Hello, world! I'm Jesse, and I love to bake — especially chocolate chip cookies. They're simple and delicious, and their flavor takes me right back to my childhood.
Still, I know that pretty much everyone has a recipe they swear by.
So I decided to test five of the most popular. A ~chocolate chip cookie showdown~, if you will:
I tasted everything and also asked about a dozen of my coworkers to try, for maximum cookie feedback. Here are the methods and how they stacked up:
Alton Brown was up first. He swaps all-purpose flour for bread flour, which he says give the cookies "extra chewiness."
Sift it onto a paper plate and melt a ton of butter in a small pot.
Combine the melted butter and two types of sugar in a mixer and add the wet ingredients followed by the dry.
Stir in the chocolate chips and chill the dough for one hour. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350°F oven and immediately transfer onto a cooling rack.
So, is bread flour the secret ingredient for perfect cookies?
The bread flour definitely made them chewier ― like the soft-baked kind you get in a grocery store. The cookies also looked great ―perfectly round and cartoon-like with a crinkly top. They tasted exactly how a chocolate chip cookie should taste ― soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, with the perfect amount of chocolate to balance the sweetness.
A note from the tasting panel: “This is such a classic chocolate chip cookie. It’s soft, the right amount of sweet, and perfectly gooey.”
Get Alton Brown's recipe here.
Next up: Thomas Keller. He adds in two different types of chocolate — 55% and 72% — to really up the chocolate flavor.
Chop a bar of both and place it in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any "chocolate dust."
Beat butter and sugar in a mixer and add your wet and dry ingredients, and stir in the ~dustless~ chopped chocolate.
Bake everything as usual and let cookies cool on the sheet tray.
So were they worth the trouble of chopping two types of chocolate?
Definitely! These cookies were damn good! The two types of chocolate balanced each other out and made these cookies ridiculously indulgent. The texture was fudgy and soft — as if a sugar cookie and a brownie had a baby. The dough spread quite a bit (and it looked more like a sugar cookie than a classic chocolate chip cookie), but the flavor was out of this world.
A note from the tasting panel: "It may look a little different than a normal chocolate chip cookie, but definitely don’t judge this cookie by its cover. I could eat a dozen of these!”
Get Thomas Keller's recipe here.
Then came Bobby Flay's recipe. His secret cookie ingredient is muscovado sugar — an unrefined sugar with a strong molasses flavor. He starts by whisking his dry ingredients in a bowl.
Beat butter and sugar in a mixer until fluffy.
Add eggs, vanilla extract, and dry ingredients in two batches.
Finish with chunks of semisweet chocolate, bake 'em, and let them rest on the hot cookie sheet for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
So should you be running to the store to stock up on muscovado sugar?
Eh, don't rush. The cookies looked similar to Thomas Keller's, but they didn't have nearly as much flavor. They were super buttery, soft, and perfectly chewy, but they lacked flavor and needed more salt. The only thing I could taste was butter (which is never a bad thing), but I wanted them to have a stronger chocolate note. Looks like Bobby might have finally been beat...
A note from the tasting panel: “The butter is definitely noticeable (and I love me some damn butter). It’s not too chewy, and they have the perfect bite. I loved how subtle the chocolate is — not overwhelming at all.”
Get Bobby Flay's recipe here.
Up next: ~Wild card~ Kourtney Kardashian, whose dairy-free and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies called for organic cane sugar, vegetable shortening, and lots of coconut oil.
Mix shortening, coconut oil, and sugar in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, rice flour, salt, and baking soda and add it to the sugar mixture.
Add dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips, chill the dough, then roll them into balls and bake 'em.
So was it worth the $50 I spent on all those fancy ingredients?
LOL NOPE — and from now on, let's not call these cookies (because they're not worthy of that sacred title). They were dry, sandy, and all I could taste was coconut oil. I understand that she wanted to make a ~healthier~ version of the classic (and that she isn't a trained chef), but that doesn't mean they should be SO dry that they literally exfoliate my mouth as I chew. When using coconut flour, you have to use A LOT of eggs to counteract how dry it can make things, and it seems that Kourtney may have missed that memo. But hey, she is pretty busy these days. *sips my Fit Tea*
A note from the tasting panel: "This is not a chocolate chip cookie."
Get Kourtney Kardashian's recipe here.
And last but not least: Toll House — the ultimate childhood classic. Start by combining your dry ingredients in a bowl.
Then beat butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixer until creamy.
Add eggs, flour mixture, and stir in chocolate chips and nuts. (Yep, the original recipe has nuts in it.)
Bake 'em and let them rest on the hot cookie sheet for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
So were they as good as my childhood memories made them out to be?
I hate to ruin your childhood, but no ― these cookies were nothing special (the white bread of cookies, if you will). The batter didn't spread out and they ended up looking lumpy and sad. The flavor was mild and the chocolate and nuts didn't shine through. I would never turn down a Toll House cookie ― but I wouldn't recommend using the recipe either. Compared with the others, this cookie just didn't do it for me.
A note from the tasting panel: "These look like something my mother would make."
Get the classic Toll House recipe here.
SO WHO WON?
THE WINNER: Thomas Keller
These cookies were fudgy, packed with chocolate, and seriously good ― it's no surprise that the recipe was written by one of the best chefs in America. Get the recipe here.
SECOND PLACE: Alton Brown
If you're looking for a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, go with this method ― they're flavorful and soft, and the bread flour makes them delightfully chewy. Get the recipe here.
THIRD PLACE: Bobby Flay
These cookies were good, but they're not mind-blowing. The texture was similar to Thomas Keller's, but the chocolate flavor got lost and it needed more salt to really round it out. Get the recipe here.
FOURTH PLACE: Toll House
These cookies were nothing special — safe, pale, and rather underwhelming. The dough didn't spread out while baking, and they ended up looking like irregular blobs. Get the recipe here.
LAST PLACE: Kourtney Kardashian
THESE. COOKIES. WERE. TRASH. They were dry, gritty, and overwhelmingly coconutty. Get the recipe here.
TL;DR: If you want a seriously decadent cookie that's PACKED with chocolate, go with Thomas Keller's recipe (which was honestly the most indulgent chocolate chip cookie I have ever had). If you want a classic, chewy chocolate chip cookie (that isn't as hard to make), try Alton Brown's recipe.
Interested in even more culinary battles? Check out our ultimate scrambled egg showdown here.
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