It's coming. The stores are covered in red and pink hearts, they're selling chocolate covered everything, and greeting card companies are pumping out novelty cards like nobody's business! Valentine's Day is almost here, and although the holiday has never been that important in my personal life, it's sure fun to blog about. I'm not 100% sure if these Take & Bake cookies from Aldi were released for the holidays, but they seemed pretty festive to me, so I thought I might as well grab a package of each flavor to review.
These cookies were from the Specially Selected label at Aldi, so the design and layout were a bit more sophisticated than their other no-frills products, and the photos of the cookies are pretty appealing. (The turtle cookies were calling my name!) The packaging is very simple, it's a plastic bag covering a cardboard tray containing prepared cookie dough blobs, so it may not be much for me to write about, but it works well. Specially Selected maintains their black-heavy, sophisticated, designs which really set it apart from other grocery store brands, and I think this is one of the fanciest no-frills grocery store brands available.
Each package contains a dozen refrigerated cookie blobs, and the instructions are the same as any other prepared cookie dough. I preheated the oven to 300 degrees F, lined some cookie sheets with parchment paper, arranged the doughy blobs, and into the oven they went.
The recommended temperature seemed a little low, most cookie I bake are 350-375 degrees, but I figured I'd follow what the package suggested since I was going to be reviewing the product, after about 17 minutes they started to lightly brown on the edges and I pulled them out to cool.
Once cooled, these cookies are really dense, sweet, and almost doughy! These were the kind of cookies that bent as I tried to lift them off the cookie tray, and instead of crumbling or snapping, they easily bent right back. I usually enjoy crisp and crunchy cookies, since I like to dunk them in milk, so the soft appearance actually disappointed me a little, but I bet soft and chewy cookie lovers would have been really excited.
I tried the Turtle cookie first, since it was the flavor I was most excited for, and it was really soft and chewy. It didn't taste all that special, it's a fairly basic chocolate cookie with soft baking caramel and tiny bits of pecans mixed in, but when it was still slightly warm from the oven, the caramel was wonderfully soft. If the caramel puddled out on the edges of the cookie, it became a little crisp and crunchy, which I loved, but everything towards the center of the cookie was extremely soft and chewy, almost like raw cookie dough. This cookie was enjoyable, I love the combination of caramel and chocolate, but I would have ditched the nuts if I could. I know, I know, Turtles have nuts in them, that's what makes them look so turtle-y, but I've never really been a nut-fan (gigiddy).
Next up, Triple Chocolate Chunk. This was a vanilla-based cookie with different chunks of white, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate mixed in. Like the Turtle version, these baked up really soft, in fact, these might be even softer, and they baked up a lot flatter too. When I took these off the parchment paper they left oily little circles behind, and the bottoms of the cookies looked dark and greasy, kind of like raw cookie dough. (Again.) These were even softer and more bendy than the last flavor, and when I took a bite, they were even sweeter! The flavoring is like a very sweet vanilla-based cookie dough, similar to chocolate chip cookie dough recipes, and the chocolate chunks vary in sweetness, with the semi-sweet being the least sweet of the bunch. (Duh.) I tried eating one with milk, and nope. This didn't absorb a drop. Like the last cookie, it practically repelled the milk and when I took a bite, it was soft, chewy, and it had a wet feeling to it. Kind of like raw cookie dough. I gave a few of these to my sister, and she said they were almost syrupy sweet. My family loves sweets, we have a candy dish in nearly every room of our homes, and these cookies were a bit too sweet for us. One is enough to satisfy any cravings, but it's so soft and chewy, you feel like you're eating dough instead of a baked cookie.
I like my cookies a little crispy so I can dunk them in milk, so these chewy dough-balls just weren't for me. Overall, these were sweet and indulgent cookies, no so much for their rich flavor, but for their ultra soft and chewy cookie dough-like texturing. These are really sweet, soft, and chewy, so soft cookie lovers will adore these, but crunchy cookie people, like me, get no satisfaction when these are dunked in milk. I might buy the turtle version again and bake it longer to see if that helps crisp it up a bit, or maybe I'll try using a higher temperature, but as is, and following the instructions, these are just too doughy for my personal tastes.
If you like soft and chewy cookies, I bet these would be heavenly for you, let me know if you give them a try!
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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