Chocolate Chip Cookie Death Match

I didn’t recall if Oui Melrose made the cut. I didn’t find it when I searched the topic. This is a unique looking cookie

7 Likes

Adding it to the list! It may or may not make the cut for batch six depending on timing.

2 Likes

Paderia Bakehouse

Made it to the Irvine location yesterday. I actually meant to pick up some egg tarts, but the cookies were available and I couldn’t go home empty handed. Pretty happy with the haul, though.

I am a sucker for chocolate peanut butter, but the sea salt chocolate chip was also fantastic. A few seconds in the microwave and they are great. Good stop for @rlw on his next trip to Sushi ii.

11 Likes

I’m just going to leave this here.

5 Likes

This may sound like sacrilege, but… this seems kind of gimmicky to me, on the part of the restaurant. If they said that they were making a lard cookie, I would just kind of shrug.

I imagine the cookie texture will be better w/ tallow, but I recall ATK (or some similar show) talking how using beef stock in a beef stew recipe ended up tasting more muddled and less beefy than when they used chicken stock. For whatever reason, I imagine using tallow might result in a similarly muddled flavor. And having a higher smoke point doesn’t do much b/c they’re not deep frying the cookie.

And, if it does result in a bovine background note, I’m not sure I’d like that in a cookie. In a french fry, great.

So I guess it will depend on how well they render the fat.

And is it replacing some of the butter? I dunno; I think butter tastes good in a cookie.

But certainly interested in reading a report. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Yep. You might cook up the sugar in there a little too - gives it a hint of caramel. But you have to let it cool - or it will melt the chocolate (I speak from experience!).

Dough and Arrow was featured on LATimes and Jen Harris IG for their creme brûlée cookie. It looks pretty darn delicious. I still haven’t had a chance to try. Anybody been here yet?

2 Likes

It’s been a minute.

Batch Six

Big Sugar Bakeshop

There are two chocolate chip cookies on offer from Big Sugar Bakeshop, a regular chocolate chip and a vegan chocolate chip. The regular version has a very traditional flavor and it’s not really crispy or chewy. It’s your replacement level chocolate chip cookie that’s better than a chips a hoy, but there are many cookies listed above that are better than this. The most damning takeaway I had from this cookie though (even though it’s not an apples to apples comparison)—I’d take a well made oatmeal raisin cookie over this.

The vegan chocolate chip cookie you can definitely tell is vegan in comparison by taste, though it is a bit more photogenic. It’s firmer and even slightly crunchy, but it’s also just a mediocre cookie. To sum both of these up: thanks but no thanks. Stick big sugar Bakeshop’s other offerings.

Largwa

Let’s come right out with it—this cookie is a stunner. Chef Hoang drops a piece of chocolate on top of her chocolate chip cookie and let’s it melt over the top, creating a very thin layer of melted chocolate that spreads across it. And while the edges are perfectly crisp, the center is more uniformly cooked through, giving it only a slight chew, and not quite the just underdone consistency I typically look for. That said, the flavor of the dough is superb—it has a depth of flavor that others don’t—while not being overpowered by chocolate. There’s a nuance to it, and while I can’t identify certain grain flours, the flavor complexity of the dough is perhaps the most interesting of many cookies out there that stick to a more conventional vanilla dough.

Laroolou

Laroolou has gotten attention for its pies and thiccies for good reason—they are at the top of the cookie/dessert game in LA right now. As they’ve been settling into a chocolate chip thiccie to keep on the menu, they did a special Chocolate Chip Walnut that was absolutely bonkers. A few things that stood out: the incredible aroma, the grease slicking the inside of the bag, and the weight of the cookie. As with all of Laroolou’s desserts, the flavor of the chocolate chip walnut was top notch. It was packed with chocolate and was super meaty inside with that signature barely cooked consistency. It’s the Steve Young to Bristol Farm’s That Cookie’s Joe Montana.

After a few weeks on the menu, the Yeehaw appears to be the chocolate chip cookie that Laroolou has landed on long term. Unlike the relatively straight forward Salted Cookies and Cream, Funfetti, and special Chocolate Chip Walnut, there’s a lot going on here. It’s chock full of toasted pecans and oats, which crowds out the chocolate chips a bit, making me wish there were a bit more of them. There are also toffee chips in here, but I couldn’t detect any, as they were probably overwhelmed by all the other ingredients. The cookie is also spiced with cinnamon that turned out to being a bit overpowering, ultimately making it seem more like an oatmeal cookie with a handful of chocolate chips tossed in. It was also cooked through a bit more and less dense than other thiccies. It’s got promise and I’m sure they’ll keep tinkering, but the Chocolate Chip Walnut was a much cleaner expression of the craft.

