Chocolate Chip Cookie Throw-Down

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(Chocolate Chip Cookies – two recipes in post)

A few days ago, The Boyfriend and I got into a big blow-out fight. Voices were raised, things were said. The argument? Who could make the better chocolate chip cookie.

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(Crustulum Ad Infinitum!)

Somehow, in all our time together, neither of us has baked a simple batch of cookies – so with no proof to back our words, or any grounds to stand on, we were left endlessly debating who’s were best.

Clearly, the only solution was to put our recipes to the test – to don our aprons and oven mitts and go head-to-head in all-out cookie battle. This was war!

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The Boyfriend made the first move, baking up a batch of soft, tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. To the dough he added a handful of oats. Not enough to call them ‘oatmeal’ cookies, but just enough to add a little chew. He also threw in the tiniest pinch of cinnamon and cloves – the spices were nearly undetectable for what they are, but added a warm roundness of flavor to the finished cookie.

His method was simple, and the cookies were mixed, baked, and on our plates in less than an hour.

Before I knew what had happened, my first cookie had vanished and I was reaching for another. Now I was beginning to sweat!

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(Look how cute and perfect his cookies are!)

The Boyfriend may have had some tricks up his sleeve, but I had secret weapons of my own. For my cookies, I pulled out all the stops, using every bit of classic cookie knowledge I had.

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Going on the assumption that The Boyfriend liked his on the soft side, I used bread flour to create a slightly cakier cookie. This was against my own instincts for balancing crispy and chewy, and is completely up to personal preference. I also decided to throw in a pinch of yeast for added flavor complexity, and used browned butter, just to push things over the top.

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(Mine look a little rustic, especially with the roughly chopped chocolate – but that doesn’t detract from their flavor!)

Which was the better cookie, you ask? Which recipe championed above all others? Which one of us got to shake it all about in a ridiculous show of victory?

After much sampling and comparison, The Boyfriend and I both came to the one and only possible conclusion… they were both some of the best damn cookies we’d ever had!

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(Left: The Boyfriend’s cookie | Right: My cookie)

I’m in love with the rich flavor of browned butter, but was just as enamored with the hint of spice in The Boyfriend’s recipe. My recipe was darker, and a little more involved, while his was simpler but by no means novice.

Another big player in the success of our cookies were the basic ingredients – neither of us skimped on using the best butter, high quality chocolate, and strong Tahitian vanilla extract. Not to mention, they were both made with love – I mean, feverish competition! – in our hearts.

Any battle that ends in gorging ourselves on cookies is a win in my book.

In the end, we both sank onto the couch, chocolate on our faces and stomachs full of cookies and appreciation for one another. I mean, really… how lucky am I to have a Boyfriend who bakes? And not only bakes, but bakes well.

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Disclaimer: Chocolate chip cookie preference vary greatly from person to person – whether you like yours soft and gooey, thin and crispy, under-done or a little burnt – feel free to doctor these recipes or use them as a guideline for your own ‘perfect’ cookie.

The Boyfriend’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Makes approx. 40-45 cookies)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table or sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8th tsp. cloves
14 TBSP (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 TBSP vegetable shortening, room temperature (or more butter, softened)
1 1/2 cups raw Turbinado sugar (can substitute sucanat or light brown sugar)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 – 2 cups high quality chocolate, chopped or in chip form (he used Cluizel chips, 63%)
1/2 – 1 cup toasted nuts or other add-ins (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 350f.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter, vegetable shortening and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix to combine.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until moistened. stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and any other add-ins.

Using a small spoon, scoop out heaping TBSP size dollops of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Space the cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until firm around the edges and just barely set in the center.

Remove from oven and let cool 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy with a cold glass of milk, or let cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a few days, or in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

The Girlfriend’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Makes approximately 30-35 cookies)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour (or more all-purpose)*
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast**
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided and softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 2 cups high-quality chocolate, chopped or in chip form (I used chopped Valrhona 66%)
1/2 – 1 cup toasted nuts or other add-ins (optional)

*Bread flour will make the cookies taller and cakier, but can be replaced with more all-purpose flour for a chewier cookie.
** The yeast adds a subtle depth of flavor, as well as a small amount of rise – if you intend to omit the yeast, increase the baking soda by 1/4 tsp.

