In this post, we set out to answer the eternal question: what is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe on the internet?
Well, at least based on the first three pages of Google.
Background In which you find out how this came to be
Well over a year ago, my friend Skyler came up with an idea to bake a bunch of chocolate chip cookies and visualize the data of the different recipes. Before we were able to do so, Skyler ended up moving to NYC…but then came back to Houston for a visit–just in time to get stranded by Hurricane Harvey. For all the bad that Harvey wrought, our silver lining was that we finally had time to bring our cookie project to fruition.
The Project In which we bake 200+ cookies and Skyler builds magnificent Tableaus to display our data
The project was two-pronged: the first part was to gather and analyze the top chocolate chip recipes from the web. The second was to bake the top 12 recipes and hold a taste test to see which recipes ranked the highest.
We scraped almost all the chocolate chip cookie recipes off the first three pages of Google (as of September 2017) and then narrowed the selection of cookies to bake to 12, trying to pick some of the most popular recipes and eliminating any duplicate or similar recipes. We omitted recipes that used ingredients outside of the basic butter, flour, sugar, etc. except for a few exceptions that used very small quantities of ingredients like molasses, cornstarch, baking powder or turbinado sugar. Although we excluded oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from this experiment, we included the Neiman Marcus recipe which uses oat flour out of curiosity.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve made pancakes, but when the craving hit, I decided to revisit an old single-serving recipe of mine. Oh how times have changed–back when I used to consume yogurt by the tub to now, when I can’t even tolerate a few tablespoons in a pancake recipe without breaking out in scaly rashes on my hands. (It’s okay–I’ve switched over to eating cookies instead.)
This is still a pretty basic gluten-free buckwheat-based pancake at it’s core (although the ingredient list still looks long, the pancakes are quick to throw together); I just swapped out the yogurt for a little more almond milk with a splash of apple cider vinegar to imitate the acid in yogurt. I tried these with both maple syrup and sugar and liked the texture better with sugar, though you can use either!
It felt fitting to top this updated dairy-free recipe with drizzles of a certain dairy-free chocolate hazelnut spread I received in the mail. Tbh, the super small amount of dairy in Nutella doesn’t normally bother me, but I just loved the vibrant flavor and silky texture of Nocciolata. The little luscious jar is small but rich–a little goes a long way, and the taste reminds me of the difference between Nestle chocolate chips and Valhrona. Imagining myself as the type of adult who buys Nocciolata instead of Nutella feels like I’m moving up in the world, like when I started splurging on actual face cream instead of just using body lotion (ugh hashtag aging). Is this adulting?
Thanks to Nocciolata for sending me a sample of their product. All their ingredients are organic and non-GMO, with top-quality cocoa, cocoa butter, raw cane sugar, cold-pressed sunflower oil and natural vanilla extract (and no palm oil!). All opinions are my own.
¼ cup oat flour (you can grind rolled oats into flour using a food processor or blender)
½ tablespoon ground flax seed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup almond milk (or milk of choice) + a dash of apple cider vinegar (for acid to react with the baking soda)
2 tablespoons sugar
½ tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 medium banana, sliced
Whisk all dry ingredients together (buckwheat through salt). Add the almond milk, syrup, sugar, vanilla and stir until just combined. If the texture looks too thick, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
Heat a pan over medium heat, grease with a little oil and dollop tablespoons of batter into the pan. Press slices of banana into each pancake. Once the top of the pancake looks dry, flip and cook for another minute or two until fully cooked through.
These pancakes are not super sweet on their own, so serve immediately with a bunch of maple syrup, Nocciolata and/or nut butter!
When Dan and I realized we had 5 and a half days to visit Spain after my conference in Barcelona in March, we immediately started brainstorming where else we could go. By the time Dan arrived, I would have already been in Barcelona for a week, and Dan was inclined visit other cities.
We thought about the South of France (Toulouse, Montpellier, or even Nice) but ultimately decided it was a lot of traveling for the short amount of time we had. Madrid would have been the obvious option since it was just a short 3-hour high-speed train ride away from Barcelona, but we also briefly considered Zaragoza and Sevilla. Ultimately, once we found out Valencia is the birthplace of paella, that made our decision.
This past weekend, I flew back home to NorCal for my childhood friend’s wedding. It was my first time being in a wedding and though I was v concerned about having to do my own hair and make up and standing out as the singular troll amid a sea of beauteous bridesmaids…after a crash course in hair wands and eyeshadow, I think I turned out okay.
The wedding, though–it was STUNNING. White folding chairs on a lush lawn overlooking a sprawling vineyard that looked like a postcard, an absolutely beautiful dress my friend bought in New York on a mother-daughter trip, a ceremony that was simultaneously heartfelt and moving but also brief enough so that we didn’t freeze in the cool afternoon wind, a small two-tier wedding cake with the best raspberry buttercream I’ve ever tasted in addition to a giant dessert table featuring tiny lemon meringue tarts, chocolate opera cakes and macarons…it was perfect.
I’ve never been so happy to fold laundry, steam broccoli, wash dishes, and pass out in my own bed after catching up on all the Scandal episodes I missed while I’ve been away these past three weekends.
Weekend 1: I floated the river in Austin with the Aussie and friends where I drank only one sip of a Mike’s Hard Lemonade (Black Cherry is sooooo gooood) because I was really content just lounging in a large intertube in the sun but witnessed not one but two people projectile vomit by the end of the trip (not typical).
Weekend 2: Tiki lounges in SF are LEGIT! For my childhood friend’s bachelorette, we cruised around the Bay on a boat, then embarked on a good old-fashioned bar crawl with new-fashion tiki outfits (i.e. for me a shirt with flowers on it). In case you ever go to SF and have a penchant for rum drinks and engraved tiki god statues, our itinerary was: The Tiki Room, Lipo Lounge, Pagan Idol, Smuggler’s Cove and Trad’r Sam).
Weekend 3: NYC with troll friends! We watched Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walters and more ad lib voices to various TV show scenes at the Vulture festival (and got free manicures in the lounge afterwards) and then split a quarter pound of pistachio, matcha and coffee halva at Chelsea market. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and took a rest break in the giant West Elm, ate Baked treats and generally hung out and had a v fun time.