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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cookie Reviews: Week 4

We're behind the Butlers at Step into My Thimble, who have already posted week 5's reviews from Dubai, featuring more Bahlsen.

So we actually did choose two different cookies last week, but forgot to take a picture of the packages. They weren't cookies I'd like to buy again, so here's a brief review of each: Carr's Ginger Lemon Creme cookies (these were my choice but they were way too sweet, and I actually didn't care for the spicy ginger with wan lemon flavor) and Pepperidge Farm Milano Melts (the whole point of a Milano cookie is the flavor that goes with the chocolate—the mint or orange, for example—and these just have chocolate in the center; in fact, if you closed your eyes, these tasted a lot like a Chips Ahoy from a vending machine; also the faux "melted" aspect of the filling was a little disconcerting to me—i.e., how'd they do that?).

Anyway, moving on . . .

Up top we have my choice, Bahlsen Kipferl, which are "delicate" hazelnut cookies.

Thalia's review:  it locs licke bred  but is'int

My review: They are delicate: crisp and light, with a powerful hazelnut flavor (the nuts are ground finely and part of the dough) and a light dusting of granulated sugar. I'm afraid there's not much else to say about them. They're fine, but I don't think I'd buy them again. I think maybe hazelnut, which is so distinctive, needs something equally assertive to go along with it, like, of course, chocolate.

Thalia's pick this week, Voortman Assorted Festive Cookies, is something she's been considering for a while—there's a whole endcap display of Voortman holiday cookies near the meat case where we wait for the butcher to cut our order (one excellent benefit of living in Nebraska is the local dedication to good-quality meat; few of the grocery stores we frequent sell very much meat that's already in packages), so she's had plenty of time to consider which kind to choose. I'm sure she decided on the assortment so that she could legitimately taste all three varieties in a sitting. Smart girl.

Thalia's review: swet with paldrd shogr. wich is the snoeman. [Ed. note: I don't know why she consistently spells the "ow" sound, as in powdered sugar, with "al"; she did this on her spelling test last week: "braln" for brown.]

My review: These taste pretty much exactly as you'd expect, which is kind of the beauty of them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

(Not) Cookie Reviews: Week 3

I didn't think it'd happen so soon, but I can't buy another box of cookies just yet. So instead, this week, after reading a little article about them in the New York Times, Thalia and I tried peanut butter and pickle sandwiches—small ones, because we both thought they'd be terrible. I mean, I've known about them for a long time and know that they're popular with a lot of people, but I thought that at the very least the fancy McClure's garlic dill pickles we had in the fridge weren't the kind of pickle people mean when they say they like them on peanut butter sandwiches. And maybe the unsweetened peanut butter wasn't the right peanut butter, either. We both took our first bite at the same time, like two kids jumping into cold water. We needn't have worried, as we both liked this sandwich so much I made another one for us to share, with our last two slices of bread. 

Thalia's review: the picl tastes like jely or huny on the peinutbutr.thats wie i love it!

My review: The vinegary, garlicky pickles did serve very much the same purpose as tart jam or jelly, with the added benefit of being crisp-crunchy and salty. It's such a natural combination—peanuts, salt, sour—it's a wonder it's not more common. I'll definitely be making these again, though I'm sure I'll be enjoying them as little afternoon snacks rather than, you know, lunch.

Actual cookie reviews will return next week! And be sure to check Step into My Thimble for more from Heidi and Maeve in Dubai!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cookie Reviews: Week 2

Heidi and Maeve's Operation Eat All the Cookies continued this week with some real lovelies, including a hazelnut chocolate wafer cookie made in Italy that sounded so up my alley (despite Maeve's description of it as being "sort of made out of oil") that when I saw the very same ones at the local "gourmet" store today I picked up the box to try them myself. Indeed they were tasty and rich, and appropriately small.

Thalia's surprisingly subdued choice this week are Natural Nectar Cocoa Lady Fingers, made in France. This is the same brand, I see now, as last week's Choco Dream Cookies.

Thalia's review: its swet and shugry! [Ed note: I'm struggling with the urge to copyedit. Thalia is actually learning editing and proofreading marks in her class at school, so I might begin doing some gentle corrections in future reviews, see how she reacts. I don't want to discourage her from writing, of course, but I think she's ready for it.] 

My review: These are narrower and less flat than store-bought ladyfingers I've had in the past, and a little more dense and uniform in texture, though still very light. The cocoa aspect, as you might expect, is very mild. They'd be good in a dessert in which they're soaked, but for straight eating I think I'd prefer the plain vanilla type, just for the purity of its sugar flavor.

Continuing with the oats theme from last week, my choice was Gille Sweet Oat Crisps, made in Sweden.

Thalia's review: ther crisp and fin.thar fary fary gud.thar kindof braln on the egis.

My review: Love these. Crisp-crunchy, airy but substantial, with simple and comforting oat and browned-butter flavors. There's also a slight baking soda flavor that is not unpleasant. They're sweet, almost caramelly, and I'd like to try one with some good blue cheese or a sharp Cheddar. I had mine with white wine after supper, but tea in the afternoon would be even better.

Please feel free to join in the cookie-reviewing fun. Heidi suggests using #cookiereview or just let us know if you're doing reviews in the comments so we can link up. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cookie Reviews

My friend Heidi and her six-year-old daughter, Maeve, have started reviewing store-bought cookies—for the fun of trying the interesting, mostly British cookies available in her local (Dubai) shops and as writing practice for Maeve. My six-year-old saw their reviews and spied a good opportunity to eat more cookies while doing "writing practice" herself. Heidi suggested we do a back-and-forth on our respective blogs, so here we go. Her post, "Operation Eat All the Cookies," is here, at Step into My Thimble. Our reviews follow, with pictures by Thalia.

First up are Trader Joe's Oatmeal Cranberry Dunkers, which we happened to have and which I suppose would be my choice even though we'd had them before.

Thalia's review: dunkers haf wit choclit designs on them. they are bumpy and sumoof. they are swet. they are good wif milk. i love them.

My review: White chocolate drizzle melts on contact with fingers, which is annoying. I'd say they'd be better without it, except that that would make them less addictive. These are hard, stale-seeming cookies with a mild spice flavor. Softens with a brief dip in tea.

Thalia's choice, Choco Dream Cookies, is more urbane because we were in the fancy-ish Open Harvest Co-op near our house, in Lincoln, Nebraska (yes! we moved to Nebraska about three months ago!). Heidi, I didn't realize these were "choco" until I looked at this picture—odd indeed. I'm not sure where they were made, but they are probably Euro.

Thalia's review:  i love dem a lot. the edges are scalupt.the choclit luks like a pichr wif a fram. i hope i can haf it ugen.

My review: These are just like the more common chocolate-topped butter cookies you'll find in any supermarket (I can't remember the brand, but they come in dark and milk chocolate varieties), but the fair-trade chocolate part of these is much better: smooth, dense, almost chewy, and guilt-free. There are no unexpected ingredients in the crisp butter cookie base, but I always seem to sense something like coconut or some other nut flavor. These are good. I ate almost the whole box. 

Stay tuned for more, and see Heidi's blog for the next installment from Dubai.