Cookie Competition: Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Yesterday was a snow day here on the East Coast, and I think I can definitively say (for everyone) that there's nothing better than a batch of homemade cookies and a cup of coffee while the temp drops waaaay below freezing.

When I was a kid, my mom would host "Cookie Bakeoffs" for me and my brother. The three of us would each pick a different kind of cookie and when my dad got home from work, he would judge which he liked best.

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Then he had to guess who made which cookie. Lots of fighting ensued...

I decided to have a cookie bakeoff of my own yesterday, but instead of going against my family, I put three recipes against each other. My goal was to be able to definitively say what makes "the best" chocolate chip cookie: would it be the type(s) of flour, type(s) of chocolate, amounts of eggs, or type(s) of fats?

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I used three recipes: "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever" from Munchies, "Olive Oil & Chocolate Chip Cookies" also from Munchies, and "Chocolate Chip Cookies" from NYT Cooking. Each cookie was baked at 350º on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and I used salted butter, one tablespoon of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of vanilla in each cookie, regardless of what the recipe said, and combined each dough with a hand mixer. This was my way of streamlining the whole process.

I made NYT's recipe first, because it said to chill for 24 hours. I let it go for about 2 hours, and my cookies came out perfectly. I then made the Best CC Cookies recipe, because they needed to chill for one hour. Finally I made the dough for the Olive Oil cookies, and baked off each dough in the opposite order in which I prepared them in. Who was the winner? Keep reading to find out...

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) room temperature butter
  • 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate disks or chips
  •  Sea salt
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Combine the flours, soda, powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add in the chips. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours (I only did 2 hours!) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough about the size of generous golf balls onto the baking sheet. 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.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

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  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
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Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed with a hand mixer, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, and beat until just combined, then add the chocolate chips. Form the cookie dough into large balls, about half of the size of your fist. Place them on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2-inches apart. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the cookies, turning once and rotating shelves halfway through, about 15 minutes.

Olive Oil & Chocolate Chip Cookies

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  • 1 3/4 cup (with 1 tbsp removed) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar on medium speed with a hand mixer until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, beating well until smooth, followed by the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, and beat until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the balls in perfect dollops. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. They'll be really soft, but will firm as they cool. Transfer to a cooling rack.

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SO. Which cookie took the prize? Well that depends: Munchies' "Best CC Ever" recipe was definitely your picturesque chocolate chip cookie. It was crunchy on the edges, and gooey and thick in the middle. It was a bit "extra" for me – a little too big, but everyone loved them. These are definitely something to bake for a group or as a gift. The Olive Oil cookies really weren't a fair comparison, because they were so out-of-the-box: the flavor of olive oil really came through, which I adored. They are definitely a gourmet cookie. The NYT Cookie, for me, won! It was a perfect chocolate chip cookie, made elegant from the dark chocolate. The combination of bread and cake flours gave it a combination of a cakey-yet-chewy texture, thanks to the variation in protein levels in the flours. Make them all, though, and see for yourself.

My name is Alexandra Jade, but you can call me Alex, or Trin.  I am a Food Studies major at New York University, and a freelance photographer, journalist, and social media pro on the side.  I run the instagram account @twobrunchgirls.