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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.
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.
Let me know what you think!
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.
- 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.
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?
Hi! Im wondering if i can use a half-half mix of AP and cake flour? 🙂
The flavor of the cookies was great but they were VERY dry. I double checked I added the right amounts even! They unfortunately needed up not great and I’ll have to toss the whole batch. Flavor is great – maybe the ratio of wet to dry ingredients can be adjusted
Would it be fine if I leave out the cocoa powder and just want a regular cookie or will it affect the cookie because there will be less powder?
It will affect the cookie so use my soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie and add peanut butter chips.
These were so delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I tried the Levain cookies last month and this was such a wonderful re-creation of the cookie. Loved it so much and I will definitely make these again! Also, thank you for providing the recipe in grams. I halved the recipe to feel less guilty 🙂
Hi! I made these yesterday and they were the best tasting cookies I’ve ever made. One question though, were they supposed to crisp up a bit around the edges, or did I not bake them long enough? It was almost cake-like, brownie-like.
These were like hockey pucks. Used the recipe to a t and did not overmix. As some others have pointed out, this recipe needs more moisture. Use more butter, less flour and they come out ok. Also swapped some flour for cornstarch and came out great. Had to work on this recipe though.
Hi Kristie, sorry you had issues with the cookies. The key is to not over bake them. You actually want to underbake them just a tad so that as they cool, they end up soft in the middle. Also, be sure to measure your flour correctly. If you pack in your flour, rather than scoop the flour in lightly with a spoon and level with a knife, you’ll end up with too much flour and the cookies will be dense.
Cookies came out great, and I’ve had Levain’s cookies so I’m directly comparing. I am going to make them smaller the next time I think.
I did put an extra egg in because it seemed dry, and it was fine. I think people forget that where you live, the humidity etc, the kind of oven you use all affect the end product.
Flavor was fantastic! My son who only loves chocolate chip cookies was a reluctant convert, and has asked me to make them again.
Would you say the butter needs to be room temperature rather than cold?
Hi! Just finished baking the cookies. So divine! The texture was fudgy and gooey, however if I want to reduce the sugar to 1/4 can I just remove the white sugar? Also can the sugars be swaped with stevia all together or will thid change the texture of the cookies?
Thanks in advance!!!
I’ve never tried Stevia but you could try!
Have to agree with some others, this recipe is too dry to mix. I added some buttermilk to get the dry ingredients to incorporate and add a little tenderness. Worked for me!
I just baked my first one but haven’t tried it yet. It stayed in a ball and I was curious if I’m suppose to press it town? It didn’t melt down at all. I looks good but would like to know what maybe I did wrong before I cook the rest.
Nothing really wrong. Maybe use a little less flour next time. They hold their shape pretty well, ensuring its nice and thick and soft inside like Levain.
Can you freeze the dough balls? What would be the baking time for frozen dough? I like to make up a bunch of cookie dough and freeze in balls so I can take one or two out at night after the kids go to bed and have a treat to myself.
Yes you can totally freeze them! Give them a few extra minutes to cook.
I wanted to leave a comment to share that this is my new favorite cookie recipe. I visited Levain Bakery a few weeks ago and loved their cookies, but this recipe is just as good. I followed the weights for ingredients, since that is always more precise. Thanks for sharing weights, Courtney! This is a great recipe.
I made these cookies but made them smaller -1 teaspoon size or a bit bigger and cooked for 9 minutes. They are really good!!
Perfection! Rival and beat Crumbl cookie!!
Thanks so much for the recipe, the cookies look great!! I’m going to try them this weekend.
It seems like some people have struggled with the timing and have over-baked the cookies. By any chance, do you know what the internal temp of the cookie should be to be considered perfect? Thank you.
170 for slightly underdone and 175 for the rest.
Courtney if I wanted them a little sweeter how much sugar should I add I added some black cocoa powder and that might have thrown the ratio off they were a hit I’m making them again next week
Little less cocoa, little more sugar
I was reading the comments about how the mix could be a little dry so I modified the recipe slightly and I think they turned out great! They key is not to overbake.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup Cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup Brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
14 tbsp Butter, cubed (barely soft)
2-3 Tbsp melted PB
1 bag (10 oz.) Reese’s PB chips
Whisk together first 5 dry ingredients.
Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy (2-3 mins). Butter BARELY soft.
Add eggs one at a time and beat until barely combined.
Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, beat until barely combined.
Add melted PB, beat, then mix in PB chips.
Bake 375 for 7 min.
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