March 8, 2019

Chocolate Chip Cookie Round-Up

After baking seven chocolate chip cookie recipes, I decided to take a little break from my cookie quest and throw a cookie taste testing party. (I had saved several cookie dough balls of each cookie in my freezer for this momentous occasion).
Before the cookie party my current standings were:
  1. Serious Eats Food Lab 
  2. BraveTart
  3. America's Test Kitchen
  4. Jacque Torres
  5. Cook's Illustrated
  6. Alton Brown
  7. NY Times Thick and Gooey
With ten people and seven types of cookies, there was a three-way tie for the top cookie: 
  • America's Test Kitchen
  • Alton Brown
  • NY Times Thick and Gooey Cookies
Interestingly enough, my friends and I thought it was a little difficult to rank the cookies since they all were delicious. I was surprised that my least favorite cookie from my initial ranking topped a third of our lists (the NY Times recipe) and that my favorite cookie also changed to America's Test Kitchen's. 

Final Thoughts:
  • chopped chocolate yields a prettier cookie since the little bits of chocolate are dispersed throughout the dough. 
  • melting butter creates a chewier cookie, which is great news to me since i always used to soften butter to make cookies in the past. this will really speed up the process when I want cookies ASAP
  • the brown butter/sea salt topped cookies are now my new favorite chocolate chip cookies 
  • underbaking cookies will always make them taste better (as well as consuming them while they're still warm)
Here's a round-up of the cookies I tested: 

Best Looking Cookie: 
The Jacque Torres cookies looked like my ideal of a gourmet bakery cookie with its ripples and large melted chocolate mounds throughout the surface of the cookie.  

Most High-Maintenance Cookie:
The Jacque Torres cookies used the most expensive chocolate, required two types of dough and also had a rest period of 24-72 hours. In the end, these were good cookies but almost not worth all the fussiness (they were at the bottom of my list at the final tasting).

Best No-Fuss Cookie:
The Cook's Illustrated cookie is a quick cookie to put together when you have a craving for cookies and don't want to wait for butter to soften/brown or wait for dough to rest in the fridge. 

Best Chewy Texture: 
The Serious Eats Food Lab cookie, once it cooled, kept its chewiness the best. Even though they sometimes baked flat, they never got crunchy. 

Best Flavor After A Day (or two):
The BraveTart cookie fascinated me because right out of the oven, it wasn't an over-the-top amazing cookie. But then after a few hours and even days, the flavor really developed and I couldn't stop eating them. So if you are a rare breed that doesn't gobble up a batch of cookies right after they are baked, these are for you. 

Best Overall Cookie:
America's Test Kitchen's cookie beat out all the other tasty cookies in the final tasting--its caramel/nutty flavor really came through that I crave for in a cookie. 

Stay tuned for some more chocolate chip cookie baking...

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