Yuriko Chavez / Daily Nexus

Welcome to Baker’s Battle! It’s a debate, competition, and dare we say, war, that’s raged on for centuries… 

That’s right: boxed versus homemade! Your favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) neighborhood OTM writers Yuriko and Toni are here to take sides of this culinary controversy. Today, the classic chocolate chip cookie takes the spotlight. With convenience, taste, and overall vibe duking it out in the oven, will store bought or scratch win?

Watch our video and follow along with our recipes. Of course, we’re all winners for eating cookies, but a victor must prevail. Let us know which side you think is the winner! 

Yuriko (Store Bought): 

Yuriko Chavez / Daily Nexus

Ingredients: 

  • Pillsbury’s chocolate chip cookie dough 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon out cookie dough into 1-inch balls on an oiled pan.
  3. Put in the oven for 10-13 minutes. After they are finished, let them cool for 3-5 minutes.

Between baking from scratch and using store-bought cookie dough, I will always choose the store-bought option. With baking store-bought cookie dough, there are so many perks — especially during the school year! 

The biggest perk is how little time it takes. With an already prepared dough, I can quickly scoop the cookie dough without worrying about if I measured the flour correctly or if I added too much butter. The only thing I have to worry about is making sure I take the cookies out of the oven.  The ease and quickness of the process allowed me to bake in between classes even on my busiest weeks.

Then there is the relative tidiness of it all. I don’t have to bring out 5 different ingredients, clean the flour off my KitchenAid mixer, or dig through my cupboards to find vanilla extract. In about 30 minutes, I can quickly bake a fresh batch of cookies with very few dishes to clean.

Finally, there is the ease. Unlike some of my other baking escapades, the taste is not necessarily consistent when re-baking a favorite recipe. With store-bought products, not only is it delicious, but it will retain the same great flavor each and every time you bake!

When it comes to craving the comfort of a fresh-baked cookie — reach for the store-bought cookie dough. With speed, ease and consistency, I guarantee it’ll never disappoint. 

 

Toni (From Scratch): 

Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (94g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (95 grams) buckwheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate 
  • ½ cup (130 grams) brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Whisk the all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. 
  2. Roughly chop the chocolate. Set aside a small handful.
  3. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar and melted butter to a large bowl. Whisk until the sugar absorbs the butter and no lumps remain, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Add 1 egg, then 2 egg yolks (one at a time), whisking vigorously after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. The mixture should be lighter in color and creamy. 
  5. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Add most of the chopped chocolate to the dough and gently fold. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  7. Scoop out portions of the chilled dough and roll into balls. Place onto a prepared baking sheet and press a few pieces of the reserved chocolate into the dough balls. 
  8. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. 
  9. Pull sheets out of the oven and tap them gently on the stove to deflate the cookies. Sprinkle with kosher salt before transferring to wire racks to cool.

I am a lazy person.

That being said, I love my desserts. I will take the extra time to make sure my cookies and cakes are as delicious as possible. Taking some time to make a recipe from scratch is a welcome reprieve from the stress of college life.

And yes, baking does require a certain level of accuracy and concentration, but there’s also so much room for improvisation. You can easily modify recipes to fit your tastebuds or accommodate your roommate’s new vegan diet that we both know will be dropped next week. Baking from scratch ensures you have control over what you put in your body. I’m not saying it’s healthy, but you can eliminate excess hydrogenated fats, sugar, and random chemical stabilizers that keep boxed mixes on the shelves for longer. 

This chocolate chip cookie recipe is pretty easy to throw together! Most of the time is spent chilling the dough, which gives you time to do whatever else you need to do. And if you’re like me, you know you’ll have a cookie craving at a later date … In that case, you can freeze some of the dough balls to bake off later, which will save you tons of time down the line!

Take a little extra care and time to enhance your desserts. Your tastebuds (and your friends) will thank you!

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Yuriko Chavez
Yuriko Chavez is a staff writer for the Daily Nexus. She loves Octobers and staring longingly outside car windows.