chocolate chip cookie comparison

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Everyone is always talking about what the best chocolate chip cookie recipe is. Last year, it seemed like everyone was making the Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie. A few months ago, Cooks Illustrated’s Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie was all the rage. These days, people are testing out the New York Times recommendation to chill the dough for 36 hours before baking.

Until recently, I stayed out of this discussion. I knew that my favorite was unpopular among food bloggers – good ol’ Tollhouse, with just a bit more flour. I’ve made it so often that I don’t bother getting out the recipe anymore. When I lived alone, I made it nearly once a week. I would eat two cookies each night with tea, and then give the rest to Dave when I saw him over the weekend. He’d eat the rest of the batch in one day.

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But eventually, curiosity got the best of me. It was the New York Times recipe that did it. I can never seem to resist making things more complicated – a required 36 hour rest was just up my alley, right? And then once I tried one new recipe, it was like a dam opened, and suddenly I wanted to be part of this quest to find the perfect recipe.

Because, let’s face it, just about all chocolate chip cookies are good (and certainly the ones I was making would be), Dave and I decided we would need to do side-by-side comparisons to discern differences between the recipes. I decided to try four of the most popular recipes – Tollhouse, NY Times, Cooks Illustrated, and Alton Brown’s The Chewy.

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I wanted to publish this entry with conclusive results. I wanted to come to you and say “This recipe is the one you should make. It is the best. The most butterscotchy, the most tender, the best dough, the most fun to bake.” I wanted to let you know unequivocally that the overnight rest was or was not important.

But I just don’t think it’s going to happen. The more cookies I eat, the more indecisive I get. I even made each recipe again, hoping to try again with fresh cookies. (Thank god for BakingGALS.) I had bags and bags of carefully labeled cookies in my freezer. It’s out of control. It’s time to stop the insanity and tell you what I did learn from this.

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Regarding the overnight rest – it certainly doesn’t hurt, and I find it pretty convenient actually. You can bake one cookie sheet of cookies at a time, and you have fresh cookies every night. (You also have dough in the fridge available at all times, and I have no self-control.) Does it make a difference? Maybe. I think it gives cookies a more pronounced butterscotch flavor, and sometimes I think it helps even out the texture. But it’s pretty subtle.

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Of the four recipes, Dave and I had two favorites, and the bake-off between those two was inconclusive.

My favorite was Alton Brown’s The Chewy. I am, sadly, not kidding when I say that I ate ten of these the first time I made them. <blush> Self-control-wise, I’m usually pretty good with cookies once they’re baked. This must have been a bad morning. It had a great butterscotch flavor, and a nice soft texture – tender without being too chewy or crisp. However, Dave had a few complaints about them being greasy, and I see his point, although I’m not bothered by this as much.

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We were also very fond of the New York Times recipe. It was soft, with just a bit of crispness to the edges, which I like. However, they were a little dry and bready, and didn’t have as much flavor as Alton’s. They definitely weren’t greasy though.

I definitely wanted to like Cook Illustrated’s Thick and Chewy recipe. Over and over, I hear people say that it’s their absolute favorite, and usually I love CI. But not this time. These took chewy to the extreme. It was like cookie flavored bubble gum, although the cookie flavor was weak. I made them again, convinced that I must have done something wrong the first time, but I still couldn’t get excited about these cookies.

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Dave wasn’t a fan of the Tollhouse cookies at all – too greasy, he says. I still like their flavor, which is intensely buttery. I also like the crispy edges and tender middles. But they could definitely benefit from some extra flour (which is how I made them for years, but I followed the recipe exactly this time).

This shouldn’t be, but is, an issue to consider as well – the doughs made from melted butter (Alton’s and CI’s) were not nearly as good as those made from softened butter. That’s sad. Tollhouse’s dough is the best, but NY Time’s is nothing to scoff at. The NY Times recipe is the most fun to make – lots of mixer use with that one.

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I wish I could provide a solid answer to the “which is best” chocolate chip cookie question, but I’m not sure it’s that easy. For one thing, every one has their own preferences – I only had two testers and we couldn’t agree! However, keep in mind that chocolate chip cookies are pretty much always good. Any of these recipes will give you something delicious. But if I have to recommend one, it would be Alton Brown’s The Chewy.

