Monday, January 2, 2017

Blueberry Lemon and Strawberry Shortcake Toll House Cookies

Toll House Limited Edition Cookies - Walmart $2.50 (each)
I don't buy grocery store cookies very often, because I'm a cookie snob.

As you can tell by this blog...I eat a lot of pre-made junk food, but I also like cooking and baking. If you follow me on Instagram, you see a lot of the stuff that I cook in my kitchen that isn't quite blog-worthy, but I take a lot of pride in making my baked goods from scratch in my own kitchen. So when it comes to things like pre-made cookies you just break apart and bake, I critique things really harshly because nothing tastes as good as real cookies baked from scratch at home, but, there are some exceptions...
Jam filled cookies are my favorites. And jam-filled cookies that aren't thumbprint-style cookies, are a major pain in the butt to make! I should know, because I've made them several times. Making them is pretty much doing twice the work for half the cookie-pay-off.

Like any sandwich-style cookies, you need to make twice as many cookies than what you want to end up with, usually with a delicate shortbread-style dough, and if you're obsessed with cuteness as much as I am, one of the cookies has a cute-shaped-jam-window cut out of it making it even more fragile and likely to break, as well as easier to burn. If all your cookies manage to turn out well, you then sandwich them with jam delicately so they don't break. Why wouldn't I just take the easy route and make thumbprint cookies instead? They lack the perfect jam-to-cookie ratio that true jam-filled cookies offer. If I am in the mood to be meticulous, it's perfectly fine, but instead of spending a few hours in the kitchen making those...I can ideally take these simple jam-filled cookies, bake them up, and get my jammy-cookie fix with the perfect ratio I seek, right? So, here we go!
A photo posted by Sometimes Foodie (@sometimesfoodie) on

So this is what these look like right out of the package. A large rectangular slab of dough with some delicate indents breaking it up into 24 tiny cubes. The indents aren't very deep, which makes breaking them apart a little more messy and the portioning a little less accurate than I would have liked. Still, this was much easier than making the cookies myself and these cubes are the perfect little single cookie size. (If they break apart as marked, anyway.)

If you take a closer look at my Instagram post above, you can see that there is a tiny jam-filled chamber in this dough, and it seems to run down each column from top to bottom. When the cookies break apart, the jam is only visible on two of the 6 sides of the cube, which is what gives the cookies that odd oozing-side look. Two edges are unsealed. It's a pretty neat concept, and something I might try recreating in my own kitchen.

Maybe if I strained some jam and used my big ol' cupcake filling syringe I can duplicate this in my own kitchen...but that'll be an experiment for another, less lazy, kind of day.
Before I get into the individual flavors, both cookies, due to their grid-like layout in the package, develop weird square-shapes on the surface after they're baked. If you look at the example cookies on the front of the packaging, they both have the filling oozing out the sides, where they were once attached together, and weird square shapes on the top, so this is something Toll House recognizes, and they show you that what you see is truly what you get. Which I find rather impressive. I like when companies use realistic food imagery or their products, and it's something I don't see too often. So even though these square-ish shapes are to be expected, and it doesn't change the taste, my friends did comment on their unusual appearance, so that's something to keep in mind if you're planning on serving these at parties or gatherings.
Strawberry Shortcake: Vanilla sugar cookie with strawberry jam filling and white chocolate chips. It smells sweet, buttery, and jammy, but it's not all that impressive looking. The flavor profile is very sweet, thanks to the sugary white chocolate morsels, but there is a bright strawberry jam flavor mixed in there as well. I feel like the sugary cookie base and vanilla chips overpower the berry flavoring, but the overall effect is similar to a grocery store strawberry shortcake (you know, the ones with that waxy thick frosting), and if that's what you're looking for, these are very enjoyable. I like a higher strawberry-to-cake ratio, so this little bit of jam isn't enough to cut it for me. I like the idea, but I would like these a lot more without the white chocolate chips. Those just seem like sugary overkill. (My b/f liked these one a lot more than I did.)
Blueberry Lemon: Lemon flavored sugar cookie, with poppy seeds mixed in, and a blueberry jam filling. This one has a wonderfully bright and zesty lemon aroma rounded out with a few deeper berry notes. It smells fantastic! This one baked up a little more dense, and chewy, than the lighter strawberry shortcake one, and the flavoring is light, bright, and overall fantastic! I really liked these A LOT. All CAPS worthy, a lot! For a cookie that came from the freezer section, I am incredibly impressed. The cookie base has a lovely, refreshing lemon zest flavoring, mixed with perfect, chewy, sugar cookie dough and all of that is rounded out by a sweet blueberry jam. The jam doesn't shine as bright as the cookie base, but the two complement one another very nicely, and make for a great overall jam-filled cookie experience. Even with their awkward square appearance, these were a hit with my family and friends. I also think they're the more aesthetically pleasing of the two flavors. (My mom, sister, our buddy Sean and I greatly preferred this one. b/f liked these too, but not as much as the other ones.)

These cookies were WAY better than I expected, and they're are some of the best pre-made grocery store cookies I've ever had.

If you're only going to try one of these flavors, I HIGHLY recommend the blueberry lemon ones. If you give them a try, leave a comment down below to let me know what you think, and let me know what flavors you'd love to see in this jam-filled format next! (Key lime and lemon meringue pie versions maybe?)
© Maria Smith
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  1. Lemon meringue does sound delish! How about nutella?! Cookie butter?!

  2. Peach cobbler or strawberry banana. Yum!

  3. I just so happened to see these at the local grocery a few days ago and snatched them up -- I am a blueberry/ lemon fantastic so naturally I went with the blueberry lemon cookies and I. AM. OBSESSED!!!!! They are so delicious. In fact, in a panic -- seeing that they were only Limited Time Only -- I went back to the store last night and grabbed a few more packets of them. I'm also currently stuffing them into my mouth as I type this out. Yum! xx

    1. They're so good! It needs to be a year-round flavor!

  4. Please let me know what stores carry these cookies