I think most of you know by now that I looooove sweets. Giving up processed sugar for the summer was really hard for me, but I know it was good for my health . I managed to make quite a few delicious desserts using natural sweeteners like this, this, and this.
I was really happy to discover that so many baked goods can be made in a clean way (i.e. clean eating) and in most cases I prefer the unprocessed version. I still continue to replace the sugar in almost everything I make with some combination of natural sweeteners (agave, honey, maple syrup, molasses, and/or brown rice syrup). I think it’s really fun to figure out how I can replace the sugars without altering the flavor too much (I know, I’m a dork.)
Unfortunately, I have discovered that there are some recipes that just taste better with regular, processed sugar—and chocolate chip cookies are one of them. I tried making a clean honey molasses version of some of my favorite peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but they just weren’t the same. They were okay, but as I may or may not have told you before, I’m a food snob and I want the best, which means I don’t settle for anything that is just “okay.”
Because I believe that moderation is the key to a healthy and mindful lifestyle, I allow myself to indulge once in a while in sweet treats that don’t fit under my clean eating mantra. And today is one of those days.
If I had to pick a favorite dessert, it would probably be cookies. My husband and I both loooove cookies and I have baked countless cookie recipes in the ten years we’ve been together. The cookie chapter in my recipe binder is about twice as thick as any other chapter .
As with most cookie lovers, I have been on the search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe for as long as I have been baking. I have made lots and lots of different chocolate chip cookies, but it wasn’t until last year that I found “the one.” The recipe is from Brown Eyed Baker and they are seriously to die for! The first time I made them I thought, “Wow these look like they came from a professional bakery.” My husband and I both thought they were incredible and ate the whole batch in about two days .
I have made Brown Eyed Baker’s cookies for many people and have received rave reviews every time. A couple of times that I have shared them with friends they told me they love Martha Stewart’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They said they thought mine were really good, but they really loved Martha’s too. After a few recommendations to try her recipe, I finally googled it and saw that it is also very popular.
You know what that means, don’t you? It’s time for a taste test! For those of you who know my mom, you will know that taste tests are staples in our household. My mom does tastes tests for everything—from American cheese to chocolate chips. When I was younger I told my mom that I only liked the White Singles Kraft American Cheese (gross—I know!). The Singles were more expensive since they were individually wrapped, but I told her I could tell the difference (I was so bratty sometimes!). So she went out and bought four packages of cheese—white and yellow Singles and white and yellow regular cheese. She blindfolded me and had me try all four kinds. As I remember it, I was able to distinguish the white Singles from all the others, but I’m sure that no matter what the outcome was, my mom kept buying what she wanted to buy. Haha.
My mom also makes the world’s best hot fudge sauce…seriously I’m not kidding. In trying to perfect it one time, she bought about six or eight different kinds of chocolate so we could see which one we liked the best!
As you can tell, I learned from a young age the importance of doing taste tests so I thought it would be fun to do a taste test between these two cookies that are considered the best of the best.
Consider the evidence:
Exhibit A—Crispy on the outside, with a soft and chewy center. The crumb on this cookie is a little more dry, but has an excellent flavor with two kinds of chocolate. You can also taste hints of salt–yum!
And Exhibit B—Soft, thick, and chewy. The cookie crumbles so softly and the chocolate melts in your mouth while you taste hints of vanilla.
Which one looks the best to you? I know you can’t taste them, but based on the pictures and the explanation, would you choose Exhibit A or B?
Here are a few more pictures:
This was a VERY hard test. My husband and I each tasted them a few times and had a very hard time choosing. I finally decided on Exhibit B because I prefer my cookies soft. My husband couldn’t decide because they were both so good. He kept saying he liked them both the same, but then after a few hours he told me he preferred Exhibit B slightly more than Exhibit A. Honestly though, you really can’t go wrong with either of them. They are both phenomenal and deserve to be called the two BEST chocolate chip cookies we have ever tasted!
Are you ready for the reveal? Drum roll please……