SRC: Chocolate Chip Cookies 3 Ways … and 3 Kids

3 kinds of chocolate chip cookies

by Holly on October 10, 2011

It’s hard for me to believe that it is time again already for another Secret Recipe Club! Seriously, where does the time go? Oy! Be prepared. This is another loooong post. I hope you’ll stick with me through it!

Anyway, I was super excited this month (again) when I received my blog assignment and found that I was going to be taking a blog tour of another old bloggy friend of mine. This month I got to go on an extended tour of Katrina’s blog – Baking and Boys! As per usual of course though, no amount of planning ahead and good intentions stopped me from only finally finishing this post at the last minute.

The problem, you see, is three-fold. 1) Katrina already had my blog for SRC and went above and beyond, making multiple recipes – I certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything less, 2) like Amanda, I’ve ‘known’ Katrina for years through our blogs and now that she has moved to Utah (though one of us lives at the wrong end of the valley so we still haven’t had a chance to meet in person — I’ll let you all decide who lives at the wrong end because any given day I change my mind) it is a given that I wanted to do right by her and 3) Katrina has a plethora of fantastic recipes on her blog that she has created or found and an awful lot of them are for my one true weakness. Cookies.

It’s true. While I love cake, chocolate, pies, tarts, bars, brownies and all other baked goods to a ridiculous degree, it is actually the humble little cookie that is my kryptonite. I could probably actually claim a fairly decent diet if it weren’t for my undying devotion to cookies. Point in fact, there are only two non-homemade treats I buy at the store – Oreos and Dark Chocolate Milanos. What’s worse is that, though I buy them for use in recipes – most of the time I just devour them.

It should therefore come as no real surprise when I tell you that my downfall in pre-planning this month came from not being able to decide what to make. I had so many things bookmarked that I wanted to try and just couldn’t decide. I wanted to go big again and get crazy, but then real life came to call bringing along with it our first flus of the season already. Ick. I hope that is not a sign of what this winter is going to be like, because if it is, I’m all ready to just give up and hide in the house. Hibernation here we come!

But we’ll have cookies, so, maybe not so bad?!

The first recipe that I ended up making from Katrina’s blog was the Flourless White Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies (my adapted version pictured above). I’m generally not one for wanting to purchase specific ingredients just for one recipe, but when I read the ingredients and saw that the recipe uses Peanut Butter & Co.’s White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter (my Smith’s and Target both have it), I knew I had to try them. I’ve heard about that stuff before and, being a big fan of the peanut butter/white chocolate combination, decided I had to remember to pick up a jar at the store.

I actually made the cookies *shocker here* exactly as written – flourless and all (I actually saw this on Saveur today that even says if you want your PB cookies to have more PB flavor, then to leave the flour out!). We loved these flourless cookies! In fact, we snarfed them so quickly they didn’t even get their pictures taken and so almost didn’t tell you about them… but we just had to make them again! Not hard to do since they couldn’t be easier or faster to make!

The only issue I had with them, which really wasn’t much of an issue at all, was that the flourless version was so soft and melt-in-your-mouth amazing that they weren’t really sturdy enough to go in Aidan’s lunch box – which was where he wanted them. Incidentally, the jar of White Chocolate Wonderful was half gone since we used it on sandwiches for Aidan’s lunch before I ever got the cookies made, and now that we’ve made the cookies two times, I am very sad to report it is already gone. They need to sell bigger jars. Seriously.

Therefore, we slightly adapted the recipe and added a tiny amount of flour for sturdiness and a bit more body and chew, along with using the whole egg instead of just the egg white as we did the first time – my kids are still too skinny and literally on calorie power packing diets, which, while tough for me, are delightful for them since they get to eat just about anything they want.

Back when Katrina did her review of my blog she also went back to the very beginning to see what my very first post was. I started off with a Chocolate Chip Cookie from Food Network (terrible pictures – sorry!) that used melted butter. Funny enough, though Katrina started with more of the ‘Boys!’ side of her blog for a few posts, the first recipe she posted was actually also for a chocolate chip cookie recipe that used melted butter! What are the odds, right?!

The recipes weren’t even the same ones as far as I can tell. The recipe she posted was from a contest on FN and the original recipe included walnuts and looked awesome. While I would have happily added nuts to these cookies, I am currently all out (we use a lot of nuts around here!). I decided to stick with smallish sized cookies for these ones and made a half batch of the cookies, with a little bit of adapting, to turn them into Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are another super fast, easy and delicious cookie and the boys around our house – big and small – have already consumed a fair amount of these bad boys as well.

