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What are Chocolate Chips?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 01, 2024
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Chocolate chips are small, round, processed dollops of chocolate that are uniform in size and used for baking. The most well-known use for them is in chocolate chip cookies, but they may also be baked in muffins or cakes and can also be sprinkled on top of a warm cake to form a sort of instant chunky frosting. They are available in different versions, including bittersweet, semisweet, milk, and white.

Bittersweet chocolate chips are dark in color and contain more cocoa than the other varieties of chips. They have some sugar added but are not very sweet. This type is often used when a rich, intense chocolate flavor is desired.

Semisweet chips are the most common type available in many places. They contain cocoa butter and a mix of unsweetened chocolate and sugar. Semisweet chocolate chips are much sweeter than the bittersweet variety, but not overly sweet. This variety is versatile and works well in a range of recipes. Milk chocolate chips are quite sweet and creamy in texture. They are lighter in color than semisweet chips due to the milk solids.

White chocolate chips also contain milk solids and are extremely sweet. Technically, white chocolate is not chocolate at all since no cocoa beans are used in it. These chips are often used for color and flavor contrast in deserts using other types of chocolate.

Chocolate chips are uniformly round in their size and have a peak on top. Mini chips have the same look but are smaller in size. They are good for smaller cupcakes or mini desserts. Chocolate chunks are larger, rectangular pieces of chocolates and not chip-shaped. They can be used as a chunkier alternative in cookies and other desserts.

Unlike chocolate baking squares and other chocolate that melts easily, chocolate chips are made to hold their shape when baked. They contain very little cocoa butter, which helps them keep their shape. When chocolate chips are melted, they may be lumpy, and some types may even have a gritty texture. All varieties should be stored in a cool, dry area.

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Discussion Comments
By summing — On May 23, 2012

I was recently diagnosed with a chocolate allergy and was basically told that I have to give up all chocolate or suffer through migraine headaches.

Does anyone know of a good chocolate substitute for a person in my situation? I love to bake and I love chocolate so this is really tough for me.

By jonrss — On May 22, 2012

My favorite kind of cookies are peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. There is a bakery right around the corner from me that makes an amazing version that uses really chunky peanut butter and extra large chocolate chips. It is decadent and over the top but so good.

I always go down there when my grandson comes to visit and we share one of the cookies.

By whiteplane — On May 21, 2012

I love to snack on chocolate chips. I always keep a bag of milk chocolate chips in my cupboard for when I get a craving.

I love chocolate but I know that it is not great for me and I usually only want a little bit at a time. That is why the chips are great. I can eat four or five of them and get my chocolate fix and not have to invest in eating a whole Hershey's bar.

By AuthorSheriC — On Sep 12, 2008

Great idea!

By elfi64 — On Sep 05, 2008

Chocolate chips don't melt as quickly as chocolate bars and that is because they have less fat. They do contain more sugar though. I like to mix a few chips into my trail mix mixture. It adds a little sweetness, and chocolate flavor that I like.

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