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Since this original post, I have also made Cooks Illustrated’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The Chewy (from Alton Brown)

2 sticks unsalted butter
2¼ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup sugar
1¼ cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Hardware:
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets
Mixer

Heat oven to 375F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (from the New York Times)

1½ dozen 5-inch cookies.

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8½ ounces) cake flour
1⅔ cups (8½ ounces) bread flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons coarse salt
2½ sticks (1¼ cups) unsalted butter
1¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3½-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Cooks Illustrated)

Makes 1½ dozen 3-inch cookies

CI note: These truly chewy chocolate chip cookies are delicious served warm from the oven or cooled. To ensure a chewy texture, leave the cookies on the cookie sheet to cool. You can substitute white, milk chocolate, or peanut butter chips for the semi- or bittersweet chips called for in the recipe. In addition to chips, you can flavor the dough with one cup of nuts, raisins, or shredded coconut.

2⅛ cups bleached all-purpose flour (about 10½ ounces)
½ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
½ cup granulated sugar (3½ ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet)

1. Heat oven to 325F. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

3. Form scant ¼ cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto one of two parchment paper-lined 20-by-14-inch lipless cookie sheets, about nine dough balls per sheet. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month – shaped or not.)

4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies (slightly adapted)

Makes 60 cookies

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-ounces) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Comments

  1. wow what a big project! they all look wonderful! i think softened butter makes better cookies too. i’ll have to try the alton recipe!

  2. They all look good! I’ve tried a lot of recipes over the last couple of years and what I’ve decided is I just don’t really love chocolate chip cookies! Throw in some pecans or coconut or both and I am in love, but the plain chocolate chip cookies just don’t do it for me. Now the dough, oh I could eat that all day! Hate tollhouse cookies, love the dough!

  3. Wow, this is awesome! I love your photos. I have never found a favorite CC cookie recipe, so I just may have to try these out! All in the name of research of course…

  4. I love this post. It makes me want to take out a bunch of chocolate chip recipes to try them out and find my favorite!

  5. Wow, I can’t believe you made so many cookies! I don’t think I could decide either. There’s a time and place / mood for all of them =)

  6. I love it when you make these, Bridget– I trust you more than CI ;) The thing that annoys me most about Alton’s recipe is the use of bread flour. It’s just not that common here. But I do agree, all chocolate chip cookies are good, I’d definitely not say no to one.

  7. Sweet! I LOOOOVe when you do test comparison posts!! Getting out of doing all the work myself is really quite preferable. haha. I’ll have to try this cookie recipe! Thanks!

  8. manggy – My brother makes Alton’s recipe with regular flour, and he’s been very happy it.

  9. What a fun experiment! I’ve been meaning to compare CI’s cookies with Alton’s ever since you mentioned that you like his version better. I like CI’s cookies, but I trust your opinion so I want to make sure I try them! I am also with you on the dough. I will admit to making cookie dough quite often with no intentions of actually baking it!

  10. I’m with you on Alton’s recipe. My mom made them over Labor Day when we visited, and they were the best I’d had. I’ve since made them as well. However, my oven cooks hot and I didn’t realize it then, so they were a little TOO undercooked in the middle once they were nicely browned around the edges. I’ll need to watch that for next time.

    I bought bread flour JUST to make these cookies. SO GOOD.

  11. sidfaiwu says:

    You and your liberal elitist New York Times cookies! I bet that’s Bin Laden’s recipe of choice. I’ll stick with the cookie of choice of _real_ America, Toll House! ;)

  12. GREAT. Now I want to eat chocolate chip cookie dough for breakfast :)

    Haven’t seen the Alton one before but I’m intrigued. He always has some interesting recipes with all of this chemistry experiments and such.

  13. this is a great post! I love all of your findings- even if you didn’t get a final winner. I am also a huge Tollhouse fan- for some reason they always turn out perfect for me- but I have also used the Mrs. Field’s recipe which has ground up oats in it which gives the cookies a little nutty flavor. I will definitely try out Alton’s recipe now!

  14. What a great experiment! I really enjoy the NYT recipe, although my husband always prefers the original Tollhouse – just like his grandma used to make.