If you want to OD on sugar, get one of these Funfetti thiccies. It’s the apex predator sugar cookie that perfectly balances a creamy inside with a crisp edge.

Knead Pasta

Knead has two different cookies coming out of their stall at GCM. One off the Knead menu, and the other off of Chef Dana Hechtman and Marie Petulla Red Jungle project that also uses the space. First up, Knead’s Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie has crisp edges with a soft and nicely undercooked center, but it’s not as sweet as you might think. The bones are there, but it also needs a bit more salt and once you get past the toffee, it’s not very remarkable.

Red Jungle

Red Jungle’s Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk cookie is very different from Knead’s. It’s soft and crumbly, with a slight graham cracker taste. It’s also not that sweet, and actually tastes kind of like a healthyish cookie you’d make at home because of the almond butter. It also needs a bit needs a bit more salt. If you’re deciding between one or the other, go get one from Fat + Flour instead, or Clark Street.

Fat + Flour

Chef Rucker’s newest cookie barely qualifies as a chocolate chip cookie because it uses white chocolate chips, but she’s one of the best in the game so I’ll count it. The white chocolate chips offset the bitterness and earthiness of espresso and oats. It’s more complicated than a regular chocolate chip cookie, and it’s honestly just an incredible bite. If you’re deciding between cookies at Fat + Flour, just go ahead and get both.

Milk

Milk’s Chocolate Chip Cookie would be wallpaper in high school—another one of the masses. It’s unremarkable: not large or small, could use a bit more salt, and doesn’t have crisp edges or a chewy center. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t fight to stand out in a crowded field. For Milk as a business that’s probably fine because their main focus is ice cream sandwiches of which the cookie is just a component. But, if you’re in the area and just want a cookie, you’re better off going across the street to Botanica.

Starbucks

It’s okay. You could do much worse if you’re looking for something traditional. At least it uses refined sugar and isn’t vegan.

Bonuses from the Bay

Of course when I was up in San Francisco for a month I couldn’t not peruse the cookie scene, so here are some bonus takes.

Jane

Jane’s Crazy Cookie is chewy, sticky, and a lot of fun. Its bitter dark chocolate chips perfectly balance the caramelized marshmallow and keep it form being overwhelmingly sweet. There are some cornflakes thrown in for textural crunch, and ultimately is the way better balanced version of the Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie at Milk Bar. It’s also huge.

The other chocolate chip cookie at Jane just throws toffee chips into the mix. It’s a bit thicker and chewier, and it you’re looking for a more traditional flavor, this is the one to go with. It’s also big.

Jane’s Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal cookie maintains a nice crisp despite being oatmeal. It’s got a chewy center but maintains a nice crisp, and while many oatmeal cookies rely on spice and dried fruit to balance out the blander oatmeal, here the white chocolate chips lend a creamy sweetness. It’s certainly a welcome deviation from the typical oatmeal cookie—and also big.

The Double Chocolate Oreo Cookie sounds and looks great, but it basically just tastes very similar to the cookie part of an Oreo, which yes it’s the name of the cookie but it’s also a bit of a letdown. The cream is absolutely what makes an Oreo an Oreo and this is definitely missing that component and leaves you wishing you probably just had an actual Oreo. I get wanting a fully chocolate cookie on the menu, but doing a straight up super chewy insanely chocolately cookie like many other bakeries feels like the better move.

The Ginger cookie is walks the line between a ginger snap and ginger bread. It’s heavily spiced and balanced out with some good sugar crystals on top, but also pretty run of the mill.

The plain vanilla cookie: nothing to see here except for some multicolored sprinkles.

The Cap ’N Crunch cookie is quite a nice take on the sweet corn cookie. The crisp texture makes it more interesting than the plain sprinkles cookie, but you’re still looking for a specific kind of cookie if this is the one you’re choosing the reach for among all the other options.

Jane power ranking: crazy cookie > chocolate chip toffee > white chocolate oatmeal > Cap 'N Crunch > Ginger > Double Chocolate Oreo > Vanilla Sprinkles

Mollie Stones

Mollie Stones is a small bay area grocery chain and has a rip off of Bristol Farms’ amazing The Cookie. It also starts of on a heated flat top after being freshly baked, comes warm, but loses out to The Cookie in a few spots: Mollie Stones version has much less chocolate packed in, is a bit more cooked through, and is so crisp it actually goes too far to crunchy on the exterior. That said, the flavor is good, and it will definitely satisfy.

Busy Lizzy’s

Busy Lizzy’s operates as a pop up at local farmers markets, and was selling a Brown Butter Chocolate Chip with milk chocolate chips and flavorful dough, but falls victim to the crumbliness of other brown butter cookies.

Busy Lizzy’s Chocolate Peppermint Cookie has a similar texture to the brown butter chocolate chip, but is chocolate and ends up kind of like soft peppermint bark. Not a bad thing, but highly situational.

Wise Sons

Wise Sons isn’t going to change the game (despite it being quite attractive), because it’s not very crisp and not very chewy, but it does have a melt in your mouth quality because of the rich, soft chocolate.

Copenhagen Bakery

I stumbled upon this desperate for a chocolate chip cookie. It’s crisp on the outside, not that chewy center and had kind of an odd graham cracker note. It’s probably better to stick to the cakes.

Can’t stop / won’t stop.

Batch One

Batch Two

Batch Three

Batch Four

Batch Five

19 Likes

I adore this post and an enthusiastic quest to identify the best chocolate chip cookie.

5 Likes

Awww thanks :blush: as you can tell there’s a lot of great ones out there, but I’m starting to dredge up a lot of mediocre ones too.

6 Likes

That’s a truism in our perpetual search for great places to eat as well…

3 Likes

Bristol Farms has a bake-at-home six-pack of The Cookie now.

7 Likes

@js76wisco I have and I didn’t care for anything I tried. Their cookies fall into the same category as Cookie Good, Milk, Milk Jar, and Milk Bar (albeit the latter is different from the rest). I’ve never been a fan of any of these where the cookies are just sweet with seemingly no real purpose (and believe me, I don’t know that there is anyone with a bigger sweet tooth than myself).

I fell upon this thread just now and man have I missed out! I am thoroughly in love with the dedicated efforts and creative descriptions by @rlw! Not ashamed to admit that I’ve had all of the above with the exception of Ludobab, Groundwork, Ggiata, Jane, Mollie and Busy Lizzy. I’ve also had 45+ other places not mentioned lol.

Just to add a few (not the greatest but decent) CCC to the mix- Deluscious (but her cinnamon brulee and gooey raspberry are the real stunners, along with pb&j sammi), Cake Monkey (summer camp), Jon&Vinny’s (although their snickerdoodle and pb cookies are better) and FarmShop. House of Gluten is one I had recently which has prominent buttery and toffee notes. A couple of shockers (at least for me because I tend to run away from vegan and/or GF CCC)- Erewhon’s and Trim Tart’s are pretty scrummy.

This thread just affirms that taste in CCC really is personal and subjective; the ideal CCC is different for different people, and I absolutely appreciate that. I’m more of a browned butter, chewy texture gal, but I love CCC so much that I will not deny any others be it cakey, crunchy, crispy, gooey, etc.

Please keep up this impressive death match, @rlw! You’re doing work for the greater good. Major cookie points to thee. :smiley:

14 Likes

Wow thank you! Having you point out some ones you like that I haven’t gotten to yet has renewed my enthusiasm–I’ll definitely seek those out for the next batch.

I do skew toward more chewy/undercooked as my ideal chocolate chip cookie, so it is good reaffirm that everyone has different preferences and variety is good for all!

10 Likes

Nice work, cookie soldiers!

6 Likes

The Ivy chocolate chip cookie is iconic

1 Like

Adding Tommy&Atticus. While it’s not my ideal look or texture, it reinforced the notion that judging a book by its cover is sometimes (or often times) wrong. This giant, hefty block actually had an interesting light and crunchybuteversoslightlychewy texture on the outer circumference, which gave way to a dense center choc full of chunks and slabs of chocolate. If anything, it’s at least a cookie worth its $5 weight. I would get it again.

2 Likes