Saturday, June 1, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest

Photo by Katie Kay
To call this a 'contest' may be misleading.  It's more like comparison shopping.  I've made so many different chocolate chip cookie recipes, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who is always in search of the perfect one.  I can't promise that one of these 6 recipes will produce your perfect cookie, but it was fun to find 6 very different recipes and see what we liked and didn't like about them all.

In each of these recipes, I followed the recipe to the letter.  Anything otherwise wouldn't have been a true recipe comparison.  In the interest of keeping things on an even playing field, I used dark brown sugar if the recipe didn't specify what type to use.  In retrospect that may have been a mistake with a few of them.  Live and learn.  In the future I'll use regular brown sugar if a recipe doesn't specify light or dark.

I also made all of the dough at the same time and refrigerated each dough for 24-36 hours (I did 2 rounds of baking them off.)  One or two of these recipes called for refrigerating it anyway, and this worked for me because I didn't have my judges ready at the same time and I wanted to have freshly baked cookies for each tasting.

My judges consisted of a talented group of 15 friends and family members: 

Janet Allen, Sara Lozano, Kelly Hughes, Matt Sechrist, Kaylen Sechrist, Jenson Sechrist, Erin Sholl, Jessica Fichuk, Sarah Ruiz, Melissa McGuire, Korey Sechrist, Philip Sechrist, Ben Cole, Lauren Cole, and Kayla Robichaux

Thanks so much to every single one of you for participating, and I had a good laugh at the video submission of the gagging and spitting out of the lowest ranked cookie, thanks Kayla!

6th Place

Contestant #4:  Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 from CrunchyFrugalista

SURPRISE!  This was VEGAN!  And with the exception of two 3rd place votes, it was everyone's least favorite.  It also never firmed up in the fridge and smelled like banana bread batter.  Personally, I was disgusted.  This is the only one Jenson commented on, and he said, "I do not like #4."
Read my blog post and review here.

Ben - WTF - What is up with the banana flave?
 Kayla - Ugh!  Had to spit it out!
Kaylen - Yucky
Sarah - Tastes like banana, don't like the texture, too sticky

5th Place

Contestant #6:  Nestle Tollhouse

Read my blog post and review here.  This was the old classic from the back of the bag, and my favorite raw dough!  These were one of the most unattractive, dark, flat cookies.  Maybe the dark brown sugar made them spread too much?  I don't remember having this problem in the past with this recipe, although I usually just eat the dough anyway.  

Melissa - Very chewy, a lot more like eating raw cookie dough (yummy!)
Kelly - Buttery
Sara - Tastes more like a sugar cookie
Sarah - Tastes better than it looks, but too gooey

4th Place

Contestant #3:  NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
from I am Baker

Read my blog post and review here.  This was the lightest colored dough, almost a cream color, and it baked up very pale in color.  This reminded me of my mother-in-law's recipe which uses Crisco instead of butter.  Which explains why this was my husband's favorite cookie!  Overwhelming response was that it tasted like a sugar cookie.

Ben - Rockin' sugary/chocolate cookie - excellent!
Lauren - Sugar cookie meets chocolate chip - I was hooked!
Kayla - More like a sugar cookie meets chocolate
Philip - Something funny on flavor - meh!
Korey - Good, but tasted like a sugar cookie with chocolate chips

3rd Place

Contestant #1:  The Pioneer Woman's Good Ol' Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie
The Pioneer Woman

Read my blog post and review here.  This recipe had flax seed, and it wasn't visible in the dough or cookie, nor could I taste it in either one.  The raw dough was delicious and my kids said it was their favorite dough.  I did not think this was a particularly attractive cookie.  

Kayla - Average - tasted like break & bake
Lauren - Not my fave, need a little more cake in my cookie
Korey - KABOOHYA!  Great mix of milk and dark chocolate with just a bit of salt to enhance the flavor
Philip - Good traditional.  Big chips were nice.
Matt - Good flavor.  Dark chocolate taste is good.  Dark color is less appealing than others.
Erin -Yum - good texture.

2nd Place

Contestant #5:  Levain Bakery copycat cookies
 from Love from the Oven

Read my blog post and review here.  These and the Baking Illustrated ones were my favorites!  I liked the use of 3 types of sugars in this one, as well as the use of corn starch, and cold butter.  Strangely, there's no vanilla!  I think these were the most attractive.

 Korey - Very dense.  Lots of dark chocolate and salt.
Philip - Salty, ok.  Prefer less rise.
Ben - A wee dry.
Lauren - That's one dense MFer
Kayla - Delicious and chocolatey!
Matt - How can you go wrong with this many chocolate chips?
Janet - Good texture, dark chocolate
Erin - Not as sweet or soft
Sarah - Nice and thick
Kaylen - It's cool.
Kelly - rich chocolate
Sara - Perfect!  Excellent! Dark color and chunky chocolate
Melissa - dense & fluffy, good consistency.

1st Place!

Contestant #2:  Baking Illustrated's Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Read my blog post and review here.  I checked my favorite dessert blogger Annie at Annie's Eats to see what her favorite recipe is, but I discovered it's exactly the same as my Baking Illustrated recipe, which I was planning on baking anyway.  And once again, my favorite baking cookbook did not let me down!  I'm so glad this cookie won. :)

This was the darkest dough.  VERY dark brown in color, almost strangely so (see top pic if you're curious.  It's the 2nd from the right.)  It cooked up lighter than some of the other lighter colored doughs, though.  I guess color of the dough has nothing to do with color of the cookie.

Ben - Super sweet and a coffee chocolate
Lauren - Liked it!  Super moist!
Philip - Wowsa!  Love the crunch!
Korey - Dry and crumbly, perfect for topping vanilla ice cream
Kayla - Average.
Matt - Great texture and flavor. Lighter chocolate a plus for me.
Janet - :)
Melissa - Ok
Sara - good, tasty
Kelly - loved the flavor!
Kaylen - I don't know.
Sarah - good, big chocolate chips
Erin - Yum!  A little sweeter & softer

This was a lot of work to prepare and bake so many cookies, but I had fun doing it and I hope to do another type of taste test soon!  I'm open to suggestions!
Katie Kay

1 comment:

  1. Glad I got to be one of the judges! Would do it again anytime!