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We Held A Chocolate Chip Cookie Taste-A-Thon

It’s a hard life, but we did it to bring you the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipes.

As part of the process of creating the best chocolate chip cookies ever, I baked 10 famous existing cookie recipes and held a blind taste test for 40 of my co-workers.

The 10 recipes came from all over the cookie spectrum. There was the New York Times’ top pick, the Nestlé Toll House version that we all grew up with, and favorites from Bon Appétit and bloggers like Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons.

I wanted to include something for everyone, because even though I’ve spent many years as a professional recipe creator, I know that not everyone is necessarily looking for the same kind of cookie. For this test, I asked my co-workers to taste all 10, then pick their absolute favorite.

To keep things as even as possible, I created a few simple parameters when it came to the actual baking.

I used the same size cookie scoop for all the cookies, as well as the same brands of ingredients. I baked off and tried one cookie right away, but for the sake of even testing, I chilled all the dough for 24 hours before baking.

The tasting was “blind” so that no one knew which recipe was which. Here’s what the tasting plate looked like.

The biggest thing I learned was that there are four types of chocolate chip cookies that people love to eat. They are:

• A classic chocolate chip cookie, with crispy edges, a chewy interior, and a toffee flavor throughout
• A crispy cookie that’s packed with extra butter and sugar
• A soft, bakery-style cookie that is sugary and has no crunch to it at all
• A cakey cookie that is somewhere between a slice of cake and a soft chocolate chip cookie.

The first THREE recipes below pulled ahead as clear winners of the taste test. Read about why our tasters loved them, and get links to all the recipes below.

1. Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies From the Seven Spoons Cookbook, by Tara O’Brady

The backstory: The recipe comes from blogger Tara O’Brady’s Seven Spoons cookbook. When this cookbook came out, I saw beautiful pictures of these cookies all over Instagram and knew that I had to try them. Turns out there was a reason: These cookies won in a landslide victory for favorite cookie.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Buttery, toasty, and toffee-like.”
• “Crunch on the front, goo everywhere else. Divine.”
• “This is like a cartoon cookie: nice shape and the taste is flawless. Wouldn’t fall apart, would be there for me.”

Get the recipe here.

2. Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Milk Bar Life cookbook, by Christina Tosi

The backstory: New York-based bakery Momofuku Milk Bar frequently has lines out the door for pastry chef Christina Tosi’s whimsical creations like Crack Pie and Cereal Milk Frozen Yogurt.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Very pretty, nubby and chewy with salt up front and strong vanilla.”
• “It is gooey but also crunchy and definitely has enough chocolate vibes.”
• “Soft and yum.”

This recipe was originally published in her book, Milk Bar Life, but you can find the recipe online over at Foodie Crush.

3. Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Bon Appétit, by Alison Roman

The backstory: If you love a crispy cookie, then these are for you. The recipe was created by Alison Roman, (formerly of BuzzFeed Food) during her tenure at Bon Appétit.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Salty, toasty, buttery.”
• “Oh fuck, it’s perfect,” “It tasted complex and more dynamic — like this cookie elevated me to another level.”
• “It was notably salty and notably sweet.”

Get the recipe here.

4. Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies From Serious Eats, by J. Kenji López-Alt

The backstory: J. Kenji López-Alt is a sort of mad genius in the kitchen. His Food Lab column over at Serious Eats is a must-read for cooking geeks because he delves into the hows and whys of recipes with nerdy granularity. This recipe was the result of months and months of testing, and the payoff is a somewhat complicated, totally delicious cookie.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Oh boy. Crispy and chocolatey. Come to Papa. Toffee-ish, salty — this cookie had all my favorite qualities.”
• “Perfect shade of brown, toffee AF, and also, like, browned butter?”
• “So much butter! (In a good way) LOVE the gooeyness.”

Get the recipe here.

5. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies From Cook’s Illustrated

The backstory: Cook’s Illustrated is basically Mecca for food geeks like me, so including their “perfect” chocolate chip cookie in the taste test was essential. After many rounds of testing they settled on browned butter for a nutty note and one egg and one yolk to enhance chewiness.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Love! So much chocolate. Hell yes. I also like the dark color.”
• “Perfect balance between gooey and a bit crunchy. Loved the salty kick.”
• “Chocolaty but not too sweet.”

Get the recipe here. (You’ll need a subscription to access the recipe.)

6. Chocolate Chip Cookies from the New York Times, by Jacques Torres

The backstory: When the New York Times published famous pastry chef Jacques Torres’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies back in 2008, it started a mini-revolution. Even though professional bakers commonly wait 24 hours (or more) to bake their cookie dough, this article brought the trick to light.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Awesome. Crunchy, kind of chewy, good salt. I would be pleased if I made this.”
• “Flood of chocolate.”
• “Nice crunch with a soft, chewy inside.”

Get the recipe here.

7. The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie by Alton Brown

The backstory: You may be familiar with food scientist Alton Brown, who has the show Good Eats on Food Network. He’s a recipe perfectionist, and this cookie is perfect for people who want a chewy cookie with crispy edges.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Chewy, buttery, lots of chocolate.”
• “Super caramel-y, heavy brown sugar.”
• “Chocolaty, velvety…all I can think about is the chocolate.”

Get the recipe here.

8. Chocolate Chip Cookies From Nestlé Toll House, by Ruth Wakefield

The backstory: If you grew up in the U.S., then you’ve probably eaten one of these cookies. (The recipe runs on the back of Nestlé chocolate chip bags.) The legend goes that Ruth Wakefield, one of the owners of the Toll House Inn, chopped a chocolate bar and folded them into her drop cookies, thinking that the chocolate would melt into the batter. No such luck — the chopped chocolate stayed in place. The result was a massive success, and this American classic was born.

Here’s what the tasters said:
• “Golden and smooth; looks like a classic.”
• “This tastes like what a cookie should be: perfect amount of chewy and crispy.”
• “Grandmother-y. The epitome of a ‘decent’ cookie.”

Get the recipe here.

9. Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies by Pinch of Yum

The backstory: At last count, these cookies by blogger Pinch of Yum have 350K-plus repins on Pinterest.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Oh fuck, I like this a lot. Soft, tastes cheap, and classic.”
• “Looks store-bought and tastes like it.”
• “Cakey, really good.”

Get the recipe here.

10. Chocolate Chip Cookies by David Lebovitz

The backstory: David Lebovitz is a Paris-based pastry chef who’s written several dessert cookbooks. These cookies call for almonds, but can be made without, which I did for the sake of standardization.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Compact and chewy.”
• “Very chocolaty, but weak finish.”
• “The taste is nice and mild, but it lacks oomph.”

Get the recipe here.

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