Monday, December 31, 2012

M&M Cookie from Bob Evans

At Bob Evans bakery last year, if you'll recall, was where I finally clued in to the fact that the recipe for 7-layer bars isn't a closely guarded secret known only to elite chefs.

This year (I only go to that particular Bob Evans once a year when I'm in Ohio for Christmas), Bob Evans did not have any 7-layer bars to tempt me, but they did have a chocolate candy cookie marked down to half off. I bought it for cookie-reviewing purposes.

I like to call this kind of cookie an M&M cookie, even though I assume the candy-coated chocolate pieces are the generic kind. They taste just as good. I love any cookie with M&M doppelgangers in it. This cookie did not disappoint.

Nor, however, did it amaze.

I was obliged to eat the cookie in a state of pleasant enjoyment and not the euphoria that I crave when eating Giant Cookies.

It had a softish texture and a bit of crisp. It was thin, when I usually prefer thick.

The flavor was quite good. Unfortunately, nothing about it stood out to me as particularly impressive. For all my indifference, I still must rate this cookie highly, because there was nothing bad about it either!

Even the price was middle of the road, equaling $1.31 per gram (if I had gotten it at full price. The 50¢ I paid was a steal!)

The Bottom Line:
Taste: 4 stars
Texture: 4 stars
Price: 3 stars

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cookies from Panera

Christmas is the season for cookies. And traveling is the best opportunity to find new sources of Giant Cookies. Traveling for Christmas means a bonanza of Giant Cookies...but not as many as I acquired during my trip to San Francisco! While visiting Ohio this lovely winter holiday, I purchased just 3 Giant Cookies, the last of which I ate being the first of which I will review.

That was a Peanut Butter Dream cookie from Panera.

Peanut butter cookies are always a gamble, because sometimes they're delicious, and sometimes they're just meh. This one was more on the meh end of the scale, because it was just a little too sweet and not enough salty. Peanut butter is salty—so should be peanut butter cookies—that's what my finely honed sense of logic says, anyway.

It did, however, have little bits of peanut butter chips in it, which are always a treat, and the texture was nice and chewy. The sugar sprinkled on the top was a nice touch, though messy. I think I would have enjoyed the cookie just as much without it.

All the Panera cookies cost exactly $1.99 and weigh almost exactly 100g (their portion control department must have an iron fist!), and some easy math reveals them to cost 1.99¢ per gram. In other words, not the cheapest cookie in the box.

The Bottom Line:
Taste:2 stars
Texture:4 stars
Price: 2 stars

On the same visit to Panera, I picked up a Red Velvet Crinkle cookie, which was an impulse purchase fueled by curiosity. I don't eat a lot of red velvet anything, though it seems to be quite the trendy flavor at present. In fact, I didn't even know what red velvet tastes like, but I figured there's no better time to learn than while doing a Giant Cookie Review!

Turns out red velvet tastes a little like chocolate. But less chocolatey than chocolate, and more...something else. Thank goodness I'm not a chef. I did detect a note of cream cheese, because there were little chunks of it (or something that tastes like it) scattered throughout the cookie! Interesting flavor! I like it, but don't think I love it.

The texture, on the other hand, was nearly perfect: soft inside, slightly crunchy inside, and coated with a dusting of powdered sugar just to get my fingers messy (you're probably figuring out that I'm not a huge fan of sugar dusting. Maybe if I could eat these cookies with a fork...).

The Bottom Line:
Taste: 3stars
Texture: 5 stars
Price: 2 stars

Thursday, December 13, 2012

That's a tooth decision.

Today I hit myself in the tooth with my earring. You might be wondering how I managed to hit myself in the tooth with my earring, but I believe all will be explained when you see the earring, with its heavy glass bead at the end of its long flexible chain.
Imagine what happens when I turn my head while wearing these earrings and smiling! This is one of my favorite earrings, and I talk about it all the time on my Unfashion blog, but I never knew it could be hazardous to my health!

