There are a great number of issues our thriving metropolis must consider each day—some political, some social, but none more delicious than those which have to do with the Houston food scene. Last weekend, a very important meeting of food bloggers was held to determine the answer, once and for all, to one of Houston's tastiest questions: Who makes the most scrumptious chocolate chip cookie in the city? From a line-up of 20 widely popular restaurants, bakeries and delis, three chocolate chip cookies were crowned champs, leaving us dedicated taste-testers in a cookie coma to end all cookie comas.
Held at Houston-based DIY and recipe blogger Ashley Rose's Sugar and Cloth Studio in East Downtown, the first ever Chocolate Chip Cookie C(rumble) of Houston was as much a fragrant affair as it was a delicious one. The aroma of freshly baked cookies filled the entire room, as towering plates of cookies were tagged, numbered and lined up side by side for judging. Judges were made up primarily of food bloggers, some of whom are also pastry chefs and professional bakers. With 20 cookies to choose from, the basis on which each cookie was judged ranged from general look and texture to flavor and abundance of chocolate chips. While ice-cold almond milk and good old-fashioned 2 percent flowed like wine, we got to work.
Making my way around the room, sampling all 20 cookies from the who's who of Houston's bakeries and sweet-makers, I found myself realizing what a cookie conundrum I was in. My platonic ideal of a chocolate chip cookie is one that is crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and loaded with warm, melty chocolate—or at least I thought it was. This challenge had me wondering Which is better, gooey chocolate morsels or chunky chocolate chips? and Do I really fancy a crumbly cookie, or not so much? Even the colors had me seeing through cookie-colored lenses. From a perfectly spotted light tan to a speckled golden brown, each cookie was more alluring than the one before.
As the judging neared completion, it became apparent there were some favorites in the bunch, with nothing but a pile of crumbs remaining on those particular platters. We tallied up the scores and announced the not-so-surprising winner. In first place, with a picture-perfect look and downright delicious bite every time was the chocolate chip cookie from charming Houston eatery Tiny Boxwood's. As a fan of many of the restaurants and bakeries which participated, the professional foodie in me will however tell you there is something very special about the chocolate chip cookie at Tiny Boxwood's. From first glance to last buttery bite, it is exactly what you crave when your inner cookie monster begins to surface.
Rounding out second and third place were Common Bond and Michael's Cookie Jar, respectively. It may be no surprise that these top three contenders made the winners circle as they're famous for their chocolate chip cookies (among other tasty delights), but you can rest assured knowing that as of September 2015, after undergoing thorough and rigorous taste-testing, they strongly upheld their reputations as providing Houstonians with some of the best chocolate chip cookie satisfaction in the city.
Below is the ranked list of all 10 competitors, for those who want to see how their favorite restaurant or bakery measured up, as well as the food bloggers who participated as judges. Remember that taste is subjective, so please consider this list our opinion—not the definitive Cookie Bible of Houston.
How the Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbled:
- Tiny Boxwood's
- Common Bond
- Michael's Cookie Jar
- Brown Bag Deli
- Red Dessert Dive
- The Chocolate Bar
- Ooh La La
- Fluff Bake Bar
- Tout Suite
Abigail Diaz, shopgirlblog.com
Lisa Driver, mapleandlove.com
Julie Jules, acesoftaste.com
Morgan Jankovic, thefoodiechef.com
Erin Kronberg, gotidbits.com
Erika Kwee, thepancakeprincess.com
Kim Ogonosky, adventuresinanewishcity.com
Isabel Protomartir, tastemade.com/@isabelissimaa
Ashley Rose, sugarandcloth.com
Lauren Ross, howtoeatrd.wordpress.com
Claire Siegel, thepetiteprofessional.com
Megha Tejpal, Houstonia Magazine, instagram.com/hotpinkhouston
Jenna White, instagram.com/starvingfoodist