Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

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.

Secret Recipe Club


  1. says

    I can’t wait to try these! My favorite were the oatmeal raisin ones, so this will hopefully give me the right method to use trying to recreate those.

  2. says

    Oh, girl…these look amazing. I have tried to recreate these cookies several times, but they were always lacking that “shell” that you speak of. I’ll have to try these next!

  3. says

    Amber, I’m so glad you liked them, and they look perfect! As one who used to enjoy several Levain;s a week, I can honestly say that mine are still not quite Levain’s, but some like them even better, which shocked me lol Lighter is what they call them. Levain’s are super duper rich and more tender, the latter of which is something I’m going to work on for a third attempt :)

  4. says

    You have no idea how happy you’ve just made me! I have a deep love for Levain cookies but have never been able to recreate them at home, I’m so excited that you’ve cracked the code. They really do have such a special mix of crunchy outside and moist interior that no other chocolate chip cookie has ever been able to beat.

  5. says

    I have not had one of these Levain cookies, but I’ve heard so much about them. That said, yeah, I’m gonna have to try your knock-off!

  6. says

    Not sure if it’s a good thing that you have me wanting to eat or make cookies at six in the morning after my first ride on my new eliptical, LOL, but now, since I have this beast, I will be able to do it sans guilt! They look and sound delish…or should I say delush!!!

  7. says

    Interesting! I’ve made these with the Kerrygold butter but not with the cake flour. They were outrageous just with the good butter! Must try again with the flour – oh, such a hardship. ;-)

    p.s. – try them sometime with pecans – maybe not same as Levain, but so good!

  8. says

    Oh yes. These are insanely good. About a quarter of the batter ended up in my stomach before making it to the oven. Like Jennifer, I made them with all-purpose flour – will have to try it with cake flour next time.

  9. says

    Oh my! These look ridiculously delicious! I’ve heard about these cookies but have yet to experience one…

    Bookmarked to try!

  10. says

    I have never tried these cookies from the bakery before, but they sound incredible! I’d have to leave the walnuts out, but the thought of that cakey cookie surrounded by a slightly crunchy shell…YUM.

  11. Katherine says

    These are absolutely delicious. I just made them and they are definitely my favorite chocolate chip cookie so far! I used good quality european butter and I really think that makes a huge difference and I used ghirardeli chocolate. I baked them on convection for 10 minutes with 6 cookies on a sheet. I think next time I’ll use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the bittersweet milk mixture. YOU HAVE TO MAKE THESE!!!!

  12. Kerry F says

    I made these cookies a few weeks ago and wanted to let you know my husband and I have decided they are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. I used regular butter instead of the Kerrygold (even though it’s hard to resist buying something with your name on it!) and I used Hershey special dark chips and pecans. Yum yum yum. They are going to be my go-to recipe. Thanks so much for posting!

    • says

      Kerry, I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming back to tell me. Nothing makes a food blogger’s day like a return comment telling them how much a recipe is enjoyed.

      You really did make my day.

  13. Pam says

    I made these cookies this morning and they were delicious!! I also used regular butter, and I used all semi-sweet chocolate chips. The texture and height of the cookies were just wonderful – no flat cookies here!! As of this afternoon, they were still moist and soft inside and did not turn into hockey pucks – I undercooked them slightly as directed. Next time I may use a heaping half cup of white sugar instead of a level cup, as they weren’t quite sweet enough for me, though changing to all milk chocolate chips might also do the trick. I like things REALLY sweet! Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe!!!

    • says

      Fran, thanks so much for the link love! I do love these cookies so much, though I recently had a discussion with a friend that has me ready to tweak the recipe even further. If either of us do, I’ll be sure to post about it!

  14. Homeschooling Mom says

    Made the dough yesterday and it took everything in our power not to eat the dough unbaked! We let it hang out in the fridge overnight and in the meantime my 12-year-old analyzed the ingredients and figured out price-per-cookie. The only difference from your recipe was that we added a tsp of vanilla paste. We used expensive ingredients – Luprak butter, organic eggs, Scharffen Berger semi sweet chunks, Ghiradelli milk chic chips — still our cookies were less than half the price of Levain’s. $1.88/cookie for our cookies, and yes – we did take into account the massive size of Levain’s. my kid got a kick out of that!

    We baked a dozen first thing this morning and enjoyed them very much. These were good cookies, thank you for the recipe! These were not our favorite, though. This one ranked below our favorites: the Torres NY Times “48-hour” cookie, Alton Brown’s “the Chewy”, and CI’s brown butter chic-chippers.

    Still, we enjoyed the experience. Thanks again for the recipe!

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