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The Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment

Here are two of the best Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie and The Chewy. 

I thought I had found the one.  You know the feeling–head over heels, I’m walking on sunshine, you complete me, the whole shebang. After a long search, I had finally found a chocolate chip cookie recipe I could be faithful to forever…the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie. So melt in your mouth delicious I didn’t think any other recipe could top it. Then this cute little flirt of a recipe started popping up on some of my favorite blogs. It was called The Chewy, and as much as I wanted to brush it aside, I was intrigued. You see, The Chewy uses bread flour, melted butter, and an unusually high proportion of brown to white sugar. I couldn’t just dismiss it. I had to give them a try. But to be fair to the Thick and Chewy Chocolate  Chip Cookie, I decided to make both recipes at the same time so I could sample them side by side and find out which one truly deserved to be my ultimate go-to cookie. Here’s what happened:
First, I made a big mess!

Then I dolloped out huge balls of dough and took a picture. Because dough is pretty.

Then I took melty cookies out of the oven and drooled a little bit. The Chewy is on the left and the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie is on the right.

A close up to highlight the difference in texture.

And a side view to highlight the difference in raise.

Not pictured: Me stuffing my face with above cookies.

The Verdict: First, let me say both of these cookies are unbelievably delicious and I would be perfectly content to spend the rest of my life devouring either one of them. That said, there definitely are some serious differences between the two. The Chewy is unbelievably rich and, not surprisingly, chewy. It produces a flatter cookie that is just slightly crispy on the outside but completely pull apart, melt in your mouth on the inside. The Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie, on the other hand, produces a higher, more visually appealing cookie with a slightly less chewy center and a more classic cookie flavor.

Let me tell you, it was a tough afternoon. You can imagine the strain I was under, sampling bite after bite, trying to decide which one was better. I absolutely couldn’t make up my mind so I forced the Mr. to try them both as well (poor him). The Mr.’s immediate winner was The Chewy. While he acknowledged both were delectable, he loved the gooey texture and buttery flavor of The Chewy. I, on the other hand, still preferred the more solid texture and classic taste of The Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie. That is, until the following day. On day 2 The Chewy won me over once and for all. It retained its chewy texture perfectly and didn’t even need to be reheated. I had found a new love.

Whew. That’s a lot of talk about Chocolate Chip Cookies, but it’s an important discussion. After all, I don’t want to be feeding my kids mediocre cookies some day. I want them to experience the best of the best. While I will always have a place in my heart for the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie, I think The Chewy has become my go-to, drop dead wonderful, faithful and true recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

I’ve included the recipes for both cookies below. I encourage you to make the sacrifice and try them both. Then come back here and let me know your favorite!

The Chewy
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Recipe from Alton Brown
Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt (table salt would also work fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place sheets of parchment paper on two large baking sheets.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Meanwhile, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl. Add the two sugars. Beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Chill the dough (I chilled for about 3 hours, but they would probably turn out best if chilled overnight). Use and icecream scoop to dish out large balls of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake for 11-15 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until edges are just golden brown. They probably won’t look done. Resist the urge to over bake! Remove cookies from the oven and let set up slightly on the baking sheet. Cool completely on a wire rack.

The Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
Yield: 18 large cookies
Recipe from Baking Illustrated 
Ingredients:
2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Slowly add the ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Scoop out large 1 1/2- 2 in rounds of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake until cookies are light golden. Edges should be firm while center should be light and puffy, about 15-18 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. Cool cookies on the sheets.
{ 6 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Anonymous April 19, 2011, 10:39 AM

    I am going to make “The Chewy”s this weekend – sounds SO GOOD! But tell me, what is the story on bread flour? Do you know what the difference is between bread flour and regular flour? Of course I could probably look this up on my own, but I’d rather ask my favorite baking expert! ^_~
    -Christina

  • Courtney April 19, 2011, 12:50 PM

    Expert I am not but I do know a little bit about bread flour. Bread flour has a higher gluten content than other types of flour which gives things made with it that chewy, springy texture (think bagels or pizza dough or just regular bread. I’m sure you’ll love the Chewy. It’s so buttery and rich!

  • Melanie {kevinandmel.com} April 29, 2011, 9:47 PM

    We have the same colored KitchenAid! 😀

    And I LOVE the task of comparing chocolate chip cookie.

  • Christina May 9, 2011, 9:55 AM

    I finally made The Chewy, and you’re right, they were amazing! It’s so nice to have a chocolate chip cookie that’s not chip-your-teeth-biting-into-them hard the next day!
    Also, I added walnuts for some added texture! Yum!
    thanks for sharing!

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