Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Today I talk about Harry Potter and chocolate chip cookies. What could be a more perfect mix?

B and I disagree on cookies. I like crunchy (what B calls “dry sandy rocks”) and he likes soggy / underbaked, I mean soft cookies.  This is one of those married things which agree to disagree, and we eat our cookies separately….

… until we found the perfect cookie that satisfies both of our cookie requirements – Levain Bakery cookies. One of my friends who visits NYC regularly always raves about these cookies, so we decided to check out the hype. 

I absolutely love all things Harry Potter, and I was so excited to catch the last week of the Harry Potter: A History of Magic museum exhibit in NYC. I was on ICU nights but I had to see this wonderful exhibit – except that tickets were sold out on weekends (it was so popular you had to buy entrance times)

So right after my last night shift of the week, I immediately went on a train to NYC to catch the 3:30pm entrance ticket on a Friday.

The exhibit was absolutely amazing, and I loved seeing all the sketches, JK rowling’s notes, the draft variations, and the correspondence with publishers.  B, of course came with me, and he realized he had to get me out of the museum quick after we finished this special exhibit, or I’d wander and see the whole general museum for another several hours (B says I spend an insane amount of time in museums)

His trick was to bribing me with checking out Levain’s Bakery, which was just several blocks from the museum and new to us. The bribe worked and we went to the bakery which was quite popular. I thought $4 per cookie was ridiculous even by NYC prices until I saw how massive the cookie was and tried the cookie for the first time.

The cookies were amazing and we both agreed it was the perfect mix of crunchy and soft, and they don’t skimp on the chocolates. We had the cookies for dinner that night (and B saved himself from another 3 hours of museum touring).

Sadly we don’t live near a Levain’s Bakery, and I wanted to recreate these cookies – these extra thick and have a unique texture. I adapted this recipe from Modern Honey; while it’s not exactly the same, it’s close. I filled it with a ton of Taza Chocolate‘s dark baking chunks and ate the cookies for a week straight. You can make boring regular sized cookies, but I recommend making giant, fat, oversized cookies for the full Levain bakery effect. Enjoy!

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

1 cup cold butter cut into small cubes
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chunks (I used Taza’s stone ground chocolate chunks)
1 1/2 cups walnuts roughly chopped

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add eggs, mixing well. Stir in flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined to avoid overmixing. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Separate dough into large balls and chill for at least 1 hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dough on cookie sheet (I made 9 large cookies with this batch). Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown on the top (make sure to watch the bottom). Let them rest for at least 10 minutes to set. Enjoy!

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