The Daily Meal's Dan Myers previews The 10 Best Store-Bought Chocolate Chip Cookies in America for 2015.
Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Soft or crunchy, fresh-baked or store-bought, they’re among the most delicious foods on earth. There’s no shortage of packaged crunchy chocolate chip cookies at the supermarket, but some are definitely superior to others. To prove it, we taste-tested ten of the most popular brands.
While it may seem like chocolate chip cookies have always been around, their history only dates back to the 1930s, and a woman named Ruth Wakefield, who ran a popular Whitman, Massachusetts, restaurant called the Toll House Inn. One day, Wakefield, an accomplished cook, decided to add broken pieces of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate to her sugar cookie recipe. It’s commonly believed that she expected the chocolate to melt and mix into the batter, but in reality she knew exactly how the cookies would turn out. The result was an instant success with her diners, and Nestle provided her with a lifetime supply of chocolate in return for the rights to print her Toll House Cookie recipe on every package of chocolate chips.
While the standard recipe for chocolate chips is quote-unquote simple – just mix up a batter with flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate chips – the cookies you’ll find in the supermarket tend to be a lot more complicated. They need to be shelf-stable, so in most of them you’ll find ingredients like partially hydrogenated soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup; many formulas don’t even contain eggs. When it comes to cookies, home-baked is always better, but there’s something about the packaged kind that brings out the kid in all of us.
For our taste test, we tracked down ten brands of crunchy chocolate chip cookies (no soft-baked like Entenmann's, no double chocolate): Dare Breaktime, Chips Ahoy, Famous Amos, Keebler Chips Deluxe, Key Food, Pepperidge Farm Nantucket, Trader Joe’s, Tate’s, Voortman, and Whole Foods 365. Our panel of 15 tasters sampled each one in a blind tasting, grading each on factors including taste, texture, and amount of chocolate chips per cookie. In the end, one brand was a clear champion. Read on to learn how each cookie fared, and which one came out on top.
Breaktime, from Dare Foods, was the least expensive of the bunch, at $1.25 per 8.8-ounce box, and unfortunately you get what you pay for. Oddly dry and far too crunchy, these were severely lacking in chocolate chips, and had a flavor that more resembled that of a graham cracker than a cookie.
This brand also didn’t win any fans; the only thing it had going for it is the fact that you get nearly 20 decent-sized cookies for $2.50. But their texture was oddly stale, chalky, and cardboard-y, and several tasters complained of an “artificial” flavor.