Levain Bakery-Style Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies


author's hand holding a split open levain bakery-style peanut butter cookie

These Levain Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies are seriously AWESOME. Although Levain Bakery does not make a peanut butter cookie, these are made Levain Bakery-style – ultra thick, a whopping 6-ounces each and SUPER peanut buttery!

Even if you’ve never been to the famed Levain Bakery in NYC, I am sure you’ve heard of it. They’re known for their huge 6-ounce each cookies in four flavors: Chocolate Chip Walnut, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin. Lucky for you, I’ve made all those flavors into copycats, as well as my Levain-style version of a Funfetti cookie and a Red Velvet one! And now, I’ve made this peanut butter version!

Levain Bakery cookies are amazing when you’re visiting NYC, and while they do ship nationwide, it is very expensive last I checked. Why spend all that money when you can make a seriously authentic tasting bakery-style cookie at home in under an hour? No joke!

These cookies are seriously irresistible, surprisingly easy and taste like they came from a fancy bakery but are made in your own home kitchen. With a few easy tips and tricks, you can make these Levain Bakery-style cookies at home!

peanut butter cookies on a black wire rack

a closeup of the author holding a split open peanut butter cookie

Here are a few key components to making Levain-style cookies, and those are:

  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is my number 1 favorite cookie ingredient for yielding soft and tender cookies every single time. I love the light texture it gives cookies!
  • Cake flour: Cake flour is Levain’s secret weapon for their massive cookies that have a tender crumb and a lighter texture, despite being so huge in size. If all all-purpose flour was to be used, these cookies would be very dense, almost like a scone. But by using half all-purpose flour and half cake flour, they are surprisingly lighter and more tender.
  • Brief chill-time: These cookies are chilled for a maximum of 15 minutes for optimal results. We’ll only bake one sheet of cookies at a time, so while the small batch of cookies bakes, just keep the rest of the cookie dough refrigerated.
  • Extra mix-ins: Do not be alarmed by the quantity of mix-ins in this cookie recipe! In order to maintain the structure of the cookie, 3.5 cups of mix-ins is required. Not only do the mix-ins help support the structure of the cookie, but they also add flavor and help prevent too much spreading.

a stack of peanut butter cookies split open

And for optimal baking results, follow these tips:

  • Shape: I like to shape these cookie dough balls rough and loose. Normally, we’d use a cookie dough scoop and get tight, smooth, compact balls of cookie dough. But for this recipe, I like craggy, rougher texture and a looser pack which gives better texture. For accuracy, I like measuring out 6 ounces of dough precisely using a digital cooking scale.
  • Size: These cookies are very large at a whopping 6 ounces apiece each, so I recommend only baking 4 per baking sheet and staggering them on the baking sheet so they have plenty of room for when they bake – at least 3″ from one another. This staggered pattern on the baking sheet helps prevent them from forming one giant cookie in the baking process and keeps baking consistent.
  • Do not over-bake!:  Levain’s cookies are notoriously underbaked and gooey in the center and that’s our goal here as well, too! While everyone’s oven’s operate differently, generally your cookies will bake in the timeframe of 10-13 minutes. Mine baked at exactly 11:30. The cookies should have a light golden brown color on the outside and a dry, dull exterior but will be gooey and slightly underbaked in the center. I recommend baking 1 cookie dough ball in the center of a baking sheet first to gauge how quickly yours will bake as a test cookie before baking the rest of the batch. Remember, we’re only baking one sheet of cookies at a time in the center rack of the oven for consistency, and do keep in mind that the cookies will finish cooking up on the baking sheets once removed from the oven.
  • One at a time: For best results, bake the 4 cookies per baking sheet, one baking sheet in the center rack of the oven at a time!

peanut butter cookie arranged on a wire rackThese cookies are the ULTIMATE Peanut Butter Cookie! Supremely thick, gooey, chewy and soft with tons of buttery and nutty peanut butter flavor, they’re stuffed with Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter chips that melt in your mouth! Absolutely amazing!

author holding a split open peanut butter cookie

Levain Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies

These Levain Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies are the ULTIMATE for serious PB lovers! Supremely thick and chewy with gooey centers and a soft texture, they’re packed with peanut butter flavor and Reese’s Pieces for the most amazing cookie ever!

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time13 mins

Total Time33 mins

Course: Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine: American, Dessert

Servings: 9 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • cups Reese’s Pieces candies

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 410° degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners; set aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cubed butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds on low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for another 30 seconds until mixture is creamy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and peanut butter, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

  • Add in the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cake flour, and all-purpose flour and mix on low speed until just combined. Fold in the peanut butter chips and Reese’s Pieces candies by hand until fully incorporated.

  • Using a digital kitchen scale for accuracy, weigh out 6 ounces of cookie dough in a loose, rough textured ball. I like to make my cookie dough balls kind of tall as well. You do not want the dough balls to be smooth and compacted. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls, staggering on the baking sheet at least 3″ apart from one another, and only placing 4 dough balls per baking sheet.

  • Bake one baking sheet at a time in the center rack of the oven for 10-13 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown and the exterior is dry and dull looking. Centers will be slightly underdone and gooey; this is okay and the cookies will finish cooking some once removed from the oven. Let stand on the baking sheets for at least 30 minutes before serving; the cookies are very delicate and fragile once removed from the oven and need time to set before being moved.

Notes

If you’re craving a chocolate and peanut butter cookie, you can replace the Reese’s Pieces candies with chocolate chips. I would use 2 cups of chocolate chips for the 1.5 cups of Reese’s Pieces. 
This recipe was tested with King Arthur Cake Flour.

closeup of a piece of levain style peanut butter cookieChewy, peanut buttery, rich and gooey – you’re going to love these!

levain bakery style peanut butter cookies photo collage

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

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