NYC's Levain Bakery is well-known for their thick, gooey cookies. They offer four different flavors, in addition to other delicious baked goods, including Chocolate Chip Walnut, Dark Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Chip.

They have multiple locations in New York City. The original bakery is located on West 74th Street, with another location just around the corner on Amsterdam Ave. There are also locations in Harlem and Long Island. People have waited in long lines for these cookies and they are priced at $4 a pop, which many deem worth the wait and the money, but that can deter those who disagree. But what if you could make them yourself, saving both time and money? Thanks to the DIY world of Pinterest, that's possible. Copycat versions of the famous cookies have been circulating the social media platform, so I decided to try one out for myself to see if it lives up to the real deal.

The Recipe

While there were many recipes to choose from for all the flavors, I decided to go with this one by A Bountiful Kitchen for chocolate chip walnut cookies. You can visit the website for the exact recipe and helpful hints to keep in mind while baking.

The recipe calls for butter, eggs, light brown sugar, regular sugar, cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

#SpoonTip: If you don't have cake flour and don't want to buy it, you can use this recipe to make it yourself.

The cookies only take about 30 minutes to make from start to finish, and the recipe was easy to follow. After preheating the oven to 400° F, mix the butter and sugar. Then add the eggs to the mixer, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.

Nicole Marino

The final step before baking is adding the chocolate chips and the walnuts, and folding the dough until they are both well incorporated. After putting them on a baking sheet, stick them in the oven for 11 minutes, or eight to nine minutes for a convection bake. They're done when the tops are golden brown. The middle of the cookie should be slightly undercooked to give it the gooey texture that the bakery is known for. Because of that, the cookies should cool for at least 15 minutes, if not more, before eating them or storing them in an airtight container.

The Verdict

This recipe makes huge cookies. While it's supposed to make 8 cookies, I suggest making more and making them a little smaller to look more like the actual cookies from Levain Bakery. Some of the ones I made ended up being about one and a half inches tall.

Nicole Marino

The size, however, did not take away from the taste. Surprisingly, they were pretty similar to the actual cookies. The homemade ones are slightly less flavorful and a little saltier, but they come really close to the real ones. They started sweet and ended with a salty aftertaste. Playing around with the recipe or making it multiple times can solve any inconsistencies in flavor. 

The texture also didn't fully match Levain's cookie either. After cooking them until they were golden brown, they still seemed too undercooked, most likely due to the size of the cookie. This could be prevented by making the dough flatter before baking it. It didn't necessarily take away from the taste, though. It was still sweet and balanced out the crispy edges. Finally, I would add fewer walnuts and more chocolate chips to make it as close to the real ones as possible.

Nicole Marino

If you don't live close to Levain Bakery, don't want to pay, or just like baking, this recipe is a great alternative. If you've tried Levain cookies before, I recommend trying the recipe a couple times so you can tweak things to your liking. For a copycat recipe of a famous cookie, it comes a lot closer to the original than I thought it would. Of course, you should still go to the New York City bakery if you ever have a chance just to experience the real thing in all its glory.