    I have never tried the CI recipe because breaking and rotating the dough before baking seemed to fussy. I will certainly try the Alton Brown recipe though.

    One question – you mentioned you add a little extra flour to the Tollhouse recipe – could you clarify how much extra? Does this make it a bit less greasy?

    Thanks!

  15. jillrock96 says:

    I have to share — Alton’s “The Chewy” recipe is my secret chocolate chip cookie recipe. It is the only recipe that I refuse to share, and I am literally BEGGED for it all the time. But — in order for them to be amazing, you must use an ice cream scoop (or similar size disher) to scoop out the dough. They will be very big, but the cookies don’t turn out the same if you make them smaller. And you have to chill the dough for at least an hour before you bake them. I promise — if you do this every time and follow the recipe exactly, they will be the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had!

  16. Katia – By volume, I used 2 1/2 cups flour instead of the 2 1/4 cups the recipe calls for.

  17. This is great! It’s such a personal taste thing, but thanks for doing so much homework for the rest of us!

  18. What a great comparison. Only true foodies could get that excited about the intricacies of chocolate chip cookies. I’m a toll house lover myself. I’ll have to try the two recipes you mentioned.

  19. Wow, what great pics, Alton’s looks like the thinnest, which surprises me! I guess as long as it is chewy that is all that matters!

  20. Fabulous comparison and now I have 3 more recipes to try (I usually stick with the Tollhouse recipe too). Thank you!

  21. bunnies4buddha says:

    You really should send some out for independent analysis – I heard there is a good lab in Charlotte, NC :P

  22. What a fun experiment! I wish I had time to make all those cookies. Lately I’ve been tired by work, so I just end up sitting and watching TU once I’m at home. I am dying to try the NY times ones, though, after reading so much about them. They look the best to me in that very first picture. Thanks for sharing your experience (even if there was no official winner!)

  23. Thanks for that review!! The only recipes I’ve made are CI’s (my favourite) and the Tollhouse (too hard and buttery). I was thinking of doing a cookie test too, but I’m waiting for the holidays when I can feed them to others instead of eating them all myself. It’s really hard to find the cookie recipe with the perfect balance of crispness and chewiness. Have you ever baked with frozen dough? I wonder if that will affect texture?

  24. I love the CI recipe, works every time but I do refrigerate it for 8-24 hours. I am a true believer that letting it rest increases the flavor and it obviously keeps the cookies thicker.
    I was really disappointed with Alton’s recipe, I think 375degrees is just too hot and they came out slightly burnt and nothing amazing tasting. Tollhouse has always been too greasy for me too.
    The only one I have yet to try is the NY Times recipe. I don’t want to make it and regret not sticking with my favorite CI recipe!

  25. I love this post! I’ve tried all of these except NY Times, so maybe it will be my next one. The quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie may be neverending, but it’s fun!

  26. AB’s and NY Times’ (well, the version on Smitten Kitchen) cookies are my favorite. I alternate between the two. My students love them as well.

  27. Becky says:

    Where are you baking? I’ve tried the Alton Brown recipe on three separate occasions, and each of them have turned out flat, greasy, raw in the middle but burnt on the edges monstrosities. :(

    I have a recipe from a mormon friend that has been in her family for generations, and it works great, but the measurement differences between the Alton recipe and hers are drastic. I can only assume that high altitude and dry weather change the way the Alton cookies bake. It wouldn’t be aproblem for the other cookies since my friend’s family has been in the same place since their recipe was born.

    I still wanna know what the Alton cookies taste like though…

  28. Bridget, try the toll house recipie (or many any recipe, i have not experimented) with crisco instead of butter. You mentioned you like the buttery flavor but it makes them so much softer but not too chewy and I personally am not a fan of the buttery flavor. Just a suggestion!

  29. FlamingMango says:

    Here’s mine:
    2 c. flour
    1/2 c. ground oats
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp salt
    4 tsp vanilla
    2 eggs
    1.8 c. butter
    2 tsp. peanut butter
    1.5 c. light brown sugar
    12 oz. chocolate chips
    3/4 c. pecans or walnuts
    ———-
    I combine the ingrediants in the typical way, but then i bake the cookies for 12 min. at 350 degrees.