I only bring this up because it reminded me of some upcoming dental work I have, and I'm only going to talk about that because I've been a little short on Things to Blog About lately.

Next Tuesday, I get my first cavity filled. Oh, the shame.

When I went to the dentist for my cleaning last Tuesday, I can't say I was surprised when she told me she'd found a cavity. After all, it was my first cleaning since 2005 or so, and up until early this year, I had never flossed in my life! In defense of my oral hygiene, she did say my mouth looked great for someone who hadn't been to the dentist in 7 years.

I had resisted flossing for my whole life for a number of reasons--namely, the inconvenience, the discomfort, and the bloody mess that it would inevitably make of my mouth. Who wants to subject themselves to that, especially if they've never had a cavity and don't see a compelling reason to!? In more recent years, I'd developed the rationale that my teeth were so tightly packed that all flossing would do is open up gaps between them, making them more susceptible to tartar and bacteria, and I actually began to honestly worry that flossing would be the end of my teeth!

My boyfriend, upon finding I was a non-flosser, was just horrified (his mother was a dentist). He tried so many times to persuade me to come around to his side, but I always expressed my trepidations and refused. However, last year, when my gums started bleeding every time I brushed, I realized something had to change. I began flossing sort-of nightly (I only did one row of teeth per night, to give my gums a chance to heal between assaults, and I forgot frequently), but my mouth eventually stopped bleeding.

Sadly, it was too late for my teeth. There is one particularly rough spot between two of my teeth that shreds the floss every time. That's where they found the cavity.

Another thing the dentist found was some exposed roots on three of my teeth. Well, she didn't have to tell me that. My tooth tells me every time I accidentally stick my toothbrush bristles into it.

The last thing the dentist said, which did come as a shock, was that I should put a crown on the front tooth that had a root canal. What? I've been to so many dentists since that root canal, and none of them mentioned anything about a crown. They mentioned whitening oodles of times (since it's discolored compared to my other teeth) but never a crown. But my new dentist said the root canal makes the tooth extra brittle, and the filling they put over the hole was porous and susceptible to infiltration! I looked online, and sure enough, everything I read about "root canal and crown" said, "Do it!" Or else the tooth is highly likely to break. It happened to "me" and "me" and "me" (various people on forums). So apparently my front tooth is a ticking time bomb.

However, I am not getting the crown done at Tuesday's appointment, because it is going to cost me 970 dollars (and that's after insurance!). That's not the only reason, though. For a few years (actually, ever since a dentist suggested it when I visited his office for some mysterious pain), I've been contemplating whitening my teeth. I've held off because it costs money and effort and I've heard it makes your teeth sensitive, and I'm pretty sure my teeth have always been pretty yellow and I don't know if it will work that well on me. But sooner or later, some day, I want to try.

And I don't want to get a 970-dollar crown to match my lovely yellow teeth, only to actually succeed in making them pearly white, and then have to recolor the crown to match them again. What a pain that would be! Presumably, less of a pain than having my tooth shatter in my mouth and having to get a permanent bridge, but (insert breezy gesture here) that's a distant possibility!

The moral of this story is: I made a bad decision by choosing not to floss, and I hope I haven't made a bad decision by choosing to postpone the crowning of my front tooth.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie from Harris Teeter

Shopping at Harris Teeter (not one of my usual haunts) I ran across some individually wrapped giant cookies, one of which I obligingly took to review for this blog. And then I ran across the same cookies in a 4-pack. The 4-pack cost $4.99, or $1.25 a cookie, or 1.13¢ a gram, so I bought all 4. It was money well spent.

The cookies were substantial, but not crunchy, with that little hint of sugar grit I love so well. They made only a bit of a mess during the crumble test.

They tasted, like most white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, heavenly, and that's all I have to say.

I would certainly buy another box if I happened to find myself in Harris Teeter again.

The Bottom Line:
Taste: 5 stars
Texture: 4 stars
Price: 4 stars