Method
Sift together the flour(s), salt, and baking soda. Stir in the yeast, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt 1 stick (8 TBSP) of butter. Simmer until frothy, stirring or swirling the pan occasionally, and continue to cook until the color darkens slightly and the butter becomes nutty and aromatic. Remove from heat, and let cool 5-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, cream together the remaining 1/2 stick (4 TBSP) of butter and both of the sugars. Pour in the browned butter, and beat until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla.

Add the sifted flour mixture and beat until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips, and any other add-ins.

Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for one hour, or up to a few days. The longer the dough rests, the more flavor the yeast will develop. (Uncooked dough can be stored in the freezer indefinitely. Thaw in the fridge a day ahead, and bake as follows.)

Preheat oven to 350f.

Roll 2 TBSP sized balls of dough between your hands, and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Space the cookies approximately 1 inch apart. Bake for 8-11 minutes, or until firm at the edges and set in the center.
(Note: increase the oven temp. to 375f. and bake 1-2 minutes longer, for a crispier cookie with slightly burnt bottoms.)

Remove from oven, and let cool 2-3 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy with a cool glass of milk, or let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to a few days, or in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

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What’s your cookie heaven? Let me know your favorite cookie-making tips or stories in the comments!

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41 Responses to Chocolate Chip Cookie Throw-Down

  1. Jen @ Juanita's Cocina May 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    My wife and I once had a lasagna throw-down that I need to recreate for the blog.

    FTR, I’d go with yours. Because I love browned butter. And because I still want to be you when I grow up.

    • Willow May 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      Mmm, lasagna!
      And yay! Haha – browned butter is the best. :D

  2. CJ - Food Stories May 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    I love this … Your own version of Iron Chef :-)

    • Willow May 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      Heheh – indeed. :)

  3. The Sister May 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    The Husband and I saw the side-by-side cookie comparison pic. He said The Boyfriend’s cookie looked a bit lacking. I thought your cookie looked like it had already eaten one of The Boyfriend’s cookies and the other one was scared. Have to support The Sister, always have to support The Sister. Sorry, The Boyfriend, your Lilliputian cookie never stood a chance. ;-)

    • Willow May 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      Haha, thanks for the support. I have to say, though… The Boyfriend’s cookie’s may have been small, but they were like little bites of heaven. *Swoon*

  4. Ambika May 6, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Wow! I’ve never seen yeast in a cookie! Both the cookies sound incredibly delicious, can’t wait to try them :)

  5. Nish May 6, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    This post made me laugh as my boyfriend and I constantly argue over who makes the better risotto or pizza! Love both recipes but am particularly intrigued by the addition of the yeast in your recipe!

  6. Anonymous May 6, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    These both look amazing, but I’m partial to a more cakey cookie myself so shall be trying your recipe. :) Never heard of putting yeast into such a cookie! At what point did you add it in? (I don’t see it in your directions, unless I’m being selectively blind and going right past it…)

    • Willow May 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Good catch! Looks like I forgot to add it in the recipe directions – whoops! I stirred the yeast into the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda…) at the beginning of the recipe.

      Hope you like the cookies!

  7. Anonymous May 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    You need objective taste testers. I volunteer.

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 2:31 am #

      Heheh, you’re right, we’re both pretty biased over here. :P

  8. Julia @The Roasted Root May 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Your post made me laugh…my boyfriend and I do his and hers versions of cookies, brownies and pancakes every once in a while and the kitchen seriously gets heated during these times…there usually isn’t much talking during a his and hers competition, and when there is, it tends to be “hey don’t look over here, you’re stealing my ideas!”. I love that you used bread flour and yeast.This is something I have never thought of and if a crispy yet soft cookie is the result, I am ALL over it! Looks like you guys had one hellofa cookie fest! YUM!

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 2:33 am #

      Sounds like fun! My cookies were soft and very tender, but I specifically baked them short so they would be a little under-done. Increasing the temperature to 375f. and baking for a minute or two longer should produce a crispy exterior, though!

  9. frugalfeeding May 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Thanks so much for the comment you’ve posted on my blog. These cookies look rather ravishing! Lovely. I shall make an effort to return here :D

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 2:34 am #

      Wonderful! I hope you enjoy my musings as much as I delight in yours. :)

  10. Kat May 7, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    I really love the idea of his and her cookie recipes. Also great for a party to test on the guests! I love the idea of adding a hint of cloves in the cookies (mad props to your BF for that), but I must say I love the melted chocolate look of your cookies, makes me just want to grab one off the screen!

