Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 28: Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies (copycat)

The first place we went to today was a lady that lived by herself. She has a couple dogs and a cat. I thought we should go by there since we've seen her outside before and I thought she lived alone since we never saw anyone else. We also went by another house and we heard the people inside but they didn't come to the door..weird. Then we walked up and down the street trying to randomly pick a place, it's not as easy as it sounds. We picked a good one though. It was a younger family and they had a 3 month old baby boy. They were really nice and said they may come to our thing Saturday. We haven't asked anyone for referrals in a long time since (atleast the people that lived on our street) always said their neighbor, so we just figured we'd go to the whole neighborhood. So we might start asking people again if they know anyone.
Have you ever been to Levain bakery? Or even heard of it? I've never been there either, it's in New York. But they make huge cookies! And of course they keep their recipe secret, but there are people who try to copycat it. On their website they even have a list of a few links to copycat recipes people have come up with. I tried the one from vanillakitchen, and although I can't compare it to the original, it seemed to have been pretty close! The cookies came out huge and tasted great! I'm not gonna tell you how many I ate, but as hard as it is, you gotta be careful since 1 of these is equal to probably about 2 or 3 regular sized cookies. The first batch I made came out somewhat flatter, but I think because I didn't cook them long enough; they had a doughier taste to them. The next 2 batches came out fat, both were equally delicious. Maybe if I would have taken them out of the oven a little sooner they would have been gooier like the originals. Ok, so the first photo is an actual cookie from Levain bakery, the next 2 pics are the copycat ones I made. p.s. In my pics you can see one of my flatter ones in the background.

*I only used about 1/2 c. walnuts and put the dough in the freezer for a few minutes before making the first batch of dough balls. While the cookies baked, I stored the rest of the dough in the refrigerator. You could make the dough the night before and just let it chill in the fridge for use the next day.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut copycats

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, (cold & shredded like cheese)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 ts sea salt

1 and ¼ ts baking powder

1/2 ts baking soda

12 ounces (2 cups) good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

1 cup walnuts

If using dough right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (It’s best to chill, though) (note: keep in mind this is a very dry dough, and will be hard to mix once you put the chips and nuts in) Take the butter and using a cheese grater, shred the butter into a bowl, put it back in the freezer until ready to use. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars just until just combined. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Divide dough into 12 big 4 oz lumps. (I weighed the dough on a scale, kitchen scales are great, if you don't have one, you might wanna think about it). Mold into giant golfballs; do not press flat! Keep them as balls on the cookie sheets. Bake on ungreased cookies sheets (one sheet at a time). Put the cookies in a 375 degree oven and set timer for 8 minutes. When timer rings, without opening oven or removing cookies, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until cookies appear set. OR at 365 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until done.

Makes about 12

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  1. Tawny, I just heard about your blog from Sarah Chilton and everything looks so tasty. I used to live in NYC and Levain's cookies are so good. There are some other flavors there that are really good too. Every time i have gone back I always go there. My sister had her in-laws bring them back in a box on a plane for her when they went. This recipe might be a bit easier though.

  2. hehe yea the recipe would be a little easier :) but then again i wouldnt really know if these taste like them..but either way they were realllyy good! we should have taken those ones to you guys and you could have judged. i've heard the chocolate chip ones were the best but i have another copy cat recipe for the double chocolate cookies i want to make sometime.