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This weekend was one of my best friend's birthdays, and someone sent her a box of cookies from Levain - if you're not familiar, Levain is a world famous NYC-based cookie bakery known for their gigantic, gooey chocolate chip walnut cookies. I decided to try my own take on them, so I used my oatmeal cookie base, because they always turn out super chewy and thick, just like Levain's. The results were spectacular, so give them a shot.

Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Active time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 15 minutes per tray (24 minutes total)
Makes about 14 large cookies



1+1/4 cups roughly chopped walnuts

1+1/2 cups oats (you can use old fashioned, instant, whatever)

1+3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1+1/2 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

4-6 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks 

Flakey sea salt for sprinkling




1.) Begin by preheating the oven to 350° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and distribute your oats across the sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for about 6 minutes, tossing the oats halfway through. When they're done, the oats should be fragrant and may take on a light color. We're only trying to get these lightly toasted, so keep an eye on them. Remove them from the sheet and set aside. Next, distribute your chopped walnuts on the sheet and put back in the oven for five minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove and set aside. You can turn off the oven.


2.) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt and stir briefly to combine. 

3.) In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat room temperature butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add both the dark brown and white sugar to the butter and beat for another 30 seconds until sugar is well incorporated. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.


4.) Add half the dry ingredients to the mix, and, using a rubber spatula, fold the ingredients together, scooping from the outside of the bowl into the center. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and repeat. 

5.) When almost no dry streaks remain, add toasted oats, toasted walnuts, and chocolate chunks and fold in until well distributed. Once distributed and no more dry streaks remain, stop mixing.


6.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats if you have them) and divide dough into 14 even balls; I used a medium size ice cream scoop - these will be large cookies! Spread them out on both baking sheets and transfer to the fridge for at least 90 minutes, but longer if you'd like. This allows the dough to firm up and for all the salt and vanilla to incorporate into the dough and create a truly wonderful cookie flavor.

7.) Preheat your oven to 375° F and remove the first tray of cookies from the fridge to come up to temperature for 15 minutes. When you put the first tray in the oven, pull the second tray out of the fridge. Bake each tray one at a time for 15 minutes, checking them at around 12 minutes. When they're done, the cookies will still feel completely soft in the middle to the touch, but will be crispy on the outside and will have nice color around the edges and on the bottom. This is exactly what you want; they will continue to bake some as they cool.


8.) Sprinkle each cookie with some flakey sea salt. Let the cookies cool for 10-15 minutes, or until they've firmed up around the edges and are soft in the center. Pour an accompanying beverage of your choice and enjoy 1, 2, or 5 cookies. No judgement; they're worth it. 


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