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.
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.
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.
“And then there was that time where everything I made tasted like bread.”
That’s the story I’m going to be telling my grandkids in a few decades.
Or you, in a few months, I suppose. Why does everything I make taste like bread, you ask?
Lately, all of my “health(ier)” recipes that I’ve modified have come out bread-like–probably from reducing the sugar, upping the flax, and trimming down on the fat. I ventured to go a level deeper yesterday and postulated that perhaps this is because I’ve been refusing to buy bread for months now, based on the argument that I can just “make it.” Why spend $4 on the seedy artisan loaf that I love when I can have even more fun making it at home?
The problem is, I don’t make it at home. I’m always put off by the thought of having to let something rise for multiple hours and maybe not even rise, if my yeast is feeling moody. So my longing for bread is manifesting itself through other things I make, including these cookies.
Do these cookies taste like bread? Well….sort of, but not really. But there IS a flax-y quality about them that reminds me of something more hearty and wholesome than a cookie. They’re slightly chewy and slightly crumbly and though it might not have the butter-based punch that traditional chocolate chip cookies have, these are addictingly good. They rise up to contained, puffy heights in the oven, and only by squashing them down with a spatula mid-way through can you get a more traditional looking cookie. AND. They’re healthier!