"I wrote 63 songs this year. They're all about Jeter." Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls' Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don't forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » Culture and Criticism

The N Cookie AA: Round 1, Flight 6

Submitted by on July 13, 2014 – 9:03 AM27 Comments


As torn up as I have been by so many of the others, I really don't have a dog in this flight. Well, except for McVitties Plain Chocolate Digestives, which I do love.

(Not sure what's going on here? Check out the N Cookie AA FAQ.)

Of course, Walker's are awfully nice, too, and they always remind me of the time Dr. Mathra and I walked into a woolen-goods gift shop in Scotland and were offered whisky at 9 o'clock in the morning by a little old lady in a lace blouse and plaid skirt. "Have a little nip," she said, "to take the chill off." It was a cold foggy morning. After that little sample shot of Highland whisky, we landed on a tray of shortbread samples and then went back for another sample shot. The Scottish are good good people.

Oh, but this is where I finally get to express my unpopular opinion that soft-baked/soft-batch/half-baked cookies are incredibly gross and wrong. I like my cookies fully-baked, crisp, and hard (yes, yes: "That's what she said!"). Getting soft-baked to remain soft-baked at shelf-stable temperatures weirds me out and ultimately puts me in mind of something permanently residing in an embryonic or larval state of arrested development. Essentially, soft-baked cookies are that writhing, red, Voldemort-y thing sliming around at the base of the chair in King's Cross Heaven.

I've never had them, but Magic Middles/Mini Middles remind me unpleasantly of that gum that oozed when you bit into it; Tidal Wave was one brand and Freshen Up was the other.

Predictions: clearly Thin Mints are taking this one, and I have a feeling that one or both soft-batch/soft-baked entrants might also go forward. I honestly don't know how to call the rest — maybe Golden Oreos? Maybe Walker's? — Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic


No surprises in our final first-round flight, I don't imagine: Thin Mints, Golden Oreos, Nutters, and Chessmen should proceed to the next round without incident, joined most likely by Keebler Soft Batches or perhaps Walker's.

As usual, though, my grandparently taste in sweets means my vote diverges from what I see as our winners. Thin Mints, sure — but after that, it's all about Archway's lovely, cakey Dutch Cocoas; the Stella D'Oro Margherites, which go stale seconds after you crack the package but go perfectly with afternoon coffee; the Bloob Noots, which should be vile but are actually the most "realistic" product in the Newton line in this commentator's opinion; and old reliable Nutter Butters.

A part of me hopes that my fellow olds from the tri-state area rally around the Breakfast Treats strictly for reasons of ad nostalgia — and that classic slurry Noo Yawk enunciation that turned the cookies into "breckfustreetssh." Love it. The treats themselves are almost inedible sans a hot dunking wingman but everyone else who remembers "George, don't talk. Eat." as a window into a certain regional '70s marriage might vote for them anyway.

Or for Chessmen, which my brother and I once tried to play actual chess with using, like, five bags. I wouldn't get mad at that. — Sarah D. Bunting

Vote now!

Vote for your FIVE (5) favorite cookies!

  • Girl Scout Thin Mints (18%, 415 Votes)
  • Nutter Butters (13%, 298 Votes)
  • Walker's Shortbread (11%, 263 Votes)
  • Chocolate-covered graham crackers (9%, 220 Votes)
  • Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip (6%, 152 Votes)
  • Trader Joe's Ginger Thins (6%, 147 Votes)
  • Pepperidge Farm Chessmen (5%, 130 Votes)
  • LU Petit Ecolier, milk chocolate (5%, 126 Votes)
  • McVitties Digestives, dark chocolate (5%, 126 Votes)
  • Golden Oreos (4%, 100 Votes)
  • Pepperidge Farm Nantucket, Soft-Baked (4%, 96 Votes)
  • Archway Dutch Cocoa (3%, 63 Votes)
  • Blueberry Newtons (2%, 52 Votes)
  • IKEA Pepparkakor (2%, 42 Votes)
  • Stella D'Oro Breakfast Treats (2%, 42 Votes)
  • Bahlsen Waffeletten (1%, 26 Votes)
  • President's Choice Reverse Decadent White Chocolate Chip (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Magic Middles/Mini Middles (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Stella D'Oro Margherites (1%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 539

Loading ... Loading ...
Be Sociable, Share!



