Crumbl Cookies: World’s best chocolate chip cookie?


Ella Gilbert, Staff Writer

What’s the best chocolate chip cookie recipe? Maybe there isn’t just one – maybe several recipes earn such a title. Since Ruth Whitfield inspired the original Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip cookie (a delicious confection with crisp edges, a soft, chewy center, and just enough semi-sweet chocolate) 80 years ago, bakers have emerged with a wide array of imitations. Some brown their butter to add a nutty, toffee-like flavor, or replace the traditional chocolate chips with chocolate chunks for a smoother melt. Others employ the pan-banging technique popularized by The Vanilla Bean Blog’s Sarah Kieffer for a crisp, crinkly-edged cookie, or amplify their cookies’ chocolate flavor with espresso powder. With creativity and some science, bakers refine and elevate the taste and texture of the classic cookie. Though the ideal chocolate chip cookie may be subjective, the baseline cookie should have balanced, complementary ingredients and sufficient moisture.

Although upon opening its first store in 2017 Crumbl Cookies sold only its signature Milk Chocolate Chip cookie, which it considers the “world’s best,” the bakery franchise now offers a Classic Pink Sugar cookie and weekly rotation of additional flavors including Maple Bacon and Mint Chip Ice Cream. The store’s appeal can be credited to its real-time cookie preparation and “Instagrammability” (Instagram post-worthiness and aesthetic), boasting stylish, distinctive pink boxes and extravagant, extra-large cookies.

But, from a quality perspective, Crumbl’s supposedly unparalleled Milk Chocolate Chip cookie misses the mark – combined with the sugary cookie dough, the milk chocolate produces an unbalanced, overly-sweet cookie. Additionally, the cookie falls flat with a doughy, overly-soft texture, lacking the satisfyingly-crisp outer shell sensory analyst Gail Vance Civille credits with a chocolate chip cookie’s irresistibility, “Every bite will be interesting… you will hit the cookie, which has crispness due to air pockets in the cookie crumb, and then the chocolate, which is dense and uniform when you bite through it. It’s like a symphony orchestra playing together.” 

Freshness, in every sense of the word, is Crumbl Cookies’ strength – conceptually, a brick-and-mortar cookie shop where customers can watch their treats being made is new and promising. Although Crumbl’s Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie isn’t too dry, salty, or otherwise overwhelmingly technically bad, its ingredients aren’t harmonious, nor successful in reimagining the classic chocolate chip cookie. Ultimately, the sweet-toothed are better off trying the timeless Nestlé Toll House recipe or its delicious contemporary adaptations at home.