Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest

September 19, 2010

Last night, we invited some friends over for a chocolate chip cookie tasting contest. I had two different recipes for chocolate chip cookies that were quite different, and I wanted to know how they compared.

So instead of just baking them for myself and eating endless amounts of cookies, I invited some friends over to help me out.

First, however, we got started with some real food:

Black Bean Layered Dip

Spring Rolls

Lettuce-wraped Meatballs

Seafood CurryAfter enjoying all of this delicious food, it was now time to bring out the two contestants.

Contestant #1: Beth T’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run

BethT’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

Yield: makes about 16 cookies


1 – 3/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)

1/2 c white sugar

3/4 c packed brown sugar (recipe suggests dark brown, but light brown is also acceptable)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 c chocolate chips

optional: 3/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat oven to 375 and line two large baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Sift or whisk together the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Put 10 tbsp of the butter in a medium skillet set over medium high heat. Allow the butter to melt for 2 minutes and begin to swirl it around the pan, allowing it to brown. Keep the butter moving so it doesn’t burn. Browning should take about 3 minutes and you’ll know it’s done when it smells nutty and it has a dark golden brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and use a heatsafe spatula to transfer the butter to a large, heatsafe mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 tbsp of cold butter to the melted butter, and stir gently until it is melted.

Add the white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt to the butter and whisk the ingredients together. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk again until mixture is smooth, 30 seconds. Allow the batter to rest for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds more. Do this two more times; the end result should be thick and shiny.

Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined, about 1 minute. Gently stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using. The batter will be soft.

Form each cookie with roughly 3 tbsp of dough (if using a cookie scoop, use a #24). Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake one tray at a time, 10 to 14 minutes, on the middle rack of your oven. Rotate baking sheet after 5 minutes and check the cookies at 10; you want them to be golden brown and set around the edges, but puffy in the middle. (My oven yielded perfect cookies at 12 minutes.)

Allow to cool on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Contestant #2: The Pioneer Women’s recipe: PW’s Good Ol’ Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

PW’s Good Ol’ Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • ½ cups Margarine
  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • ½ cups White Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2-¼ cups Plus 2 Tablespoons, All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Flax Seed, Slightly Crushed With Rolling Pin
  • ¾ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup (heaping) Milk Chocolate Chips

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together butter, margarine, brown sugar, and white sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir together.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients in batches, stirring gently after each addition. Stir in flax seed if desired.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop balls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and eat warm.
Die from guilty pleasure.

So which one won?

Well, that depends upon what you like.

BethT’s Chocolate Chip Cookies: crisper, not as sweet, good dark chocolate flavor

PW’s Good Ol’ Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies: sweeter, chewier, more butter flavor

Everyone thought both recipes were dynamite, but overall, I think more people prefered BethT’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I personally loved PW’s Good Ol’ Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies. I loved the moist, chewy texture, and I really believe the instant coffee granuals enhanced the flavors!


What is your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?

    1. that looks so good! what a fun party idea. this is my new favorite choc chip cookie recipe. (there are 2 listed- i love gramma john’s)

      i’ve made them 3 or 4 times since march, which is crazy for me cuz i’m typically one to try new recipes all the time. 🙂 i love them with 3/4 c honey roasted peanuts added in the dough. they’re great frozen too!

    1. I love Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” for a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. And if I’m going all out and have some prep time, the New York Times best-ever chocolate chip cookie is the BEST I’ve ever made.

    1. I like the traditional Toll House recipe on the Nestle’s bag, but if you use more brown sugar than white sugar it changes the texture of the cookie. A little lacier and crisper. But I also like chewy cookies more. Will try these recipes! Love your photography too.

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