What are those blobs of dough speckled with dark brown spots? They are, believe it or not, the chocolate chip cookies proffered at Pitfire Pizza here in Los Angeles. It’s surprising because Pitfire actually has good food; I like their salads and sandwiches at the one on Fairfax and its proximity to my favorite L.A. coffee shop, Coffee Commissary. But those cookies! They remind me of the cookies I used to see on Bleecker Street in the window of Rocco’s. A giant beige circle with brown dots all over its face like edible acne. Chocolate chip cookies should never look like edible acne; they should look like a caramelized nexus of butter, flour, sugar, and chocolate. Let me show you what I mean.
As I wrote in my post “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in the World,” City Bakery in New York has the best chocolate chip cookie in the world.
I repost that image here because I think you can tell, just by looking at that cookie, that it’s going to be a good cookie the way that you can tell looking at the Pitfire cookies that they’re going to be, well, pitiful. That’s because a chocolate chip cookie should never look like a blank canvas with pinpricks of chocolate; the canvas itself should be folded in with the chocolate.
Check out these cookies from another L.A. pizza business, Stella Barra.
See how the chocolate kind of flows into the dough and the dough flows into the chocolate? I knew, even before I ate the little free sample on the counter, that this would be a good cookie. And it was a good cookie.
Here’s what it really comes down to: money. A bad chocolate chip cookie is basically a cheapass chocolate chip cookie, a cookie that is 90% dough to save money on chocolate. If you ever spy a cookie like the one you see at the top of this post, run for the hills. That’s a fraudulent cookie, a poser cookie.
Save your calories for the real deal: life’s too short for a bad chocolate chip cookie.