Cookies | March 10, 2019

Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

The long-awaited Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie copycat recipe is pure chocolate heaven!  It’s the ultimate make at-home version of the popular cookie sold in NYC.  It lives up to the hype and is everything a serious chocolate lover craves in one gigantic gooey cookie.

A Chocoholics cookie

If you know me, you know I LOVE a good cookie. This recipe for Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies is definitely for chocoholics. If you’re a person who can never get enough chocolate, you have to make this cookie right away!  The Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie is filled with loads (3.5 cups) of dark chocolate chips and cocoa that make for a rich and delicious homemade treat. I have to say, I prefer the original Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie to this recipe, but I know there are readers who can never get enough chocolate…this recipe is for you! 

 Technique, Technique, Technique

Levain Bakery takes baking seriously.  They take cookie making to a whole new level.  The normal size of their cookies are 6 ounces, nearly half a pound in every cookie!   Big enough to be an entire meal, right? Because they are SO HUGE, I often make the Levain copycat cookies in the mini size, 3-3.5 ounce. Even the “minis” are generous for a standard cookie.  Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies are the perfect way to make gourmet, homemade cookie at home.  You may be asking yourself what makes this cookie so special? A scroll to the bottom of this post to see the ingredients will find the standard chocolate chip cookie players. Butter, sugar, flours, soda, powder, salt. It is the technique that sets this cookie apart from the rest. The trick to getting the cookie to be big and thick, soft on the inside and a little crunchy on the outside lies in two basic techniques…

First- temperature. The oven temperature has to be high. Standard cookie baking usually takes place at about 350 degrees. This cookie is baked at 375-400 degrees,  depending on if you are or are not using convection. If you have a convection oven, use it!  I cannot stress this enough. The convection setting will produce a crispier crust without overcooking the dough inside.

That said, if you don’t have a convection oven, just turn the oven up to 425 regular bake and let it heat up for at least 20 minutes before baking. This will insure your cookies are baked at high temperature and still produce a crispy outside and gooey melted inside. One of the most often made mistakes when baking is not preheating the one properly. When the oven door is opened, the temperature will decrease by at least 25 degrees. If the oven walls are piping hot, the oven will come back up to temperature more quickly and stay hot. ALWAYS preheat the oven for at least 20 minutes before baking!

The second technique (which is equally important) is to stack the cookie high on the baking sheet. I’m talking about a minimum of 3 inches tall. I promise your cookie will flatten out as it bakes. Take a look at this post to see how I shape the cookies for baking. Think tall pile of dough, verses a round ball.  If you stack it tall, it will end up being a big thick cookie, which is what we want with this recipe! I’ve added a couple of other tips to insure success and help you achieve the big Levain Bakery cookie  signature look when making this recipe. Make sure to read the recipe notes for tips!

Not our first rodeo

If you don’t live near NYC, no worries, you can bake a copycat that will leave you wondering which cookie is better? All of the copycat versions of the Levain Bakery cookies are here on ABK. I’ve made multiple copycat versions of Levain cookies: the original Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie, the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie.  They were all tested, tested again,  and retested until I felt the recipe was as close as possible to the real deal. Take a look at the Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for the most in-depth explanation of all the who, what, why and how on everything in my Levain Bakery copycat cookie journey. A little over the top, but seriously some of the most fun I’ve had in the recipe development game.

One for you, two for me

I love to gift these cookies because they are so huge and friends and family love the novelty of a big, gooey cookie! All of the Levain Bakery copycat cookies freeze well and stay fresh for a couple of days on the counter since they are underbaked.  I just wrap up the cookies in large or small ziplock bags after they are completely cooled and take them out as needed when gifting or when I need a Levain cookie fix! They are also pretty close to perfection when microwaved on top of a paper towel or napkin for about 10 seconds before eating. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies and would love to hear your feedback in the comment section! 

Serve With

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Serve With

Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

4.15 from 7 votes
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Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for the ultimate dark chocolate cookie lover’s dream? Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies are filled with dark cocoa, semi sweet chocolate chips, a slightly crispy outside and a gooey chocolately inside. This simple copycat recipe is the best make at home version of the popular NYC bakery cookie!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, cookie, dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
cooling time 30 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter microwave for 10 seconds or set on counter for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3.5 cups or two 12 oz bags dark or semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Place rack in center of oven with no other rack on the shelf directly above the center rack. Preheat oven to 400 convection bake or 425 regular bake. Let oven heat up for at least 20 minutes before baking. 