Now, though the last two cookies were on the small side, we now head over to a complete departure and it’s like going from Munchkinland to Giantville. Seriously. If only I could indicate how huge that cookie above is. Think burger bun size. A full 6 oz – that’s just shy of a half a pound of chocolate cookie insanity!

The saga of this cookie is, apparently, as enormous as its size. If, like me, you have partially been living in hibernation and seclusion and delusions of not-so-grandeur for the past few months, then you may not have really processed the phenomenon that is the Levain Bakery cookies.

I say processed it, because, while I ended up seeing Katrina mention their cookies and knock-off recipes going around and big (huge!) cookies etc., it was the first time I processed that I had indeed actually seen and fantasized about these cookies before. I actually first saw them on Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate show – the episode about CHOCOLATE! and about fainted when I saw them …. and yet, it still didn’t sink in.

Then, a while back Maria tweeted a picture of one of the famous Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies when she was touring around through NYC visiting bakeries – and, I once again drooled, but never followed through on finding out more information. Apparently, it still wasn’t enough to tip me off when I saw these cookies posted over on Annie’s Eats (even though I pinned them!) either that there was a real trend happening – that even had to do with my #1 ingredient crush – chocolate!

Apparently, living in our usual brand of crazy around here even those cookies couldn’t penetrate my haze. So, Katrina, I’m not sure whether to thank you or not for mentioning the Levain phenomenon enough times that as I read through your posts this finally got through my thick skull. πŸ˜‰ Actually, I will thank you, but my thighs may not.

I’ve now joined the ranks of those other food bloggers out there in putting together my own attempt at creating My knock-off version of the Infamous Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie. If it isn’t quite perfected yet, I know what I want to try differently and will share the recipe as soon as I’ve had a chance to put together another attempt – but from what I’ve seen on their site, I think I am darn close! The amount of intel I’ve gathered is extensive enough that I just don’t have the time to add it along to this post and do it justice, but it won’t be long in coming, I promise!

To finish things off, in honor of Katrina, I thought I would share some pictures of my kiddos from this past weekend. I admire that Katrina is always just as dedicated in chronicling her family as she is the kitchen experiments. I don’t do that often enough for my liking and really do need to do better.

Thanks again Katrina for always being a great friend and for the many great ideas – and three new cookie recipes to add to our repertoire!

The boys, Cole (almost 4!) and Aidan (8) spinning together at the park – it’s so nice to see them get along occasionally πŸ˜‰ It’s not actually an easy thing for them, and I think that is why I have a hard time sometimes writing about the kids here. We are struggling with all three of them still for one thing or another and I spend all my *free* time just trying to juggle their various doctor appointments – and now that we are heading into our ‘busy’ season I’ve found myself already starting to shut down a bit more and get feeling down. I’m going to try not to do that because I know it isn’t a good way to handle it. So, if by chance you don’t see me around on (yes, shameless plugs here) Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest where I spend a lot of my time whiling away the hours I spend in waiting rooms and doctor offices, please feel free to give me a nudge and tell me to wake up from my hibernation a bit. πŸ™‚

Here’s Aidan! I told him to run towards me. He thought that was hilarious!

I find it strangely humerous that all my children’s issues seem to be coming to a head this time of year as well – after all, it’s not I like I need to be hit over the head with our *issues*. I saw on Twitter that there is an ADHD Awareness Week coming up in October and that September was ADHD Awareness Month – yep, I’m aware. Check. Seriously, it’s actually good to know, but just the fact that ALL our issues are grouped together is overwhelming! You’ll see why if you keep reading…

This Thursday is Cole’s 4th birthday… which technically should have been in November since he was 7 1/2 weeks premature. Just for good measure too, November is actually Prematurity Awareness Month. Cole is awesome. He is doing great, loves preschool and couldn’t be sweeter. He is just still ridiculously skinny and small. Go figure. The poor dude only started out in life at a whopping 3 lbs 6 oz. To give you a quick idea of what life is like with him right now, his diet (as ordered by his doctors and dietician) is to eat as much ice cream as he wants, have chips 5 times a day, put butter and/or cream on everything and I have to tell him he can’t have his broccoli or fruit until dessert. Seriously. I’m not making a word of that up. I live in backwards-land!

