Why Chocolate Chips May Not Be The Best Chocolate For Cookies

Ah, a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie. Taking a first bite into a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie is one of the best feelings, up there with finding a few dollars on the sidewalk or getting a free day off work. Whether you're young or old, we all have fond memories of enjoying a good cookie with an ice-cold glass of milk. While you can argue that you don't need to improve on the basic recipe for a chocolate chip cookie, as it stands perfectly fine on its own, there's nothing wrong with learning how to make your cookies the best that they can be, right down to the last crumb.

Epicurious suggests several tips to improve your average cookie recipe, ranging from browning the butter to sprinkling flaky salt on the dough balls. Good Housekeeping recommends that you chill the dough for a day or two before baking for a firmer result, or to add more brown sugar to give the cookies a richer texture. But in all these suggestions and tips, you'll probably notice something odd: everyone recommends that you don't use chocolate chips in your chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Chocolate chunks melt better

A chocolate chip cookie without chocolate chips? That's almost like asking for a peanut butter sandwich without peanut butter. But there's actually a very good reason to skip over the usual store-brand chocolate chips.

According to culinary scientist Jessica Gavin, the tear-drop shape of the chocolate chips actually prevents the chocolate from melting, as they are coated with a "stabilizer" that helps keep them from losing their shape (via The Huffington Post).  What you should use, rather, is chopped-up chocolate chunks, such as from your favorite candy bar. As chopped chocolate bars and chunks have a higher fat content, this will give them a glossy sheen as they melt, as well as give your cookies a more "rustic, organic" appearance.

Even Martha Stewart's website recommends substituting chopped chocolate for chocolate chips. Adding chocolate chunks allows the cookies to have a more unique texture, with different sizes of chocolate scattered throughout the cookie instead of the uniform chocolate chip shapes. The chunks also have a higher amount of cocoa butter than chocolate chips do.

Of course, this isn't to rag on chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are a great addition to any cookie and have served us well for many years. Just don't be afraid to experiment with your chocolate every now and then.