Lifestyle & Culture

The Chocolate-Chip Cookie Challenge

September 30, 2018



HAVING NEVER been to outer space, like most of us, I have no idea about the quality of chocolate-chip cookies that may exist, either in our own or in another galaxy. I only know about the ones on Earth, and I can cite with confidence three that are worth breaking a diet for: the ones you get in your room when you  stay at a DoubleTree Hotel, the kind you bake at home commonly called Toll House, and Tate’s cookies.

Obviously the ones at the DoubleTree are the most expensive. Depending on what city you’re in and if there’s a convention in town or not, one of those cookies can start at $140, or $70 if you’re with a companion because you’ll each get one. Honestly, they’re good but not that good. Certainly the home-baked variety are the most cost-effective, but pose the biggest risk to any healthy eating plan since there’s a lot of pre-baking batter tasting followed by post-baking cookie tasting to be sure they turned out right. Tate’s are sold everywhere and are distinctively crunchy, but you may end up eating the whole bag, which I think contains a dozen cookies. Either way you’re screwed, since the consumption of carbs and sweets fuels the craving for more of the same.

So, all things considered I’d say a night at the DoubleTree, where you can’t get another cookie even if you beg the front desk clerk, or lie and say you dropped your cookie down the elevator shaft or wherever, is your safest bet diet-wise, although it’s admittedly a steep price. If it’s any help, my independent research (involving a sole participant) yielded the following reviews of each:

DoubleTree: “They’re great, but they’re almost too oily, with too many nuts and basically just too much everything.” (I must caution that they can be nauseating if you check in late and go right to bed after eating one.) 
Tate’s: “They’re really delicious, but they’re almost too crispy, and with no comforting mouth feel.”
Home-baked Toll House: “Crispy and chewy and chocolatey. Always perfect even if they get a little burnt around the edges. Plus you get to lick the bowl.”

So there it is. You be the judge. To decide for yourself, just book a night at the DoubleTree, buy a bag of Tate’s and whip up a batch of these Toll House babies:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture
  6. Stir in morsels and nuts
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets
  8. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes
  10. Remove to wire racks to cool completely


—Andrea Rouda

Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid

2 thoughts on “The Chocolate-Chip Cookie Challenge

  1. Kate Perrin says:

    The Inn at Perry Cabin also leaves fresh baked cookies for guests at night. Not always chocolate chip, but always delicious, rich, and comforting. But I agree you can’t go wrong with home made Toll House, thought I switched to Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips years ago. Mmmmmmm!

  2. Otterbein’s from Baltimore. A whole area of the city is named after them. Well, after the family and the iconic church. The famous bakery has been cranking out fabulous cookies since 1881.

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