When it comes to food in New York City, I feel like I’ve done a pretty well for myself as a tourist over the years. I’ve eaten bagels (hold the cream cheese… yuck) at Murray’s, waited in hours-long lines for brick oven pizza at Grimaldi’s, and slurped down frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. I’ve eaten my fair share of Magnolia Bakery banana pudding, Shake Shack frozen custard, and sidewalk pretzels (Sigmund’s are 3498x better though!). But for whatever reason, trip after trip to New York, I had never made it to Levain Bakery, a bakery on Manhattan’s upper west side, which is known to bake some of the best (if not the best) cookies in the city.
Last weekend, while enjoying a great weekend with friends in the big apple, my friend mentioned she wanted a really good chocolate chip cookie. While she started to Google best chocolate chip cookies in New York, I mentioned Levain Bakery, and as fate would have it her Google search led her to Levain Bakery. 🙂 In no time at all we found ourselves outside the teeny tiny bakery on the upper west side, eating cookies the size of a frisbee. As soon as I took my first bite I knew I had to try to recreate the cookies at home!
Some quick Internet searching led me to a variety of “copy cat” recipes for Levain Bakery’s famous cookies, and after some adaptations, I had myself a chocolate chip walnut cookie that tastes very close to the real deal!
If you can’t tell, these cookies are monstrous in size. I laughed when an entire batch of cookie dough yielded just a dozen cookies! But it’s all worth it when you’re enjoying bite after bite of crispy edges and gooey centers. Just make sure you sit down for a bit afterward… sugar. coma.
In comparing the cookies to Levain Bakery’s, the flavors are definitely close. Texture wise, I think the Levain Bakery cookie is a bit more crispy than mine, but that also might have to do with the fact that the humidity in upstate New York has been about 99% for the past 72 hours. 🙂
[print_this]Levain Bakery Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
A “copy cat” version of New York City’s famous Levain Bakery chocolate chip walnut cookie, adapted from this recipe.
Makes 1 dozen very large cookies
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, until mixed well. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch, mixing until blended. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, ensuring they are evenly distributed in the cookie dough.
Divide the cookie dough into 12 equal parts. Loosely form each part into a ball (does not need to be perfectly shaped), placing 6 cookies on each cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown (it is okay if the cookies are still a little gooey in the middle!). Allow the cookies to cool 5 to 7 minutes before removing from the cookie sheets.[/print_this]