a gooey on the inside cookie. Did yours have a brownie texture? Yes, that was the exact recipe I used 🙂

      • Maria says:

        The texture was definitely gooey inside, but a tad bit on the brownie side. I had just eaten the real Levain cookie yesterday and wanted more. 🙂 I added 2.25 cups of flour, but the problem may have been the size; I made it regular sized cookies and froze them. Maybe I’ll do a bigger portion next time and try it out, hopefully to get it to look like yours.

      • Lisa says:

        Definitely try my 4 oz size as that could make such a difference in texture and taste..also try less of the semisweet chips, if desired, then let me know if it made a difference 🙂

      • tnlejano says:

        3 years later, and I’m back to your website and somehow found my comment! 😀

        I just went to levain last week and of course I can’t enough.

        It’s my first attempt at the CC walnut and the cookie dough is in the fridge right now.
        I will update you on my results 🙂

      • Lisa says:

        Welcome back, Maria! Thanks for popping by to let me know that you’ll be baking these cookies soon 🙂 Truth be told, after a few Levain cookies about a year after I wrote this post, I realized they weren’t quite there yet in regards to being exactly like the Levain cookie, but I still think they’re a pretty darn good cookie! Looking forward to hearing about how yours turned out!

      • tnlejano says:

        Lisa, your recipe is delicious!!!
        I made 5 oz. cookie balls and made sure the cookie dough was loose and lightly packed. I added the leavings last and used 12 oz. Guittard chocolate.

        Fantastic job! Wish I got to this recipe sooner, could’ve said me $8. Hehe. Happy baking!

      • Lisa says:

        Maria, I’m so glad you loved them! So sorry for the delay as there are no message alerts when someone has been approved to comment without having to be approved, and I’ve been distracted as of late and forgot to check. That being said, although I still think they’re not quite there ‘Levain wise’, I think they come pretty close, and like you said, save you $8.00 for one cookie! LOL Thank you so much coming by again; it’s always great to see you! xo

  219. Brianne says:


    I was so happy to see your blog after having Levain cookies when we visited NYC in June!

    I tried the Chocolate Chip/Walnut recipe and my cookies didn’t turn brown and spread out. I followed the recipe to a T so IDK why they didn’t form…perhaps it is because I put them in the freezer for a little bit?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, Brianne! Try putting them in the fridge, instead of the freezer, for about a half hour while the oven is preheating. If that doesn’t solve it, just put them straight in the oven after scooping onto the cookie sheet. Let me know if either works out 🙂

  220. Molly says:

    Hi, just wanted to say that I live right around the corner from Levain’s new production kitchen in Harlem and they use Hershey’s chocolate chips. I see the boxes being loaded in all the time. Love the recipe. Thanks!

    • Lisa says:

      Wow….I’m amazed it’s just Hershey’s, Molly – a supposed former employee told me it was Guittard for the cookies! I’m thinking we’ll never really know, but thank you so much for that info!

  221. Debbi says:

    Just came upon this and I’m so happy to see after years of trying you never gave up. Why is there no flavoring extract, vanilla or almond in this? Could a flavoring be the “missing ” ingredient?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, Debbi. The Levain ladies specifically stated that they do not use vanilla extract, or any extract, in these I just followed protocol. However, many add it anyway because they feel it makes it better. Your choice 🙂

  222. alexandria says:

    hello, even though i have yet to try these cookies i keep telling myself I’m going to make them I’ve been on a no sweet fast since January so this just might be my birthday present to me when I end my fast, anyway i was reading all of the comments and maybe some sort of flavoring is the secret ingredient, just a thought, since we know the recipe is so secretive and they have openly said there is no flavoring maybe they are saying that to throw everyone off, maybe a flavoring is the secret ingredient.

    • Lisa says:

      You could be right, Alexandra. They have given conflicting baking and temp times on different shows they’ve been on, so it wouldn’t shock me if they use some sort of flavoring 🙂

  223. Bronwyn says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so please point me back to them is this has been answered… but, given that there can be such variety in the “packing” of the measuring cup of sugar, is it possible to give that as a weight of sugar instead of a volume? And for non US readers, can you convert a “stick” of butter into a weight? Thank you.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, Bronwyn. Light Brown Sugar (packed): 1 cup = 215 grams or 7.66 ounces and one stick of unsalted butter = 113.4 grams or 4 ounces.

  224. Thanks for all the great tips here. On our last trip to New York we loved the Levain cookies but I did find them too sweet and they made me feel sick. But they were so good! When I got home I went crazy trying to make them but with lower sugar. I used some of the tips here and while mine is not a copycat recipe (more of an inspired one), I learned some great tips here and have linked your post.

    • Lisa says:

      You’re so welcome, Jules, and thanks for linking your lower sugar version! I will definitely be trying it since I’ve cut way down on sugar. I’m glad you got to try the real thing! You hit the nail on the head..really sweet, but so good!

  225. Laurie says:

    For those looking for the Roker on the Road episode where he goes to Levain.. He made Brioche in that episode. here’s the link to the transcript:

  226. Kristen says:

    How do you get the bumpy look on them? Mine were way too smooth on top and don’t look anything like the Levain cookies (I just pulled them out of the oven so I have yet to taste them). Can’t wait to try!!!!

    • Lisa says:

      Did you chill them prior to baking them, Kristen? That said, mine turned out bumpy every time I made them…and I attributed that to the chocolate chips and walnuts 🙂

  227. Diana says:

    I must confess that I had never even heard of Levain Bakery until today when I read an article “25 foods you must have before you die”, and their chocolate chip cookies were the first thing listed. Of course my curiosity was piqued, so I visited their website. $27 for four cookies is crazy! I then looked at copycat recipes and yours was the second blog I came across. I have to apologize if someone else has said any of this, but there were way too many comments to read. That being said, the first recipe I read called specifically for bread flour. I’ve never used bread flour for anything other than bread, but it could make a very big difference – worth a try?? Also, I make a recipe that I got somewhere along the line that is a favorite and I think has some bearing on this one. You mentioned “freezing” the dough.. I think this may be their rapid way to chill and solidify the dough for baking. I don’t really think I would suggest freezing then baking from frozen. My recipe calls for refrigerating the dough overnight. Believe me – this makes a big difference. I have tried to shortcut it and anything less than 5 hours is a flop. The very cold, very solid dough is what keeps them so big and stops them from spreading/flattening out like Tollhouse. The dough is so solid that it is virtually impossible to portion after is is refrigerated, but it so sticky before, that portioning is difficult too. I found that placing the dough on parchment paper and rolling it into a cylinder shape (like you would a compound butter) and then refrigerating it makes it much easier to slice or break off portions for baking. Again, I have no idea what Levain cookies taste like, but I know the recipe I use is like no other I’ve used and always gets raves. My recipe also calls for oatmeal to be processed in a food processor until it is like flour. I’m sure this contributes to the big heartiness of the cookie as well, but I know the cold dough is the primary thing – primarily because I had less than hearty cookies when I tried to rush this step ;-D

    Anyway, I just thought I’d share my experiences and hope it helps to make these ridiculously over priced cookies at home!

    • David says:

      It’s $4 per cookie in the store and that is crazy expensive IMHO, but I always go back for one or two. My preference is for the oatmeal raisin and the chocolate with peanut butter chips…soooo rich.

