Who Makes the Superior Chocolate-Chip Cookie?

All three types of cookies lined up with the winners in front, the Nestlé cookies and finally the cookies made with gluten-free flour. Photo by Matthew Latterell.

Baking is a stress reliever for me. It helps me to not focus on something ridiculously complicated and instead just follow instructions to end up with a delicious product. Through baking relatively often, I have tried out numerous recipes for one of America’s favorite cookies: the classic chocolate chip cookie. Many people rely on the back of the Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip bag while others Google “best chocolate chip cookie recipe.” While one might think “oh, they’re just chocolate chip cookies, they’ll all taste the same,” they would be mistaken. Factors that make a chocolate chip cookie different include the type of sugar, bake time, bake temperature, chilling the dough, using a lot of flour, and many other factors. For this article, I tried out three chocolate chip recipes varying in ingredient quantities, bake time and oven temperature. To determine which cookie was superior, I administered a blind taste for one of my classes. Once they had taste tested each option, my classmates voted on which one they believed to be the best.

The first recipe I made is titled “Best Chocolate Chip Cookies,” fitting for the Google search most people do. This recipe is rated four and a half stars by ten thousand people. This recipe includes a cup of butter, a cup of granulated sugar, a cup of light brown sugar, two eggs, two teaspoons of vanilla, one teaspoon of baking soda, two teaspoons of hot water, one half of a teaspoon of salt, three cups of flour and two cups of chocolate chips. When I initially read this recipe, what threw me off was the water and three cups of flour. Making these cookies with more flour tends to make them round, spread out less and a paler shade of gold. A mouthful of this cookie can be described as the classic chocolate chip cookie: sweet but not too sweet and moist. After trying all three, Ashly Anthony (12) said, “this cookie was a perfect balance: not too cakey and not too crispy.”

The next recipe included buying a roll of Nestlé Toll House pre-made cookie dough, going home, plopping the cookies on a baking sheet, and sticking them in the oven for about eleven minutes. The ingredients this recipe includes are: two and one fourth cups of flour, one teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of salt, one cup of butter, three-fourths of a cup of granulated sugar, three-fourths of a cup of brown sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, two large eggs and two cups of specifically Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips. This recipe is a classic, one that should never steer you wrong. When baked for nine to eleven minutes these cookies have a much flatter appearance than the first recipe. “This cookie reminds me of my childhood and coming home and my mom making cookies,” says a Franklin student wishing to remain anonymous.

The third and final recipe I made is a recipe simply titled “Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies” from the King Arthur Flour website. Now, some people are not a fan of gluten-free baked goods, but I thought I would give it a try because I have made some killer gluten-free brownies in the past. The ingredients these cookies include are: one cup of butter, one cup of brown sugar, one half of a cup of granulated sugar, two teaspoons of vanilla extract, one teaspoon of salt, two large eggs, two and one-third cups of gluten-free flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, one teaspoon of baking soda and two cups of chocolate chips. This recipe ticked me off a little bit as it called for the chilling of the dough for an hour, meaning I lost an hour when I could have the cookies in the oven, an inconvenience between the three recipes. After I waited the hour and the cookies spent their 10 minutes in the oven, their shape could be described as round and bumpy. “This cookie is a bit gritty,” said one person who tried all three.

In the end, the people chose the first cookie, “best chocolate chip cookies,” as the winner with nine votes. This cookie was the winner because of its balance, classic taste, a not-too-overwhelming chocolate taste, and the lack of crispy-ness. In second place with six votes was the second cookie I “made,” the log of Toll House. This was a favorite because of its crispy-ness and flat appearance. And lastly in third place, with two votes was the gluten-free flour. This was an interesting experiment and showed the factors that people think about in reference to food, in this case, chocolate chip cookies. Now you know the superior chocolate chip recipe.  

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