I made chocolate chip cookies using 3 celebrity chefs' recipes, and the best is the simplest

Paige Bennett for Insider; Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP; Jason Merritt/GettyImages; Denis Contreras/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®I made chocolate chip cookies using three famous recipes to see which was the best.
  • I made chocolate chip cookies using recipes from celebrity chefs Duff Goldman, Alton Brown, and Martha Stewart to see which was the best.
  • Brown’s super precise recipe resulted in delicious, fluffy cookies that were also the smallest of the group.
  • Stewart’s recipe resulted in chocolate-laden cookies that were extremely tasty, but sort of overwhelming.
  • My favourite cookies were the ones I made using Goldman’s recipe since they were impressive-looking and flavorful.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm, freshly baked cookie oozing with melted chocolate chips.

But it seems no one can really agree on the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe – should you try different types of flour or chocolate chips? What’s the right amount of butter? Do you need to chill them before baking?

Even the most famous chefs have differing opinions on what makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie. And so, I tested recipes from Alton Brown, Duff Goldman, and Martha Stewart to see which reigns supreme.

Here’s what it was like following these recipes, plus which came out on top.


Brown’s recipe was pretty standard, but I needed to use a kitchen scale to measure my ingredients.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe ingredients for Alton Brown’s cookies.

Brown’s recipe specifically calls for bread flour to help them achieve a really chewy texture. He also said swapping one egg white for milk also helps the cookies become chewier.

Unfortunately, there was no bread flour at my grocery store, but a quick online search told me all-purpose would still be OK to use.

Aside from that, the ingredients needed were pretty standard for a chocolate chip cookie recipe – and it required a fair amount of chocolate chips (12 ounces total).

Brown also measures nearly everything in ounces for more precise amounts and better control over the final product, so I had to pull out my trusty kitchen scale when measuring my ingredients.


The dough was simple to make and everything combined nicely.

Paige Bennett for InsiderI used a mixer to combine my ingredients.

I was worried that Brown’s process would be really complex – he’s known for being very scientific in his ways of cooking and baking – but it was actually pretty simple.

I creamed the butter and sugar, then whisked and sifted other ingredients before finally adding the chocolate chips.


By the time the dough was mixed and ready to go, it smelled and looked heavenly.

Paige Bennett for InsiderI had to wait for it to chill.

After mixing my ingredients, I realised I had to throw this enticing dough into the fridge to chill for an hour.

Waiting 60 minutes before I would be able to smell these cookies baking in the oven was the ultimate test of willpower for me – but I prevailed.

After an hour, I followed the specific instructions to place six 1.5-ounce portions of cookie dough on two baking sheets. I relied again on my kitchen scale, carefully weighing each ball of dough before baking them.

I baked two sheets of dough at a time, so I had two rounds of baking for a total of two dozen cookies.


Even without bread flour, these cookies rose nicely and had a chewy texture.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe final cookie I made using Alton Brown’s recipe.

Brown specifically calls for baking the cookies for 15 minutes, rotating halfway through. I actually pulled the first batch out 30 seconds early because they began smelling overdone.

They looked great but were a bit more golden than I would have liked. For the second batch, I pulled them out about 90 seconds early, and they looked perfect.

Despite not being able to use bread flour, these cookies rose nicely and had more height than the ones from the other recipes I tried.

Even though the first batch looked a tad overdone, all of the cookies looked pretty delicious.


Of the three cookies I made, these had the most rise and the smallest diameter — making the interior chewy and fluffy.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe cookies were golden.

There’s a lot of brown sugar in the recipe, which I think helped contribute to the richer flavour of these chocolate chip cookies.

They had the slightest crisp on the edge and bottom, but the top and middle were soft.

The amount of chocolate chips was perfect – they weren’t overwhelming, and I also wasn’t wishing for more.

That said, if you make these I recommend checking in on your cookies around the 12-minute mark.


Goldman’s recipe was pretty easy to follow.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe ingredients for Duff Goldman’s cookies.

Goldman is known for his famous baked goods, so I had high hopes for his recipe.

The ingredient list for this one is simple and, since I love to bake, I pretty much had all of the ingredients for it on hand: all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and, of course, chocolate chips.


Making Goldman’s cookies was easy.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe dough formed quite quickly, too.