      • Diana says:

        David, since this is the cookies I MUST eat before I die, I suppose $4 is not too awfully bad and I envy you that you can enjoy them and the culture of a great city. However, unless I get to NYC before I die, I’ll have to try making these myself and hope I’m at least close. I looked again at their site and $27 for 4 cookies is not all that bad when you compare it to the shipping for those 4 cookies. $25.42 (+$27) is the slowest and least expensive option (2nd day air) … $65 for next day. I suppose a week old cookie wouldn’t be very good, but at $13 a cookie, I think I may have to die without eating one!!! 😀 😀

    • Lisa says:

      Wow, Diana..thank you for sharing this! I always refrigerate my formed cookie dough balls before baking, for at least 5 hours. The suggestion of the freezer was for those who want to speed it up to keep the cookie puffy, but as far as flavor goes, the long refrigeration is ideal. I recall seeing a test, regarding chilling cookie dough..having something to do with the NY Times chocolate chip cookie, and there is a limit to how long you can refrigerate them with good results. I think after 36 hours..they flop, but everything before that makes them even better as the hours go on. Now, don’t quote me on that..I’m going to look for that article ASAP, and I’ll post the link here if I find it. As for the bread flour, I’ve never tried these cookies with bread flour, but I will. I’ve also heard of some who’ve had great experiences with cake or pastry flour. That said, would you care to share your chocolate chip recipe? I recall the ‘Neiman Marcus’ or ‘$2500’ cookie recipe(s) containing ground oats ( I made them about 12 years ago..and they were great!), so I’m wondering if yours is a derivative of those?

      • Diana says:

        Actually, I think my recipe is or much like the Neiman Marcus recipe. I heard them talking about some cookies years ago on a local radio station and they posted the recipe but, it was call the “Double-Tree Chocolate Chip Cookie”.. I’ve been making them ever since because they are SOOO good and always get rave reviews. I actually dislike baking cookies (too much in and out of the oven for this ADHD girl) – so if I must, they better be winners.

        As for the amount of time you can refrigerate, I’m sure you are correct. Baking soda and baking powder activate as soon as wet ingredients are added and I’m sure their ability to work starts diminishing after activating. I’ve read that somewhere along the line as well (I’m full of useless information) – that’s why you can’t make batters ahead of time.

        I will say, the corn starch thing intrigues me though. I have never heard of that anywhere, so I’ll have to give it a whirl. Baking is a science, so I don’t usually mess with a recipe too much – besides adding things like nuts or chips and not measuring my vanilla. Other than that, you can have a real disaster on your hands if you’re not careful. Cooking is more where I experiment – actually rarely use a recipe. I just look them over for ideas and go from there 🙂

        Since this cookie is one of the things I MUST eat before I die, I guess I’ll have to try one of your variations because unless I get to NYC (I’m in south Florida), I’m not paying $27 for 4 cookies – and get this – $25 for shipping! I’m not kidding!! I realize they’re cookies and probably have a very short life, but 2nd day air is the slowest and cheapest option… next day is $65. For $13 a cookie, it really better be better than sex. LOL

  228. Diana says:

    Oh, I almost forgot… I saw one reference to the very hot ovens they use. This is actually very common with old time bakeries and the type of brick ovens they may have that just are not built these days.

    I have things I’m particular about and things I’m not. Baking equipment – I’m very particular with. I use ONLY stones. I have one ratty old cookie sheet I cook meat on from time to time, but other than that, I don’t have any other cookie sheets. But, I do have 4 stones and use them for cookies, pastries and bread! You will never get a burnt cookie and the even/uniform cooking is bar-none. They’re usually inexpensive and should last a lifetime if cared for properly (never wash with soap & water).

    I also swear by “air-bake” cake pans. They’re a little harder to find & a whole different subject, so I won’t get into that.

    • Lisa says:

      Diana – adding cornstarch is akin to using cake flour, IMO, since you add cornstarch to AP flour to make cake flour, so I will eventually test these cookies with cake flour. As for your baking stones – I find that so intriguing! Do you bake the cookies directly on the stone? I have no doubt that the uber hot bakery ovens play a HUGE role in the texture and goo factor of these cookies (fridge to scorching industrial oven..baked for 5 minutes, would certainly give a crisp exterior while leaving the centers gooey), so a baking stone could simulate that. I have one baking stone which I use for breads and pizza, so I’d be curious to try..although I’d probably place the cookie sheet on the stone.

