The much-debated ultimate chocolate chip cookie

Hi Food52ers!

I love to bake so, naturally, I've tested my fair share of chocolate chip cookies (and then some).

I'd like to know, what's your go-to from-scratch favorite and why?

I've seen Jacques Torres' a lot, and a bunch from Martha Stewart and Bon Appétit, Dorie Greenspan's less-traditional World Peace Cookies, etc.

So, I urge all you savvy chefs to chip in (literally!) Sorry, couldn't resist... Hopefully we can get a delicious thread going.

  • Posted by: KatyM
  • July 16, 2012


Peter July 18, 2012
Every year I throw a huge Haloween Pumpkin Carving party (100+ people, 13 gallons of chili, etc).

Chocolate chip cookies have been a mainstay. A few years ago we did a taste test -- America's Test Kitchen's "Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie" vs. my personal favorite -- a recipe from The Sweet Life by Kate Zuckerman for "Crispy, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies". The results?

No contest. The Sweet Life won hands-down. One major difference in her recipe from the Test Kitchen's? She uses ALL brown sugar. And because of the alkaline brown sugar, she uses a full teaspoon of baking soda. Which in turn leads to a cookie that's crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle.
jsdunbar July 18, 2012
I think I am heavily influenced by ones had at my best friend's house when I was growing up. Her mother insisted that whatever the recipe said, when we made chocolate chip cookies we were to double the butter. This made a flat chewy cookie that spoiled me forever & is the antithesis of a Dad's cookie.
Miranda R. July 17, 2012
I am going to second the "Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" vote -- and I have made a LOT of chocolate chip cookies (because they're the best food on earth). I love the method (one bowl, melted butter so no need for a stand mixer) and LOVE the super chewy (almost doughy) cookies that you get at the end. They're basically the best.
LLStone July 17, 2012
The Brave Tart blog has a great recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and a link for tips on ensuring your cookies bake up beautifully. I've made them and they are quite delicious.
Diana B. July 17, 2012
I posted this in an earlier query about the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, but it's so good it bears repeating...

America's Test Kitchen has something called The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and I can attest that it's damn near perfect! I bake them a little longer than the recipe calls for because I like a crisper cookie, but they are fabulous any way you make them, although they are a little more work than most recipes.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

1¾ C unbleached all-purpose flour (8¾ oz)
½ t. baking soda
14 T unsalted butter (1¾ sticks)
½ C granulated sugar (3½ oz)
¾ C packed dark brown sugar (5¼ oz)
1 t table salt
2 t vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¼ C semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
¾ C chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees; adjust rack to middle of oven. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment.

1. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 T butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 T butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg & egg yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking twice more until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny.

4. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

5. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 T (or #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.

6. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set, but centers are still soft, 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking (I bake them for 17 minutes, rotating the sheet at 8½ minutes, but I like a crisper cookie)

7. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving. Makes 16 cookies.
SeaJambon July 17, 2012
I recently had a "chocolate chip tasting" that involved a number of teenagers (perfect audience for such a thing, don't you think?) as well as others. What I learned was very interesting. People have strong preferences and they are NOT universal. Two recipes "won" -- one was a bit more crunchy (very much like a Chips Ahoy) and the other was buttery and chewy (even slightly undercooked). So, I'm going to guess that there are a number of different chocolate chip cookie recipes that are superb, but like beauty being in the eye of the beholder, the "superbness" will be in the mouth of the eater.

And, before you ask for the recipe, it is the most basic -- from the back of the Nestle bag. The difference in these cookies? Each used a different (gluten-free) flour blend -- otherwise, identical.
HalfPint July 17, 2012
The best chocolate chip cookie is one freshly baked, 10 minutes out of the oven. Doesn't matter which recipe you use.
Sadassa_Ulna July 17, 2012
I like your question - especially the "Why?" part...
You just inspired me to post my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies since it is not written down anywhere in my kitchen, just in my head. My recipe isn't far off from the norm (if there is such a thing) but it is how I like them, not too buttery, not too many chips, toffee-flavored and on the chewier end of the spectrum:

I think people have different preferences based on things like crispy vs. chewy, "right-out-of-oven" vs. cooled, "plain" vs. nuts, buttery vs. less-buttery, etc. I also think childhood and family recipes can affect our preferences?

KatyM do you have a go-to favorite?
KatyM July 18, 2012
I'm glad I inspire you! I would love to try your recipe.

I do not discriminate...I love almost all chocolate chip cookies. I prefer slightly crispy on the outside, almost cookie dough on the inside. I love milk chocolate chips from Guittard or Ghirardelli. I really must try Jacques Torres' recipe--I've heard so many good things!! I wish the Levain bakery would give up their chocolate chip-walnut recipe, but until then we have the copycats.
DocLsk15 July 17, 2012
I had long been a fan of Elizabeth's Big, Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie until I made Jacques Torres recipe. It is not only bakery looking beautiful but incredibly delicious, making it a perfect chocolate chip cookie.
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