In the May/June 2009 issue of Cook’s Illustrated, the magazine staff took on the challenge of rating various brands of chocolate chips to try and find the very best for making chocolate chips cookies. In the test, they looked for brands that had a good chocolate flavor and a good amount of cocoa butter in them. Many brands of chocolate chips – especially when you get into less expensive brands – use less cocoa butter than, say, a chocolate bar does. This means that the chips retain their shape more during baking – not necessarily a good thing because it means that you end up with bits of chocolate, not chocolate evenly melted throughout the cookie. Cook’s Illustrated winning chip was Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips for their excellent flavor and great melt. Finishing in a close second were Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips, Guittard’s Semisweet Chocolate Chips, Hershey’s Semisweet Chocolate Chips and Ghirardelli’s Semisweet Chocolate Chips. The Nestle Tollhouse chips and chocolate chunks finished at the bottom of the list and were not recommended.
I think that chocolate chips, much like chocolate, are really a matter of personal preference. Of course, it’s great when the chocolate is melting and gooey when a chocolate chip cookie comes out of the oven, but you’re only going to snack on a brand you really like straight out of the bag. I’ve tried just about all of the brands mentioned above and liked them. My current favorite brand is Guittard, but I also regularly (meaning just about always) stock up on Ghirardelli chips and the semisweet chocolate chips from Trader Joe’s, which are made with great chocolate and are a great deal, to boot.
Here are a few more chocolate chip reviews:
ElianaApril 24, 2009
I usually go with TollHouse but they don’t melt very well. I am making my boyfriend chocolate chip cookies this weekend as an anniversary gift. I’m going to use the Ghirardelli to make them extra special.
dawnApril 24, 2009
ghirardelli is the best for melting and for baking, always. great review tough, thanks for sharing
donnaApril 24, 2009
Sadly the Guittard and Ghirardelli brands disagree with my digestive system. I go with Nestles (unfortunately, since I hate their politics) or Trader Joes or any of the organic brands.
CookieApril 24, 2009
I’ve never tried the Trader Joe’s kind. Thanks for the tip! I’m pretty sure I like everything from TJ’s! I’ve never seen Guittard either. We have a very small Safeway here so that might be the reason.
NotPiffanyApril 24, 2009
I find that a 50/50 combo of the Ghirardelli 60% and Guittard’s Semisweet suits me the best in cookies.
LucyApril 24, 2009
We love everything about the winner chips, especially since they are non-dairy for those of us who stay away from dairy in all things.
Edward EnglandApril 24, 2009
I usually stick with the Trader Joeâ€™s chips unless I can pick up
some Ghirardelli on sale.
I have never tried the Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips so I will have to pick up a bag even if they aren’t on sale.