Chocolate Chip Cookie Showdown: Testing Recipes From Three Cookie Books
Lauren Shockey Left to right: The Cookiepedia, The Treats Truck Baking Book, Cookies at Home With the Culinary Institute of America
Whether you like 'em chewy and studded with tiny milk-chocolate morsels or crispy and stuffed with big bittersweet chunks, there's really no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie. Yet no chocolate chip cookie is ever as good as the one that Mom/Grandma/other person from your childhood used to make for you, no? Chocolate chip cookies are as about as Proustian as you can get, and the style you grew up with is most likely the type of cookie you still love. Nevertheless, with a crop of cookie cookbooks being released this season, we knew we had to dive in for a chocolate chip cookie showdown. Using the same ingredients, we tested chocolate chip cookie recipes from The Cookiepedia, The Treats Truck Baking Book, and Cookies at Home With the Culinary Institute of America, to determine this season's chocolate chip cookie champion.
The Cookiepedia by Stacy Adimando revisits classic cookie recipes, updating and improving on the originals for modern tastes. The book has a quirky feel, with hand-drawn pictures and a colorful, graphic layout. The recipe also gives helpful tips in the sidebars. For example, many supermarket brands of chips are made to resist melting and so it's best to buy chocolate chunks if you want a meltier cookie. And that letting the dough chill for one to two hours before baking will create a thicker, chewier cookie. Each recipe also ends with blank lines for you to fill in your own notes about each cookie.
What usually distinguishes one chocolate chip cookie from another is the sugar content; brown sugar usually helps create a chewier cookie. This recipe uses both light brown and white sugar, plus all the other standard ingredients, like baking soda, salt, butter, and vanilla. All in all, these cookies were fine, though we would have preferred a bit more of a molasses flavor, which was promised in the headnote and which didn't actually come through that well.