Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

This recipe is a bit of an odd-man-out in the collection of recipes for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Project. For starters, this is not an official recipe. It is a copycat recipe developed by the chefs at Many people have come up with their own version of this cookie but this one sounded interesting in both ingredients and execution.

This is another cookie that I've only heard about but have never had the original. By all accounts this cookie is huge and almost scone-like. Each cookie weighs 6-ounces and is almost the size of a baseball when portioned out.

Each cookie dough ball was weighed out to exactly six ounces.

A small onion next to the cookie dough balls for comparison sake.

Not only are the size of the cookies significantly different, here are additional ways these cookies differed from the others:

In terms of ingredients, cake flour is used in addition to all-purpose flour. According to, the cake flour produces a more tender, light cookie. The recipe also eliminates vanilla - I've seen articles where the owners at Levain stated that vanilla didn't add to the recipe so they didn't use it.

In terms of technique, there are a number of surprising modifications made by the editors at and I recommend reading the article for the explanations. Here are a few of the interesting techniques incorporated:
  • Using cold butter instead of room temperature butter
  • Adding the eggs at the end
  • Freezing the dough before baking
  • Double stacking baking trays
We agree that this cookie was closer to a scone in size and texture. It was good but hard to compare to the more traditional cookies. It's well worth trying to see that the different ingredients and unusual techniques really work.