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 2:35 am #

      Good idea, to do this for a party… I hadn’t thought of that! And yes, the spices were wonderful. I think I’ll have to steal that little trick next time I make mine. ;)

  11. Ritroviamoci in Cucina May 7, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    To say with your words… how lucky you are to have a boyfriens who bakes?
    My boyfriend can not make any cake, but a few months ago I taught him to prepare the tiramisù and it came really good. I’ll keep working on his potential :o)
    PS I have not decided yet if I prefer cookies soft or crunchy … I’ll still eat a lot before deciding ;o)

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

      Haha – that’s always my excuse, too. Not sure I like it? Let me try another one!
      And good luck teaching your boyfriend the ways of the kitchen – I’m sure he’ll improve, with time.:)

  12. Courtney J May 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Awe, I LOVE this post! A boyfriend/girlfriend cookie bake-off! So much fun!!! :) I wish my boyfriend knew how to cook and bake. I’m pretty sure if we had a bake off, he’d burn the kitchen down. LOL. If you’d like someone to judge the cookies, send some over. *hehe*

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

      Thanks! It was a lot of fun… but I don’t recommend putting your kitchen into that much danger, haha!

  13. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes May 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    So Much fun!

    I have to go with yours though, just on the simple fact they are bigger and I LOVE chocolate chip cookies…on second thought the boyfriends are smaller so I could eat more without feeling guilty – okay you are right its a toss up, they both look like amazing cookies.

    I think you might have my mailing address wrong, I haven’t seen a big box of half & half chocolate chip cookies come yet…I’ll give it a few more days

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      Heheh – needless to say, they disappeared rather quickly. Mine may have been bigger, but that didn’t stop us from eating all of them. :P

  14. Elana @ The Inventive Vegetarian May 8, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    I love that you had a competition! I have two friends who are forever arguing who makes the best brownie balls or something…I say as long as it involves feeding me baked goods, keep the competition going!

    Both these recipes look absolutely delicious!

    • Willow May 8, 2012 at 1:19 am #

      Heheh, that’s the spirit! And thanks! :)

  15. Judy May 8, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    How interesting that you added yeast to your cookies. I love choco chip cookies – soft and moist. :) Both yours, and his look delicious!

  16. Beth @ Good to be the Cook May 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Love this post!! Glad you guys are still together after such an intense battle. ;-) You’re ready for Chopped now!

    • Willow May 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Hah! For sure. I was actually thinking of doing a ‘Chopped’ night, where a few friends would each pick out an ingredient, and I would have a short amount of time to prepare and serve a meal to them. I just have to find a time to do it, because it sounds like such a fun idea! :)

  17. Carrie May 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    I love the throwdown. My family has done several: green chili, chili, appetizer, soup…why haven’t we thought of cookies?!! Awesome that your BF bakes.

    • Willow May 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      Nice! Cookies are definitely good throw-down material. :)

  18. Richa May 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    oooh look at the size on yours!:) i have never used yeast for cookies.. that is a must try.. this is a super fun post:) i go with yours.

    Also, please do drop by fundraiser on my blog, if you have a minute, to bid, or share. I am raising funds through auction of some awesome goodies donated by fellow bloggers for an amazing organization! Thanks a bunch! http://hobbyandmore.blogspot.com/p/fundraiser-for-vspca.html

    • Willow May 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

      Thanks!

      And what a wonderful way to support an organization! And you know I’m all about animal protection… will definitely check it out! :D

  19. The Cooking Actress June 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    This post is adorable. I’m obsessed with chocolate chip cookies-I tend to lean towards big chewy ones, but sometimes I desire a crispier one :P I’m so glad you found my blog through Jen and now I’ve found yours!

    • Willow June 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

      Same here – I don’t think I can have a single favorite. Glad to have you as a reader!

  20. Anonymous September 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    OMG the cookies with the yeast were amazing, my husband and his army buddies wanted me to make more

    • Willow September 4, 2012 at 12:34 am #

      Wonderful! So glad they went over well. :)

  21. Mondo| I bake he shoots January 22, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    brown butter, ftw.

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