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