  2. Cut the butter into tablespoons size pieces. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat butter, and sugars for about 1 minute until butter is broken up and starts to blend with the sugar.

  3. Add eggs, one at a time until mixed well. Keep the mixer speed on medium. Turn mixer off and add unsweetened cocoa, mix until cocoa is blended well. Scrape down sides of the bowl a couple of times during mixing. 

  4. Turn mixer off. Add all purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to bowl all at once. Pulse the mixer until the wet and dry ingredients are combined using low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl again. 

  5. Fold in chocolate chips. Mix on low, or fold in with large spoon until chips are incorporated in dough. 

  6. Scoop the cookies with hands onto a kitchen scale*, the cookies should weigh 6 oz each. There will be approximately 8-9 pieces of dough. If you are making minis, measure out to 3 – 3.5 ox size and refrigerate before baking to avoid excess spreading of dough.

  7. The large 6 oz cookies do not require refrigeration before baking. Bake the cookie sheets one at a time, 4-5 cookies per sheet at least 3 inches apart.

  8. Bake for 5-7 minutes on convection or regular bake. The cookies are done when a top crust is formed and the cookies no longer look wet. Do not over bake! 

  9. If the cookie edges spread too much, use a small spatula and push the edges in while still hot to form circular shape. Let the cookies cool for 30 minutes before eating.

Recipe Notes

  • I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa for this recipe. It is usually the darkest cocoa readily available at most grocery stores. It comes in a smaller container than most cocoa, but will last for quite a while since only small amounts are used in most recipes. 
  • When making this recipe, I prefer to use food handler’s gloves to form the dough. I don’t ever use a scoop when making any of the Levain copycat recipe. Explanation regarding forming of dough on this post
  • It is important to note that when making this cookie, it is best to start making dough about 10 minutes after the oven has begun preheating. The dough should not sit out on counter at room temperature. If the dough sits at room temperature, the butter will begin to melt and the cookie will not hold its shape as well when baking. Also, using cold eggs and butter that is only slightly softened contribute to the cookie holding its shape. 
  • If you feel the dough has been sitting at room temperature longer than you anticipated, form the cookies and place the pan inside of the fridge to allow the cookie dough to chill for a while. Then place immediately in the preheated oven to cook. 
  • Cook time will vary depending on if using convection or not and the oven. Remember, this cookie only needs to be baked until the cookie has formed a slightly crust on top and the dough is no longer shiny (see photos). 
  • Always use unsalted butter and large eggs. 
  • When storing these cookies, I try to not cover them up, this will cause the cookie to lose its crisp outer layer!

26 thoughts on “Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

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  1. Just clicked over from Instagram- these definitely looked like something special! And I was already telling my Husband I was craving cookies today. This will probably be my next baking project.
    Couple quick questions:
    • I’m not a huge cookie expert, so I was curious- why never use salted butter? We always have salted kerrygold that I prefer to use, would it ruin these?
    • And, I can tell you obviously worked really hard to get the meticulous details of this recipe exactly right; so I shouldn’t even ask, but again curious- what would happen if we didn’t use cake flour? I don’t have that but I do have a couple other flours including einkorn. I wondered how much I’d mess these up if I didn’t make a grocery run for cake flour first.

    Thanks so much for all your work on sharing this with us!

    1. Hi Krystal,
      I prefer to use unsalted butter because it is the easiest way to control the amount of salt in my baking and recipes. I’d rather add salt to a recipe than guess how much salt is in the cube of butter, and how that will taste in the finished product! I definitely do not think Kerry Gold will ruin this recipe, I love their product, but would purchase the unsalted for baking. If you use All Purpose flour instead of cake flour you will end up with a cookie that is not quite the same texture. Take a look at this post for full disclose and details on the difference in flours and the end result! Thanks for your questions and comments 🙂 and for reading ABK,
      happy baking,
      Si

    1. Hi Jessie, I think it’s best to use special dark cocoa powder to get the best result for these cookies. It adds to the rich chocolate flavor. Thanks for asking!
      xo
      Si

        1. I’m sorry to hear that, Emily. They’re definitely worth another try, the special dark cocoa makes a difference in this recipe! Thanks for reading ABK,
          xo
          Si

    1. Hi BreAnn, if you live at a higher altitude, you could try using more flour if they bake too flat. You could also try refrigerating them beforehand. Hope this helps and thanks for asking!
      xo
      Si

  2. Hi, Si. I love your Levain chocolate chip recipe! Why a different recipe for the peanut butter chip vs chocolate chip chocolate cookies? And why brown/white sugar vs all white sugar? That’s the only difference I see.

