This chocolate chip cookies recipe is similar to a copycat of the gargantuan, thick but still perfectly soft and gooey Levain cookies. Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies are all the rage!
I remember my first time to Levain’s. I was skeptical. Stand in line for forever for a cookie? Really? It’s in this teeny tiny basement bakery space that barely fits like 4 people in at a time. When it was our turn to enter, we walked in and all I saw was bakers grabbing handfuls of cookie dough from giant piles of dough, forming them into giant cookie dough balls and taking them to the oven. And the smell…come to momma!
My issue? I don’t want the nuts in my cookies. And I don’t live in NYC. But then we discovered Goodly Cookies here in Utah which only brought on more of a hankering. We are cookie lovers, so this was heaven for us! I immediately knew I had to figure out a way to make these at home. Get ready for the chocolate chip cookie that you need two hands to eat.
Testing Cookie Dough
Ok, testing thick chocolate chip cookies is no joke. Here’s how I worked on these.
- Everyone claims that cake flour is the secret to thick chocolate chip cookies. Therefore in all my testing I had to do two batches of everything I tried, one with All-Purpose flour and another with part cake flour.
- Fat. Fat is essential in baking and butter is the common choice. However, butter has a higher water content than other fats which evaporates a bit in baking. So, cream cheese can actually help to keep the fat high without losing texture. Ok so all of my testing now needed batches that included all butter and part cream cheese in others.
- Leavening Agents. Ok let’s get into this one:
Baking Soda– Baking soda is a BASE. That means that like the science experiment you did in school with Bsoda and vinegar that caused an eruption baking soda in a recipe will need an acid such as, vinegar, buttermilk, lemon juice, brown sugar, cream of tartar, etc. Think quick breads that often use a yogurt or buttermilk ingredient. You need ACID to react with the baking soda, which in turn creates carbon dioxide bubbling and voila, your cookies rise.
RULE OF THUMB- 1/4 Teaspoon per 1 cup of flour.
Baking Powder – Baking powder actually has baking soda in it! Bet you didn’t know that! It is a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar and at times cornstarch as well. Baking powder can be used in any recipe but is especially helpful in recipes without acid.
RULE OF THUMB- 1 Teaspoon per 1 Cup of Flour
In these cookies I chose to use both leaveners because I needed a good rise but given that these are extra thick cookies there just wasn’t enough power from the soda and that’s where baking powder comes in. If you’re lifting weights you can do only so much on your own before you need a spotter to step in and help you lift those heavier weights the rest of the way up. Heavier cookies= strong spotter for extra lift.
Weighing Cookie Dough for Perfect Cookies
I resisted weighing cookies for years, but when it came down to it I had no choice but to get out my trusty scale. (FYI- I use my scale all the time. Weighing in baking goes fast, less dishes as you just dump in the bowl and it is essential for perfect pizza in our teach kids to cook cookbook!)
Weighed cookie dough means they all cook the exact same in the oven and look uniform which is essential for food photography but also for a home cook who is tired of under or over baked cookies.
6 OUNCE Dough Balls! That’s a huge ball of dough but trust me, it is the only ounce that turned out perfect!!
Is Cake Flour Necessary for Thick Cookies?
Everything I read about thick cookies pushed and pushed for cake flour. But here’s the thing, I don’t make a lot of cake so cake flour is only in my house about 30% of the time. I don’t want another errand, but I’m totally willing to buy whatever I need to in order for a recipe to turn out perfect. In this case I tested until my brains fell out of my head and it’s just not true.
Cake flour gives a lighter texture but it’s different. DIFFERENT you guys! I want cookies, not cake-like cookies.
Try experimenting for yourselves though. We liked both versions but felt the all purpose flour was easier to whip up without more grocery trips AND was more like a traditional cookie.
How to Use Cake Flour in Cookies- Substitute 1/4 of the flour for cake flour. You can even move up to 1/3, but I wouldn’t go more than that. Let us know in the comments which version you prefer.
Cream Cheese in Chocolate Chip Cookies?