This recipe was quick and easy – I didn’t need to melt butter on the stove or even whisk the eggs before adding to them to the dough.

After mixing, the dough didn’t have as strong of an aroma as Brown’s did, but that’s likely because the butter for Goldman’s recipe was not melted beforehand.

After quickly making the dough, these cookies went into the oven for about 10 minutes, though the recipes suggests 8 to 12 minutes depending on how gooey you like your cookies.


These cookies had me swooning over their picturesque ripples.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe cookies were buttery and soft.

One thing I really love in a chocolate chip cookie is a strong series of ripples starting just shy of the centre and wrinkling all the way to the edge.

Typically, this is achieved by pulling your cookies out of the oven a bit early, banging the sheet pan against the counter, and putting them back in the oven until they are done baking.

Goldman’s cookies didn’t need to be whacked against the counter to come out looking like they belonged on the cover of a food magazine.


After just one bite of these cookies, I was in love.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThey looked like they were from a professional bakery.

The edges were nice and crispy. The centre was gooey and soft, but not undercooked.

These golden-brown cookies looked perfect and had the ideal amount of chocolate chips – a few in each bite, but not too many that chocolate was all I could taste.

These cookies were also pretty buttery, so I kept a napkin close by as I ate them.


For Stewart’s cookie recipe, I needed a ton of chocolate chips.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe ingredients for Martha Stewart’s cookies.

Like the others, Stewart’s recipe is quite simple but I had to pay close attention to the ingredient list.

The butter and eggs needed to be at room temperature before I began mixing things together. The other thing I noticed right away is that this recipe calls for a ton of chocolate chips.

In fact, I would be adding a whopping 4 ½ cups (which I found to be an entire 24-ounce bag) of semisweet chocolate chips to the dough.


I had to prepare the dough slowly so the chocolate chips wouldn’t overwhelm my mixer.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe dough was filled with chocolate chips.

The process for Stewart’s cookies was more or less the same as the other two recipes, just with a lot more chocolate chips. I had to add them to the batter slowly to not overwhelm my mixer.

These cookies also took a bit longer to bake, which was about 15 to 17 minutes.


The cookies were, unsurprisingly, very chocolaty.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe cookie I made using Stewart’s recipe was loaded with chocolate.

The cookies came out of the oven with dark, crispy edges and a paler centre.

The had a higher rise than Goldman’s, but not as high of a rise as Brown’s. They also had a little bit of rippling around the edges and a slightly wider diameter than Brown’s.


These cookies were also delicious, though more chocolaty than the others.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe cookies were a perfect golden brown.

The centres seemed slightly underdone, so the cookies were quite gooey and fragile. The edges, however, cooked much quicker and were just teetering on the edge of being overdone.

After dumping an entire 24-ounce bag of chocolate chips into the dough, I knew these would be chocolaty.

The chocolate chips were a bit overwhelming for my palette. Even though I really love chocolate, I could’ve done with a bit less.

Dare I say they have too much chocolate?


After trying all three cookies, it was incredibly difficult to pick a favourite.

Paige Bennett for InsiderLeft to right: Duff Goldman’s cookies, Alton Brown’s cookies, and Martha Stewart’s cookies.

Every cookie I tried was delicious. I would make all three recipes again and again.

I loved the chewy texture from Brown’s recipe, the plentiful chocolate chips from Stewart’s, and the gorgeous ripples of flavour from Goldman’s.


Ultimately, Goldman’s recipe was a cut above the rest.

Paige Bennett for InsiderThe cookies I made using Duff Goldman’s recipe blew me away.

Overall, Goldman’s balance of chocolaty flavour, lightly crisped edges and soft, gooey centre won me over.

Plus if you want dessert fast, Goldman’s recipe goes from raw ingredients to warm, freshly baked cookies in less than 20 minutes.

That said, I had no trouble devouring the cookies from all three recipes after I finished baking them.

Read More:

We tried 6 brands of ready-to-bake cookie dough, and the winner was a classic

I made brownies using 3 different celebrity recipes, and the best one contains almost a pound of chocolate

Chefs share 8 ways to make store-bought cookie dough taste homemade

I made banana bread using 4 different celebrity recipes, and the best one was the easiest to make

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