Grocery Store Cookies: The Definitive Ranking

I love cookies. This fact probably forms one of the cornerstones of my personality, alongside my semi-nocturnal sleep schedule and my hatred of the B line. Another sad fact of my life is that I am debilitatingly lazy when it comes to cooking. Meals I have eaten this week include: half a bagel; three mandarin oranges, paired with a handful of tortilla chips; one of those Chewy granola bars that are basically candy.

Basically, we’re thriving.

All of this means I never have cooking and/or baking ingredients on hand, because they would absolutely expire before I used them up. Which means I am forced to seek out a homemade-esque cookie alternative elsewhere.

That is where the grocery store comes in. Most grocery store chains have some sort of eerily identical allegedly homemade cookie, in the following varieties: chocolate chip, M&M (or whatever generic word meaning M&M suits your fancy), oatmeal chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, peanut butter, brownie.

In an astonishingly short amount of time, I have managed to try each and every one of these cookies. Except oatmeal raisin. Oatmeal raisin cookies are simply granola bars.

Now, it’s time to rank them. This will be done through a rubric based on chewiness (a must), overall flavor (obviously), whether they are somewhat gross (an occupational hazard of factory-line desserts), and if I could make quick work of a whole bag.

#6: M&M

Chewiness: Weirdly gummy

Overall flavor: Sweet City, population this cookie

Is it vaguely, mildly disgusting?: Oh yeah

Could I eat a bag of these in two days?: Not even if I were starving and also in a Hansel and Gretel situation in which some of the cookies were used for crumb-scattering purposes

M&M cookies should be good, because M&Ms are good and so are cookies. And yet…they never are. There is something about the sweetness of the cookie coming together with the sweetness of the milk chocolate and the sweetness of the candy shell that is just…too sweet? Who knew it could happen.

 

#5: Sugar

Chewiness: See “M&M”

Overall flavor: Not good

Is it vaguely, mildly disgusting?: No “vaguely” about it

Could I eat a bag of these in two days?: Absolutely not

These taste like nothing, and then they taste like aftertaste. The major flavor takeaway from this situation is an unpleasant mouth-feel afterwards, like when you eat a really bad snickerdoodle. This is a bad eating experience to such an extent that it seems like these should be good for you.

 

#4: Brownie

Chewiness: You could probably squeeze a handful of these into a ball, like Play Doh

Overall flavor: Almost as promised!

Is it vaguely, mildly disgusting?: Indeed

Could I eat a bag of these in two days?: In extenuating circumstances, such as “finals week” or “I accidentally watched a sad video”

These are definitely brownie-esque, and also they have good chocolate chips in them that make me wonder why there is a different kind of chip in the brownie cookie from the chocolate chip cookie. But also, these have a disconcertingly mushy texture and so sometimes a dozen cookies will form one super-cookie. Which is not the fantastic, game-changing innovation it sounds like.

 

#3: Chocolate chip

Chewiness: Yeah baby!

Overall flavor: WHAT KIND OF CHIP IS INCLUDED???

Is it vaguely, mildly disgusting?: On occasion!

Could I eat a bag of these in two days?: If the chips are good, of course. If they are not, see “Brownie.”

The thing about grocery store cookies is that they are consistently the same. My local grocery store franchise at home in Pennsylvania cranks out paper bags of cookies that are literally the same as at the Star Market I essentially inhabit in Boston, in spite of their having no affiliation. The exception is the chocolate chip cookie, which is like a game of Russian roulette if Russian roulette involved cookies that sometimes have delicious chocolate in them and sometimes very very gross chocolate. So a much scarier version.

 

#2: Oatmeal chocolate chip

Chewiness: Yes, but with oatmeal!

Overall flavor: What granola bars would taste like if I were in charge of granola bars

Is it vaguely, mildly disgusting?: Only when I’m eating four at 9 a.m. as if they are part of a balanced breakfast

Could I eat a bag of these in two days?: Can, have, will.

In my lifelong vendetta against the oatmeal raisin cookie, I never stopped to consider just what made me hate them. I assumed it was everything coming together, in equal parts. Turns out it’s just the raisins, because this is just an oatmeal raisin cookie with chocolate chips instead and it’s so good it barely makes sense.

 

#1: Peanut butter

Chewiness: PERFECTION

Overall flavor: ALSO PERFECTION

Is it vaguely, mildly disgusting?: No, and HOW DARE YOU

Could I eat a bag of these in two days?: No way are these lasting 48 hours

My entire life is a love letter to the Reese’s peanut butter cup. An ode to bananas with peanut butter. A sonnet in honor of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Basically I love peanut butter with all that I am, and these cookies are EXACTLY WHY.

 

In conclusion: We must immediately cease production of all other flavors of cookies in order to reach the apex of peanut butter and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie manufacturing.

It’s for the good of humanity.

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