I have to start this entry by thanking you dear readers for pushing me out of my comfort zone as a self-taught baker. After much cajoling and relentless requests , I recently gave in to baking my favourite cookies sans eggs, starting with the unabashedly-chocolatey brownie-cookies (a.k.a. eggless brookies!). Well here we are again, this time with a recipe so ridiculously-perfect that I still can’t believe it’s eggless. Good folks, may I present to you: eggless Levain Bakery-style chocolate-chip cookies!
Eggless Levain Bakery Chocolate-Chip Cookies
For the unfamiliar, the world-famous Levain Bakery shot to fame in New York City for their colossal cookies, each weighing a whopping 6 ounces! From tourists to locals, you’ll always find a queue outside their bakery for their terrifically thick cookies which strike the perfect balance of chewy and gooey.
While eggs are usually essential for achieving the rich yet tender texture prized of these cookies, with a bit of ingenuity (modestly speaking of course), by jove I’ve cracked the code for an eggless version!
Here’s a list of all the ingredients you need to make the best eggless Levain Bakery-inspired chocolate-chip cookies!
- All-purpose flour: we’re using lots of flour to give us thick chocolate-chip cookies, which are the hallmark of the original at Levain Bakery.
- Cornflour: just about a tablespoon of cornflour will help the cookies to stay thick yet soft and tender, imparting a melt-in-the-mouth quality.
- Baking soda: this is our main leavening agent.
- Salt: always required, but you can omit if you are using salted butter.
- Softened butter: it is very important that your butter is soft (but not melted). We will be creaming the softened butter with sugar to create the foundational network of fat, sugar and air. Not only will this help to leaven the cookie, it will also ensure a craveably tender texture!
- Caster sugar: in addition to lending the base sweetness, classic white caster sugar crispens the edges of the cookies.
- Dark brown sugar: the high molasses content makes for oh-so-soft and gooey cookies, whilst also adding to the overall lift. If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can use light brown sugar too (but dark brown sugar is recommended for a richer flavour).
- Vanilla extract: I always use Sprig’s Natural Extract of Bourbon Vanilla to enhance the overall flavours of any and all my recipes!
- Chocolate chunks: yes, I know the recipe says “eggless Levain Bakery-style chocolate-chip cookies,” but really the trick is to use chopped up chunks of a good quality baking chocolate (couverture preferably; but Amul always does the trick for me!) to create puddles of melted chocolate in the final cookie!
- Milk: use up to two tablespoons of milk to bring the cookie dough together (alternatively you can also use plant-based mylk). Only use as much milk as required (see recipe notes below!).
Of course, if you can bake with eggs – do try the classic Levain-inspired cookie recipes on this website instead:
Tips & Tricks
These are the insider tricks for perfecting an eggless version of the classic Levain Bakery chocolate-chip cookies.
- When stirring in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, don’t be alarmed if the mixture initially looks crumbly and more like a shaggy mass. Add a shallow tbsp of milk little by little to bring it together until firm and shapeable into classic cookie dough. Only add as much milk as you need (I usually need just about 1.5 tbsp). Adding more milk than required will skew the moisture content of the cookie, drastically altering the result.
- Chill the dough: for at least a couple of hours before baking if you want really thick cookies. Chilling the dough beforehand helps to prevent the cookies from over-spreading in the oven.
- Divide the dough into 2-3 equal sized cookie dough balls: don’t make a larger number of smaller-sized cookie dough balls. This is a small-batch recipe which is intended to make 2 (max 3) large cookies.
- Shape the cookie dough in a tall conical form if you want thick Levain-Bakery style cookies. Alternatively flatten the cookie dough slightly before baking if you just want giant eggless cookies as big as your face!
- Press some more chocolate chunks on top: it makes for even more heart-stoppingly beautiful cookies.
- Don’t over-bake these cookies: remove the cookies from the oven once the edges have browned but have not fully firmed up and the centre is still soft. Remember that these cookies will continue to bake once out of the oven (due to the residual heat). In fact, the cookies could take at least half an hour to firm up into a solid state after being removed from the oven – this is to be expected, with the final result well worth the wait!
Scaling Up This Recipe
This is a small-batch recipe which just makes 2-3 cookies (depending on the size of your cookie dough ball). Bear in mind that the cookies are rather gigantic. Double the ingredients for a larger batch.
Eggless Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate-Chip Cookies
- 113 gm (1 cup less 1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 7½ gm (1 tbsp) cornflour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 113 gm (½ cup) butter, softened (if using salted butter, omit adding salt separately)
- 50 gm (¼ cup) dark brown sugar (you can use soft brown sugar for a less rich flavour)
- 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) milk (see recipe notes)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips/ chocolate-chunks (use chocolate-chunks instead of chocolate-chips for more gooey cookies)
- Sift the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking soda, cornflour and salt) into a mixing bowl. Give it a good whisk until evenly mixed. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and sugars together until smooth and fluffy. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Slowly fold in the dry ingredients. Then stir in the chocolate chips/ chunks. Do not over-mix!
- Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.
- Once chilled for sufficient time, remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- Form 2 -3 cookie dough balls of equal size (see recipe notes). Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges have browned but the cookie is still soft and hasn't fully set.
- Let the cookies cool down on the baking sheet for 15-20 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack. Enjoy once fully cooled!
- This is a small-batch recipe which makes just 2-3 cookies (depending on the size of your cookie dough balls). Double the ingredients for a larger batch.
- When stirring the dry ingredients and chocolate chunks into your creamed butter and sugar – don’t be alarmed if the mixture is crumbly and more like a shaggy mass. Add a shallow tbsp of milk little by little to bring it together until firm and shapeable into classic cookie dough. Only add as much milk as you need (I usually need just about 1.5 tbsp). Adding more milk than required will skew the moisture content of the cookie, drastically altering the result.
- Chill the dough for at least two hours in order to prevent the cookies from over-spreading.
- Once removed from the refrigerator, shape the cookie dough into 2 – 3 equally sized balls (depending on how large you want the cookies to be!). Shape the cookie dough in a tall conical form if you want the classic thick Levain-Bakery style cookies; alternatively flatten the cookie dough slightly before baking if you just want giant cookies.
- Remove the cookies from the oven once the edges have browned but have not fully firmed up and the centre is still soft. Remember that these cookies will continue to bake once out of the oven and could take at least half an hour to firm up into a solid state
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