Clean bed sheets. The pull through parking spot. Shower beers. A chocolate chip cookie. These are some of the simple things in life. But when there are many—and there are many chocolate chip cookies out there—there can be only one.
Fine, there can be many, but it won’t stop me from finding a favorite among them.
But first, what makes the (my) ideal chocolate chip cookie? Crisp edges and a soft center. Even chocolate chip distribution. Puts a smile on one’s face. Pretty simple, yeah?
We’re not going to get to the bottom of it in one shot, and there’s no way to truly crown a champion, but my hope is to help find your ideal chocolate chip cookie. All challengers welcome.
Cue air horns. Bruce Buffer voice “IT’S TIMEEEE”.
This is a massive cookie. While the pizza at Stella Barra may be fine, this cookie is the real reason to make the trip. It’s rich chocolate chip flavor is elevated by a fantastic dusting of salt I’d like to imagine is waterfalled Salt Bae style.
Porridge and Puffs
The Miso Chocolate Chip cookie leans on the crisper, more well done side, but I’m not mad about it. The miso lends that subtle saltiness and inventiveness that Chef Minh is known for. Yeah, you’d be insane to not get brown butter mochi, but take a cookie for the road.
Fat + Flour
Chef Rucker’s chocolate chip cookie is a flex. She’s known for pies, but this cookie is thin, chewy, flecked with oats, and everything you could ask for. It’s fantastically buttery and has a great salt content. The chocolate is top tier and worked in evenly throughout. Fat + Flour hasn’t been around long, but this cookie acts like an OG.
Just based on looks, Clark Street’s highly traditional chocolate chip cookie is the type that would be in the pages of a Martha Steward magazine with the title of “the best chocolate chip cookie”. It’s a bit taller and benefits from a superb layering of chocolate chip discs that have the room to spread out.
The choconut cookie from Chef Kuniko maybe gluten free and smaller than most, but it packs a ton of flavor. It’s generally softer and on the cakier side, but has a nice crumb. The x-factor though is the subtle coconut flavor that comes from the coconut flour. However, the single best part of this cookie is that it’s always slightly underdone in the center.
Milo and Olive
The prototypical restaurant pastry case chocolate chip cookie. It leans on the more well done side and is uniformly cooked through, which holds it back a bit. Five cookie emojis out of ten Big bonus points for the salt flakes on top.
This is a chocolate chip cookie that checks the boxes. That said, it’s also the ideal, classic, no bullshit, steals your boyfriend, got into Harvard but went to Stanford chocolate chip cookie. It’s got incredible chocolate chip disc layering, transcendent salt garnish, and the perfect balance of crisp edge and soft center.
There’s a lot going on in Valerie’s Durango Cookie. It’s on the crunchier side, but while many chocolate chip cookies are variations of Symphony No. 5, the Durango Cookie is trying to do Jazz. It’s on the crunchier and more well done side, with a smattering of other crunchier elements like almonds and cacao nibs that take it just left of center (not a bad thing).
All Day Baby
This cookie is gooey to the point it might fall apart on you. That said, it’s equally delicious as it is messy. Pastry chef’s Thessa Diadem chocolate walnut halva cookie starts out with all the expected components of a chocolate chip cookie, but then the nutty halva punches you like Dom hitting the nos in the last quarter mile.
Friends and Family
The rye chocolate chip at Friends and Family on Hollywood Boulevard is chewy and thin. The rye flour adds a slightly nutty complexity, and while the salt might not be evenly distributed enough thanks to the wide spread of this cookie, the butterscotch flavor is what makes this cookie memorable. It must have an insane amount of butter. Did I mention the butter?
It’s a bit smaller, but good things come in small packages. Cakey and chewy with no real crisp around the edges, it’s pretty clear that this is a highly consistent cookie. It’s also absolutely PACKED with chocolate. It just tastes indulgent—and let’s be honest—when you’re eating a cookie that’s exactly what you want.
More to come…