Published May 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.
We were looking for a chip with intense chocolate flavor, moderate sugar, and a goodly amount of cocoa butter.
If intense chocolate flavor, moderate sugar, and a goodly amount of cocoa butter make for a superior dark chip, what factors contribute to the best milk chocolate morsel? Surprisingly, the same three characteristics. Milk chocolate, by definition, contains enough milk solids and milk fat to give the candy a distinctly milky flavor, but when we compared the four top-selling brands of milk chocolate chips (plain and in cookies), tasters still overwhelmingly preferred the chip with bolder chocolate flavor, higher fat content, and lower sugar content. In this tasting, our winning dark chip brand tanked for a milk chocolate chip that was “saccharine” sweet and texture like “Styrofoam.”