      • Diana says:

        Lisa – You HAVE to try out a stone. They’re usually marketed as pizza stones, but are good for any flat baking that doesn’t need liquid contained. I got turned onto stone baking years ago through Pampered Chef. They sell a whole line of overpriced stone cookware. Fortunately, all I needed from them was the introduction.

        Stones are much like cast iron as they perform much better as they age and get seasoned. The darker and shinier, the better 🙂

        A new stone will be almost white and not very stick resistant. You would use non stick spray the first time or two and after that, there will be no need and it is recommended against. Stones (like cast iron) are porous. They will absorb soap, so never wash with soap!! Simply take the cooled stone and run it under hot water and use the provided nylon scraper to clean. I usually go over it with a clean paper towel as well just in case there’s any residue and my OCD requires it. But, like a good wood cutting board, the stone doesn’t seem to absorb any bad stuff and pass from dish to dish – again NO soap.. pretty sure soap would hang around forever!!

        Once your stone is seasoned, you may never use spray or parchment again 🙂 Cook your cookies directly on the stone. Come to think of it, to really cook cookies right, you’ll need two stones and some sort of wood or trivet to put the hot stone on between batches. No cookie or actually anything has ever stuck on me – NOTHING.

        I start with a room temp stone for my first batch of cookies. Bake them, then put the stone on a wood trivet I have and in goes my next batch. I let the baked ones cool on the stone for 3-5 minutes and then remove with a good spatula to a cooling rack to finish cooling. The only reason you need to let them cool a little is the same as any other method you use, the very hot cookies are very very soft when they come out and even the best spatula will smoosh the cookie 🙁 Never any sticking or burning. I honestly think you would burn the tops before you would burn the bottoms. And the stone doesn’t need to cool all the way for subsequent batches. Stones are especially good for people that like their cookies more done than others. You will get successful batches regardless, but if you like them more done and more crispy, it’s easy without risking a burned cookie.

        The only time I use parchment paper is for bread. I have found a wonderfully easy and fantastic tasting crusty white bread. You mix it up and let it rise, punch it down, separate into loaves, shape and let rise again before baking. Because of the necessary shaping to let rise, I do that on the parchment paper. The recipe actually calls for a stone and tells you ways to substitute if you do not have one. This one wants you to pre-heat the stone as well. Then when you’re ready, put the loaf (on parchment) on the pre-heated stone that’s already in the oven. Add some hot water to the bottom of the oven quickly and close the door. The steam gives your the great crust!

        I really hope that you get the opportunity to try them out. I think that after a couple of uses, you may never use a cookie sheet again. Just give it a few times because seasoning is necessary for the stone to work to it’s optimum potential. The stone gives you a nice consistent heat that’s evenly distributed without having a super hot oven. It works just as good in convection ovens too. I cannot explain why you can’t seem to burn the bottoms, but I have never even come close. My nicely seasoned stones that are a nice chestnut brown now even turn out beautifully brown biscuit to delicate croissants without burning or sticking.

        And by all means, don’t waste the big bucks on Pampered Chef. I love most of their stuff and it does last forever, but generics have worked just as well for me. A nice discount store like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s or one of the many discount houseware stores should have them between $10 -$15 maybe a bit more for a really big one. The only thing Pampered Chef has over the others is the option of a rectangular shaped one (more like a traditional cookie sheet). But again, I’m not sure it’s worth the cost. The round ones actually fit more than you would think and the large ones hold as much as a rectangular one.

        🙂 🙂 Happy Baking 🙂 🙂

      • Bronwyn says:

        Just a note on stones – 20 years ago before you could readily buy “stones” I bought a thick unglazed terracotta tile from a tile store – about 12” square – for a few dollars – to cook pizzas on, in my oven. It worked a treat. Unfortunately it broke into a few pieces in a house move, and I haven’t replaced it, but save your $$’s and go to a tile shop!

