NYC Levain Cookies STUFFED with Banana Bread

In times of quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that everyone is turning to baking banana bread. As someone who wanted to make a twist on the traditional banana bread, I decided to combine my favorite banana bread recipe with my heart’s biggest craving at the moment – Levain cookies (which I haven’t even tried before!).

These turned out just as I had imagined and had a gooey center of banana bread as well. Hopefully one day soon, when this pandemic subsides, I can go to the actual Levain shop in UES to get myself some of their gigantic cookies. But for now, I would say that these are a very good substitute.

  • Difficulty: ★★★
  • Ingredients: ★★
  • Time: ~3 hours

Banana Bread Filling

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup / 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup yogurt or sour cream (or ¼ cup heavy cream)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (~ 2-3 super ripe bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional add-ins:

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1-2 tbsp nut butter (sunflower, peanut, almond, etc…)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup APF
  • 1/2 cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the mixture.
  4. Beat in the yogurt/cream, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract until combined. 
  5. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. 
  6. Fold in the nuts or chocolate (if using)
  7. Cover and store the batter in the freezer for at least an hour

  1. Make the cookie dough while the banana bread batter is chilling.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), cream cold butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to cream until well combined.
  3. Add chocolate and walnuts and beat until combined.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine — the mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly. Make sure butter is well incorporated and that no large chunks remain.
  5. Add in egg and milk and mix until fully combined and smooth, forming a cohesive dough.
  6. Portion large balls of dough, about 6 ounces or ¾ cup each. Make 4 balls of dough and place on a prepared tray. Let chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes
  7. Once chilled, take the dough and banana bread batter out of the fridge
  8. Split each individual cookie dough ball into two equal pieces
  9. Spread out and flatted one of the pieces until it’s about 1/2 inch thick — this is the bottom layer of your cookie
  10. Spoon a good amount of batter onto the bottom layer, be careful not to spoon too much on the sides
  11. Top with the other half layer of the cookie dough — this is the top layer
  12. Start pinching the bottom and top layer together so they enclose the banana bread batter inside. If the batter spills out the sides, it’s not too big of a deal but try to enclose the filling as much as possible.
  13. Place the cookies on a baking tray and chill for 60 minutes.
  14. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°.
  15. Bake until edges and spots on top are golden, but insides are still slightly gooey, about 25 minutes.
  16. Let cool and enjoy the best quarantine cookie you’ll ever make!

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