Thick, rich, and chewy, these chocolate peanut butter chip cookies will have you thinking you’re sitting on West 74th Street at the popular New York City bakery.
Levain Bakery Cookie
Hi friends! Today I’m talking about my favorite copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip cookie!
Forgive my absence from writing this past month! I was out of town for work a little more than usual, and I’ve also been in town baking cakes and teaching cake classes. I have so many new cake flavor ideas I’m dying to test out and share with you! But I had to put those on hold for a bit longer. I was recently in New York where I visited (again) the popular Levain Bakery. After getting home I simply couldn’t wait another minute to recreate their Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie. This is one of my all-time favorite cookies EVER!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip
I know Levain is probably best known for their Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie, but in my opinion the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie takes the cake! (Their oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate peanut butter cookies are pretty amazing, too!) Maybe I’m a little biased because I’m shamelessly obsessed with peanut butter. There must be something about peanut butter, as even The Silos have a peanut butter based Magnolia cookie – I have a copycat recipe for that one as well. But even non-obsessed PB fans love this cookie because it’s simply delicious!
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie
Like the classic Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie is slightly undercooked on the inside, but perfectly cooked on the outside. (They are literally baked to order!) The cookie is filled with baking chips, making it thick and rich!
Recreating anyone’s cookie without the actual recipe is not an easy task. My friend Si, from A Bountiful Kitchen, spent hours and hours recreating the Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie. She does an amazing job at recreating it! But based on her experience, I knew it was a mountain to climb – mostly because people’s expectations would be so high.
Lucky for me, my best friend Lisa is also obsessed with peanut butter and chocolate. I brought Lisa one of these cookies after a trip to New York and she was also eager to create a copycat! As she ate her first version of the cookie together, we looked at each other with the same thought in our mind, “why are we not saving one of the cookies to compare all our versions to?”.
Well, obvi – because the cookie is so flippin’ good! It’s literally impossible to think of anything else but eating the cookie while you’re eating it! Oh well. We got started right away on a recipe while the memory of the cookie was still fresh in our minds.
Getting it Just Right
Lisa took the first try at the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cookie was a great starting point. I made the cookie three more times, with small variations each time. Some of those changes involved adjusting some of the all-purpose flour and cake flour ratios, as well as the amount of baking powder. I wanted to be sure these cookies are nice and thick, but not too dense. I also decided to increase the amount of kosher salt and the peanut butter chips (not sure you need a reason for that).
The outside of the cookie was getting too crisp, and so Lisa and I agreed that the baking temperature was too high. In other versions of this recipe people use 400 degrees F. To solve this, we decreased the baking temperature from 400 to 375 degrees F.
Packing a punch
Levain is known for the massive size of their cookies. They don’t mess around, people! Each cookie is weighed out to 6 ounces before going on the baking sheet. That sounds huge, but it makes the cookie what it is.
The Levain cookies are also known for being packed with baking chips (and nuts, in some cases). For my copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cookies, the chips and nuts help to create the height. I put nearly a bag and a half of peanut butter chips in my cookies here, which I think is perfection! However I had a couple taste testers say there were few too many chips in my version. I totally respect that! If you think you might feel this way too, I’d just suggest omitting 3-5 ounces of the peanut butter chips. Your cookies may not be as tall as mine, but they should still be pretty thick. The flavor will still be the same.
Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Thick, rich, and chewy, these chocolate peanut butter chip cookies will have you thinking you're sitting on West 74th Street at the popular New York City bakery.
1 1/2 cup (180 g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (76.6 g) cake flour
3/4 cup (88.5 g) dark cocoa powder (I use Extra Brute Cacao Powder - Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder is a good alternative)
1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5.6 g) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
14 tablespoons (197.75 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 cup (220 g) brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1 whole egg, extra large
1 egg yolk, from an extra large egg
1 bag (10 oz.), plus 1/3 cup Reese's Peanut Butter baking chips*
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cold butter and sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the whole egg and egg yolk and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for about 30 more seconds.
Turn the mixer on low speed and add the dry ingredients in three separate additions, only mixing until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Stir in the peanut butter chips.
Measure 6 oz. of cookie dough and shape into balls. Place 4 cookie dough balls on the baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes. There should be enough dough for seven 6 oz. cookie dough balls and one that is about 4 oz.
Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes and then serve while still warm. To eat later, heat a cookie in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds.
*Please don't use any other brand but Reese's! I've tried every peanut butter baking chip out there and these are simply the best. They make a huge difference to the flavor of the cookie and any other peanut butter chip just wouldn't be the same.
**I used nearly a bag and a half of the peanut butter chips, which may seem excessive. Feel free to cut it down a little, but keep at least 10 oz. of chips in the cookie. This helps to keep the cookie nice and high.