Help with cookie mystery!

30
8
Joined Aug 9, 2018
I'm trying to recreate these huge cookies. The website lists ingredients- wheat flour, sugar, butter, milk, chocolate chips, eggs, salt, leavening.

They are similar to Levain but don't have the raw center appearance or walnuts. I've noticed all Levain copycats rely on the nuts to maintain thickness. This recipe (https://abountifulkitchen.com/levain-bakery-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe/) specifies it will not work if the volume of the nuts aren't replaced with something else, suggesting 2x chocolate + 1/4 flour. It was way too chocolate-y and still not enough flour to avoid spreading. I assume going back to the original chocolate amount and adding more flour would be a place to start. I'm not sure how far I can go without making them dry. Is this where the milk comes in? Ideas?
 
30
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Joined Aug 9, 2018
This is the closest I've gotten but, as you can see in pics, it's not browning properly. I've read to either use more baking soda or add more sugar but it's plenty sweet and I'm worried reducing baking powder would negatively affect texture. Ideas? Maybe the milk in their recipe helps? I thought I just under-baked the first one so I let the second go much longer. However, it was too brown in higher areas while still having pale spots.

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup/112g) cold unsalted butter cut into 1 Tbsp pieces

  • 120g light brown sugar

  • 60g granulated sugar

  • 1 egg, room temp

  • 152g all purpose flour

  • 87g cake flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp flaky salt (cut to 1/4 tsp if your salt is more compact)

  • 6.5 oz chocolate chips/chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. Cream butter and sugars on medium speed for 1 minute.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  4. Add egg to mixer and continue mixing on medium for 30 seconds.

  5. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined, scraping flour down sides of bowl as needed.

  6. Add chocolate and briefly mix on low to evenly incorporate.

  7. Make into roughly shaped mounds 4-6oz each. (I baked one of each size)

  8. Bake for 11-15 mins depending on size.
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113
52
Joined Apr 18, 2016
Edit because a second look at your picture and they are pretty tall! So are you happy with the shape, and it's the browning you're working on? In that case, ignore my suggestion below. High starch flours don't brown well. However, you can still take inspiration from biscuit recipes and brush those cookies with something that does brown well, butter, dairy, or egg yolks. However, I think they look nicer than the original, which looks a little soggy from here...

...

This may or may not be helpful. I made a box of King Arthur gluten free cookies once, and they didn't spread at all. Like at all. From what little I know of cookies, sugar is a major contributor to spread, but it could also have been the higher starch flour or the xanthin gum. What I would do is go for a less sweet dough with some gluten free AP flour mixed in. Maybe take some inspiration from biscuit dough as well so the interior stays nice. If that works, keep modifying from there.
 
Last edited:
30
8
Joined Aug 9, 2018
Edit because a second look at your picture and they are pretty tall! So are you happy with the shape, and it's the browning you're working on? In that case, ignore my suggestion below. High starch flours don't brown well. However, you can still take inspiration from biscuit recipes and brush those cookies with something that does brown well, butter, dairy, or egg yolks. However, I think they look nicer than the original, which looks a little soggy from here...

Thank you for the suggestions! My first attempts were thick but I didn't like the texture. Felt/looked like a hockey puck lol! Luckily I've gotten closer and the browning issue has improved. The first inspiration video I posted looks really dense but check out how loose/fluffy/tender their fresh ones look- & Here's where I'm at- Chilled then baked at 375 made them a little thicker but not enough. There's no way the center would be cooked at 400.

  • 112g butter + 85g brown sugar + 30g cane sugar (creamed until light & fluffy)

  • 1 egg + 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 185g a.p. flour + 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp flaky salt

  • 6 oz chocolate chips

Similar to your idea, I thought about bread flour and maybe adding milk to keep them tender which may also help browning. However, that won't give me the slightly fluffy quality mine are missing. More fluff = height without the soggy center, right? I'm not sure how to do it without causing spread or turning it into cake! I tried only adding half an egg to another recipe and it was very cakey. Maybe I need to add half egg, possibly a little milk and then to also a bit of extra flour? I'm so stumped!
 
113
52
Joined Apr 18, 2016
Dang those are looking good! Depending on the type of crumb you're after, try some mini batches with different mixing techniques. Scone/biscuit will be fluffier, but may alter the cookie exterior. I don't know if yeast pastry or roll techniques might make something completely different. If they don't work, I'm sure they'll be tasty mistakes.
 