  30. great post…personally my favorite are company’s coming chewy chocolate chip cookies (with extra flour) I’ve been making them since before i could reach the kitchen counter. The recipe calls for cornstarch which helps to make a very tender and chewy cookie.
    Also i feel you would appreciate that at the top of the recipe, years ago, my mother wrote “good cookies, great dough.”

  31. Whichever recipe I use, I always modify it according to the weather, the flour, etc. with extra vanilla, a bit of baking powder (to cut down on their tendency to greasiness) and more brown sugar than white (to increase the chewiness). Anyone who has my chocolate cookies say they are the absolute best they’ve ever had. I have sold a zillion of them! I agree that using melted butter is terrible-it makes for a greasy (not moist) cookie. Toll House is a good basic recipe but no one recipe is fool-proof. They all have a tendency to be either dry, cake-like, greasy/oily, flavorless, etc. Just pick a recipe, modify it until it works for you and use it over and over. And try to enjoy the mistakes along the way!

  32. JuLiet says:

    my personal fav is the recipe back of the ghirardelli semiSweet chips bag…

  33. Adelle says:

    dang. and cc cookie dough gives me heartburn, but I really REALLY want to make one of these recipes, just to have the dough.

  34. LOVE this post & just had to comment: I thought I was the only one who added extra flour to the tollhouse recipe! In winter I find I don’t need to add quite so much; same if the oven runs hot, but that extra flour makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies! Really good brown sugar (not the standard brown sugar, which is like white sugar with molasses and coloring) makes them taste awesome too.

    I’ll be honest, I have yet to find an AB recipe that, well, rivals any recipe I’ve got on file (I wasn’t impressed with his scones, haven’t liked any of his meat recipes, don’t understand why he’d make something like a stew more difficult by pre-cooking meat that will only be put in a stew…)… but I’m curious…. Do you think the AB recipe rivals your ‘tweaked’ tollhouse? (I saw you only compared it to the classic one). If so, I might have to test it!

  35. New to your blog but I just had to stop a moment and tell you how brave I think you are. Me? I’d never have the guts to tackle this sensational project. I’ve gained about ten pounds just salivating over your images. Great post and I’ll be back.

  36. I have to say, I love the CI recipe… but I do it a bit differently (http://kivysblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/fantastic-m-or-chocolate-chip-cookies.html). Not to muddy the subject, but I find that chocolate chip cookies are excellent when made with dark chocolate M&Ms.

  37. after CI did its “Thick and Chewy” it later did “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies” May/June 2009. These are truly the best!!!

  38. Hi – I happened to have stumbled upon your post here – and loved your article and am quite appreciative of your efforts in baking the various recipes – I am surprised though that your butter was melted – is this something you always do?

    the cold butter allows for crispy and yet chewy on the inside cookies – whereas melted butter can have quite different results – I would be curious to see/know if it was just this time (on the melted butter) or you do this always…

    I would suggest if you havent already – to try it with cold butter that has come to be out of the fridge for 2 hours – it affects the flour as well…. – like when you make pie dough, – let me know – I will be sure to check out your other articles….

    zen peace! and all hail to the cookie!
    Leah

  39. bridget says:

    Becky – I live at sea-level. My understanding is that this type of cookie is tricky at high altitude.

    K – I actually haven’t made my tweaked Tollhouse cookies in years, since I’ve been playing around with other recipes. And when I made them, I wasn’t evaluating the cookies the way I do now. However, I still think I’d prefer AB’s recipe. You have nothing to lose by trying it! Even if they’re not quite as good as your current favorite, I’m sure you won’t think they’re bad!

    Chef Maven – I simply followed each recipe as it was written by the original author. When they called for melted butter, that’s what I used. I do generally prefer softened butter, as opposed to melted, in my chocolate chip cookies though.

  40. My personal favorite for chocolate chip cookies is Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen “thin and crispy” CCC’s. I’ve never been a fan of the chewy ones, I always adore that yummy buttery “snap” when biting into one. What I think is neat is that the thin and crispy version from CI is an adaptation from Nestle Tollhouse.

