If you've never been to Levain Bakery, you are seriously missing out on what many people (myself included) believe to be the best cookie they've ever tasted. Their chocolate chip walnut cookies not only resemble snowballs in size and weight, but they're also gooey on the inside and crunchy on the outside, just like the perfect cookie should be.

peanut, peanut butter, chocolate, cookie
Sarah Kimball

These cookies are so good that once you try one, all other cookies you eat will seem sub-par at best. But what if every cookie you made tasted like one from Levain Bakery? That was the question I had in mind when I began to search the internet (and my kitchen) for a way to make the these incredible cookies in my apartment. And so the saga began...

Finding The Recipe 

I knew that some foodie out there had to have tried to reverse-engineer these incredible cookies, and I was right. I found a food blogger claiming to have the recipe to these delicious treats, and I decided to run with it, wondering if this was the answer to all of my Levain Bakery cookie needs.

Obtaining The Secret Ingredients

With visions of Levain cookies dancing in my head, I set out to get the ingredients. I knew I couldn't make any replacements or substitutions. The recipe was carefully constructed, and I wanted to follow it exactly so that I would have the best chance of getting these cookies to be indistinguishable from those at Levain (in taste and appearance, of course). So I went grocery shopping and came back with the following ingredients that I hoped would be the secret ingredients I needed:

3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups dark chocolate chips

None of these ingredients seemed particularly out of the ordinary and Levain's cookies are quite out of the ordinary (in all of the best ways), so I was a little skeptical that the recipe would truly be the answer to all of my Levain cookie dreams...but only baking would tell.

Muscle Power Mixing

rice, chips, chocolate, cookie
Sarah Kimball

With my ingredients in the apartment and the recipe in front of me, I diligently worked to make my masterpiece. While none of the ingredients in the cookies seemed out of the ordinary, the portion sizes were definitely abnormal in magnitude. I also realized that I would have to make these thick, gooey, and monstrous cookies without the power of a standing mixer to do the work for me (college kitchens, am I right?).

With pure muscle power, I tirelessly mixed together a massive amount of cookie dough that ultimately formed just 12 cookies. While there was probably enough dough to make four times that amount in regular cookies, these were not simply regular cookies. They were Levain cookies, after all (or so I hoped).

Monstrous Cookie Madness

Sarah Kimball

As I put those 12 massive cookies into the oven for only 15 minutes, I hoped that they would come out as magical ooey gooey masterpieces. Cookie dough, don't fail me now!

The Bite of Truth 

peanut, butter, cookie, chocolate
Sarah Kimball

Success! These cookies were everything I hoped and dreamed they would be. From the crunchy outside to the gooey inside, I'd like to say they passed the Levain Bakery test.

sweet, pie, chocolate, pastry, cake
Sarah Kimball

The next time you're headed over to Levain Bakery to get some of those incredible cookies, think about skipping that hour-long line and the steep $4 per cookie price and opt for the homemade version instead. After all, all you need is some muscle power and visions of Levain cookies dancing in your head.