Do Wiki Recipes Work?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Lew Robertson / Brand X / Corbis

You know when Garry Kasparov took on that IBM computer in chess? This is sort of like that, only with cookies instead of chess, and an Excel spreadsheet instead of a giant computer and Kerry Simon instead of Kasparov. But still, it's better than Bruce Willis against hot robots without midsections.

So as two websites — and the recipe section of — are letting users post and change each others' recipes (basically doing to recipes what Wikipedia lets average Joes do to encyclopedia entries), we thought we'd compare a great chef's great cookie against one that was a blunt mathematical average of lots of cookie recipes. The great chef is Kerry Simon of Simon in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The Mean Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe comes from cofounder Meg Hourihan, who posted it on her website,

I made both recipes, and you can find out how they turned out and also get all of my brilliant thoughts on wiki recipes by clicking here. Alternatively, you can go ahead and make both cookies and decide for yourself whether computers will destroy us. Or at least help us get better recipes.

Kerry Simon's Chocolate Chip Cookies

(We thought about converting the following from metric for you, but decided you'd be up for the challenge.)

•270g Soft Butter
•162g Light Brown Sugar
•185g Sugar
•2.5 Eggs
•3g Vanilla Extract
•500g Flour
•1.3g Baking Soda
•0.3g Salt
•635g Chocolate Chips

1. Beat the sugar and butter together on speed 2 for 15 minutes until very light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs and vanilla extra, and mix just to combine. Be careful not to over-mix. Otherwise, cookies will have cakey consistency. Mixture should look very broken.

3. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and add to mixture. Mix just to combine. Again, be careful not to over-mix.

4. Add the chocolate chips, and stir just to combine. Before portioning, scrape the bottom of bowl and combine butter-sugar mixture into rest of dough using a gloved hand. Portion out into plastic wrap.

5. Chill dough.

6. Portion out and press into balls using fingertips.

7. Bake at 300 degrees, low fan, for five minutes on each side.