    • Lisa says:

      Diana- I have a well-worn pizza/bread stone that I used to death for artisan breads..and pizza, of course. Thank you so much for all of that awesome info. I think I will buy a separate stone OR tiles to try the cookies on because that stone might be too chafed and worn from all the bread baking.. It’s almost black, even when cleaned!

      Bronwyn – you are spot on with the tiles – I know many bread bakers who use them 🙂

  229. Seini says:

    I’ve just baked these up and they look and smell fantastic. I live in New Zealand so I’ve never tried the originals but I’m pretty sure these are going to be delicious either way.

    • Lisa says:

      Seini..I hope you like them! Please let me know! 🙂 Eat ’em fast or nuke them for a few seconds if you have leftovers for a day or more. I need to find the secret to how the Levain cookie remains soft and gooey after a day!

  230. Natalie says:

    Loved these! Looking for a cookie no one else makes in our area and this is the one! I took your advice about the higher ratio of brown sugar over white and it was delicious! I actually started tasting the Mrs. Fields cookies I used to enjoy at the mall, but in a larger, more satisfying cookie. Thank you for this!

    • Lisa says:

      I’m thrilled you had such success with these cookies and OMG, you brought back such memories! Whenever we would go to my favorite mall, when we were done shopping, We’d always pick up half a dozen of Mrs. Field’s white chocolate chunk macadamia nut cookies, warm from the oven, and eat them on the drive home. My Mom used to scoff at crumbs in the car, but it was sort of a reward for fitting into smaller sizes LOL I really miss those Mrs. Field’s in the malls!

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  234. anon says:

    Hi, I called Levain Bakery and asked them if they put chocolate chips in the peanut butter dark chocolate cookies and they DO NOT PUT CHOCOLATE CHIPS IN THEM. I consider this extremely important because I don’t like chocolate, although for some reason chocolate flavored dough doesn’t bother me. I’m so excited to make these for my bday since I can’t afford to have them shipped from NYC. I hope this recipe is very close! Thank you for trying to make a copycat recipe. Keep up the good fight and let me know if you get closer to the real thing by leaving out chocolate chips in the peanut butter ones. Theirs just have tons of peanut butter morsels.

    • Lisa says:

      Ooops..I read your second comment first, hence why I replied to it first LOL. First off, thank you for the sweet comment, and you’re so welcome! As I mentioned, of course you can use all peanut butter chips (I just so happen to have had one from the Levain Bakery a few weeks ago on my way to an appointment – SO GOOD), and I truly think these are the closest you’re going to get! I felt like I was eating one of mine, albeit without chocolate chips mixed in! Please let me know how they turn out for you! 🙂

  235. anon says:

    Oh, since they aren’t supposed to have chocolate chips in the peanut butter chips recipe (according to levain bakery), then does that mean we need 3 cups of peanut butter morsels rather than 1 1/2 cups? I’m guessing so since u put that much for chocolate only recipe.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi anon, I recommend cutting the PB chips with the semi-sweet chips, as my recipe reads, because the fudgy factor is over the top. However, if you like, you can use 3 cups of peanut butter chips instead. Your call 🙂

      • anon says:

        Great! Thanks for responding. I’m not into chocolate other than in the dough so I will use peanut butter all the way but may throw in some chocolate ones for comparison. I always eat around chocolate. Anyhoo, you have convinced me to use your recipe. But can you please answer that last question about levain as the starter for leavening? If the answer is going to be you have no idea and have never tried it, I hope you will imagine it and maybe try it to decide for yourself. Then blog about it so the question of their famous name being the secret ingredient can be put to rest. You rock! Thank you for existing.

