Taste Test Tuesdays: Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Taste Testing Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

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Since I’m a mother of three young kids cookies and milk are a big draw after school. I have always bought Nestle chocolate chips because that is what I ate growing up using for baking cookies. I sampled bunch brands of semisweet chocolate chips, including one from Trader Joe’s. When shopping for chips, I looked for ones that didn’t show any bloom, the white film that sometimes develops on them. It is usually caused by dampness or when the fats separate from the cocoa, and shouldn’t make much of a difference once the chocolate is melted or baked. However, the appearance can be off-putting.

My Favorite: Trader Joe’s store brand

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Big, dark, glossy and rich are the word I would use to describe these chips. Trader Joe’s store-brand chips have just the right amount of sweetness. They have a really appealing and awesome bite. They have loads of chocolate with a wonderful, lasting finish like a fine wine. It’s a chocolate chip that does its homework, stays up late and still gets an A. I give it five stars out of five stars.

About $1.99 for 12 oz. bag from Trader Joe’s

In Second Place: Hershey’s

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This familiar chocolatemaker produces a chip that is well-balanced. I like the flavor of the chips, saying they aren’t overly sweet. The chips are dark and bold with more gloss than some of the others sampled. I will always be putting extras of these in my chocolate chip dough when I use them. They are very good chocolate, proud and upright. My only complaint is that the chips tasted a tad waxy after eating on there own. I give it four stars out of five stars.

About $2.19 for 12 oz. bag from Cub

In Third Place: Guittard

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The price of these chocolate chips were one of the more expensive chips I purchased, it was well worth it though. They have great shape, great taste. These are yummy, yummy, yummy! The chips are rich with the perfect intensity versus sweetness. They are a sophisticated chocolate chip, but too pricy for me!

About $4.99 for 12 oz. bag from Target

Also Sampled: Log House ($1.88 for a 12-ounce bag from Walmart); Baker’s Corner ($1.99 for 11.5-ounce bag from Aldi); Nestle ($2.45 for a 12-ounce bag); Ghirardelli ($2.89 for a 12-ounce bag); Roundy’s brand ($2.19 for a 12-ounce bag); My Essentials ($1.98 for a 12-ounce bag from Cub); SunSpire Organic ($5.99 for a 9-ounce bag from Seward Coop); and Market Pantry ($1.89 for a 12-ounce bag from Target).

Here’s my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe…

THE NEW YORK TIMES CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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Make 18 cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8½ ounces) cake flour
1 & 2/3 cups (8½ ounces) bread flour
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1¼ cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 & 1/3 cups (20 ounces) semi-sweet sweet or dark chocolate chips, at least 60% cacao content
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Prep Day:

Sift together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.

Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, up to 72 hours or Freeze at this by putting it in a freezer bag too.

Serve Day:

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Scoop 3 1/2-ounces of dough, roll into a rough ball (it should be the size of a large golf ball) and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have six mounds of dough on the cookie sheet.

Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the parchment or silicone sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto another cooling rack to cool a bit more, until just warm or at room temperature.

Repeat with remaining dough (or keep some of the dough refrigerated for up to 3 days, and bake cookies at a later time).

Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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