Remember back in March when I planned on doing chocolate chip cookie March Madness? Well, it’s now June and I’m just getting around to posting it, so rather than March Madness it’s more of a chocolate chip cookie tournament. Whoops.
Despite the wait, I’m happy to say that there were some great contenders, and between eight cookies and ten taste testers, two cookies stood out above the rest.
First, let’s start with the lineup of contenders.
- Hope’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pan-banging Chocolate Chip Cookies by Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog
- Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies by Alison Roman of Bon Appétit
- Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book
- Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies from Milk Bar Bakery
- New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies by Jacques Torres
- Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies by Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt
- Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from Levain Bakery
And the cookie that won it all? Drumroll, please……
1. New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies by Jacques Torres
The overall winner! This fancy twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie includes chunks of dark chocolate swimming in a smooth cookie dough sprinkled with sea salt. It requires the dough to rest for 24 – 36 hours between making and baking, which just means I need to constantly keep these dough balls in my freezer so I can have them whenever the mood strikes instead of waiting. They were rich, but not overly sweet due to the dark character of the bittersweet chocolate. Make these asap.
2. Pan-banging Chocolate Chip Cookies by Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog
Results were so close between the top two cookies that this one almost deserves a crown of its own. Pan-banging cookies were all the rage on Instagram for a while, thanks to Sarah’s genius recipe and photos. The baking method is interesting and produces a giant cookie that is chewy on the inside and crisp and crunchy on the outside. While they seem too massive to eat, the size is the key to getting both textures in one cookie. Almost everyone commented that this cookie took a little getting used to, but once they did, they were craving more of these addictive and irresistible cookies.
3. Hope’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe won the bronze medal, not because it was bad, but because the first two were so amazing. The comments conveyed that the oatmeal and nuts bring more texture to the cookie than most of the others, but that also made it less of the quintessential nostalgic chocolate chip cookie.
4. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from Levain Bakery
These thick, rich cookies tower over the rest in size and are an amazing option if you want a giant chewy chocolate-filled cookie. They definitely earned make-again marks from everyone, but also landed smack in the middle of the road between the rest of the batches.
5. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book
The perfect chocolate chip cookies would have been perfect, had it not been for the stiff competition. One of the reviewers said these were her go-to chocolate chip cookie before this tournament, but she in the future she is changing her go-to to the NYT cookies now that her eyes have been opened.
6. Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies by Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt
This cookie is for the sweet and salty lover. The combo works well, and the salt made them unique, but also made them divisive among reviewers. I love a little sweet and salty mix, but these might not be best for larger groups of people.
7. Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies by Alison Roman of Bon Appétit
As you can see from the photo, these are unconventional chocolate chip cookies. They are a shortbread texture, but also a chocolate chunk cookie, which is an interesting combination, but not one that many people loved. They are fun and crisp and different, but most reviewers wanted their classic chocolate chip cookies and their plain butter shortbread, and never the twain shall meet. In my opinion, they are worth a bake, but aren’t one that I keep in my freezer.
8. Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies from Milk Bar Bakery
The overall and almost unanimous review of these: they are cloyingly sweet, and definitely remind people of the nostalgic bakery chocolate chip cookie. The milk chocolate and basic cookie base definitely contributed to the overly sweet taste of Milk Bar’s classic cookie. Unfortunately, it was a little too much and many people couldn’t finish their cookie. If you have a strong sweet tooth and are the type of person who doesn’t like dark chocolate, this one’s for you. Otherwise, it’s a pass.
So there you have it! After months of waiting, round two of chocolate chip cookie March Madness (now, in June, known as the chocolate chip cookie tournament) is complete with a great gathering of delicious recipes. If you only make two of them, I definitely encourage you to try the New York Times recipe and pan banging cookies. They were all so different that there is something for everyone in this mix. Happy baking!