Our Baking Pros Found the Best Chocolate Chips for Cookies and More
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We were on a mission to find the absolute best chocolate chips—perfect for cookies, bars and tasty quick breads. Here's what we discovered.
Claire Krieger/Taste of Home
Bakers, we know there are always a few staples in your kitchen: eggs and butter in the fridge, flour and sugar in the pantry—and chocolate chips, too. Chocolate chips are one of those baking must-haves. Everyone is always in the mood for a chocolate chip cookie, chocolate chip pancakes or another chocolaty dessert.
When you reach into your pantry, we know you want to have the very best chocolate chips, but do you know if your preferred brand is the best? We saved you the hard work of snacking on dozens of chocolate chips and tested them side by side.
How We Found the Best Chocolate Chips
To find the best chocolate chips, we tested 14 brands. These semisweet morsels ran the gamut from big-name brands to generics to specialty options, like dairy-free chips. Each of these chips was judged blindly according to:
- Flavor: How was the chocolate flavor of the chips? Did it walk the line of dark and milk chocolate as a semi-sweet should?
- Appearance: How did the chips look? Were they shiny? Uniform in appearance? Did they have a perfect curly-cue shape?
- Texture: Did the chips have a smooth and pleasant texture? How well did they melt? Were they creamy when melted down?
Each of these factors is immensely important for creating your best-ever treats, like this One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Quick Bread. This five-star recipe relies on 12 ounces of chocolate chips to give it that rich flavor and irresistible look—seriously, who wouldn’t welcome a slice of that with their coffee? So in effort to make this recipe (and all your other favorites) taste their best, our panel of experts tasted our collection of brands side-by-side to help distinguish the subtle nuances. Sometimes it’s the little things that can take your recipes from good to great.
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Chocolate Chip Brands
After sampling 14 brands of chocolate chips, a few stood out to our expert baking crew and sweets fanatics.
Best Chocolate Flavor: Nestlé Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Morsels
It was no surprise to see chocolate chip classic Nestlé Tollhouse do well in this blind tasting. The brand is synonymous with the ingredient. In these chips, the panel found a creamy, dark-chocolate flavor that continued to build. These chips had an incredibly melty texture that had us dreaming of some of our most decadent chocolate desserts. The panel also admired these chips’ superior appearance. They were shiny and uniform—exactly what you expect of a perfect chocolate chip.
Best Splurge: 365 Everyday Value Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Whole Foods-exclusive, 365 Everyday Value, earned a spot as being one of our Test Kitchen-preferred options. Our panel of pro bakers enjoyed the chips’ semisweet chocolate flavor—sweet but with hints of rich dark chocolate all making for a well-balanced morsel. In addition to their perfect chocolate taste, these chips had that spot-on melting factor. It was easy to envision them looking gooey and delicious mixed into one of our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. These chips are a bit pricier than others, but the flavor and glossy appearance are worth it, especially when you use them to finish treats like cannoli.
Best Budget Option: Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Baker’s Corner, an Aldi exclusive brand, also did well in this rigorous but delicious test. These chips were hailed for being a good all-around choice. With a nice dark chocolate flavor and cute curlicue tops, these chips would be welcome in any pantry. (Speaking of pantries, here’s how long baking staples last.) And while these chips were tested blindly (no one knew brand or price), it was a pleasant surprise to see that such a good basic chip could be purchased for less.
What to Make with Chocolate Chips
With these three great brands in mind, it’s tempting to want to run into the kitchen and stir up a favorite recipe. Of course, there are the classics, like chocolate chip cookies (check out our ultimate guide to baking cookies), but these chips can offer so much more. You can mix up a phenomenal batch of bars with our best chocolate chips, fold them into a rich cheesecake or melt them down to make tasty candies. Just check out the dozens of chocolate chip recipes that use this pantry staple.
However you choose to bake with our picks for the best chocolate chips, were’ confident that you’ll deliver some irresistible treats. Remember that tasty quick bread chock-full of chips? It might be time you give it a try. Just look how decadent.