I love Blake Lively, do you? I love Ryan Reynolds too while we’re discussing love.
But that’s not really why we’re here… I mean, it is all Blake Lively’s fault, but that’s neither here nor there.
So here’s the story. Blake (because now we’re best friends) shared her love for Levain Bakery’s cookies in her instagram stories on a number of occasions (enough for me to know she loves the darn cookies). And we all know I am obsessed with cookies. Specifically of the chocolate chip kind. To the point that it may be considered a problem. We won’t touch on the dough aspect because that’s a whole other story for an entirely different post. But, when your #wcw shares a mutual love (two if we’re also counting Ryan) then you must explore and seek the same love (the cookies specifically).
Not forgetting I too have a better half, and that better half travels for work weekly, I realized I can make my dreams come true. At the start of summer he had a business trip planned in New York and I asked him to bring me back a treat. He did not accomplish bringing Ryan and Blake back, but he did bring the cookies, so all is forgiven.
It was love at first bite. Actually, it was a deep lusty like at first bite because Levain’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is chock full of walnuts and I am a purist. No nuts in dessert for me, nope, never. I ate around the nuts and love blossomed. Now, remember that mention of dough… well, I love cookie dough (only the egg-full, raw, salmonella kind, to be clear). These cookies are basically the best of both worlds. A crispy, chewy outside with an incredibly yummy, gooey, doughy inside. And my cookies weren’t even fresh (they traveled hours on an airplane all the way from New York to AZ).
I knew I needed a nut free version of these babies in my life. So started my pinteresting mission to find a cookie hack that provided me a nut-free recipe so that our family could enjoy these fabulous cookies at home any time. I pinned and pinned. I seeked and sought. And then I made my own trip to NY. Me and the Doodle tagged along on a business trip. During the day we explored while J worked. And basically our exploration was a New York City food fest. We popped into Levain Bakery and ate our way through 4 cookies (avoiding the nuts at all costs). At this point it was clear that we needed this recipe in our life.
And here we are today. In a state of bliss, because not only did I find a recipe, I found the most glorious nut free version of this recipe ever. Thanks to A Bountiful Kitchen, who did all the crazy hard work to recreate the recipe, we were able eat spoonfuls of cookie dough and have the best after school sweet treat within minutes.
Bartender gimmie a tall glass of milk and a giant chocolate chip cookie. The recipe was a soaring hit. The cookies are the size of my face (not literally, but they are gigantic) and they fill my soul with joy (literally). I piled them high on our cake stand and every time I walked past the stand a sneaky little chunk was missing from a cookie. Slowly but surely until an entire cookie had been gobbled up and then two cookies and then three cookies.
I cannot take any credit at all for these joyful delights, but I am sharing a copycat of her copycat recipe. I am also simplifying the recipe a titch because I am no baker and easier is way better for this mama. We also stuck to the nut-free version, so I am sharing that version front and center. So let’s dive right into the dough, shall we?
Copycat of a Copycat : Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies (NUT FREE):
Prep: 15 minutes (because A Bountiful Kitchen’s recipe says 10 min, but we all know I’m not that graceful) Bake: 11 minutesCool: 15 minutesTotal Time To Indulgence: 41 minutes
Makes: 8 glorious cookies
Whatcha Need (in order of use / incorporation into the recipe):
- 1 cup unsalted butter cup into tablespoons
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup homemade cake flour (which is 1 cup flour, less 2 tablespoons, replaced with 2 tablespoons cornstarch sifted 5 times)
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (the big bag)
Let’s Bake (in order of to do):
- Start off right, open that oven door before preheating anything and make sure the baking rack in set in the middle of the oven. Then go ahead and shut that oven door and preheat your oven on bake to 400*. Make sure your oven is fully heated for about 15 minutes. This gives you all the prep time you could dream of.
- Take the time to collect all the needed ingredients and mixing materials. It’s always best to start off baking organized. Portion out ingredients. Line the goodies up. Get ready to bake your heart out.
- Now, take your 1 cup worth of stick butter and cut it up to tablespoon portions. Place those in your mixing bowl. Use your mixer and pulse to start creating a smooth consistency. (I use a hand mixer and this takes a minute or two).
- Add sugars to your bowl and mix until butter and sugars are combined and smooth. Make sure butter is completely mixed into sugar and creamed. It took me about 2 minutes.
- Add the two lightly beaten eggs to the sugar and mix until incorporated.
- Add homemade cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to your bowl. Start mixing on low, increasing to medium to incorporate these dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
- Pour half of your chocolate chips into the bowl mix, pour the remaining half in, mix again. If you’re a cookie dough fan such as myself, take a spoonful, it’s worth it.
- Dump your cookie dough onto a clean surface and fold contents together with your hands. Play with the dough, this ensure all chocolate chips are mixed in, sneak another bite. 😉
- If you have a food scale, grab it and measure dough balls at .6 ounces of dough per cookie (think baseballs in size). If you do not have a scale, attempt to portion dough out into 8 equal parts. Use your hands for this part, the joy of these cookies is their imperfection. Grab a handful and plop, no perfect balls for this gal. (see pictures for reference as needed)
- Now it’s time to bake! I used a larger pan, with a silicon baking sheet and placed 4 cookies on the sheet very well spaced apart. We have a convection oven so the cook time was between 8-9 minutes and I chose 8 (do it, I dare ya, the inside is deliciously gooey). If you’re baking in a non-convection oven, bake your cookies for 11 minutes.
- The cookies are done when they are beautifully golden brown on the outside.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving, but no more than 20 minutes because you deserve a cookie immediately!
We froze half the batch so we wouldn’t over indulge and so far everyone has loved the defrosted version too. Darn cookies are just so good… Maybe Blake and Ryan will come for a visit.
Also, if you don’t love semi-sweet chocolate chips, or you think that 4 cups is a titch too much trade out a different flavor. 2 cups semi-sweet, 2 cups peanut butter. 2 cups semi-sweet, 2 cups white chocolate chips. The whole point is to replace the value of the nuts. Just make sure there are two cups of chocolate chips and 2 cups of some other filler, for 4 total cups of yummies. Let me know what you add!
Pin Me below if you crave this sweet treat as much as I do!