    Great research, thanks for the inspiration. I’ve been craving some CCC’s, I might have to stay up late and make some!

  41. I read this and the whole time I was thinking, I really hate my diet! I want to make and test these too!!

  42. I always use softened (not cold or melted) butter in my cookie recipes and it eliminates a lot of problems w/ texture. the best way to soften the butter is to take it out of the fridge at least a couple of hours before you start to make the cookies.

  43. I am the ORIGINAL cookie monster..my childhood memories are flooded with attempts to “break into” my grandmother’s “cellar” (where the tins of amazing ‘one chip chocolate chip cookies’ lived)!
    I have tried hundreds of chocolate chip cookie recipes and confess that every week I make dozens of cookies for friends to enjoy…this year my recipe of choice is the NY Times Recipe!
    I get such rave reviews of the cookies-they are Never bad and yes I do believe the rest period is also a restraint for the baker!
    Like most CCC fiends…the dough is fly! but covering it and stashing it away in the fridge for a day lets it survive another day!
    I have only recently discovered the sublime relationship that transends from the sprinkle of sea salt over the raw cookie dough right before baking…Ahhhhhhhhh!
    Superb!

  44. I have never wanted a chocolate chip cookie as much as I do right now. lol For my money, I love doing regular Tollhouse recipe chocolate chip cookies but cutting back the baking soda and the salt. Mmmmmm.

  45. I have to say that the TATE’S recipe is my favorite…..only cooked for 8 min instead of 12. If you haven’t tried it then you absolutely should! Simple to make too.

    YIELD: About 40 cookies

    * 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 cup (2 sticks) lightly salted butter, at room temperature
    * 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    * 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
    * 1 teaspoon water
    * 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    * 2 large eggs, beaten
    * 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (Nestlé can’t really be beat)

    Preheat the oven to 350º.

    Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a bowl. In another large bowl, mix the butter with a wooden spoon to lighten it a bit and then mix in the sugars. Add the water, vanilla and eggs to the butter mixture. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined and then fold in the chocolate chips. Using two soup spoons, drop the cookies 2″ apart onto two nonstick or greased cookie sheets. Bake for eight minutes, rotating the sheets after four minutes. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.

    source: http://goop.com/newsletter/38/en/

  46. Ron Nichols says:

    very good…just starting to enjoy cooking and this kind of info ver useful

  47. Now the next step is to start combining them to figure out your own recipe for the best one… the one that will be not too greasy and a little crispy around the edges and fun to make and butterscotchy and all good the next day, and has a good dough and a good cookie… and EVERYTHING. it’s the ultimate challenge. and I think you’re heading in the right direction w/ a little extra flour for the toll house.. get crazy! have fun! and good luck!

  48. Great info. I found you on Stumble and am very impressed! GREG

  49. Ok. I stumbled upon this article. I love chocolate chip cookies (who doesn’t). Now it looks like I will have to start my own cookie quest. It could be fun activity with kids!

  50. I am going home and making cookies right now! :) I really love oatmeal CC cookies. Have you tried that? My problem? My cookies are always a little hard/dry – no matter when I take them out of the oven. Help?

  51. I would have gained at least 600 lbs. had I undertaken this project. Thanks for doing the work! I am going to try out the Alton Brown recipe, sounds good! And my DH is like a garbage disposal for cookies. He can polish off 3 dozen in a night–pretty good for a guy that weighs 130 lbs.

  52. Have you ever added cinnamon and nutmeg to cc cookies? I never make them with out it now.

  53. here’s a new one for your obsession! i just stumbled upon your page as i have been combing the internet and books and people for the perfect chocolate chip recipe. i appreciate your devotion.
    i have not yet tried this recipe, and i question the cold butter, but it’s from someone i trust, and i am curious!

    Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 cup(130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

    Adjust the oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

    Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.

    Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

    Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Make about 20 cookies.

    From The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press, 2004) – reprinted with permission.

  54. bridget says:

    lulu – How interesting. David Lebovitz, you say? That’s a pastry chef that I trust. I’m intrigued.

  55. The Chewy (from Alton Brown) is definitely the best of the 4

  56. magsstern says:

    Stupid question – do you pack the brown sugar for Alton Brown’s Chewy recipe? Doesn’t specify.

