The search for the best chocolate chip cookie
(taste test #1)
NESTLE TOLLHOUSE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE WINS
The results are in for taste test #1:
(Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe vs. Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe)
Voters included myself, family and neighborhood families (12 adults, 7 children):
Cookie #1-Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie: 7 votes (4 children, 3 adults)
Cookie #2-Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookie: 4 votes (4 adults)
Cookie #3-Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie: 8 votes (3 children, 5 adults)
Each participant (other than myself) did not know the difference between all three cookies. In this case, it was the chocolate morsel and a slight variation of the recipe. Ghirardelli cookies contained less salt and more vanilla than the Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe. The voters were given a set of the three cookies, freshly baked within 24 hours of distribution, wrapped and labeled with a number on each (#1 cookie was Ghirardelli milk chocolate morsel, #2 cookie was Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate morsel, and #3 cookie was the tollhouse morsel). After the tasting, I asked for a vote of their favorite out of the three. I also asked to differentiate themselves based on age group. I was curious to see if age has any impact on the decision.
It is becoming clear that taste testers have personal preferences for either milk vs. darker chocolate, chewy vs. crunchy, or salt vs. sweet. Understand the room for error in each cookie and the subsequent decision of the tester. Error #1- though I tried to bake each cookie in the oven for the exact amount of time, my oven temperature must fluctuate because some cookies were done in the 9 minutes and some needed to stay in a little longer because I didn't feel they were cooked enough. Add in the workings of my home, and the consistent yells from other rooms asking for help at the exact time the timer is going off, and some cookies were crunchier than others. I will say that the chewiness or crunchiness of the cookie is completely based on the baking time; want chewy, bake for less time and vice versa...crunchy, more time. Error #2 - the amount of chocolate morsels in each cookie. It is the luck of the draw when scooping out each tablespoon of cookie dough and the amount of morsels that ultimately end up in each cookie. There is a possibility that some testers were jipped of morsels in a cookie which may have effected their vote or preference.
My opinion: I am unclear as to weather any batch was better than the other. I really feel the Ghirardelli chocolate morsels (milk or semi-sweet) are a much smoother chocolate than the Nestle Tollhouse brand. The cookie dough recipe in each had their own strengths and weaknesses. I felt the Tollhouse cookie dough was a bit grainier and had more crunch (regardless of baking time). The thing is, many of the voters really enjoyed the saltiness of the Tollhouse cookie dough and felt it was a great distribution of salty and sweet...something many of us do enjoy. The Ghirardelli cookie dough was sweeter. With the extra pinch of vanilla extract, it could satisfy any sweet tooth.
Verdict: Nestle Tollhouse wins this round, but by a hair
- salty/sweet lover = Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie
- chocolate connoisseur = Ghirardelli milk chocolate
- sweet tooth = Ghirardelli (milk or semi-sweet) chocolate chip cookie
- dark chocolate lover = Ghirardelli semi-sweet) chocolate chip cookie
- chewy = all of the above, just bake less time
- crunchy = all of the above, bake for more time