At the outset I shall flatly state I am not a zealous chocolate-chip cookie aficionado, but just someone who enjoys them from time to time. I’m not the sort of fellow who routinely buys or bakes them, so I'll have to excuse myself from the hardcore fans of chocolate-chip cookies, if that’s acceptable, and plunge forward thus...
So with such a contentious preamble, why am I motivated to blog about this particular brand of CCC (chocolate-chip cookie)? Simply because the maker, a baker/entrepreneur named “Bart” thinks they are the best CCC you can buy - and with that kind of braggadocio, I was keen to put them to the test on my palate.
Of course any specialty grocery shop will be filled with lots of different ‘best cookie you can buy’ varieties, typically packed in paper sacks or little boxes, each boasting all-natural ingredients and trumpeting their home-baked vibe. And I've tried a lot of them, as I prefer cookies that are actually cooked and not the horrendous half-baked/soft-baked varieties that infect most of the cookie aisle in the chain grocery stores.
But to be honest, many of these whiz-kid homespun brands didn't capture my culinary imagination (except my old fave Cougar Mountain cookies, but they're not available where I live now). Bart’s box caught my eye because of the sheer chutzpah of the product’s name “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies In The World”. You only put that on a box of cookies if you’re damned certain of your product or you’re an inveterate trickster that’s testing the naiveté of your potential customers.
And where does baker Bart fall, let’s find out...
I happened upon these at the cookie aisle of my local health-food store. And even though I’ve bought lots of different types homemade-style cookies, I was willing to call Bart’s bluff and blow a fiver on a five ounce box just to see how good his cookies were. So I left my local Whole Foods with a solitary box that I’d try out in the safety of my own domicile.
The packaging is designed to have a modest, low-tech look, with stark monochrome graphics on brown cardboard. On the front of the package there’s a picture of Bart alongside his significant other - how sweet! After reading the nonsensical warning sticker about the blissful state these cookies would induce, I ripped opened my first box o’ Bart’s in my kitchen.
I was honesty shocked to find out that the cookies were quite minuscule - Bart calls ‘em “Bite Size” - I called ‘em fleabite sized. But that was not the biggest surprise. Inside was a slip of paper with the bold statement "STOP - READ FIRST" This little leaflet explained the best way to experience Bart’s culinary creation - and I quote;
“Upon first opening the foil bag, allow the cookies to breathe for 10 min. The allows development of flavors that will delight your palate.”
OK, Bart ol’ boy, I’ll “decant” your CCCs - just to play along. So after staring for a fifth of an hour at the handful of mini-cookies extracted from the freshly opened bag, I figured these micro-morsels got the aeration they required and decided it was safe to tuck in.
Alas, after popping several of the little cookie-ettes into my mouth, it was hard not to imagine I was eating Cookie Crisp cereal - little tiny discs pretending to be cookies. I was certainly wiling to suffer the hubris of Bart’s ‘deacanting’ and the pomposity of his on-box banter because I was really expecting to be munching some very good cookies.
To be honest they had a sickly-sweet flavor and even tasted a tad burned to me. So I tried some more, not bothering to aerate them and sadly the experience didn’t improve. I then tried dowsing them in milk, which helped a little, but after ingesting about twenty of these tiny CCC things I’d had enough. You’ll no doubt think me quite insane, but I threw the remaining half of the box's contents into the trash.
At this point I can only conclude that Bart is laughing his ass off that people would be willing to pay such a high price for so little - and it must cause him to writhe with delight at the thought of all the dumb motherfuckers like me who wasted their time airing out their Bart’s cookies in anticipation of the sublime experience that he promises on his packaging. He no doubt is getting rich on this blatant confidence trick on CCC-lovers.
After flubbing for Bart’s product and eating a few of his marginal cookie-things, I must say I feel the same as this graphic of Bart from his company's website...