Ok, this one is more tricky. I explained this above so I’ll spare you, but if you want to use a little cream cheese it’s a barely different texture and flavor and I do love it but I can’t eat as much of the cookie.
How to Substitute Butter with Cream Cheese in Cookies: Remove 2-3 tablespoons of the butter and use softened cream cheese. We prefer to also use an extra 2 tablespoons of flour in this process.
Tips for Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Use softened but not warm butter. I like mine to leave my finger print but still feel a bit cool to the touch. The softer the butter the softer and flatter the dough, however cold butter won’t beat in smoothly so it’s a balance.
- Beat the butter and sugars for 2-5 minutes depending on how thick you want your cookies. I prefer 2-3 minutes.
- Add-ins- Chocolate Chips and nuts (if you’re into that) take up space and add to the volume of the cookie dough. The less space for the dough to stick together the higher the cookie. Think of it like a bag of rocks. The more rocks the higher the bag sits up once filled.
How Many Chocolate Chips in Chocolate Chip Cookies?
Great question! It depends on you.
I do not love when a cookie is all chocolate chip. I love balance and want to taste both the cookie base and the additions. 1 1/4- 1 1/2 Cups of semi sweet to balance the sweetness versus milk chocolate chips are perfect while Cade prefers 2 cups of chocolate chips.
Ingredients Needed for Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies
The ingredients really aren’t too different from your typical cc cookies, except for maybe the cake flour. Here is your grocery list:
- Cake Flour
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Unsalted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card down below.
How to Make Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies
You make these cookies just like any other, but at the end, I use a food scale to weigh the dough into giant balls. Here are the basic steps:
- Whisk all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Beat the butter and sugars in a stand mixer at medium speed until fluffy.
- Add the egg and then the vanilla. Beat until smooth.
- Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until you can turn it up to medium without exploding flour all over the place.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix them in.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven.
- Use a food scale to measure out 6 ounces of dough. Roll it into a ball and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and eat them as soon as you can! I recommend letting them sit for at least 10 minutes if you can. So hard!
Tips for Making Levain Copycat Cookies
I have 2 tips that I’ve found make these cookies the best…
- Cold Butter – taking your butter straight from the fridge and cubing it before adding it to the mixing bowl helps the cookies stay thick and not spread while baking.
- Cornstarch – the cornstarch added to the dough helps the cookies be thick but not dry.
Try not to skip these steps and tips for the best results.
How Long Will Chocolate Chip Cookies Keep?
Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for 2-3 weeks. You can keep them in the refrigerator for even longer or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How Do You Store Chocolate Chip Cookies?
To store the cookies, let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze Cookies?
To freeze cookies, cool completely, then place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.
Transfer cookies to a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
They are the chocolate chip cookies that dreams are made of! Slightly crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, thick and chewy, and just what a chocolate chip cookies recipe should be! Until I make it back to NYC again, I’ll be making these Levain copycat cookies to hold me over!
More Copycat Dessert Recipes:
- Chili’s Molten Lava Cakes
- Swig Sugar Cookies
- Cosmic Brownies
- Costco Crumb Pumpkin Muffins
- Waffle Love Liege Waffles
- Red Mango Frozen Yogurt
- Lofthouse Sugar Cookie
- BYU Mint Brownie
- Pinkberry Milk Chocolate Crunch Sauce
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Levain Bakery Style Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 Cups Flour see notes
- 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter cool, not softened, but not cold either.
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar plus 1 Tablespoon
- 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 1/2 Cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the egg and the vanilla, beat until smooth.
- Turn off the mixer and scrape down all sides. Add the flour mixture and mix until smooth, starting on low speed and moving up to medium.
- Add chocolate chips and mix to incorporate.
- Allow to sit in the fridge for 20 minutes up to overnight for the best results or proceed with the recipe as follows.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Scoop out large, heaping 6 ounce size cookies, roll into a ball and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, less time if there was no refrigeration (I press mine down a little). Remove to a cooling rack as soon as you are able and enjoy!
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