It’s also actually Down syndrome awareness month in October… and in case that weren’t enough, Kayla is also sporting her pink for Breast Cancer Awareness this month because that is an issue incredibly important to us as well (my darling MIL is a breast cancer survivor).

I’m still learning more and more about Down syndrome all the time, but I’ve also really started to learn why parents of kids with Down syndrome told me when Kayla was born that it would be the greatest blessing. I finally get it. I didn’t at first. She is the glue in our family.

As I’ve said to folks that ‘know’ me many, many times, it really does take a ‘village’ of doctors, therapists, social workers, counselors, fantastic nursing staff, hospitals, friends and family to raise my little family. In case I don’t say it enough, let it be here in writing for all to see that we are eternally grateful for the support. I’ll be taking (more) cookies to all those people soon! Aside from that, with all the Awareness events this month, let’s just say that I am indeed extremely aware now. πŸ™‚

Kayla was enjoying a rare break from her oxygen in the picture above – this was just before I had to put it back on. She is getting so big (not really – just finally hit about 18 lbs and 29 inches) but is growing at her own pace. I keep being told to just enjoy the fact that she will be my baby for a while and that life is in slow motion. She is almost 20 months old here – and just took her first steps this week, but is now ready to be off and running! She is our little princess and her brothers absolutely adore her! She’s also got her Daddy (and Mommy for that matter) wrapped around her little fingers.

Speaking of The Daddy, I’m not sure I remember the last time he got his picture on here, so, since I’ve been spending much more time blogging for him and helping him out at all the skydiving demo’s and events we went to this summer, I thought I’d share one of my favorite pictures of him.

Then again, maybe this is why he doesn’t get his picture on here too often. As you can see, the “if all your friends wanted to go jump off a cliff…” speech will obviously never work in our house.

That’s Dusty in the red. Show off… Just sayin’. πŸ™‚

Enjoy the cookies!!

Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies – Levain Bakery Knockoff Attempt #1 – recipe coming soon – stay tuned!

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Davis October 10, 2011 at 7:40 am

What a great selection of cookies! Katrina’s blog is also a favourite.


Lisa~~ October 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

You sure did Katrina proud, great cookies all of them. Funny, this month the recipe I made for SRC was Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies and I’d love for you to check out my version.

Cook Lisa Cook


Barbara @ Barbara Bakes October 10, 2011 at 10:14 am

So fun to catch up on your sweet little family. Cookies are my downfall too. So easy to just grab one and mindlessly munch on them all day. They look irresistible. Funny I haven’t met Katrina yet either and she lives on the right end of the valley with me. We’ll have to remedy that.


Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz October 10, 2011 at 11:20 am

I saw your comment on Katrina’s blog about my Uber Lemon Ice Cream…so your mom is from Montreal…cool! The cookies, all three, look amazing. So cute to see pics about the whole family.


Katrina October 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm

How fun for you to have my blog!!! Cookies are my fave, you picked well! Thanks for all you said and dang darn it all we need to get together. Where (again) do you live–all I remember is SLC?
Right this minute, I don’t have time to read your whole post–but I’ll be back. My mom is visiting and helping me de-junk and organize my house. (She keeps making me work when all I want to do is spend time on the computer/blogs. ;))
Thanks so much though! Really, really makes me want to just bake some cookies! I’ll be back.

Yes, we need to all get together and meet up, there’s others, too.


Katherine Martinelli October 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Such great cookie recipes! You really went above and beyond! And such cute photos of your kids πŸ™‚


sara October 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Wow, all these cookies look totally scrumptious! And I SO have to get my hands on some of that white chocolate peanut butter! YUM!


Ruchi October 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Kids must have loved the cookie treats!


Amanda October 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

What an amazing post Holly! I was happy for you when I saw that the random monster gave you Katrina’s blog. I knew you would have fun with that one! πŸ™‚


cooking rookie October 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Perfect cookies! Great SRC assignment πŸ™‚


Ilke October 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Holly, you are going to need LOTS of these cookies! So I am glad you tried many recipes and made bunch of batches.
Wish you the best to deal with your hectic schedule in coming months. And I dont think I can look at your husband’s pictures flying off of a cliff, heights and me are not friends at all!


Tessa October 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Wow. All that I can say, is can I come over? Cookies are a favorite here too, and these look great!


