For years, I’ve been searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. One that’s ooey and gooey with a slight crunch on the outside, and doesn’t just taste good the first day but somehow manages to keep that “freshly baked” flavor even days later. To me, chocolate chip cookies scream nostalgia. They’re the easy, go-to cookie that nearly everyone’s mom and grandma makes for them when they need cheering up. So why is it so hard to find a recipe that’s actually good? And how can they all claim to be the best?
Well, this past week I tried three different recipes to see which one will take the cake (or cookie) and go home a winner. And even though I woke up at 3 a.m. with a stomach ache, it was totally worth it.
If you grew up with a Food Network obsessed mom, then chances are you know this name. Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa, was my mom’s absolute favorite cook. I remember walking into the kitchen after hours of homework to find my mom standing directly in front of the TV to watch Garten’s every move. So when I saw that she came out with a new cookbook and included a chocolate chip cookie recipe, I knew I had to try it.
I was especially drawn to this recipe because it includes steps on how to make them look like those giant gourmet cookies that you get at restaurants or fancy hotels. I wanted to make my cookies both delicious and picture perfect. So, I did as the Barefoot Contessa instructed and slammed the cookie sheet on the counter every 3 minutes, sending my cat running and my dog giving me the evil eye for disturbing her nap.
And let me tell you, it was not worth it. At first, I thought I found the perfect cookie. They were soft and just a little gooey with a slight crunch on the outside, but then the next day they were hard as rocks. While the slamming technique definitely worked to make them look like the perfect cookie, they definitely didn’t taste like it the next day. However, after warming them up in the microwave, they were nearly as soft as they were when I first baked them, but you have to eat fast since they’ll harden as they cool.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. A banana oatmeal cookie isn’t the same as a normal chocolate chip cookie. And yeah, you’re right, but I wanted to try this recipe so that we could get a well-rounded perspective on all the different kinds of cookies out there, which includes vegan ones. So, for all of my vegan friends out there, this one goes out to you!
Not only was this recipe easy, but it also tasted amazing! You basically just mash up the bananas, throw everything else in the bowl, and then mix it all up. It can’t get much easier than that. The only part that was slightly more complicated was when I had to blend 1 cup of oatmeal into a powder to make oatmeal flour. Overall, this step is easy. Throw it into a blender and then, POOF, you have oatmeal flour. If you don’t have a blender, then you can probably just substitute for normal flour.
I can’t exactly compare it to the other cookies because it is different, but they definitely put up a good fight, and I can say that it’s now my go-to for an easy dessert. Even though the texture is completely different because of the oatmeal, these cookies are still soft to the point of practically melting in your mouth. Plus, that teaspoon of cinnamon really gives them that little bit of something special that keeps you wanting more.
Note: Be sure to check out the ingredients on your chocolate chips! Some contain milk. Dark chocolate is the best option to ensure your chocolate chips are truly vegan.
This recipe is an old family favorite. We used to make it when I was younger, and, based on my memory, they always came out ooey and gooey, but that could’ve just been my nostalgic brain playing tricks on me. So I put it to the test.
Pretty much every cookie recipe you encounter will tell you to make the butter (usually mixed with the sugar) light and fluffy. I’ve been making cookies for years and I still don’t know what this means, but I just blend it with my electric mixer and hope for the best. Aside from this step, which you’ll run into with basically any cookie, these were easy, basic cookies.
And that’s just it. They were pretty much your basic chocolate chip cookie, but when it comes to a chocolate chip cookie, basic is all you need. While they were better than Ina Garten’s, they still didn’t have that ooey-gooey texture I was looking for. They also definitely weren’t the prettiest cookies. But what they lacked in beauty, they made up for in taste and the fact that they were able to retain more of that soft, freshly baked flavor than Garten’s version.
After trying 3 different recipes, the search continues. Even though I didn’t find the perfect chocolate chip cookie, I got pretty close, and even found a new go-to cookie for when I’m craving something sweet. But give them a try and let us know what you think by sending us an email at: [email protected]! Maybe you’ll even have better luck than I did!