So apparently there's a place in NYC called Levain Bakery and they're known for the huge chocolate chip cookies they make.  I found several copycat recipes, so took a chance with a recipe I thought looked good.  And somehow, the results were disastrous!  The cookies spread like pancakes and turned out wafer thin.  Determined to not let one bad batch deter my efforts, I tried a different recipe.  Success!  (See picture below for my two very different cookie batches.)  Now, considering I never have actually tried the original Levain cookies, these may not taste at all like them...but regardless, they're pretty darn good.  The cookies are quite large if you follow the recipe, almost like little cakes.  If you want to impress people with not-just-your-average choc. chip cookie, I recommend this one.  I think if I make them again, I'd add nuts or maybe do a peanut butter version.  But still, these were devoured pretty quickly after I made them!

Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies (inspired by Levain Bakery cookies)
(makes 1 dozen)

2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar 
2 eggs
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups flour (add enough flour to make sure the dough is not too sticky)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts (pecans or macadamias work well, too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated. 

2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate and nuts.

3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions--mounds will be large!

4. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 16-23 minutes (depending on how gooey you like the centers), until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. 

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