Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies


Mar 06

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.

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Levain Bakery Cookie

Hi friends! Today I’m talking about my favorite copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter 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! 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!

My recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cookies based on Levain Bakery cakebycourtney.com

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. The cookie is filled with baking chips, making it thick and rich!

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip cakebycourtney.comTesting ingredients

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.
Delicious chocolate peanut butter chip cookies cakebycourtney.com

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.
cakebycourtney.comPacking 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.
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Let me know what you think!
Enjoy!
Delicious copycat recipe for Levain Bakery chocolate peanut butter chip cookies cakebycourtney.com

 

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Yield 12 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.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 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*

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the dry ingredients in three separate additions, only mixing until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Stir in the peanut butter chips.
  7. 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. 
  8. 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.

31 thoughts on “Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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  1. I’ve tried to figure out Levain’s recipe, too. one thing I do is omit the levening completely. Their cookies are so dense and basically come out looking the same as when they went in, other than being cooked. Mine actually turn out really well. Luke nice, big mountains of lush cookie.

    1. Hi Shannon! Do you mind elaborating? You don’t use any baking powder or soda? Mine also came out the same way they came in and I’d love to get a little more spread out of them while maintaining a big cookie. Thanks!

  2. I’m looking for a substitute for the Reese’s baking chips as I cannot eat one of the ingredients in their chips. The only thing I’ve found is on nuts.com and I don’t really like having things like that shipped because they melt! Maybe homemade??

  3. First off, THANK YOU so much for this recipe! I love these cookies at Levain but also love to bake, so this recipe is one I will definitely keep forever! For those asking about weight for the butter, it is 200 grams. Also, if you don’t have cake flour, you can use all AP flour, removing 4 tsp of the flour and adding 4 tsp cornstarch.

  4. Oh My Gosh! I just got back from NYC and after tasting the Levain Chocolate and Peanut butter chip cookie I was on the look out for the recipe AND THIS IS IT!!! I made these last night and all the divine gooey-ness is in this cookie! Thank you a million times for this recipe, as I can now re-visit a taste of NYC in my own kitchen thanks to you!

  5. Question: will using large eggs as opposed to the extra large it calls for make a serious difference?

    Also, at the top of your recipe you say this recipe yields 12 cookies. Then later on go on to say that only yields 7 and a little bit. A little frustrated at this discrepancy as I needed 12 cookies for what I’m making these for. Will the cookies still get the levain feel if I only do 4 oz or 3 oz cookies?

    1. No large eggs are fine. Anything smaller and you’d want to add an extra egg. Sorry about the confusion – definitely depends on the size you make. The 4 oz cookies won’t be quite as big, but they will be more LEvain like than the 3oz cookies.

  6. I made these and they are SO good. Never had the real deal, but now I don’t think I have to. When I was making the dough, it never felt like there was enough liquid to incorporate the dry ingredients. I finally added a little bit of milk so that an actual dough would form. Do you have any ideas on why this would happen? I did use large eggs, but I saw in the other comments that that was ok. Also, when cooking the GIANT cookies, how can you tell they are done? Mine never changed shape or color. Thanks!

  7. I just got back from NYC and visited Levain Bakery twice! I came home and made 3 different copycat recipes of Levain’s cookies, and this recipe was the one. Thank you for sharing it!

  8. These are amazing! Best chocolate cookie recipe! They are so brownie-like and rich! Almost went with generic peanut butter chips but SO glad I didn’t….Reese’s are WAY better! Make these now:)

  9. These were perfection. Absolutely the best quarantine baking inspiration 💗 thanks for the recipe!

  10. Wow! Tasted amazing! Just did the one bag chips and got great height. Cookies were a birthday hit!

  11. Hey! Will this recipe work with natural cocoa powder since there is baking soda? I only have some regular Hershey’s I need to use up.

  12. Hello and thanks you for this fabulous looking recipe! I don’t own a stand mixer (yet), but have a powerful hand mixer (Kitchen Aid). How should I vary the mixing times using my hand mixer, or would you suggest holding off on making these until I own a stand mixer? Thank you in advance for your help! 🙂

  13. Absolutely delicious! I loved these cookies and would 100% recommend. Just one note: if youre a paranoid baker like me and think that they are still too raw inside when you take them out, they’re not. The ones I took out earlier were even more gooey and tasty than the ones I left in for 5 more minutes.

    These cookies are delicious with milk and with vanilla ice cream by the way. Thanks for the great recipe!

  14. Hi! The recipe is absolutely amazing but the portion is a bit too much for a small family so I left some remaining dough in the fridge. How long should I bake if I refrigerated my dough?