Lisa October 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm

OMG..I love white chocolate – pair it with my peanut butter obsession, and those cookie make me weak in the knees. Will make them for sure. The mini chocolates look great too – and your photo of the Levain Dark Chocolate Chip cookie looks insane (in a very gooood way) πŸ™‚ Once again, PheMOMenal!


Trisha October 11, 2011 at 12:07 am

What a lovely assortment of cookies. They all look so good.


Krista October 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Oh. My. Goodness. I must have those cookies at once! The kids are so darn cute and I just adore Kayla. Dang, she is adorable! Such a fun post, Holly!


Laura @ A Healthy JalapeΓ±o October 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm

You are an inspiration with your food and your family. Everything you write is so personal and full of passion. Cookies and kids… what cold be better. <3


Desi October 18, 2011 at 9:30 am

Yes please! I’ll take one of each! You really outdid yourself this round πŸ™‚


Katrina October 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

Okay, Holly. I was finally able to read your whole post and could go on and on. In summary–you reminded me of three very good cookies and I now want to make them all again. And wow, you did my blog proud (and didn’t have to go THAT far).
I now want—to get more of that fantastic pb. As much as I love those cookies, I found it hard not to just keep eating spoonfuls of the pb right out of the jar. Dern good stuff.
So fun to go back and look at the beginning of our blogs, huh. I really just started my blog as a way to keep track of the family. Somehow the whole world of food blogging came about that I didn’t even know at that time existed. So fun! I just recently (a month or so ago) made those Radical Rob CCC’s again and hadn’t since that post way back when. Good cookies!
And most of all–your post makes me want to go back to NYC for some of those Levain cookies. Your copycat looks just like them. Have you ever had their cookies? To. die. for! Must go drool some more.
And love your family pictures! Thanks so much for playing SRC with me. πŸ˜‰
Now–let’s plan to get together–sooner than later.


Sarah October 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

You’re a great mother, that much I can see with the smiling children. Fab cookies too! You were not kidding about your skydiving husband, yikes!


Becky O. October 24, 2011 at 10:29 am

I love both your and Katrina’s blog so this was awesome!

I am a huge fan of Levain and can’t wait to try your knock-off. I visit that bakery every time I go to NYC and can’t get enough! When I’m all done with catching up and finishing TWD, I’d love to join SRC!


Halley October 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Okay, Holly. I was finally able to read your whole post and could go on and on. In summary–you reminded me of three very good cookies and I now want to make them all again. And wow, you did my blog proud (and didn’t have to go THAT far).
I now want—to get more of that fantastic pb. As much as I love those cookies, I found it hard not to just keep eating spoonfuls of the pb right out of the jar. Dern good stuff.
So fun to go back and look at the beginning of our blogs, huh. I really just started my blog as a way to keep track of the family. Somehow the whole world of food blogging came about that I didn’t even know at that time existed. So fun! I just recently (a month or so ago) made those Radical Rob CCC’s again and hadn’t since that post way back when. Good cookies!
And most of all–your post makes me want to go back to NYC for some of those Levain cookies. Your copycat looks just like them. Have you ever had their cookies? To. die. for! Must go drool some more.
And love your family pictures! Thanks so much for playing SRC with me.
Now–let’s plan to get together–sooner than later.



Suzanne October 25, 2011 at 8:35 am

You ARE the Mom in Phemomenon! Three cookie recipes? I can see why. Katrina is a great baker and has so many great cookie recipes. Great SRC pickS!


Dana B October 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Wow! What a GREAT post! You just left off Lemon Coolers and Fig Newtons for cookies I’d actually buy (tho I prefer the Mint Milano cookies πŸ™‚ Aren’t cookies wonderful? Unfortunately, my weakness is sweets, good when I choose fruit, not so good when I choose cookies, etc. Too bad there’s no chocolate fruit πŸ™‚ That chocolate Peanut butter sounds awesome! I will try and find that and make those cookies; they sound very yummy indeed. Enjoyed reading about your family; I have 3 kids, too, all boys, but thankfully not the ongoing health issues you have. That’a a lot to deal with; hang in there!! (and let me know how the donuts go; I’m aiming for Sunday to make them πŸ™‚


Cookin' Canuck October 28, 2011 at 7:27 am

Great pictures of your family. I can’t believe how big Kayla is getting! All of these cookies sounds wonderful – I wouldn’t know where to start.


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