113
52
Joined Apr 18, 2016
Are you avoiding nuts because of an allergy? If not, almond flour would blend into the dough mostly well.
 
4,474
422
Joined Jun 27, 2012
My brother (who lives in Manhattan) brings me treats every time he comes to visit me in Texas.
Last time it was a half dozen of the Levain Bakery cc cookies.
From the first bite I was addicted and as everyone who has an addiction knows the only way to get that monkey off your back is to keep feeding it.
Tried 3 copycat recipes and the 3rd hit the spot.
Pay close attention to the baking instructions!
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...82207A7F60BC2A4F2C1082207A7F60BC2A4&FORM=VIRE

mimi
 
30
8
Joined Aug 9, 2018
Dang those are looking good! Depending on the type of crumb you're after, try some mini batches with different mixing techniques. Scone/biscuit will be fluffier, but may alter the cookie exterior. I don't know if yeast pastry or roll techniques might make something completely different. If they don't work, I'm sure they'll be tasty mistakes.

Thanks...certainly better than what I started with! I'm still fixated on the milk because I know they use it and I can see the biscuit-y quality. Egg seems to make things cakey vs biscuit-y so that's a no-go. One of my tests kept 1/2 C butter and 1 egg but added more flour & sugar. It stayed thick but was dense! I'm thinking adding little milk will provide the steam it needs to be fluffier! Now the tough part is figuring out how much more flour & sugar to use and how much milk it needs. I should've known this would be a long experiment! So many variables. My notes are really messy!
 
30
8
Joined Aug 9, 2018
My brother (who lives in Manhattan) brings me treats every time he comes to visit me in Texas.
Last time it was a half dozen of the Levain Bakery cc cookies.
From the first bite I was addicted and as everyone who has an addiction knows the only way to get that monkey off your back is to keep feeding it.
Tried 3 copycat recipes and the 3rd hit the spot.
Pay close attention to the baking instructions!
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...82207A7F60BC2A4F2C1082207A7F60BC2A4&FORM=VIRE

mimi

Thank you! I noticed she changed the recipe on her website this month. I assume you used the old version? Did yours have walnuts though? The copycat I tried said I'd need to double the chocolate and add 1/4 C flour if omitting nuts in order to keep them thick. They were way too chocolatey!
 
113
52
Joined Apr 18, 2016
Thanks...certainly better than what I started with! I'm still fixated on the milk because I know they use it and I can see the biscuit-y quality. Egg seems to make things cakey vs biscuit-y so that's a no-go. One of my tests kept 1/2 C butter and 1 egg but added more flour & sugar. It stayed thick but was dense! I'm thinking adding little milk will provide the steam it needs to be fluffier! Now the tough part is figuring out how much more flour & sugar to use and how much milk it needs. I should've known this would be a long experiment! So many variables. My notes are really messy!

Sounds fun though. I would experiment more with baking if my waistline could tolerate it... LOTS to experiment with in the gluten free world.

You could try buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream. They make stiffer doughs.
 
30
8
Joined Aug 9, 2018
Sounds fun though. I would experiment more with baking if my waistline could tolerate it... LOTS to experiment with in the gluten free world.

You could try buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream. They make stiffer doughs.

The first day I ate a cookie or two for breakfast but now I couldn't care less to actually eat it lol! It did start out fun. Now I'm just annoyed I can't do it!
 
113
52
Joined Apr 18, 2016
The first day I ate a cookie or two for breakfast but now I couldn't care less to actually eat it lol! It did start out fun. Now I'm just annoyed I can't do it!

Oh no! But I totally understand that feeling. Kind of wish I had that for cooking and not some of munchies less productive but equally expensive hobbies.
 
30
8
Joined Aug 9, 2018
Oh no! But I totally understand that feeling. Kind of wish I had that for cooking and not some of munchies less productive but equally expensive hobbies.

I'm making myself feel better about the dough I've thrown away by thinking about how expensive culinary school would be! Don't worry...no productivity over here haha! Side note, it's crazy how a tiny 1/2 tsp of liquid turns cookies into cake. While I may be annoyed, the science is certainly interesting!
 

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