    1. Hi Emily, the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip is made with all granulated sugar because when I tested the cookie in NYC, they bottom of the cookie is very hard (explained in the recipe post) the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie does not seem to have as crispy of a bottom, so I assumed the cookie has a bit of brown sugar as well as white! Thanks for asking and for reading ABK,
      xo
      Si

  3. 5 stars
    Just leaving a comment because I love the way this cookie turned out but it took me two tries and I learned some things I wanted to share!

    The first time I tried making this a month or two ago they turned out HORRIBLY – there was no distinct chocolate flavor even though it was packed with chocolate – and it just felt muddy. My cookies also baked out really flat compared to the size and the way the other “levain” cookies have turned out.

    I just made a version of these cookies tonight and they turned out GREAT. Here are the differences I’ve picked up on that may help others:

    1. Neither of the stores in my area had Hershey’s Special Cocoa Powder – so for the first batch I used what I assumed was good cocoa (Ghiradhelli 100%). However, this time around I used Guittard Cocoa Rouge and it made ALL the difference. In both appearance (Guittard’s has a very deep brown/reddish hue compared to Ghiradhelli’s much lighter one) and in smell (Guittards truly SMELLED richer and more deeply of cocoa). This made an ENORMOUS difference in both the color and taste of my cookie.

    2. The first time I mixed semi sweet and bittersweet chips and not only was I missing some texture in the cookie, the chocolate flavors seemed to muddle together. This time, I used your 3.5 cups chip as a guide for volume and used 1.5 c semi sweet (Guittard), .5 cup smashed pretzels, .5 cup mini marshmallows and about 3/4 cup pb chips. Having different flavors and textures helped – and they kept their shape much better.

    3. I formed the cookie balls and weighed them – then refrigerated them completely before baking. I think this may have helped them keep their shape? But I’m not sure. If nothing else, it’s how I bake your other “levain” cookies and definitely ensures they’re super gooey!

    They turned out perfectly and the chocolate dough base is delicious! Thanks so much!

  4. I have made these amazing cookies many times !! Can’t get any better than all the chocolate that is in these gems !! So grateful for people like you who take time to share these copycat recipes with us and all of your other delicious creations !

  5. 5 stars
    These are the BEST! If you love chocolate these are the way to go! I brought them the a neighbor gathering and everyone wanted the recipe. Thanks for sharing this one.

  6. 5 stars
    At last… my love has come along. Another gem from our friend Si. I visit New York frequently for work, so I’ve indulged in this cookie more than I care to share. I love that I can share a Levain-like experience with my friends at home. Thanks for perfecting this one, Si!

  7. I know you said you prefer the classic over the dark chocolate but do people prefer the dark chocolate peanut butter or just plain dark chocolate? Don’t want to make a recipe and wonder if the other type of cookie is better 😂

  8. Love Levain cookies. I made the chocolate chip and the turned out great. This is the second time making the dark chocolate and both times they flattened. What makes Levain’s so great is the mound. I followed your recipe exactly and even refrigerated the dough. Still flattened. All I can think of is adding a little more flour and not so much butter. With all the chocolate and butter they seemed to be more oily. Any suggestions?

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Peggy. I would make sure you refrigerate the dough after you shape it into balls, also make sure the eggs are cold and the butter is only slightly softened. I hope this helps and thanks for asking!
      xo
      Si

  9. I live in Manhattan and consume levain choc choc chip cookies regularly. I would like to create copycat that is a bit less sweet and seek your advice on how to go about this without sacrificing all other cookie attributes

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for being so detailed in the instructions! I have worked with some wonky ovens as we have been moving around to different rentals the past few years so that has been a challenge with baking, but we usually make out ok when I follow you directions to the T! These are SO GOOd! If you are a serious chocolate lover these are your cookie!

  11. 2 stars
    Recipe has great flavor due to the Cookie Cowgirl dark cocoa blend but gets zero stars for how they bake. They ended up almost oozing all over the baking sheet and I pretty much had a flat cake. Next time I’ll add more flour and refrigerate until the balls are firm. I have a baking business so I know how to bake cookies but this recipe really didn’t work for me as is. I’ll try it again tho. Thanks.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Julie, let me know how they turn out for you the second time around. I definitely recommend refrigerating them for a while longer before baking. Thanks for sharing,
      xo
      Si