      • Lisa says:

        Yes, a levain is a starter for bread in lieu of commercial yeast (Just like a sourdough starter) and The Levain Bakery’s specialty, believe it or not, is their beautiful breads! I’m excited for you to see for yourself! That said, I’m not a dark chocolate fan at all. I prefer milk and white chocolate, but there are three exceptions to that rule. The Levain Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie, Milanos, and two Dark Chocolate cake recipes that are out of this world (one on my blog..the one bowl dark chocolate cake by Martha Stewart), but that’s it! 🙂

  236. anon says:

    Sorry to bug you, but I just also found out that another BlogHer thinks the word levain is a clue to their secret ingredient maybe being the leavening. Levain in French is like a sour dough starter. So they made them with that and they we’re extremely tall like levains. But I can’t use that recipe because it isn’t for the peanut butter ones. Can you tell me if you’ve tried this levain ingredient for leavening? And results if you have? Also, I hope you will get back to me about my other two posts soon because my bday is this week. I need to make perfect clones!

    • Lisa says:

      You’re not bothering me at all! I love getting and responding to comments! 🙂 Yes, a levain is a starter for bread in lieu of commercial yeast (Just like a sourdough starter) and The Levain Bakery’s specialty, believe it or not, is their beautiful breads! I’m excited for you to see for yourself! I highly doubt there is any levain or wild yeast starters in the 99% doubt it. I’ve never tried it, and I doubt I will, but it’s an interesting theory!
      That said, I’m not a dark chocolate fan at all. I prefer milk and white chocolate, but there are three exceptions to that rule. The Levain Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie, Milanos, and two Dark Chocolate cake recipes that are out of this world (one on my blog..the one bowl dark chocolate cake by Martha Stewart), but that’s it! As for your two other questions, I answered all above if you read up 🙂 I can’t wait for you to try these cookies, and a premature, but nonetheless excited, Happy Birthday to you!!!

  237. Baker@heart says:

    Hello there! Just wanted to say I’ve made these cookies about a dozen times in the past 6 months. Everyone who tries them, loves them!

    Thanks for such an amazing recipe!! I did have a question about the size of the cookies. If I wanted to make 24 smaller cookies instead of 12, how would I manipulate the cooking time? Please help 🙂

    Thanks again!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi there, Baker@heart! I’m so happy to hear that you and friends love these cookies! As for making 24 smaller cookies, that would make each cookie 2 oz. So, even though I haven’t tried it so I can’t guarantee it, I would simply cut the baking time in half, so bake at 350 F for about 8 to 10 minutes. Let me know if this works out for you! 🙂

  238. lisa g. says:

    I recently foun out that Levain’s chocolate chip cookie has no white sugar, but does contain a half cup of milk. This explain the moistness inside the cookie & molasses taste- brown sugar and milk. This would lead to a crisp exterior as well.

    • Lisa says:

      Wow, thanks for that tip, Lisa! However, I still have the Levain throwdown episode and it shows them adding white and brown sugar, but no milk. I’m sure they tried to throw people off, so who knows? 🙂 Definitely worth a try, though!

      • lisa g. says:

        Yes, Lisa in that Throwdown episode they add white sugar. I do know that they have appeared on several “different” shows and I found out that they used different ingredients/methods each show to throw people off. They probably discuss amongst themselves and not on camera how to do this, so one things for sure they will never reveal the “exact” ingredients to us cause they know we’re snoopy. One more thing, about the freezing cookie method I keep in mind is that most bakeries do freeze their cookies ahead of time, so while they are made fresh everyday the volume they make could account for this AND the fact that fans see frozen dough going into the oven could be frozen dough balls for online/call-in orders–while reserving actual noin-frozen dough balls just for the bakery walk-in customers. This perception makes sense or they would be making “fresh” cookies non-stop all day with little time for other products AND this could explain why fans say mail order cookie dont taste like their bakery fresh cookies. Perception, ta-da! Thanks for your recipes!

