Sunday, September 6, 2009

Levain Bakery- I salute you!

Throwdown with Bobby Flay is a Burlington family favorite tv show. Bobby travels around the country to challenge cooks who are the best at what they do. On the chocolate chip cookie Throwdown he visits Levain bakery in Manhatten. Check it out yourself here: challenges them to a throwdown and loses the competition. Ever since watching this episode I felt the need to make some of their cookies myself. They don't publish their recipes but copycats abound. I chose a recipe and went for it.
The resulting cookies were huge, perfectly textured and yummy. Next time I will change the recipe slightly by adding a little more salt or perhaps some ground coffee. The kids helped me make them!Robert is sooooo very happy with the enormity of the cookie. CC too.

Want to try the recipe? (from

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (**Yield- 1 dozen cookies)

2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar – not packed too hard. Just spoon it in the cup(s) and press down lightly when full, sweeping off any extra that runs over.
2 eggs
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups AP flour – Spoon and Sweep method. (feel the dough, it 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)
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder ( I don’t fill the tsp fully, hence the 3/4 tsp)
1/4 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 (Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired and/or use any kind of nut you like. I love macadamias in these)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. 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.
2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and nuts.
3. 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..
4. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 16-23 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middles (I bake mine at 375 for 18-20 minutes, as I prefer a less raw interior), until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. 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.

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