Saturday, February 13, 2010

My First Ultimate Challenge: The Search For The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie

The search for the very best chocolate chip cookie first started last weekend. Well I guess technically you could say that it started the first time I ever bit my mouth into an ooey, gooey, chocolate chip cookie. But really the idea of actually searching, and I mean digging deep into history, was last weekend when Blake and I had just completed a forty mile bike ride in the blistering cold weather and were now snuggled up against my fireplace eating one of Brittany's chocolate chip cookies. I couldn't help but notice that her cookie was buttery, soft, chewy, crispy, moist, and so much more that would describe the perfect cookie. I knew the cookie would be good the moment Blake put it in my hand and it nearly crumbled to pieces; this is how I determine one of the best chocolate chip cookies. So after eating one of Brittany's cookies, Blake and I got to talking and were curious about who could make the best chocolate chip cookie. I mean for decades or even centuries there has been a universal debate over that secret ingredient or that special technique to finding the absolute, very best, and one of a kind, chocolate chip cookie. So that is exactly what I decided to do. . . research a little, compare a few recipes, add some things here and there to make them my own, experiment, and simply have fun in finding my favorite chocolate chip cookie!
So when making a chocolate chip cookie, I came to find that most of the recipes called for flour (that's an obvious) chocolate chips (once again another obvious) brown sugar (some prefer light over dark) granulated sugar, vanilla (some more than others), and ohh lots and lots of butter. Now the New York Times once wrote an article over the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and they said that in order to meet expectations, one must refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours. So for half of my doughs that I made that is exactly what I did. But I soon came to find not much of a difference, in fact I think my favorite cookie out of all seven that I made was one with the dough that was not refrigerated at all. So I believe that new papers can come across as A. either bias, or B. the writer of this column did not take a big enough survey when proposing his hypothosis. I also came to find that many recipes liked to add more than just chocolate chips to the cookie to make a more dramatic and unique cookie. For instance I made one that also included oatmeal, coconut, and walnuts. Another added hazelnuts, another with double chocolate and walnuts, and another mixing dark with white chocolate. With so many extreme variations, it is difficult to pick out the very BEST chocolate chip cookie.
I think when adding extra ingredients, it is not very fair to the true and simple chocolate chip cookie and it can not be fair to compete against such extravagant added flavors. Therefore I still have yet to find the ultimate and perfect chocolate chip cookie. However, I do believe (and this is my opinion for myself) that when adding a variety of flavors aside from the chocolate chips, and when using real chocolate chunks versus the plasticy taste of a chip, the cookie will not only taste better, but is much more sophisticated and is a great "wow" factor for friends and family. . . as well as pleasing to the taste buds.
So in honor of Brittany, my first Ultimate Challenge in search of the very BEST chocolate chip cookie; this post goes out to her for inspiring me to expand my horizons and look beyond a simple chocolate chip in order to find the very best and perfect cookie.

1 comment:

  1. LOOK !! since im a blogger now thanks to communications technology class :) i can comment on your blog !!! umm so read about all 7 cookies you made! how long did that even take!? and i bet your house is like a chocolate factory now .. man i miss the brown household and you! im coming home this friday-monday :))) YAYYY! anywho, just wanted you to know i LOVEDDD this post (well all 8 of them about the cookies) you are sooo talented! im assuming that the white chocolate with dark chocolate was your fave?? i hope there are some left over for me when i get home .. LOVE YOU!