      • Lisa says:

        Thanks for all of that, Lisa! The thing is, I always thought freezing cookie dough prior to baking it, made better cookies! I guess that only holds true for cookies that will be eaten immediately, not boxed and shipped? In any event, they definitely play with ingredients, when they’re on TV shows, to throw people off. In fact, I’ve heard they’ve had huge bags of mixes made for their cookies so no employee will ever know what’s in it! Smart cookies lol

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  240. lisa g. says:

    Hi Lisa. Ive decided to comment here about flour used in Levain’s CCC. I think the type of flour may be the ultimate key to these cookies. I’m not going to mention all-purpose flour mixed with cake flour or bread flour mixed with cake flour. Because they obviously are not following J. Torres’ recipe as a copycat and they do not use cornstarch because they dont have to. Its the “type” of flour and by that I mean the gluten and protein. In the youtube video the Levain ladies dumped in one bowl of flour in the mixing bowl. Based on that, I found pro tips for great chocolate chip cookies from Jen Musty owner and baker of the famous Batter Battery in San Francisco which is one of America’s top bakerys. One of her tips is to use a drier dough which yields a puffier cookie and she states that this entails leavening adjustments and cutting back on an egg. Eggs yield tough structure to cookies. Then she states to not over mix (or beat up on the flour) during mixing, (which is why Levain finishes the dough mixing outside of the bowl, on the counter by hand, in the video). Next tip refridgerate the dough 24 – 36 hours. No freezer here! Makes sense cause most bakeries do this ahead of time for the next days baking. Of course!- in the Throwndown episode and youtube video they used fresh made dough on the spot. They didn’t run to the fridge for cold dough. Besides cold butter was used in fresh dough and as usual and it will still yield a puffy tender cookie. Next tip from Jen- use a good-quality high-gluten unbleached wheat flour. No, this don’t mean whole wheat flour, it means wheat floor. Well Levain is seen using white flour. That don’t mean All-purpose flour either because theres not enough gluten/protein in AP flour and ALL national brands of AP flour are 9 -11.7% protein. This kicks out bread flour too as its too high in protein at 14 -16%, and yields flat chewy cookies (think Alton Browns Chewy cookie). This is why in one of Altons other CCC and Torres MUST add Cake flour for added tenderness. So how do you get a high protein wheat flour and not one thats “whole grain” and very high in proten used for baking breads? Simple- White Wheat Flour, its high in protein at 13%. Its lighter in color (white) and has a mild flavor just like AP flour. Its perfect for cookies, bars, muffins, scones and milder whole wheat bread. The brand? Simple- Its America’s number one nationwide selling Organic White Wheat Flour–King Arthur. Also available in non-organic. Bakerys prefer King Arthurs Organic White Wheat flour. An added benefit of the flour is it keeps all the same nutrients of whole grain flour. Lisa, lets see if you will consider this flour in your third attempt? Thanks for your yummy recipes!

  241. These were delicious, but I’d make some changes for next time. I read your tips and other comments, and used the 2nd recipe on the page for dark chocolate cookies, and just used semi sweet chips instead of pb chips. I used 2 sticks of Plugra European-style unsalted butter; 1 cup of white sugar and 1/4 c brown sugar; for the cocoa powder, i used mostly Penzeys Dutch high fat cocoa, but rounded out the 1/2 cup with some Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder; I used 2 cups AP flour and 1/4 c cake flour, but next time, I’d probably use more cake flour to get a cakier texture; I used Callebaut semi-sweet chips (2 cups/12 oz). I refrigerated the dough for 20 minutes before measuring it out into 1/2 cup portions that weighed just under 4 oz apiece, then popped the tray into the freezer for about 20 minutes, then baked for 16 minutes, which was a minute or 2 too long. I like them softer, and although they were really soft when I took them out, they firmed up considerably once they cooled. I think increasing the cake flour and baking the cookies for 14 minutes would yield a pretty darn close copycat.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much for the above tips, Cookingcutie! You are right on the money by using top quality ingredients, because from what I’ve heard, the Levain ladies do too. I also heard they use Guittard chips, but, like you..I usually use Callebaut (my favorite baking, pastry and all around dessert chocolate). As for the baking time..I totally agree that to get them closer to the Levain version, the middle needs to be almost raw ‘gooey’. However, I always bake them a little longer because as I much as I love that uber gooey center, I tend to get a stomach ache from it, which is why my baking time is longer. If I recall correctly, someone said they chill or freeze the dough balls, then right into one of their super bread ovens at a really high temp, for like 5 minutes. So, I’m thinking somewhere from 426 to 500 in a conventional oven, but I’d have to try it to see if it works. Having said all that, I think I would keep the cake flour lower in ratio to the flour because the Levain cookie is characterized by it’s crunchy outer shell and gooey interior rather than a cakey texture, but then again..more testing is definitely needed! Please let me know if your above changes nailed it! 🙂

