Do chocolate chips belong in chocolate chip cookies? There’s plenty of people who say no. And science kind of backs them up. Thanks to their shape and added emulsifiers, the typical supermarket chocolate chip doesn’t melt well and can taste waxy. The better choice—high quality block chocolate that is chopped.
But neither solution was good enough for San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate, who, up until this year, painstakingly crafted each chip for their beloved chocolate chip cookies. When hand-piping individual chips was no longer viable—they were hand-crafting over 50 pounds of chocolate discs per week at their peek—Dandelion CEO and co-founder Todd Masonis turned to Tesla senior industrial designer Remy Labesque, a longtime fan of the chocolate company. Executive pastry chef Lisa Vega instructed Labesque to create a chip that would yield “the best experience for tasting the chocolate.”
After spending three years working on a mold, Labesque settled on a chip that’s shaped like a diamond with two thick edges and two thin ones. The thin edges are meant to melt in your mouth, which is supposed to be the best way to taste chocolate. But the overall design doesn’t melt when baked; the “faceted” chips, as Dandelion calls them, retain their shape when they hit the oven. It’s a simple design but a unique one—a feat in today’s world when it’s no small matter to create an original but still simple shape. An effort well spent on chocolate, we think.
We tried Dandelion Chocolate’s Maya Mountain large chips, made with 70 percent cocoa, in a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe made with flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, vanilla and eggs. Following the recipe, we used equal amounts of the Dandelion chips and a familiar brand of dark chocolate morsels found in most grocery stores.
Made with only cocoa beans and sugar, the chips are high quality with a richer, deeper flavor than that of the supermarket chips. As intended, they softened while baking but held their shape. After cooling (even the next day), they were pleasantly soft to the bite. They’re ideal for larger cookies and, not too sweet, they also would work well in other desserts that call for high quality bittersweet chocolate.
If you prefer smaller cookies, especially if you want a uniform look, these chips will be too big and prevent smaller dough heaps from spreading evenly. At $30 a bag, which Dandelion says should make two batches of their “Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookies,” the chips aren’t cheap, either. But in a hefty cookie, they baked up better than just about any we’d had.