A Chocolate Chip Cookie Throwdown!
By: Michelle Norris, The Brown Eyed Baker
I have always loved chocolate chip cookies, but most specifically, chewy chocolate chip cookies. As a teenager, I ate way, way more than my fair share of Soft Batch chocolate chip cookies. Once I began baking on my own, I turned my nose up at cookies that were flat and crisp, always leaning toward the thicker, chewier cookies. About four years ago, I was certain that I had found my chocolate chip cookie nirvana in the thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I have made since that fateful day in June of 2008, up until this past weekend. After seeing a number of different popular cookie recipes floating around the Internet for the past couple of years and receiving questions about them from readers, I thought that taste-testing all of them in a “throwdown-style” fashion would be the only way to truly judge them. It’s hard to compare tastes and preferences when you eat something months apart, so I made four separate batches (three new recipes to go up against my all-time favorite), grabbed a big glass of milk, and got ready to do my tasting.
It worked out that a bunch of my family was getting together this past Sunday for some family time and to celebrate my uncle’s birthday, so I subjected all of them to some cookie taste-testing (I know, slave labor, I had to drag them to the table ). I printed out some forms so they could judge each cookie on a scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent) on appearance, texture, flavor, and overall. I then asked everyone to pick a favorite.
Everyone was such a good sport and had fun, taking their judging jobs very seriously. THANK YOU to my family for indulging me (and helping to cut down on the amount of cookies that will be staring me in the face for the next week)!
Below are the cookies that contended for the title of “best chocolate chip cookie”:
Cookie A: Cook’s Illustrated Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie B: Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie C: Cook’s Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookie D: The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Below is a recap of the key differences between all of the recipes, and the results of the voting by my taste-testers (11 total). As you can see, there really is no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie!
While all of the cookies were enjoyed by the taste testers, there was definitely a clear favorite – Cookie D (the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie) was named a favorite by 6 of those that sampled the cookies. That was double the next highest vote getter, Cookie B (Alton Brown’s “The Chewy”).
I think the task of picking a favorite chocolate chip cookie is much like choosing a favorite child – they’re all special for their own unique qualities.
As for my favorite? It was hard to be completely unbiased with Cookie A tugging on my heart strings – it’s been my favorite for so long! That being said, I really, really loved The New York Times chocolate chip cookies. They are massive, thick, chewy, loaded with tons of chocolate, and the combination of dark chocolate and sea salt really makes for some killer cookies. When I have the patience to wait an entire day for chocolate chip cookies, I’ll be making those. When I need an immediate fix, however, I’ll still turn to my old standby, and maybe even rotate in Alton Brown’s cookie for a change of pace.
I’d love for you to try some of these recipes and let me know what YOUR favorite cookie is!
You can access all of the recipes from the throwdown by visiting the links below:
Michelle Norris is a passionate foodie, baker, writer and eater. Visit her website at www.browneyedbaker.com for hundreds of delectable recipes and planning tips