Levain Inspired Chocolate Chip & Walnut Cookies


So here it comes, the first receipe inspired by my recent time in New York.
I had heard of these chocolate chip cookies from Levain, with various sources telling me that they were the best in town, so I had to check the out. The original Levain Bakery is all the way up in Harlem – but it was so worth the track!

There they sell the famous chocolate-chip-walnut cookies freshly baked, still slightly warm, and though their lumpy shape might not get to win them beauty contests, taste wise it’s full marks all around. The outside is crispy while the inside texture is still chewy and cookie dough like. And the walnuts, which I am normally never a fan of, compliment the melted chocolate very well.

Unfortunately the receipe is secret, so my attempts to re-make them here in London will never be as good as the real thing but the chocolate and walnut combo in a gigantic chunky cookie I have tried out here are still good enough to share with you.

For 12 big cookies you will need:

  • 225g butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsps cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to gas mark 4 and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Mix the sugars in big, huge bowl and cut the butter in to it in pieces. Then mix them together with an electric whisk until well blended and the mix has become a paler colour. (The butter shouldn’t be too soft for a cookie dough, which makes the mixing a bit hard and I had to stop the whisk a few times to free the beaters from the butter lumps…bear with it, you’ll get there eventually.) Now, add the eggs, one after the other and again whisk until well blended.

In another bowl mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Add this flour mix in 2 or 3 stages to the sugar-butter-egg dough and beat it in, again with an electric whisk (or the help of a wooden spoon, if the electric whisk can’t cope, as was the case for me).Gently fold in chocolate chips/chunks and nuts and tip the whole dough on a clean surface to finish off the mixing and kneading by hand. Once you’re satisfied all is mixed in evenly form a thick roll and cut this in 12 equal portions.

Form 12 round balls out of these portions and place them on your baking trays. Cover these with cling film and put them in a freezer for 10-20 minutes, to cool them down again (but not freeze).

Take the tray out and transfer it directly to your preheated oven, where the cookies need to be baked for about 15-25 minutes, depending on how gooey/ raw you like them to be (be careful not to over bake as they harden when they cool down!).

Cool the cookies on a rack and eat them on the day they are made…maybe even after an hour or so, when they are cooled down but still ever so slightly warm, just like at Levain…sigh!

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