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Levain Bakery-Style Giant Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

4.72 from 25 votes
This Levain Bakery-Style giant Giant Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies recipe is chock full of mix-ins with no need to go to the big apple!
Levain Cookies on a baking sheet

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET IN THIS DESSERT: A giant, flavor-packed chocolate chip and walnut treat that is New York City’s favorite cookie — all without having to deal with travel or lines. 

Constance McDonald and Pamela Weekes first opened their iconic bakery to sell artisanal bread, but they earned their place in NYC history when they started selling their 6-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookies. Surprisingly, this massive cookie was developed for a healthy reason! The co-owners were training for an Ironman Triathlon, and since they were training so hard, they needed carbs and calories for fuel. (I knew cookies were healthy!) 

Constance and Pamela call their chocolate chip walnut cookie the one that “started it all.” I wanted to stick to their recipe as closely as I could, and I think I cracked it: just like Levain’s famous cookies, this recipe yields a giant, hearty cookie, chock full of walnuts and chocolate. These giant cookies are perfect for sharing!

A hand holding a giant levain bakery cookie.

What Makes This Levain Bakery-Style Cookie Different

These chocolate chip walnut cookies are thick — much thicker than my Best-Ever Chocolate Chip, but I did borrow a few tricks from that recipe. That includes the ratio of white sugar to brown sugar, giving these cookies a perfectly crispy exterior but a soft middle throughout. 

Always Toast Your Walnuts

Do yourself a favor and go the extra step in toasting your walnuts. The heat brings out so much flavor! Toasting any nut helps to remove any raw, astringent flavors and helps release their nutty flavors — and that is especially true when it comes to walnuts. If you eat a raw walnut and then a toasted walnut, you’ll notice how much more bitter the raw nut is as opposed to the more flavorful, nutty toasted walnut. 

Toasting walnuts also gives them a little more chew, which works so much better in desserts when you want them to have a soft, moist texture! 

To toast the walnuts, bake them in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for roughly 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. 

What Chocolate Is Best For Chocolate Chip Cookies?

This recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate chips, but if you prefer, feel free to go with a darker, bitter-sweet chip. I recommend you try to find the best quality chocolate you can, which in most grocery stores would likely be Ghirardelli’s baking chips. 

A close up of a levain chocolate chip walnut cookie

Age Your Dough

For this recipe, you’ll need to rest the dough in the refrigerator until it is firm, which can take at least 2 hours — but you can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Allowing your dough to age helps develop the flavor. When the dough is chilling, it dries out slightly, concentrating the flavors of the ingredients. Aging your dough also changes the texture, and you’ll get a gooey-er texture that keeps the dough from spreading while baking — which is great for this recipe as we want a very thick cookie. 

The Creaming Method For Cookies

Why do you need to cream your butter and sugar together for cookies? It’s actually very important — and here’s our in-depth article as to why!

Tools You Need To Make Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer or electric handheld mixer
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper

Making Giant Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Perfecting this recipe comes down to the quality of your ingredients and how you treat them — not any fancy skill. 

  • Use good quality chocolate chips. 
  • Be sure your good quality butter is softened and your eggs are at room temperature.
  • Toast your walnuts.
  • Age your dough.

The interior of a levain chocolate chip cookie.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Levain Bakery-Style Giant Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

  • Make sure that you beat the butter and sugar for the full five minutes to get the proper aeration of the dough.
  • My recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate chips, but feel free to use bittersweet or milk chocolate chips (or a combination) if you prefer.
  • Do not skip toasting those walnuts! Bake them in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for roughly 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. 
  • These cookies are best eaten the day they are made. It’s best to store the dough in the freezer and bake as needed.
  • You can make these cookies half-sized if you prefer but watch carefully as the baking times will be shorter.
  • You can replace the walnuts with pecans or hazelnuts for a nice variation.

Don’t Miss More Cookie Recipes

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Watch The Recipe Video!

Levain Bakery Style Giant Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies Recipe

4.72 from 25 votes
This Levain Bakery-Style giant Giant Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies recipe is chock full of mix-ins with no need to go to the big apple!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Chill for 2 hrs
This Levain Bakery-Style giant Giant Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies recipe is chock full of mix-ins with no need to go to the big apple!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 cookies


  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) butter (softened)
  • cup (4oz/115g) dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (12oz/340g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ⅔ cups (8 ⅓ oz/236g) walnuts (toasted and chopped)


  • Cream the butter, both sugars, and salt in a large bowl with a stand or electric handheld mixer for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and then swiftly mix into the butter mixture until combined.
  • Add in the chocolate chips and walnuts until evenly combined.
  • Scoop the dough into 8 equal portions (roughly 5 ½oz/160g) and place in a single layer in an airtight container. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 4 days (The unbaked dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for an hour before baking.)
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place 4 balls of dough evenly spaced on the baking sheet without flattening. This big ball of dough will yield you that thick iconic Levain bakery cookie.
  • Bake on a center rack for 20-22 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden. NOTE: In my oven, I get the best results when I bake one tray at a time.
  • Let cool for at least 20 minutes before eating. These cookies are best eaten the day they are baked. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
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3 months ago

Hi Gemma, I made these cookies yesterday and they were a big hit. They’re probably one of THE BEST cookies I’ve ever made. They’re literally perfect and just how I like it. And I’ve always wanted to try making these cookies but I couldn’t trust anyone else so I was so happy when you posted the video. And I love how one cookie makes me feel full and satisfied for a few hours. Thank you so much for the recipe. P.S :my sister and I are snacking on one of the cookies as we wait for our mom to make… Read more »

3 months ago

I would love to bake them – egg substitutes?

3 months ago

Hi! These are absolutely AMAZING!!! Can you make the other 3 Levain cookie flavors?

Miriam Allen
Miriam Allen
3 months ago

Those look awesome! For those who can’t have nuts would you add just extra chocolate chips or something else?

3 months ago

This weekend I’ll have a ago at these king size cookies.

3 months ago

Thanks for the recipe, Gemma! We love the Levain cookies, and your version looks quite approachable! Is there an advantage to using the stand mixer vs the handheld? I have both but one is obviously easier to clean 🙂

3 months ago

what is the ‘secret’ thou it seems like a regular chocolate chip cookie

1 day ago

Omg these were the best I ever had substituted 1 cup flour to almond flour and doubled the recipe.

1 month ago

Hi Gemma! I will be trying this! I live above 5000’ in Colorado. Do you have recommendations for high altitude? I usually decrease sugar and leavening and add a bit more flour for structure (according to others’ recommendations for general baking). Just wondering what you might do if you were me. Thanks so much for all you do!!!

2 months ago

These cookies were DELICIOUS! Would love a recipe for the other 3 flavors

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The Seasoned Chef

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere!

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