Our favorite might surprise you.  

By Corey Williams
February 14, 2019

We are dedicated to our craft here at MyRecipes. So dedicated, in fact, that we baked seven batches of chocolate chip cookies to test seven brands of chocolate chips—and then we ate them all. We do it for you, dear reader.

To keep things fair, we used Nestlé Toll House’s classic chocolate chip cookie recipe for each batch and we only used semi-sweet varieties.

We rated the chips on overall flavor and meltability. Of the seven we tried, there was a clear (and somewhat surprising) winner.

But first, let’s meet the contenders:

Nestlé Toll House: The O.G. chocolate chip. ‘Nuff said.

Price: $2.99 at Target

Ghirardelli: I’m going to be upfront with you: We were biased toward these going into this process. This is the brand most of us use at home, and Ghirardelli won our brownie mix taste test in a landslide.

Price: $2.89 at Target

Guittard: This is ~fancy~ chocolate with a ~fancy~ name.

Price: $4.99 at Whole Foods

Market Pantry: Target’s brand is one of four to include chocolate liquor in its ingredient list—more on that later.  

Price: $1.79 at Target

365: Whole Foods also includes chocolate liquor in its recipe. Hmmmm.

Price: $5.99 at Whole Foods

Enjoy Life: All Enjoy Life products are made without gluten and 14 common allergens: wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, casein, soy, egg, sesame, sulfites, lupin, mustard, fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. So mega points for inclusivity.

Price: $5.99 at Whole Foods

Equal Exchange: Equal Exchange is completely focused on fair trade, which we think is pretty darn cool.

Price: $5.99 at Whole Foods

As we expected, none of these tasted bad. We’d happily eat cookies made with morsels from any of these brands. That said, a few did stand out:

1. Market Pantry

The cheapest chocolate chips on our list ended up being our favorite. They melted beautifully and the subtle chocolate liquor taste was bittersweet and rich, and delivered just what we'd want within the context of a warm chocolate chip cookie. Artisanal? No. But still, Target really hit it out of the park with this one.

2. Whole Foods 365

Our second best of the bunch also listed chocolate liquor among its first few ingredients. The Whole Foods brand chips melted well and offered a slightly nuttier flavor than most, which we enjoyed. And like Market Pantry's, these chips were a cohesive rich note within the framework of a vanilla-y, brown sugary-sweet cookie. You detect their semisweet darkness, but they don't draw too much attention to themselves.

3. Ghirardelli  

Ghirardelli provides a beautiful melt, but the flavor wasn’t quite as intense as our top two picks. We’re not saying that’s a bad thing—there’s something to be said for a relaxed, sweetly neutral chocolate chip. This is definitely a solid choice.

Again, you really can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. A chocolate chip’s a chocolate chip, and there's no sense in way overthinking it. But next time you’re in the baking aisle, maybe look for a bag that lists chocolate liquor among its ingredients. You won’t be disappointed.

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