Go Big or Go Bake

Six ounces of flour, sugar, chocolate, and nuts. Tipping the scales at almost a half pound of dough, the chocolate chips cookies from Levain Bakery in NYC are infamous for good reason. Instantly recognizable, these behemoth baked goods have inspired a cult-like following and countless imitators over the years. Size alone sets them apart from the pack, but it’s the distinctive combination of the very best textural aspects of America’s favorite chewy cookie that cements their place in popular culture. Crisp on the outside, each miniature mountain is tanned golden brown from a blazing hot oven, yet still nearly raw and luxuriously gooey on the inside. If the mere mental image of that sort of decadence doesn’t send your sweet tooth into overdrive, then perhaps you should check your pulse.

Copycat formulas are a dime a dozen as just a cursory internet search will show. Some remain more faithful than others, and I will shamelessly declare mine a vast departure from the inspiration. Naturally, translating the concept into vegan vernacular takes the results out of the running for best doppelgangers, so I saw no harm in taking a few more flavorful liberties from there.

Levain Bakery makes a big fuss about stripping down their dough to the bare essentials, omitting even vanilla extract, which quite frankly strikes me as a crime against all cookies. Also, rather than sticking with the traditionally prescribed walnuts, cashews add a more buttery crunch to my mixture. Finally, and I must apologize to the Levain Bakery fanatics here, but I simply didn’t have the gustatory fortitude to form my balls of batter into full six-ounce cookie bombs. Knocking them down to a mere quarter pound still yielded enormous treats will all the right ratios, but in ever so slightly more manageable portions.

If this is your first introduction to the iconic cookie, consider yourself warned: Each one is truly a mouthful. For the jaded eater who thinks that all chocolate chip cookies are more or less the same, I dare you to try just one bite while maintaining a straight face. Something as universally adored as the classic chocolate chip cookie truly needs no further explanation, so for all those voracious bakers who have already skipped on to the recipe, I don’t blame you. All anyone really needs to know is that you’re in for a treat.

Yield: Makes 16 Giant Cookies

Levain Look-Alike Chocolate Chip Cookies

Levain Look-Alike Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crisp on the outside yet luxuriously gooey on the inside, these giant chocolate chip cookies pack a little bit of everything into each sweet bite.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 29 minutes


  • 1 Cup Vegan Butter, at Room Temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1/2 Cup Aquafaba
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Cashews, Toasted and Roughly Chopped


  1. Place the vegan butter in the bowl of your stand mixer and begin beating it on low speed to soften. Add in both sugars and cream together until completely homogeneous, pausing as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly pour in the aquafaba, vanilla, and vinegar, blending thoroughly to incorporate. It may look somewhat strange and curdled at this point, but don’t worry as long as the it’s well mixed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, vital wheat gluten, salt, baking powder and soda. Add the dry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl and start it on low speed. Once mostly incorporated, add in chocolate and nuts, and continue mixing until the dough is smooth and all of the goodies are properly distributed.
  3. Stash the dough in the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour before proceeding.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line 3 – 4 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  5. Scoop out about 1/3 cup of dough for each cookie, roll the dough lightly between moistened palms into round balls, and do NOT flatten them out. Allow a generous margin of space between each mound on the baking sheets; at least 1 1/2 – 2 inches of breathing room in between the cookies.
  6. Bake for 10 – 14 minutes, until lightly golden brown all over. Quickly remove the sheets from the hot baking pans as soon as they emerge from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week… If you can resist them that long.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 6g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

17 thoughts on “Go Big or Go Bake

  1. Aside from calling “cookies” biscuits here in Australia, we also tend to eat our biscuits hard and crunchy. Do you think that if I left these in the oven for a bit longer that they would suffice as Aussie biscuits?

    1. I definitely know what you’re talking about, but I think these might require some considerable modification to become more biscuit-like. First of all, they should probably be about half the size and baked at 325 degrees for perhaps 15 – 20 minutes. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

  2. Holy moly! Your cookies look absolutely delicious!…I’ve never tasted Levain’s cookies but one thing’s for sure: you are giving them a run for their money. ;-)


  3. I completely agree with you about the vanilla, the cashews and the size! Even at a mere quarter pound, I think I’d have to share with a friend.

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