The chocolate chip cookie was supposedly invented in 1938 by Ruth Wakefield, owner of Massachusetts’ Toll House Inn, and since then, it has become a staple of butter-stained recipe cards, countless cookbooks, and most famously, the back of Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip bags.

But get this! The first chocolate chip cookie didn’t actually contain chocolate chips. To make her iconic cookies, Ruth instead chopped a chocolate bar into chunks, then stirred those chunks into the cookie dough. And it turns out, Ruth was on to something: Chopped chocolate, not chocolate chips, make the best cookies. There, we said it.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in our newest Recipe of the Year, Supersized, Super-Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies. We had some philosophical handwringing over the name: Can you call something a chocolate chip cookie if it doesn’t actually have chocolate chips? But recipe developer Molly Marzalek-Kelly’s intent was to make the best version of this classic cookie, and test after test proved that chopped chocolate produced a superior cookie.

Several chocolate chip cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Supersized, Super-Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with chopped chocolate for a reason. 

“I originally wasn’t on team chopped chocolate because chopping chocolate can be annoying,” admits Molly. “But after testing these cookies, it quickly became clear that chopped chocolate results in a better overall eating experience.” That starts with the way the cookies bake. “Small, pebble-like chocolate chips don’t blend easily into the dough like chopped chocolate, thus leaving more open space for the cookie dough to spread or puff while baking,” theorizes Molly. “This may lead to cookies that are cakey rather than chewy.”

I can attest: When I made this recipe for the first time, I used chocolate chips. (Don’t tell Molly!) The resulting cookies weren’t nearly as good as the version that I made with chopped chocolate — they were slightly cakier and spread more, plus the chocolate flavor was flat and boring. If you do use chocolate chips, Molly recommends roughly chopping them. “Ideally you want to chop the chips down the middle so they won’t be such a sharp pocket of chocolate. Changing up the dimension of the chips results in better and more even distribution in the dough.” (Molly even found a way to make chopping chocolate less irritating — use a serrated knife. And to make things even simpler, use chocolate wafers, which are easier to chop than chocolate bars.)

Baker chopping chocolate with serrated knife Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Using a serrated knife to chop chocolate makes things much easier.

Chopping your chocolate doesn’t just help you avoid cakey cookies; it also makes the experience of eating them much more enjoyable. Molly found that chopped chocolate, which melts better, blends more seamlessly into the dough, and remains soft after baking, created the perfect cookie that was soft throughout — no chocolate chip-sized disruptions here.

A key benefit to using chopped chocolate is that you also have more control over the type of chocolate you can use. You can choose high-quality options like  Guittard semisweet wafers, our Test Kitchen’s preferred choice. And you can use a mix: For a more complex, less sweet flavor, our Test Kitchen recommends replacing up to 1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate with bittersweet chocolate (between 70% to 75% cocoa content).

Bag and bowl full of chocolate wafers next to chocolate chip cookies Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
For the tastiest cookies, use high-quality chocolate like Guittard semisweet wafers.

Our Supersized, Super-Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies have plenty of thoughtful innovations that push the chocolate chip cookie to new heights, ranging from a tangzhong starter in the dough to a bread flour base for chewy texture. But ultimately, it might be Ruth Wakefield’s century-old technique that makes the biggest difference of all.

Cover photo by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne.

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Supersized, Super-Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Supersized, Super-Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
3.7 out of 5 stars 393 Reviews
Total
1 day 1 hr
Yield
16 to 17 large (4") cookies or 28 medium (3") cookies
Rossi crimping pie crust
The Author

About Rossi Anastopoulo

Rossi Anastopoulo grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, which is how she fell in love with biscuits. She didn’t have any bakers in her household (with the exception of her grandmother’s perfect koulourakia), so she learned at a young age that the best way to satisfy her sweet tooth was to make dess...
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