  • Cassie says:

    There are times when I think I'm the only person in the world who doesn't like Thin Mints. The flavor profile's fine, mint and chocolate are solid, but the texture . . . bleh. More Thin Mints for y'all, essentially.

  • bristlesage says:

    Yes, it takes quite a few bags of Chessmen to get a full chess set!

    I have also made this game (except the cards) out of sugar cookie dough and marzipan, so…yeah, I throw a pretty good game day.

  • Alanna says:

    Is the Digestives entry supposed to just say Dark Chocolate? On the other page, I think this was supposed to be for both Milk and Dark. I don't want to vote for Dark by itself.

  • Jenn says:

    "Soft-baked/soft-batch/half-baked cookies are incredibly gross and wrong"? YOU'RE incredibly gross and wrong! I'd sell my soul for Keebler Soft Batch cookies.

  • Keckler says:

    @Alanna, we covered McVitties Milk Chocolate Digestives in the previous flight, so this is just for dark/plain.

  • adam807 says:

    Wouldn't "Reverse Decadent" mean they're not decadent? Who wants that, marketing geniuses?

  • Beadgirl says:

    Oh, I'd forgotten all about that commercial! Not about Stella D'Oro Breakfast Treats, though, and in fact the other day at the market I was wondering if they still made them. I'd buy a pack, but I don't remember them actually tasting that good. Maybe I should give them a shot.

  • ferretrick says:

    "Soft-baked/soft-batch/half-baked cookies are incredibly gross and wrong"?

    Keebler Soft Batch ARE disgusting and wrong. That over gooey mess-why don't you just eat a plain stick of butter, it tastes the same?
    In general, though, soft cookies are awesome.

  • Still Another Kate says:

    Where is the love for the Golden Oreo people?? This is perhaps one of the greatest cookies ever. Don't believe me? Go out and buy some right now before it's too late!!

  • Susan says:

    I read these and realize that I should probably be eating a lot more cookies. For investigative purposes, of course.

  • Kristin 2 the Kristin Boogaloo says:

    Sars, I remember gorging myself on those breakfast treats because they were, at some point in the 80s?, considered diet food. No, really. Anyway, I'm with you on those and the Chessmen, but we are being unfairly hammered by both the overrated Thin Mint and the damn squishy cookies. Boo.

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    Finally, a round where something I very occasionally buy is also doing well! Go Walker's Shortbread! I'd give you 5 votes if I could!

  • Jem says:

    Bloob Noots. Hee! If that's what they were called even I might buy them, and I hate all things bloob.

  • Merely Me says:

    Thin Mints haven't always been as thick as Oreos, have they? Because these days I wouldn't call them Thin.

  • Another Rachel says:

    I don't recall the Breakfast Treat commercials, but they are a regular purchase at my parents' house, and I will pretty much always eat one if offered. I don't find them overly dry, but I think I'm just weird.

  • Caitlin M says:

    soft-baked/soft-batch/half-baked cookies are incredibly gross and wrong,

    I could not agree more, when it comes to commercial cookies. Homemade and soft? Damn good. Commercial soft-baked? Always taste artificial and weird to me. To pile on that, I don't like any of the Pepperidge Farm "American-style" chocolate-chip, etc. variants, soft-whatever or not. Just the (crisp!) classics: Brussels, Geneva, Milano, chessmen, ginger men, etc.

  • cayenne says:

    @Cassie- agreed! Although I still voted for the mint mocklate-covered meh-nesses because I couldn't vote twice for Walker's :(

    @adam807, the Reverse Decadent riffs on the Decadent Chocolate Chip cookies, which are (as you might expect) chocolate chip cookies with lots of chocolate chips or chunks; the Reverse version is a chocolate cookie with lots of white chocolate chips. It is awesome. And now I believe I will be stopping at the local Loblaws tomorrow to pick some up.

