Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Taste Test

   The cookie contest is complete. The taste test is totaled. The fancy fun has come to fruition.

   Okay.

   It started last week when my Grandpa, parents, and little brother came to the farm for dinner and dessert. You may remember that the six of us split our votes evenly between the three recipes that night. Science required that the experiment continue.

   So it did continue this Tuesday night when we had dinner with Handsome's parents. His Mom was wonderfully studious about her evaluation, and I love her for that! She weighed every nibble even before we had dinner and wrote about each recipe. Thanks Judy!

   But we still had dough in the freezer, and we still needed more votes.

   So finally the taste test concluded today when I sent the remaining five samples to the Commish. Do you know how awesome those people are? They divided the five sets of cookies into about a dozen smaller sets and sent Handsome home with that many votes and remarks. You guys, thank you so much for participating! I especially liked how the ladies up front all shared one comment card and things got a little argumentative in ink. LOL



The Contenders:
   I decided on the three most distinctive recipes at my disposal, though many were offered. Let's just say that when chocolate chips and butter go on sale at the grocery store, I have some more experiments to conduct... Thank you to Rosalie and Amber in particular! xoxo



   The recipes, in order of appearance in the taste test, belong to...
  1. Edie at lifeingrace blog
  2. Tanya at: Sunday Baker
  3. and little ole me. 
   One of these days I'll post my recipe separately, 
but for the first two bits of magic please visit their respective blogs
which are both lovely for a million reasons besides these delish ideas.


Prep Notes:

Recipe #1:
   The dough for Edie's cookie feels like shortbread as you mix it, which means that my youngest daughter, my little sister Guinevere, and my good friend M will all love it. It's almost sandy, in a wonderfully delicate way. It also holds its shape really well, not expanding at all in the oven. I made the imprints with my first two knuckles, per some comments I read below Edie's blog entry. I think they turned out super pretty. These would be perfect for a ladies' tea party or pretty little reception of some kind.


   I first tried this recipe because Edie and her friends seem to be making waves with it, flying high its banner of long shelf life and reliability. I am ON BOARD. This is a great cookie, and I bet it would be amazing with just halved pecans, like a pecan sandie. It's that cookie. Yum.

********************

Recipe #2:
   This delish concoction from Tanya over at Sunday Baker makes a hekuva lotta cookies, you guys! I mean, my biggest mixing bowls were barely big enough to contain the dough! And she calls for a whopping 4 1/2 cups of mix-ins. FOUR AND A HALF CUPS! Wowsa. That's more than I have ever used for one batch, but it is exactly what was needed for this massive but moist dough. There was probably twice as much of this particular dough than the others, so if you're looking for a HUGE turn out and a versatile cookie, this is your pick.
   This cookie dough has an unusual secret ingredient, too... which I think makes a really wonderful difference in the finished product. You should visit her site to see the recipe for yourself, but I'll whisper this much: instant vanilla pudding mix. So good.


   For those of you who liked this cookie, the mix-ins I used were what I could scrape together from my pantry to come up with four and a half cups: a blend of semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, and flaked coconut. But you should see some of the ideas Tanya has! Wow, the possibilities made me drool. And you can probably think of some great ones, too.

********************

Recipe #3: 
   My recipe... I have made this so many times I can do it in my sleep. You can too. It is basic and easily memorized, and it comes together in just a few minutes. My girls have made this about a thousand times, too, and so far it reigns as fave with Handsome. We almost always have a batch of this dough waiting in the freezer.



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Now for the Fun Part...

Tasters' Comments:
Recipe #1:
"Perfect!"
"Could open a bakery with these."
"Loved the dough, tasted like Braum's cookie dough ice cream."
"Thought it tasted a little too floury"
"I like the light taste of the dough."
"Too flourish but tasty- maybe not so thick next time"
"I LIKE thick and buttery"
"Floury, not a sweet cookie"
"Texture of a butter-cookie, good dipping cookie."
"Wouldn't be a favorite"
"More like sugar/ shortbread cookies with chocolate chips."
"Looks funny"
"Yummy!"
"Very good!"
"Crispiest"
"Good flavor, very sugar cookie-ish, a little on the flaky side, perfect amount of chocolate chips-to-dough ratio."


Recipe #2:
"Could use a little more coconut"
"Very chewy and different, I like"
"Great chewy base, good nutty flavor."
"Chewy, tasty- my favorite"
"Don't groove the coconut texture, Love the chocolate/pecan mixture, just the right amount of chewy."
"Really good, it had a really sweet taste to it."
"Very good"
"Her favorite- very sweet and salty, she likes salt."
"Brown sugar? Coconut? Good cookie"
"Very good- love nuts and coconut"
"I love the crunchy dough, real different taste, love the extra..."
"A lot like traditional chocolate chip cookie except not quite chewy."
"Looks chunky"
"...there are many who aren't fond of coconut and nuts, but I loved the actual dough flavor the best in that cookie."


Recipe #3:
"Very chocolaty chocolate chips."
"Great chewy texture, great flavor"
"Almost not cooked in the middle enough, good though"
"Good texture!"
"Good texture, not much flavor"
"Too soft and sweet"
"My favorite!"
"Nice and soft"
"My favorite- very chocolaty."
"Too much chocolate, couldn't taste anything else."
"Tasted more of a sugar cookie texture, definitely softer"
"Moist, creamy"
"Reminds me of eating brownies."
"Good dough flavor. A little underdone and a little high in the chocolate-to-dough ratio."
"Tasty- more traditional chocolate chip cookie. Yummy"
"Very tasty"


Voting Results...
(Drum-roll...)



Congratulations Sunday Baker!!
And Edie, yours are my personal favorite as well as my Grandpa's, 
and I can't wait to make these for some special women in my life.
Thanks to both beautiful women for letting me share these recipes.

   So there we have it! A tasteless, laborious week devoid of pleasure... Sigh... All in the name of culinary science.

   As you can see from reading the remarks offered up by all of my fabulous taste-testers, cookie preferences vary greatly from person to person, and we pleasure seekers can take it pretty seriously when called upon. Some people loved the coconut; others might have chosen that recipe had it not contained coconut. Some people love chewy; others not so much. Some people like more chocolate saturation than others.

   At least now you can get a glimpse of what each one has to offer and maybe try one of these recipes for yourself. In fact, if you do, please drop me a note! And if you visit the other bloggers, tell em who sent ya.

Chocolate is Good For You.
It's a Fact.
See You at the Gym!
xoxoxoxo

pinnable

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