A Pro Baker Weighs in on King Arthur’s 2024 Recipe of the Year

Discover the verdict from a professional baker on King Arthur's Recipe of the Year for 2024.


My Favorite Cookie Takes the Crown

As a lover of chocolate chip cookies, I was intrigued when King Arthur announced their 2024 Recipe of the Year: Supersized Super-Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies. However, with so many exceptional chocolate chip cookie recipes available, I wondered if these cookies truly deserved the title.

To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to bake them myself. Surprisingly, I discovered that King Arthur's winning recipe may just be the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you'll ever need. I understand if you're skeptical, as online food writing often exaggerates claims, but I urge you to try these cookies for yourself!

Innovative Techniques for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Upon reviewing the recipe, I noticed several familiar tips for achieving chewy cookies. These techniques, such as using bread flour, melting the butter (or browning it for added flavor), using all brown sugar, using chopped chocolate instead of chips, and chilling the dough overnight, are commonly suggested in various articles.

However, what sets King Arthur's recipe apart is that it incorporates all of these techniques. It's a genius move to combine multiple tried-and-true methods into one recipe. Furthermore, they have made it beginner-friendly, requiring only one bowl and one saucepan. It appreciates the essence of what a chocolate chip cookie should be.

The Secret to Chewiness: Tangzhong

One unexpected ingredient in King Arthur's recipe caught my attention: tangzhong. This centuries-old Chinese technique is typically used in bread baking, particularly in Japanese milk bread. It creates a delightful, luscious texture that easily pulls apart.

To make tangzhong, a small portion of the recipe's flour is cooked with milk on the stove, forming a paste. The starches in the flour absorb the milk, resulting in extra moisture and softness without making the dough overly wet. Tangzhong is rarely used outside of yeasted doughs, making its inclusion in a cookie recipe truly innovative.

Not only does tangzhong contribute to the desired soft and chewy texture of the chocolate chip cookies, but it also adds a slight crispness to the edges. This technique surpasses other tricks I've tried, such as adding cornstarch for softness or using milk powder for chewiness. With tangzhong, you get the perfect balance of moistness and a caramel-like flavor, all while maintaining crisp edges.