These fluffy, thick cookies are just the right amount of gooey in the middle and crisp on the outside and they are based on the New York City hit Levain Bakery’s cookie recipe.
These fluffy, thick baked cookies are just the right amount of gooey in the middle and crisp on the outside and they are based on the New York City hit Levain Bakery’s cookie recipe. While I don’t typically like nuts in my cookies, the walnuts just somehow work so well here. I happened to be in NYC last Christmas and by some miracle there wasn’t a line at their Upper East Side location, and I stocked up on a few of their famous cookies. If you’re like me you were left wondering “how does Levain bakery make their cookies?”.
Not only are Levain’s cookies double the size of a standard chocolate chip cookie (at Levain they are a whopping 6 ounces per cookie!), they are also crispy on the outside yet fluffy and gooey on the inside with a delicious chewy texture. Most large cookies are just too big for the effect but add nothing more in flavor or texture.
That is the opposite here. Levain is the gold standard for chocolate chip cookies though they are sold for $4/ cookie at their shops. While the real Levain cookie recipe seems to also use cake flour in addition to all-purpose flour for a fluffier cookie, I opt to just use AP flour since it’s more accessible plus I don’t think it makes a huge difference.
I love the under-cooked quality of the middle of the cookies. Be sure to warm them before serving, so the chocolate chips are melty just as Levain sells them!
Key Ingredients in This Recipe
Brown sugar – I use light brown sugar in this recipe which refers to the amount of molasses in the sugar. Light brown sugar contains about 3.5% molasses. Be sure to tightly pack brown sugar in a measuring cup to get an accurate measurement.
Granulated sugar – I use a combination of both granulated sugar, white sugar and brown sugar in this recipe.
Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract is added to cookies to enhance the sweet flavors in the dough.
Eggs – Eggs acts as a binder working to create structure and stability within the cookies.
Chocolate chips – Semi-sweet chocolate is a dark chocolate made up of a at least 35% cacao. Semi-sweet chocolate can be used interchangeably with bitter-sweet chocolate. Because of it’s strong chocolate flavor this is great for cookies. Use either high-quality chocolate chips or chop up chocolate bars.
Walnuts – The nutty flavor and crunchy texture the walnuts add contrasts perfectly in these gooey cookies.
How to Make This Giant Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Heat oven. Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC) with a rack set to the lower third of the oven.
Cream the butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture until it has all been incorporated.
Add the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.
Add the nuts and chocolate. Add the walnuts followed by the chocolate chips, mixing until just combined.
Form the cookies. Form the dough into 6-ounce cookies, they should be just about the size of a tennis ball.
Bake the cookies. Stack two baking sheets on top of each other. Arrange 4 onto a baking sheet at a time and bake until the outside is golden-brown, but the inside is still gooey, about 12 minutes.
Let cool and serve. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks for This Recipe
How to Store These Cookies
Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator for up to a month.
How to Freeze the Cookie Dough
Roll the dough into balls and add the cookie dough balls to a resealable plastic bag. Store in the freezer until ready to make the cookies. They will last for up to a year and can be made one at a time or in small batches as needed.
Swaps and Substitutions
If you don’t have semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chop a chocolate bar into pieces. Add the chocolate chunks as you would the chocolate chips.
Dark chocolate chips will also work in place of the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Dark brown sugar will work if you don’t have light brown sugar. The difference in this recipe is minimal.
How to Add the Chocolate Chips and Walnuts
While you would typically fold chocolate chips or walnuts into cookie dough, this dough it very dense so I prefer to just mix it in on the stand mixer.
Why should I stack baking sheets?
Stacking baking sheets when baking such large cookies like Levain bakery cookie recipe at a high temperature will keep the bottoms from burning. This helps the outside of the cookies to get crispy while the center remains gooey. I don’t use parchment paper, instead I add them directly on the baking sheet.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these: