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We Tested 3 Celeb Chefs' Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes & This Is the Best

Find out whether Joanna Gaines, Ina Garten, or Alton Brown has the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.
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There's nothing like the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. The sweet aroma perfumes your entire home with that nostalgic scent that takes you directly back to childhood. While some of our loved ones likely used family recipes that had been passed down for generations, others might have used the classic recipe that's on the back of a bag of chocolate chips.

If you're looking for a new chocolate chip cookie to try and are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of celebrity chef cookie recipes, don't fret. I tried and tested popular recipes from Joanna Gaines, Ina Garten, and Alton Brown to find out which one is truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.

I judged the cookies based on taste, how easy the cookies were to make, and whether they turned out like the picture from the recipe. To taste the cookies, I rounded up a small panel to help me judge, that way my personal preferences for a cookie weren't the dominant factor in determining which cookie got the coveted first place spot.

Plus, if you're looking to buy a perfect chocolate chip cookie, don't miss The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in Every State.

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Joanna Gaines' Chocolate Chip Cookies, Magnolia Table

Mireya Acierto / Contributor

These chocolate chip cookies from Joanna Gaines are a very typical chocolate chip cookie, like one made from the back of the chocolate chip bag. In fact, in the introduction to this recipe in her book Magnolia Table, she mentions that the cookies are a product of her tinkering with classic recipes. The cookies were easy to make and most people likely already have all of the ingredients at home. The recipe says it makes 40 cookies, though my final result was closer to 30 cookies.

One thing I didn't like about this recipe was that you dish out the cookies with a spoon versus a cookie scoop. This made some of the cookies a little larger than others, which affected the overall bake time, where some cookies on a tray were more crispy and some were a little underdone.

The verdict

Joanna Gaines cookies
Megan DuBois

 

The cookies did end up looking like the picture in Magnolia Table, and the taste of the cookie was sweet and rich from the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Since only brown sugar was used in the cookies they had a deep caramelized flavor without it overtaking the chocolate. Overall these are a win for the classic crispy chocolate cookie fan, especially if you can dish out the cookies to ensure they are all the same size.

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Ina Garten's Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies, Modern Comfort Food

Noam Galai / Stringer

Ina Garten's Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Modern Comfort Food is one of the most unique I've had in a while. The cookies are flat and crispy thanks to banging the tray of cookies on the counter or stovetop in the middle of baking them. Shortly after trying these cookies out for myself I actually saw Ina's inspiration for the recipe, Sarah Kieffer, on an episode of Zoe Bakes on Magnolia Network, which was exciting.

These cookies require all of the typical chocolate chip cookie ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla, but it's the proportions that make these cookies so delightful. The two sticks of butter make these cookies incredibly rich. Then the fact that you chop your own chocolate, rather than using chips, makes each bite filled with big chunks and tiny shards of chocolate.

Typically cookie dough is put in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up before scooping and baking, but these only go in the freezer for 15 minutes before dishing out onto trays. I did learn the hard way to heed the advice in the recipe and only put four scoops of dough on each tray because these spread a lot. After banging the pan and the cookies finally being done I was ready to taste these.

The verdict

Ina Garten cookies
Megan DuBois

The flat cookie didn't seem that appealing, visually, but I loved the big pools of chocolate that ran throughout the cookie. The crisp edges led into a somewhat soft center. The addition of the flaky sea salt at the end helped to tone down the overall sweetness, which I also enjoyed.

One thing I didn't like about these cookies was the need to babysit them in the kitchen. Having to bang the pan every three minutes until the cookies were golden brown was a bit of a hassle that I likely won't be doing every time I want a warm chocolate chip cookie. Overall, these are ideal for people who love a thin, crispy cookie that's slightly elevated from the typical cookie.

RELATED: We Tried 3 Celeb Chefs' Cake Recipes & This Is the Best

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Best: Alton Brown, The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Noam Galai / Stringer

One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Alton Brown. I always watched his show Good Eats as a kid and it got me into cooking and baking. I still credit him in part, for my love for the kitchen. When I found his recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies I had to try it because it promised a texture that the other two contenders didn't have and that was a gooey center with a chewy outside.

In the recipe, Brown mentions the cookie is made chewy in part by the bread flour, which replaces the typical all-purpose flour. Bread flour is easy to find in the grocery store baking aisle next to all of the other flour. The melted butter versus softened butter is also a win because who wants to have to wait a few hours for butter to soften on their countertop?

The dough is easy to make in a traditional stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Once the dough was mixed, I took Brown's advice to dish out the cookies and freeze what I wasn't going to eat immediately. I put the other dough balls on a tray to bake. I cooked an entire tray of cookies and rotated them halfway through so the cookies baked evenly in the oven.

The verdict

Alton Brown cookies
Megan DuBois

After the cookies were done and cooled slightly we dove in to take a bite. The edge of the cookie was crisp with a deep buttery flavor, while the middle of the cookie was soft and gooey with just the right amount of chocolate chips. The best part about this recipe is that I now have plenty more pre-dished cookies in my freezer. In a few minutes, I can be devouring warm chocolate chip cookies again.

Plus, don't miss We Tried 3 Celeb Chefs' Roast Chicken Recipes & Here's Why Ina's Is the Best.

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Megan duBois
Megan duBois is a food and travel journalist with bylines at Forbes, Insider, Delish, Popsugar, SmarterTravel, Travel and Leisure and more. Read more