Fact: I’ve only had 1 Levain cookie in my life and I still dream about it. It was fall 2016, I was on a work trip to NYC and of course ate all the good things the Big Apple has to offer. I ate countless 99 cent pizza slices at all hours of the day, housed bagels like they were the reason for waking up in the morning (everything with veg cream cheese are my jam), waited in loooooong lines for cereal milk ice cream (typical) and of course a Levain cookie made its way into my hot little hands. AND IT WAS EVERYTHING I DREAMED IT WOULD BE.
I get that certain slice & bake and thin pan-banged cookies with molten pools of chocolate are whats vogue for 2018, but in all seriousness, if I was offered a thin cookie or a thick cookie, you know I’m going to choose that thick chewy cookie. Because to me, chocolate chip cookies should be thick, chewy, and oh so gooey in the center. Enter these Copycat Levain Bakery Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies.
So that one Levain Bakery cookies I had wasn’t vegan. I knew immediately I want to recreate a vegan version, but then life happens, and here we are 2 years later and I’m finally sharing it with you. I feel like vegan cookies have a bad rap for being tough or crunchy instead of the gooey and soft like the butter filled cookies out there. Well I’m here with a delicious blend of coconut oil and almond butter that is just as good, if not BETTER, than your run of the mill buttered up recipe. The almond butter in this recipe replace some of the butter as well as eliminates the need for eggs, AND it keeps the cookies softer than if they were purely coconut oil based. WIN WIN WIN. The only tough part about these cookies is not eating all the raw dough.
Copycat Levain Bakery Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
What you’ll need:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup almond milk
3 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 cups chocolate chunks or chips
In the above photos, I used a combination of 100% cacao chunks and 65% cacao chips.
Your coconut oil should be room temperature, not melted.
How to whip it up:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together coconut oil and almond butter until combined (1-2 minutes). Add in both sugars and cream until very fluffy (roughly 5 minutes). Add in vanilla extract and almond milk, blend another minute until combined. With the mixer running on low, pour in all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, corn starch) and mix until just combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer and use a spatula to fold in chocolate chunks or chips.
Use a large cookie scoop (I like this 3 tablespoon or 4 tablespoon cookie scoop) to scoop dough and place on a parchment of silicone mat lined baking sheet. DO NOT roll your cookies, leave them in their scooped shape. Chill cookie dough balls for at least 1 hour. After chilling, you can bake the cookies as is, or to achieve a more knobby looking cookie (like mine above), use your hands to turn cookie dough balls inside out, bringing chunks/chips to the top of the dough.
Bake cookies at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until middles are just set and edges browned. When in doubt, its better to under bake because nothing is worse than an over baked, dry vegan cookie.
Yields 16-18 cookies. Store in airtight container at room temperature 3 to 4 days, refrigerate up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the dough balls up to 3 months. Enjoy!