Urban Legend Cookie Dough Cookies {i.e. Levain-style cookies}


Updated 10.10.21.

I’ve made an eaten a lot of cookies over the years from flat and buttery to thick and chewy to dense brown butter cookies. But my all-time favorite cookie might be considered bakery-style, specifically, Levain-Bakery-Style or what I fondly like to call Cookie Dough Cookies. I didn’t come up with the brilliant name; it’s courtesy of my hair stylist. Christina, who exclaimed one Christmas season when I brought them into the salon for all the ladies to share, These cookies are like cookie dough but in a cookie. Do you know what I mean? And that’s exactly like what they are.  The inside tastes like cookie dough and the outside tastes like a cookie.

As I’m going through my old blog post to update them, I’m perfecting them to bring my readers the best recipe possible. This means if I don’t hit it out of the ball park on the first try (which does happen more than I would expect!), I will recreate the recipe until I do. Right now, for one of the hummus recipes I’m working on, I’m on iteration three and I think I finally have a winner. (I was such a rookie when I first started this blog that I thought people actually cared when I flopped a recipe and I would publish as is!)


Here’s what I said about these cookies several years ago when I first published as slightly different (non-cookie dough cookie) version of this recipe:

When my mom sent me this cookie recipe, I immediately recognized the recipe. I’d made it before back in the early 2000s. Back then it was known as the Neiman Marcus cookie. My mom wasn’t overly thrilled by the cookie when she tried it out, but I seemed to recall that I love, love, loved the cookies the one time I made them. But when they came out of my oven this time I wasn’t overly thrilled. I threw them in the freezer and planned to bring them to work the next week.

At work the cookies were a hit. Everyone raved about them. And when I tried them again, I loved them, too. Below is my adaptation of the recipe. You can find the original recipe here.


So what makes these cookies such a hit (aside from the fact that they are cookie dough cookies which alone makes them a hit)? It’s the combination of ingredients.

These cookies are packed with oat flavor due to two and a half cups of ground oats in the recipe. I dropped whole walnuts into the dough to give it some crunch and add to the flavor profile. There are two kinds of chocolate, though admittedly from the pictures it’s hard to tell. The original recipe calls for you to use 4 ounces of grated milk chocolate. I found that using two made the first batch of cookies I tried to recreate too dirty looking. You should see flecks of chocolate throughout the cookie if you use at least two ounces of chocolate so with the added grated chocolate you have chocolate in every bite. I can’t really describe the flavor other than to say pretty magical.

The cookies will be undercooked in the middle when you take them out of the oven so if you eat one still warm, it will kind of ooze and fall inward. However, if you let them cool completely and “set,” you’ll get that famous cookie dough-like center that makes these Cookie Dough Cookies, as Christina says.



  • 1 c. cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ c. cake flour
  • 2 ½ c. rolled oats, finely ground (ground the oats and then measure)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1 to 3 oz milk or dark or milk chocolate, grated
  • 1 c. walnuts, crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, add flours, cornstarch, soda and salt and stir together to incorporate.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy. It will not be light and creamy like standard cookie dough. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one and scraping the sides and bottom to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients. Mix until almost combined and then stir in chocolate chips and chocolate. Stop mixing when you see no more flour (so long as the chips and chocolate are sufficiently mixed in with the rest of the dough).
  5. Make approximately 8 to 10 large balls of dough with the dough and place on light colored cookie sheets covered in parchment paper. You should have four to five cookies per cookie sheet. They do not spread out all that much but you don’t want the cookies to touch during the baking process.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown on the top and edges. Let cool completely on the cookie sheets. If you can’t wait for them to cool completely before trying them (Levain serves their cookies warm!), allow to set at least 15 minutes before digging in.

Recipe rating: 

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