Overview

This style of ultra-thick chocolate chip cookie, popularized by the New York bakery Levain, requires a dough with less sugar than flour and more chocolate chips than sugar. These ratios keep the cookies thick, not caky, with a flavor defined by the chocolate, so be sure to use the best-quality chips you can find.

Part of the novelty of the cookies is their enormous size. They are eye-catching, for sure, but we recommend splitting them with a friend (or three). For nutritional purposes, that means we’re assuming one person is eating a quarter of a cookie.

Recipe notes: Cookbook author Stella Parks does not recommend leaving the nuts out of this recipe, as they help provide non-melting bulk to the cookies.

The portioned cookie dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Alternatively, the portions can be individually wrapped, then placed in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw frozen dough to 40 degrees, unwrap and bake as directed. These cookies taste best when freshly baked, but leftovers may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days; rewarm briefly in a 350-degree oven before serving.

Our holiday cookie generator has a recipe for everyone.


Ingredients

8 tablespoons (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, softened to cool room temperature (about 65 degrees)

About 1/2 cup (113 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

About 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (may substitute 1 teaspoon table salt), plus more for sprinkling (optional)

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

2 large eggs, cold

About 2 1/4 cups (283 grams) all-purpose flour

About 2 1/2 cups (425 grams) assorted chocolate chips (not chopped chocolate), such as a mix of milk, bittersweet and semisweet

8 1/2 ounces (scant 1 3/4 cups/240 grams) raw walnut pieces or lightly toasted pecan pieces (see NOTE)


Steps

Step 1

Combine the butter, brown and granulated sugars, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low to moisten, then increase the speed to medium and beat until soft, fluffy and pale, about 8 minutes; halfway through, pause to scrape down the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, letting each incorporate fully before adding the next. Reduce the speed to low, then add the flour all at once. When the flour is incorporated, add the chocolate chips and nuts and keep mixing until the dough is homogeneous.

Step 2

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions (about 6 ounces/170 grams each) and round each into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before baking; if well protected from air, the dough can be kept in the fridge up to 1 week.

Step 3

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. When the oven comes to temperature, arrange up to 4 portions of cold dough on the prepared pans, leaving ample space between them to account for spread. If you like, sprinkle with additional salt to taste.

Step 4

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, for about 22 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and lightly brown or to an internal temperature of between 175 and 185 degrees. The ideal temperature will vary from person to person; future rounds can be baked more or less to achieve the desired consistency.

Step 5

Cool the cookies directly on the baking sheet until no warmer than 100 degrees (they should feel lukewarm) before serving. Enjoy warm, or within 12 hours; these cookies taste best when freshly baked.

NOTE: Toast the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350-degree oven until slightly darkened and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes.

Adapted from Stella Parks at SeriousEats.com.

Tested by Jessica Weissman; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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Nutrition

Calories: 200; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 20 mg; Sodium: 130 mg; Carbohydrates: 23 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 14 g; Protein: 3 g.