I'm a native Texan with a passion for good food and Texas history. Tex-Mex is a way of life for me, and so is baking!
You might be looking at that photo and thinking to yourself, “Amber, that’s just another chocolate chip walnut cookie. Yum, but, come on! It’s been done!”. Well, my friend, you’d be right, except that that right there is a Levain Bakery chocolate chip walnut cookie, that I made at home.
The Levain Bakery is famous in this area, and honestly, beyond. It’s been the subject of New York Times articles, Food Network Shows, and many a food blogger discussion.
These cookies, they’re special. They’ve got weight. They’ve got this outer.. shell, for lack of a better word. When you bite into the cookie, the outer layer has a crunch to it, a bite. But it’s ever so slight, and gives way immediately to a texture somewhere between cake and chewy that I thought I’d never be able to duplicate.
Then, I was doing some research on flour for a friend (and myself), and came across the existence of Pastry flour. I’d never before heard of it. Apparently, because it’s really only available commercially. Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my noggin. Of course! No one’s been able to recreate the Levain cookies because we’re not using the right kind of flour. More importantly, we’re not using the right kind of flour mixture. Luckily, I found a pretty easy formula to recreate pastry flour, and was on my way.
I’m excited to say that both The Brit and I agree these are spot on to the Levain Bakery Chocolate Walnut Cookies. It’s got that crisp exterior and toothy interior. The walnuts and chocolate sing together. James loved the cookies so much he invented a new word: Deluscious. Hah!
Have you been to Levain Bakery or ordered their cookies before? I’m excited to hear if you think this recipe is as close as I do.
For the next few days I’ll be in California learning all about Walnuts, so I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my favorite walnut recipes with you. I hope you enjoy these perfectly chocolatey and walnut-y Levain Bakery knock-offs.
Levain Chocolate Walnut Cookies
adapted from Lisa Michele’s copycat recipe
2 sticks or 1 cup chilled Butter (I used Kerry Gold Irish Butter)
1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 large cold Eggs
2 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Cake Flour
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tbsp. Corn Starch
1 c. 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 c. Milk Chocolate Chips
1 c. toasted chopped Walnuts
In a medium sized bowl combine flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and corn starch. Whisk for a solid 1-2 minutes until all dry ingredients are well mixed and there are no lumps in the flour mixture.
Cube 1 cup (2 sticks) of chilled butter into 1″ pieces. Put white and brown sugar in a stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl and mix until well combined and almost all lumps have disappeared. Add cold cubed butter and continue to mix at medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, continuing mixing until well incorporated.
Add flour mixture to sugar/egg mixture in increments until fully incorporated. Remove from stand mixer and mix in chocolate chips and walnuts by hand.
Refridgerate cookie dough overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, distribute dough onto baking trays lined with parchment paper. For trays with 6 dough balls, bake about 14-15 minutes, 12 minutes for trays with less dough balls. As is the Levain style, the cookies should be removed from the oven when they look slightly underdone. They will continue to cook as they cool.
Makes approximately 20 cookies.