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When you search “Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe” on Pinterest, you’re instantly bombarded with thousands of pins, each claiming to be “the best”, “the softest”, or “the chocolate-iest” cookie out there. In order to determine which cookie really deserves the title of “the best, softest, chocolate-iest” cookie out there, I burdened myself with conducting the “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Taste Test.” Hey, blogging is hard work, okay?
So the 5 recipes I tried are definitely a small sample of chocolate chip cookies out there, but I had a few criteria in mind when I went to pick out the recipes.
- No weird ingredients. This includes bread flour, cake flour, dark brown sugar, and obscure forms of chocolate (60%+ cacao content or higher). If you can’t use all-purpose flour and a bag of Nestle chocolate chips, I’m not making it (sorry, New York Times chocolate chip cookies!).
- No crazy instructions. I’m okay with beating butter and folding in chocolate chips, but I hate sifting flour and using the stove to melt/cook things when I bake.
- No crazy variations. For this taste test, I wanted the cookies to just be chocolate chip, plain and simple. I love experimenting with chocolate chip cookies (adding pretzels, different forms of chocolate, etc), but this is about finding the best, classic chocolate chip cookie out there.
- No crunchy cookies. Again, I love thin and crispy cookies as much as y’all probably do, but to keep this test fair and square I went with regular, soft-in-the-middle cookies.
Of course, I used my classic tricks to make the perfect cookie for every recipe!
1. Pinch of Yum’s “The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies”
Pros: Nice and chewy in the middle; very buttery
Cons: Could use some more chocolate chips
Review: These cookies were the first ones I tested, and they were definitely great cookies to start out with. Soft, chewy, and very very buttery – I mean what more could you ask for in a cookie? The only thing I didn’t like was that there was only 3/4 of a cup of chocolate chips in the recipe – I would definitely just pour a whole bag in next time so I could get a ton of chocolate in every bite! Other than the chocolate chip cookie issue, these were super easy to make and definitely produced a classic chocolate chip cookie.
Baking notes: I didn’t press the dough with my hands – I just used the stand mixer until all the ingredients were combined (don’t over-mix though – the point of mixing with your hands is to not overwork the dough)
2. Sugar Spun Run’s “The WORST Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever”
Pros: Extremely chewy
Cons: Maple syrup was slightly overpowering
Review: I was intrigued by these cookies because 1. their title (great marketing, right?) and 2. their secret ingredient – maple syrup! No “Pure Vermont Maple Syrup” needed for these babies – as the directions state, you can use that sticky old Aunt Jemima that’s probably sitting in your fridge right now.
The maple syrup made these cookies extremely chewy and lightly maple flavored, which was definitely something I’ve never tasted in a cookie before. If you’re looking for a more classic cookie, this probably wouldn’t be your go-to; if you’re looking for a darker, more robust chocolate chipper, definitely give these a try!
Baking notes: Chilling the dough before baking is definitely super annoying, but don’t skip it! It really helps the dough to set up and creates a chewier cookie.
3. The Girl Who Ate Everything’s “My Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie”
Pros: Chewy, chocolate-y, buttery
Cons: Directions require a sifter (I didn’t sift the flour mixture and I think they turned out fine!)
Review: The addition of an extra egg yolk to this recipe definitely made these beauties very chewy. I think mine spread out a little more than the pictures show on the website, but they were definitely still chewy and delicious even if they weren’t as thick as some of the other cookies.
As per my rules of the taste test, I didn’t sift the flour when adding it to the wet ingredients, but I don’t think it affected the texture of the cookies too much. Plus, at 2 cups of chocolate chips, there was an awesome amount of chocolate in every bite.
Baking notes: As I stated above, I didn’t sift the dry ingredients, but definitely go for if you feel like it’s necessary!
4. Modern Honey’s “Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Crush Cookie”
Pros: HUGE, chewy, thick; just what you would expect from a bakery
Cons: Maybe a little too many walnuts; can only bake 4-5 at a time
Review: Wow wow wow are these cookies awesome. I used a quarter-cup of batter for each cookie, which means only 4-5 of them fit on a pan. Does this mean it takes a little longer to bake all of them? Yes. But is it totally worth it? Double yes.
I included the walnuts in the recipe because I had some sitting in my freezer, but I would definitely cut back on how much I added to the batter or just omit them entirely. If you’re looking for a thick, moist, crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside cookie, this is it y’all!
Baking note: I didn’t use cake flour; the recipe says it only makes 6-8 but I made 17 (huge) cookies using a quarter cup of dough each (make sure to press them down a little or they won’t bake in the middle).
5. King Arthur Flour’s “Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies”
Pros: Taste just like regular chocolate chip cookies
Cons: Slightly different (but not off-putting) texture because of the flour blend used
Review: I know this breaks the “no weird ingredients” rule that I set at the beginning, but I decided to make these for my sister (who doesn’t eat gluten or dairy) just to show that you can still make a delicious chocolate chip cookie even with dietary restrictions!
Seriously, if you put these out at a party and didn’t tell anyone they were gluten and dairy free, no one would know. These cookies are definitely a hit, even for those of us who can eat regular cookies!
Baking notes: To make these dairy free (not stated in the recipe), I used Smart Balance Dairy-Free Butter, which we get at Costco. I also used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips, which I’ve heard are considered vegan (definitely use ingredients that you are comfortable with if you have a food allergy – I’m not an expert at all so I just know what kind of ingredients we buy at my house!).
You can find the King Arthur flour blend used in the recipe, along with a bag of Xantham gum on Amazon or in the baking section of your grocery store. (Just a heads up that Xantham gum is $9-$10/bag, and you’ll only use 2 teaspoons of it for this recipe. Definitely worth it if you plan on doing more gluten-free baking in the future!). Again, always double check the ingredient list of any item you purchase to make sure that you are comfortable using it!