    I've noticed that the cookie consumption rate in this household has gone waaaay off the baseline since the NCookieAA started. Gym use has not kept pace, alas.

  • Kat From Jersey says:

    I do love a Thin Mint. I haven't eaten one in forever, but we had a neighbor growing up that worked for Burry, and he would bring home garbage bags full of Thin Mint "seconds", e.g. broken or not perfect, which they couldn't package and sell. We're talking a hefty bag full of cookies. In our garage. Where we used to sneak at all hours of the day and night to steal cookies. Okay, now I'm just amazed it didn't put me of thin mints for life.

    Oh, and a definite vote for the Breaktast Treats, for the commercial alone! Aah, memories.

  • frogprof says:

    Walker's is fine in a pinch, but I make shortbread that knocks it in the dust. Just sayin'.

  • Tarn says:

    Room temp Thin Mints right out of the package? Pretty darn good. Thin Mints right out of the freezer? Mintgasmic.

    I can see why a lot of people don't like the soft-batch type cookies. They are pretty weird, and such a disturbing combination of soft and dry when they start to get stale. I still like the fresh ones though. I try not to think of the evil chemical magic that happens in the cookie factories or I will be sad.

    Return of the Jedi came out when I was 6 and PF made special limited edition Chessmen-type cookies with Star Wars characters on them and they made me so, so happy. I'll always have a love-hate relationship with Chessmen due to that. The taste goes right to my giggly inner child, but I want a Vader cookie, dammit, not a bishop!

    Aww, Nutter Butters. The dumbest little things are the things that make me miss my mom so goddamn much.

  • Eliz says:

    You know why commercial soft-baked cookies are so vile?

    Ground. Fucking. Raisins. They put ground up raisins in them.

  • Ben says:

    Eliz, I would love it if that were not true. Not because I think you're making this up, I just love the idea that there would be mud slinging like shenanigans straight out of dirty politics to besmirch certain cookies reputations. Because seriously I think you could have said 'ground puppies' and my reaction would have been less grossed out or offended than at the thought of ground raisins, and I'm not even in the Raisin Hating Club of America (president Sars, right?). I like a raisin studded cookie just fine, but ground raisins would explain the sticky, mushy, horrifying texture of soft-bletch cookies.

    The only soft cookies allowed outside a bakery section should be Freihofers and Archway (c'mon Dutch Cocoa!) or if you are deprived I suppose Entenmann's are close enough to the 'hofs.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Yeah, a ground-raisin smear campaign is going to be super-effective on me. Hail to the blech.

  • RachelG says:

    Oh, Walker's, how I love thee. And fresh-from-the-freezer Thin Mints rock my world. But woe betide anyone who tries to pass off half-baked/soft baked cookies as real cookies. They always take vaguely like chemicals and have a weird smell. I could only find three in this flight that even appealed, so I'll be interested to see the next round.

  • Kristin 2 the Kristin Boogaloo says:

    So *that's* what happened to the California Raisins…

  • Jenny V says:

    Is that bit about ground up raisins, true?? I haaaate raisins, so this would do wonders to explain why I like homemade soft cookies but not store bought ones.

    I grew up in Texas in the '80s and I have never heard of McVitties Plain Chocolate Digestives before. The name makes it sound like a laxative.

  • Kate says:

    I love and support the Girl Scouts, but, man, I find all Girl Scout cookies so gross now. I loved them as a kid, but now they all taste like preservatives. Thin Mints and Samoas seem to be the least offensive. (There is a delicious cookie underneath the plastic taste, I just think a homemade version would taste so much better.) Did they always taste like they were shellacked?

Leave a comment!

Please familiarize yourself with the Tomato Nation commenting policy before posting.
It is in the FAQ. Thanks, friend.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>