    Here’s a tip for an incredibly good cookie – look up the hoax Neiman Marcus CCC ( I call it the Neiman Marcus Faux recipe ) – the one with the ground up oatmeal. Use all organic ingredients, use only 1/2 the amount of chocolate chips listed, use a high cocoa content chocolate instead of the Hersey bar ( I use Green and Black’s ), use pecans ( recipe says you can use any variety of nuts you want – but again, only 1/2 of what it says ) and ground up the nuts to a fine powder ( as close as you can get – doesn’t have to be perfect )! It will blow your mind. But don’t make them too big!

  57. magsstern says:

    Here’s another great cookie blog – I’ve baked all 4 of these here and all on this blog and had 6 taste testers and the overall winner was the Cookie Doctor recipe ( who ever thought orange and cinnamon would combine to make one killer cookie! ) – my modified Neiman Marcus Faux recipe I posted above came in second.

    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/10/the_best_chocolate_cookie_recipe_ever_unless_1.html

  58. My favorite chocolate chip cookie has oatmeal in it. My son hates the oatmeal. Can you tell me what I can substitute the oatmeal with?

  59. I LOOOOOVE this blog entry. I found it years ago and just completely enjoyed re-reading it again. The pics of the cookie dough is mouthwatering! I compare and contrast sweets all the time on my site, http://www.DessertDarling.com, where I critique and review desserts! You might enjoy :-)

  60. Christiee says:

    I’m pretty sure I grew up with tollhouse, they’d be so good out of the oven, but the next day, hard as rocks. Although my mom replaced butter with shortening & left them in a bowl surrounded by air to you know help them dry out. So those might have helped the next day. But I currently make this pudding recipe. I read it was once on the back of a pudding box, but I love it, it adds a nice lil extra vanilla flavor, and I add both baking soda and powder, so they spread out and are soft and thin.

  61. Great post, I appreciate all the work involved and the sacrifice. I did a comparison of 10 cookies a while back and I found a 2oz version of the NY times to be the best of those I tried with a couple of close contenders. If anyone is interested checkout http://www.thegrinninggourmet.com/?page_id=178

    I am planning on trying the Keller cookie soon as it has had rave reviews.

  62. Laraine says:

    I’m going to try AB next.

    I have always been a Tollhouse girl myself, since I was 13 and I’m 60 now, with a couple of changes. My secrets:

    - I ALWAYS use half butter and half Crisco.
    It’s one flat pancake otherwise, even when refrigerated. Still full on buttery taste.

    - I always mix on one night and bake the next night, so it is good and cold.

    - I ALWAYS use parchment paper.

    - I always bake at 325 degrees until barely golden, remove from oven, and IMPORTANT: then let the cookie set up a bit just a few minutes, before removing from parchment paper and hot cookie sheet to cooling rack. Can’t remember the length of time. I’m thinking between 18 and 25 minutes.

    - I only cook one sheet at a time of cookies in the oven.

    - Each batch of cookies, I ALWAYS use a fresh room temperature cookie sheet and NOT use a hot one just coming out of the oven and reload it. Have plenty of cookie sheets. I get professional looking cookies and great flavor.

    Looking forward to trying some new ones though.

  63. Laraine says:

    P.S.

    Do not use butter flavored Crisco ever…I can detect that taste in the finished cookie and it’s awful. Just stick with the original white Crisco.

  64. Laraine says:

    P.P.S.
    Sorry. Not clear instructions.
    -
    The 18 -25 minute time, refers to the cooking time in the oven.

    Letting the cookies “cook” or hang out upon removal from the oven, is about 5 minutes or so.
    It gives the cookie enough time to be able to remove it w/o destroying the shape because they’re soft and just barely golden but not raw in the center. This step is a must.

  65. Nicole says:

    Okay so my question is, which one stand chewy and soft!!! I always have a problem with my cookies getting hard after cooling…do you have any suggestions… The recipe i recently used is the CI one!!! PLEASE HELP!! i LOVE soft chewy cookies!

