Using the same brands of ingredients, the same size scoops of dough, the same oven and the same cookie sheets, Karen Haram bakes 6 types of chocolate chip cookies and puts them in front of a panel of 18 Kindergartners, 15 people who claim to love chocolate chip cookies and 7 food professionals.
This is the list of what they tested. Try to pick the winner, then click the link below to see if you were right.
JACQUES TORRES’ COOKIES
MRS. FIELD’s COOKIES
POPULAR ALL RECIPES COOKIE
COOKS’ ILLUSTRATED SNAGGED FROM RECIPEZAAR
Here’s another link to the article. I guess it was syndicated from the San Antonio Express because now it’s in the Fort Worth Star Telegram and says “San Antonio Express”. NEW LINK
Also, here’s another link to the New York Times recipe which is the original (but now you have to pay for it).
Thank you so much Anna! I can’t wait to get in the kitchen in a bit and start making them!
Thanks for telling me about that link. I linked to the original, which is also in the sidebar. In case it gets lost again, here’s the paraphrased version
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
1. Sift together dry ingredients (flour through salt).
2. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them.
3. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 24 to 36 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
5. Scoop 6 giant golf ball size mounds onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
I wanted to make the Jacque Torres Cookies today since I finally bought some bread flour today. The link no longer works!! Do you happen to have the recipes that were in the article? I found the article online but not the recipes!
With the JT recipe, I have always wondered why the two flours were used. It seems to me that with equal weights of bread flour and cake flour that you actually end up with flour that is pretty much the same as All Purpose flour (protein content). I have wondered if it is kind of a gimmick. The true test would be to compare the JT recipe as written with one made with All Purpose flour only (same weight of total flour). Has anyone done that?
The JT’s are still almost as good without chilling the dough! Get a bag of bread flour on hand to have just for making these cookies. You’ll be glad you did! 😉
Of COURSE your man JT won! After all your raving and now THIS, I’m going to have to try making those. It looks like it’s time for me to get over my fear of loving them so much I eat the whole batch at once.
I wonder why they used Kindergartners instead of, oh, third graders?
They could have easily gotten 15 qualified judges from this blog. We’ve probably all eaten more quality cc cookies than most people will eat in a lifetime.
Thanks for the article and link. I have been doing my own chocolate chip cookie testing for over a year now with dissapointing result. This winner recipe will be added to my taste testing…and I sure hope it wins…then I can put some closure to the great chocolate chip cookie debate…at least in my house!!
It is pretty cheap–I just don’t usually plan my ‘baking moments’ and so often resort to the all-purpose. Completely my own lack of initiative, I must confess!
I love these taste tests, something about my geeky scientific mentality.
Katrina, I’m sure Karen Haram is feeling pretty bad about not inviting you both to the testing. Especially considering the Houston Chronicle is always flying people in from Kansas and Portugal to help them with stuff.
Dawn and Steph, I almost fell over when I read that you hadn’t tried the Torres cookie. I thought everyone on the planet had.
Mary, how much does bread flour cost where you are? Could you just buy it in bulk for, oh, 75 cents?
Interesting! The only problem with the JT recipe is the need to refrigerate for at least 24 hours. If I had cookie dough in the fridge for 24 hours, my family and I would probably eat it all before it’s baked!
I guess this means I have to finally break down and buy bread flour!
I think I heard a sniff…was that…Christopher Kimball…ah well…
K, Maybe you should carry the Houston Chronicle article around in your purse. If you run into JT, you can pull it out and strike up a conversation…or get him to autograph it.
Score another one for my secret lover, Jacques. I need to restock. I’m taking my little nieces to his Chocolate Haven on Saturday. They’re so excited but they’re still reeling from Dylan’s CandyBar!
What a cool article – thanks for posting it! I would love to try all of them on the same day.
I thought the winner would be the CI recipe but I thought that would be the recipe with the browned butter from the recent issue. I just made those and they are so good!
Believe it or not Katrina, we didn’t hard boil any eggs for Easter this year. Our kids are grown, so there wasn’t an Easter egg hunt, or any egg dyeing. I’ll have to come up with another excuse to hard boil some eggs!
You should have Easter eggs just waiting to be made into the HBE cookies! I love them all, but try the oatmeal. 😉 The JT is one of my all time favorites.
Wow! That’s a great article! Thank you so much for providing the link. I wouldn’t have seen it if not for you.
I remember making the JT cookie and I remember that I liked it a lot. Some day I need to test the JT, the Carla Rollins, and the new CI “perfect” recipe each side by side because I love them all.
I have yet to make your HBE egg cookie. I need to get on that. 🙂
Thanks for sharing that article Anna!! I haven’t tried the NYT recipe yet, but I’ll have to give it a try. I think it was a little unfair with how the test was conducted though because I’m sure we all know by now that refrigeration makes a huge difference in cookie flavour and even texture. I think she should have refrigerated all the cookies for a true test of the cookie’s ingredients and ratio of ingredients!
awwww Anna, thanks sweetie for giving me a title/statement. You rock, you nailed it. LOL!
I have yet to try the Toerres cookie. But you know I still love my Levain Bakery clone recipe so much. Toll House is good too. Mrs. Fields was awful, for me anyways.
Heather - Ghost Baker
This is very cool! I’ve always wanted to do a test like this myself because, you know, I enjoy eating cookies!!
Well I’m giving away the winner here, but I’m glad JT won. He deserves it. Plus, he’s nice. Katy G. met him on an airplane a few weeks ago and said so. LOL.
First of all, whatever that they didn’t ask you, Rita or me to be in the study of 15 people who LOVE ccc’s! Second, my first guess was Nestle, just because of kids testing, but I’m happy it was JT’s. That recipe (very similar to the NY Times) is WAYYYY up there as my fave!
I should have known that Jacques would win.
I knew you would like it, Rita.
what an interesting article. I have to try the winner recipe now 🙂
Wow Anna how interesting! I’ve bookmarked it to read it carefully later, cause I’m in a rush now. Thanks for sharing!