How to Pick the Right Chocolate Chip for Every Recipe
The chocolate chip aisle has exploded in recent years, which is really terrific news for all your chip needs. Whether you're making cookies, sweet breads, muffins, or even ice cream, your choices are now so broad they might be a little confusing (especially if your recipe doesn't specify a particular type of chip). Get to know what each type of chocolate chip offers you, and how best you might use them, in this truly tasty guide.
Regular chocolate chips
The majority of chips you will find in the baking aisle will be this classic size, from your old-school Nestle to some fancier brands like Ghirardelli. If your recipe doesn't mention a different size, this is what they mean. You will never go wrong with this basic size; it is classic for a reason.
Buy it: Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips ($17.20 for 3 packages), amazon.com
Mini Chocolate Chips
These tiny versions of the chocolate chip have been around for a long time, and they are ideal for smaller bakes like mini muffins, smaller scale cookies, or sliceable bakes like Bundt cakes and sweet breads. They also work beautifully in biscotti or strudels, where larger chips can get make getting even slices complicated. They are also good as garnishes or mixed into ice cream where the size makes them a little easier to eat than larger ones, which can become like little bullets once frozen.
Buy it: Hershey's Mini Baking Chips ($12 for 2 packages), amazon.com
Large Chocolate Chips
These extra-large versions of chocolate chips are great in chunkier bakes like large cookies or bars. They create little pockets of chocolate that are extra special. These are also terrific in things like trail mix, granola, or snacking mixes.
Buy it: Guittard Super Cookie Chips ($64.87 for package of 12), amazon.com
These are flat disks of chocolate, and when used in baking, make wonderful thin layers of chocolate instead of round pockets, so they can be both a textural element and a flavor element. They can be subbed in for chips in cookies and bars or use a mix of the two for an interesting combination.
Buy it: Guittard Organic Chocolate Baking Wafers ($13.41), amazon.com
These rugged chunks can go anywhere the extra-large chips might go, with a little more rusticity. They are terrific in those fist-sized cookies that are so popular these days, or as a jagged topping on bar bakes. They are also useful for making ganaches or other melted chocolate applications, since they tend to have fewer ingredients that help traditional chips maintain that perfect shape.
Buy it: Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chunks ($9.12), amazon.com
Flavored Chocolate Chips
These chips, in flavors including strawberry, butterscotch, and cinnamon, can be great to play with to change up the flavors of some of your favorite bakes. I particularly love peanut butter and mint-flavored chips.
Buy it: Reese's Peanut Butter Baking Chips ($14.83 for 3 packages), amazon.com