Monday, May 12, 2014

Levain Bakery Copycat Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Recipe

One of my favorite bakeries in New York City is Levain.  Their dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie is the devil's own specially created 6-ounce temptation personalized for me. You might say this gooey delight is more like a cookie-brownie than your traditional cookie.

Upon return from my recent two-week sojourn in NYC, I knew I could not last another year without the glory of Levain blanketing my tastebuds with ecstasy.  I tried several great copycat recipes (here, here, and here), but either the texture or the taste was off, perhaps due to the high altitude of Utah.  Not to mention some of the dozens of recipes out there are rather intricate.  I know baking is a science, but...seriously?  I'm not one for over-complication. I took the parts of each recipe that I believed created the right taste or texture and created one of my own, only slightly different than the others I linked to, but in baking slight can make a big difference.  Success!

  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla according to your taste preferences (Levain doesn't use vanilla, but it works for the copycat)
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (I use Hershey's special dark)
  • 1 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips (Use Trader Joe's semi-sweet or Scharffen-Berger Baking Chunks 62% Cacao if you can, if not, use Ghiardelli or Hershey special dark, do not use Nestle)

  • Mix butter and sugars together until fluffy and incorporated (over-mixing just melts butter, which you don't want)
  • Mix in Eggs and Vanilla just until incorporated
  • Mix in Dark Cocoa Powder until Incorporated
  • Add Bread Flour, mix until flour isn't creating dust as stirring
  • Add in All-Purpose Flour, Salt, and Baking Powder, mix until well incorporated and entire mix is dark and moist, no chunks
  • Make sure your hands are clean and knead in the entire package of chocolate chips, the dough will be moist and slightly sticky, but pliable with your hands.  Other recipes say the dough should be very dry, but I did not find this to be true. 
  • Divide dough into 12 3-4 ounce portions.  I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup filled with dough to divide since I didn't have the scale out.  Yes, they are huge.  Levain's are even bigger.
  • If you want a smooth "pretty" cookie, roll those portions into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  If you want a jagged cookie for more crispy texture points like Levain, roll the cookie into a ball, then rip and half and join at the smooth ends, so the jagged ripped portions are exposed.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Place the cookie dough sections in the freezer for one hour (longer is fine).
  • Bake cookies six at a time for 18 minutes at 350.
  • I simply slid the wax paper with the cookies off the cookie sheet onto the counter immediately after removal to let them cool.  
  • If you have any left the next day, they are delicious cool or taste fresh-baked with 10 seconds in the microwave.  

I hope you love these as much as I do! 

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