  242. Ling says:

    Hi Lisa! Thanks again for your wonderful Levain copy cat cc cookies! It’s such a hit! I just tried using 2tsp vanilla in the recipe and everyone agrees that the original without vanilla is better!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, Ling! So sorry for the delay as your comment alert got lost in my email! That said, so good to see you again! I actually started adding a little vanilla to it, but you’re right, it really doesn’t need it 🙂

  243. Jana says:

    I am a big fan of levains bakery so I made the chocolate peanut butter chip. I was overly impressed how much it tasted like levains!! This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi, Jana! You’re so welcome! It really does taste just like it, doesn’t it? That one needs no tweaking 🙂 Now if I could get closer to the chocolate chip walnut cookie, we’ll be golden!

  244. Leslie says:

    Good recipe.. The most important thing is the following .. And I hope it helps.. If this was noted before sorry..

    This is the flour they use. I was just there yesterday line was half a block long waited an 1hr.. We’ll worth it.

    They use he following flour if it helps

    • lisa g. says:

      This is interesting on the brand of flour they use. Im glad to know and stand corrected on my comment about King Arthur flour being used in their CC Walnut cookies.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you for that info, Leslie! Then again, they bake a ton of bread, so you have to wonder if they use that HG flour just for the breads or both the cookies and the breads. I think it’s the latter!

  245. Brandi says:

    Just made the chocolate pb ones and they turned out great!! Definitely smaller that Levain’s, but I don’t think I could eat one any bigger! So rich and filling. I added the 1 T of corn starch to be safe. Baked for 18 min as you suggested, and they were warm and melty inside just like Levain’s! I think my second bath turned out better (didn’t spread as much) because I refrigerated the dough balls as the first batch cooked. Thanks for your hard work on this recipe and for sharing it with us!

  246. Levainr says:


    Just wanted to note that the latest update on the recipe, the comment made by the Filipina, is actually erroneous. They are not FROZEN, and they don’t put 6 on the sheet at a time. 🙂

  247. Kristen says:

    I personally like putting in teaspoons of peanut butter (creamy) instead of chips and barley mix it in. I like the flavor and texture more.

  248. Yenny says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I found your blog because i miss the Levain Oatmeal Raisin cookies! I live in Indonesia and there’s no way i can get those cookies…. could you please please please share the oatmeal raisin cookies?

    Thanks in advance


  249. Pingback: Levain Bakery Copycat Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies | finding time for cooking

  250. Pat says:

    I’m late to the party! I just (2023) tried your recipe and made a mistake, only adding 2 c flour instead of the 3.25-3.5 cups. I made a couple test cookies (without “aging” in the fridge) because I wanted to test different sizes before I committed to a size. When I realized my mistake (while test cookies were baking), I was afraid they’d be too soft. They turned out great! Curious, I checked your recipe against my old stand-by and was surprised to learn they are nearly identical! My old recipe used crisco instead of butter, 2 cups instead of 3.25-3.5 cups of flour, and has no baking powder, just baking soda. The cookies I made were only .7 ounces and 1.7 ounces (size of my cookie scoops). Other than the couple test cookies (which have disappeared!), the rest are aging in the fridge.

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