It’s an early Saturday morning in 2012. I’m sitting on the couch, my eyes fixated on the TV while I watch Giada de Laurentiis make Mini Mascarpone Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze. Nothing —and I mean nothing —could break my attention while I watch fresh strawberry glaze slowly be drizzled onto vanilla mascarpone cupcakes. This memory is seared into my brain as the moment I realized I had a passion for baking.

Growing up, baking was my “thing.” In my free time, I would spend as much time as I possibly could in the kitchen; I would watch endless YouTube videos and Food Network shows of other people baking, and I would ask for a cookbook on every major holiday or occasion where gifts were acceptable. I was like a child on Christmas morning every single time I got a new cookbook. As time went on, I realized something…baking wasn’t just something I liked to do in my free time. It was something I was passionate about.

I baked in elementary school, middle school, high school, and then I was about to enter college. Baking was something so ingrained in me, that I knew I couldn’t not do it in college. I had to make the time. My tiny freshman dorm room at Texas A&M University did not have a kitchen, but luckily my sister lived in a house right across campus where I was able to bake in her kitchen. I baked a lot freshman and sophomore year and then junior year, I moved into my own house across from campus where I truly got to be free and bake as much as school would allow me.

There was one day I was baking a recipe that I make all the time for my friends and family: Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies. (It’s an ultra-thick cookie with rich, melty dark chocolate in every bite. There’s a reason it has a cult following!) I would usually bake with my tried and true 3-ring recipe binder, but this time I simply just started baking and that’s when I had a pivotal moment in my baking...I had the recipe memorized. As silly as it may seem, I was so thrilled because this was the first baking recipe I had memorized. Those cookies hold a special place in my heart — not only for the joy they brought me through baking them, but the joy they brought others when I shared them.

Emily Faris

It was in that chocolate chip cookie moment that it hit me: baking was a constant source of calmness and joy for me throughout the craziness that is college and even during the instability of the pandemic. I realized then that it’s quite hard to artificially come up with something you are passionate about. It has to be deeply embedded into your DNA and it’s that one thing that just sets your soul on fire when you do it, the one thing you could talk for hours about, and the one thing you could do for the rest of your life and never grow tired of. Think about it for a second….what is it that you are passionate about? What is the one thing that you want to continue pursuing as you head off to college? For me, it was baking, but for you it might be something else!

Whatever it is that you are passionate about, don’t lose that passion. Nurture it throughout college, grow it, and share that joy.

Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Prep Time:1 hr 20 mins
  • Cook Time:11 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 31 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Easy


  • 1 cup 2 sticks cold salted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 cup light brown sugar tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs cold
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 1/4 cups good quality dark chocolate chips I prefer Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. You can definitely add more chocolate chips according to your preference.
Emily Faris
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400.°

  • Step 2

    Mix together cake flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

  • Step 3

    Cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with a stand mixer or hand mixer for at least 5 minutes (8 minutes is preferred) until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.

  • Step 4

    With mixer on medium, add in both eggs to the wet mixture until thoroughly combined.

  • Step 5

    With mixer on medium, add in both eggs to the wet mixture until thoroughly combined.

  • Step 6

    With the mixer on medium-low, slowly add dry mixture to the wet mixture a little bit at a time until just combined (don’t over-mix because that will result in denser, tougher cookies). Add in the chocolate chips with mixer on low or stir in by hand until just incorporated.

  • Step 7

    Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour before baking (the longer the better).

  • Step 8

    Place about 5 ounces (the size of a baseball) of the chilled cookie dough on a non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet and place the mounds of dough at least 3 inches apart. I usually do no more than 6 cookies per pan—> Don’t roll the ball into a perfect circle. You want loosely shaped mounds of dough! Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes until the outside is barely golden brown. You do not want to over-bake these! (They will continue baking on the pan after being taken out of the oven so don’t be scared if they look a little underdone-- it’s called residual baking.) Let cool for about 10 minutes or just eat right away! I won’t judge!


1. I know 5-7 minutes seems like a really long time to cream the butter and sugars together, but it does make a difference. By creaming the butter and sugars for a longer amount of time, you are adding air into the mixture which creates a lighter, fluffier, and more delicate cookie which we want! Don’t skimp on the longer creaming process — I promise it’s worth it.

2. The 1 hr 20 min prep time includes the 1 hour chilling time.

Check out the recipe for Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies on my blog: Brunette Who Bakes

**Recipe adapted from Modern Honey’s Levain Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies