My favorite food podcast is The Sporkful, where Dan Pashman and Mark Garrison delve deep into food minutiae. Previous topics include ice and a two-part series on toast. This week’s show was all about chocolate chip cookies.
Of course, I consider myself a chocolate chip cookie connoisseur, too. Almost half (6/13) of the cookie recipes I’ve published have been some version of a chocolate chip cookie. I’ve collected them all below for your perusal and baking enjoyment.
I would be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on Dan and Mark’s chocolate chip cookie analysis. Dan says the ideal cookie is 5 inches wide, while Mark prefers a 3-inch-wide cookie. They both like flat chunks, rather than the traditional chip.
I’m with Mark on the ideal cookie size. While I love a big 5-inch cookie as much as the next person, I like to have more control over my cookie consumption. I’d much rather eat three 3-inch cookies than one 5-inch cookie. If they’re cooked right, the smaller cookies will still be properly chewy. Even though I usually cook with traditional chips, the flat chunks (also called disks or wafers) do deliver a more concentrated chocolate bite.
Where I really differ from The Sporkful guys is over nuts in cookies. They both say the ideal cookie has no nuts, and if nuts are used, the only appropriate options are pecans or hazelnuts. Walnuts, almonds or peanuts “would be very problematic,” according to Mark. I have to disagree. My go-to chocolate chip cookie nut is the walnut for these reasons: Nuts in general are welcomed in chocolate chip cookies to provide texture variety. A chewy cookie tastes and feels even chewier if your mouth experiences some bits of crunch. The walnut is the ideal nut to supply this crunch because it is still a fairly soft nut (certainly softer than hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts) with a mild flavor (less distinctive than pecans). The walnut provides some crunch without being too hard, and doesn’t change the overall flavor of the cookie.
I might have to do a chocolate chip cookie nut test. Until then, enjoy these six different takes on the chocolate chip cookie.