  66. bridget says:

    Nicole – I wonder if you’re overbaking your cookies. Do you have an oven thermometer? You should take the cookies out of the oven before they’re completely cooked. They’ll continue cooking out of the oven on the hot baking sheet for a few minutes. All of these recipes should give you a cookie that stays soft after it cools, for at least a couple of days.

  67. this is very funny. i had no idea about all the differences between the different cookies.

  68. I’ve always wanted to have a blog where I do tests like this, it seems like a lot of fun! Great entry, I appreciated it.

    @BMBills6

  69. Kayla says:

    I’m making CCC for our vacation next week and I want them to be perfect! Have you ever done the Tollhouse cookies with bread flour instead of AP? I’m leaning towards a recipe with softened butter instead of melted but this is not the time to “mess up” cookies!
    Thanks!

  70. bridget says:

    Kayla – The Tollhouse recipe with bread flour instead of all-purpose flour is the version of chocolate chip cookies I make most often! The cookies still have great flavor, but they don’t spread so much and aren’t as greasy.

  71. Amber says:

    I stumbled upon a cookie recipe that I can’t back down from. http://www.bakerella.com/pillow-cookies/ I make just the chocolate chip cookie portion pretty often and they are awesome on their own. I really think the mini chocolate chips make the cookie.

  72. I grew up on the Tollhouse recipe. It was the one my mom would have waiting for us on rainy days, warm and delicious with a glass I milk. As I got older I appreciated the dough more and more and would sneak it whenever my mom’s back was turned. I always make it now with my kids as well, and anytime I take it to a gathering people love it. When I tell them it’s the recipe on the back of the cc package they can’t believe it. I use a full cup each of white and brown sugar, along with a cup of rolled oats. It’s how my mom always used to make them. but just two weeks ago my brother in law made us the CI browned butter recipe. I couldn’t believe how good they were. The dough (the most important part) tasted like my favorite candy from See’s. I was hooked. I’m going to make them tonight for the first time and can only hope they turn out as well as his. I’ll have to try Alton’s and the NY Times’ (which i’ve seen on Pinterest tons) as well.

  73. Amanda says:

    I’m really intrigued now to try Alton Brown’s recipe. I have tried the other 3 and use the NY times one with some slight alterations based on another blog (where I got the recipe originally) – http://orangette.blogspot.com/2008/07/bold-statement.html. The main difference is using only all-purpose flour instead of using both cake & bread flour. I have tried it both ways, but normally just use all-purpose.

  74. charley says:

    on and on and on with “designer” cookies. why make things more difficult when Tollhouse has the solution. btw, alton brown is a snobbish putz…

  75. It might be more to do with my high altitude (5,500 ft!), but I’ve found that NO CC cookie recipe works for me unless it involves REAL butter (we always used marg. growing up, at sea level) and Shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco). My personal fave comes from Our Best Bites — their basic “Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipe, not the chewy or anything like that. I just sub in the Crisco for the marg. it calls for and add in just a *smidge* more chocolate chips, since i like mine super chunk-filled. :)

  76. L. Dean says:

    I use the standard toll house batter, but thats as far as I go. I make my chip mix as follows, Also It gets stored in a huge zip lock or I put it in a bowl with a cover..
    1 bag of white, milk, dark ( or bittersweet), and semi chips
    about a cup or two of either dried blueberries, canberries, or other kind of dried fruit,
    1 cup shaved un-sweetened coconut,
    sometimes 1/4 of a cup of oatmeal
    I also add 1/4 cup of flaxseed.

    I cook for the same amount of time. I like more in my cookie, then just a handful of chips. and I bake ALOT!

  77. Tollhouse cookie recipe, but use half softened butter and half crisco stick. They come out chewy but not greasy. Soft with crisp edges.

  78. This post was so fun to read!! I made the NYT cookies a few weeks ago and brought them to a party. Holy cow did I get a lot of compliments!! I made them again a couple days ago and gave them to lots of different friends (some with a new baby, some with a new house) and again, a huge hit! I haven’t made the others, but I’ll say that my friends and I both L.O.V.E. the NYT cookies! Thanks for the great write-up and reviews!

  79. beautifulbirthdaycakes byChic says:

    This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  80. beautifulbirthdaycakes byChic says:

    I would have to try all three, but it all looks so yummy!

Trackbacks

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