Even though I am by no means a chocoholic, I am still very particular about the chocolate my family and I eat. Since I cannot understand how chocolate chip companies could possibly think it’s so terribly expensive to use real vanilla, I generally boycott chocolate chips that use vanillin or artificial flavor.
This brings me to my top choice for semi-sweet chocolate chips. My favorite brand is Guittard. It uses real vanilla, and has a nice, smooth texture. Ghirardelli is another chocolate chip that uses real vanilla, but it has a fruitier taste, and does not melt quite as well as the Guittard brand. I do like it for making ganache, though, because it has a nice glossy look when it is done.
My favorite kind of semi-sweet chocolate chip to bake into a cookie is not a chip at all, but is actually Valrhona chocolate. It’s not cheap, but it makes the best chocolate chip cookies around. The cookies on the right hand side of the picture are made with Valrhona chunks, and the cookies on the left hand side are made with Guittard chocolate chips.
The best white chocolate, is not in chip form either, but is actually Baker’s Chocolate White Baking Squares. This was a surprise me. When I read the label, I was expecting to see vanillin and hydrogenated oil, but neither were there. Also, it has a low percentage of emulsifier, so it melts like a dream, and would be perfect in white chocolate chunk cookies. The only other brands of white chocolate chips I would recommend are Ghirardelli—they don’t use hydrogenated oil—white chocolate chips by Sunspire.
Sunspire is an all-natural brand available at health food stores. They use evaporated cane juice, and of course, real vanilla. They make white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and my favorite: peanut butter chips.