White Chocolate Cookie Experiment.

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I’ve been tutoring at an after-school homework program for high school students at a local community center this year.

It got off to a rough start.

During the second week or so, I was helping one boy with his Social Studies homework, which was a worksheet corresponding to the chapter on India in his book. We had been working together for about 40 minutes, but still had the short answer section to finish. I knew he wanted to hurry up so that he could play basketball, but I felt like he was not writing enough for the short answer (it is a vague word!).

I kept urging him to add one more sentence…. say two more adjectives…then we can call it a day.

He ended up getting very irritated with me, closing his book, standing up, and telling me in a very loud voice that, “I will see you next year!” before stomping out of the room.

OKAY. Maybe you won’t? Maybe I won’t volunteer to do this in my free time next year!

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Since then, he’s avoided the homework room. (ME.)

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The past few weeks, though, he’s started to come in the room again, mostly to bother other students. He routinely gets shooed out by the staff.

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A few weeks ago, my tutoring partner and I were helping another student with more Social Studies homework. We were helping her write a paragraph on Mt. Zion, when he strolled in, sat down, then started to pick the stickers off her planner.

They bickered. We told him to stop. Yet, he accomplished the task of distracting us. We somehow started talking about our lunches. I asked them if they liked to cook, and told them that I liked to bake.

His face lit up. “Can you make me white chocolate chip cookies? I love white chocolate chip cookies!”

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Then, my tutoring partner – the one who can’t remember the last time she even had a cookie – chimed in, “Oh me too! Those are my favorite.”

Really? They both love these cookies? I immediately started into cookie-analyzing-mode, telling them, “Most recipes for white chocolate chip cookies call for nuts, such as macadamia nuts —”

I stopped.

They were shaking their heads no.

“Just white chocolate chip cookies,” they said in unison.

Okay.

Okay.

We might clash over homework, but cookies I can give you.

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Best EVER! on the left; New York Times Ultimate on the right.

THE EXPERIMENT:

Because I not only get all nerd-like over shoes, clothing, and eye-wear, but also over baked goods, I decided to pair my all-time favorite New York Times ULTIMATE cookie recipe against a new-found one with the moniker The Best Cookies EVER! for a blow-out white chocolate chip cookie battle. (Just another Monday night activity…..)

Same:

1. Amount. I decided to make a half-batch of each.

2. Wet ingredients. The sugar/wet ingredient mixture was identical. The sugar content was reduced in both recipes since white chocolate is much sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate. I also adore vanilla, so I upped the ratio.

3. Amount/type of chocolate. I prefer to use a chopped chocolate bar in lieu of chips because I like the irregular striations of chocolate studded throughout the cookie. This is one trick that elevates homemade cookies to another level. Unfortunately, the grocery store only had the wonderful, yet incredibly expensive Green & Black’s organic white chocolate bars in stock. After a few laps around the store for a slightly cheaper option, I caved. It was worth it. The bar is actually flecked with real vanilla bean from Madagascar and melts in your mouth, with no overly sweet, artificial, and/or waxy undertones.

4. Size. I scooped them into the same size cookie dough balls using my nifty Martha Stewart cookie scooper.

5. Chill Time. Both doughs were chilled for 36 hours.

6. Cook Time. Both cookies were baked at 350 F for 12 minutes.

Different:

1. Flour/Dry Ingredients. The difference between the two recipes was in the type and amount of dry ingredients, which yielded very different cookies. See above.

The Best (White) Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER!

Slightly adapted from Savory Sweet Life

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup white chocolate pieces from a chocolate bar

New York Times Ultimate (White) Chocolate Chip Cookie

Slightly adapted from Jacques Torres, printed in The New York Times

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup white chocolate pieces from a chocolate bar

Directions for both recipes:

1. Cream together the butter and sugars for about five minutes, beating on medium-high until light, pale golden and fluffy.

2. Add the egg, beat over medium-high speed for 1-2 more minutes.

3. Add the vanilla extract, beat over medium-high speed for 1-2 more minutes.

4. Combine your dry ingredients in a separate bowl, sift well. (Sometimes, I just use a whisk to incorporate. Lazy, but it works!)

5. On low-speed, add your dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated and there are no visible flour streaks in the dough.

6. With a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate pieces until evenly distributed.

7. With cookie scoop, shape into balls. Place on cookie sheet, cover with Saran-wrap, and….now for the hard part….let rest for 36 hours in your refrigerator. I know, I know. It’s hard. I lose a few cookies because they are just THERE when I open the fridge. However, the aged cookie dough really, TRULY does produce a better cookie. See proof here.

8. In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake cookies spaced 3 inches apart on either parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet for about 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Enjoy!

THE RESULT:

white cookies

Guess which one was a favorite both at work and at tutoring?!

The Best EVER!

People enjoyed both cookies – and the student whom I made them for could have cared less since he inhaled about eight cookies of both kinds in less than fifteen minutes and was beyond overjoyed – but more people liked the Best Ever! overall.

I, in turn, preferred the puffier, chewier, slightly smaller New York Times cookie.

May I recommend making them both for your own cookie experiment? It’s so fun, and people will like you so much more for it.

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About Sarah

Always thinking about my next meal.
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12 Responses to White Chocolate Cookie Experiment.

  1. jejobe says:

    A. You are super sweet! I hope the kid is nicer to you from here on out.
    and
    B. “I prefer to use a chopped chocolate bar in lieu of chips because I like the irregular striations of chocolate studded throughout the cookie.” I totally snorted at this! You crack me up. I’m not sure I had a chip texture preference but now I know I’ll be thinking about it net time I eat a chocolate chip cookie.

  2. I love baking things for others. Kill em with kindness or sugar and fats is what I say. These look beautiful. I’m sorry for the dreary weather, though I’m envious of the thunderstorms VT gets.

    • Sarah says:

      Ugh, the weather has been horrible lately. I’m about to complain about it again!

      That’s funny, because I miss thunderstorms out west. I liked the way I could see them coming from miles away.

  3. such a fun experiment! i love the nyt cookies–now i want to try the best ever!

  4. karolinka27 says:

    I love that you went through what’s different and what’s similar between the two recipes because I was wondering about this but I don’t think that I would have actually taken the time to read the recipes so closely!!

    • Sarah says:

      It was a battle of the dry ingredients for sure! I liked that both of these cookies used a higher brown sugar ratio too. I feel like that makes chewier cookies.

  5. Reblogged this on thelifeandtimesofafoodie and commented:
    These look amazing… Must find time to make them!

  6. Pingback: I hit the proverbial packing wall. | DAILY NIBBLES

  7. vanessashley says:

    Reblogged this on Cottoncandy&Marshmallows and commented:
    Oooo white chocolate chip cookies ((: i should try making them some day toos ((: hehehs

  8. Pingback: Soft White Chocolate Chip Cookies | Cocoa & Cream

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