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Home » Culture and Criticism

The N Cookie AA: FAQ

Submitted by on August 5, 2014 – 6:30 AM137 Comments


Y’all nominated many many cookies for us to consider. We narrowed the contenders down to six (6) flights of roughly twenty (20) each, alphabetized the list, then ran it through a randomizer.

From the first round, five (5) cookies will proceed from each flight to a semifinal of thirty (30).

From the semis, five (5) flights of six (6) each, one (1) cookie will proceed from each flight to a final of five (5).

From the final, one cookie to rule them all. (And cause vociferous objections in the comments.)

Behold: your final!

First-round voting concluded with much grumbling all around. Then the semis separated the wheat (biscuit) from the chaff.


Keckler and I have threatened repeatedly to get the N Cookie AA rolling, but every time we started to make a master list of all the cookies we might consider, we just got completely overwhelmed and defeated. The chocolate-chip section alone! Since the last time we seriously considered moving ahead with the N Cookie AA, Pepperidge Farm has added an entire dessert-cookie LINE to their already massive arsenal…and they just won’t effin’ stop with the Milanos! I think there’s a vodka-tonic one now.

But: it’s now or never. We will declare a top cookie even if it kills us. And from the looks of the Keebler website, it’s probably going to, so: crumbituri te salutamos, eh what?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: nominate your favorite cookies right here in the comments thread. BUT WAIT. You should know a few things first.

  • Please nominate COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE cookies. Not varieties, not recipes. Brands. So, “Walker’s Shortbread,” yes; just “shortbread” no. You’re free to vent about that in the comments, but it is the only way we can see to prevent the list from algae-blooming into the tens of thousands of entries, and here’s your semi-annual friendly reminder that we don’t get paid for this, so: 1) we don’t get paid for this, except in fun, and 2) national brands only please.
  • I can think of a couple of exceptions — fortune cookies, for one — but they’re rare. If you’re not sure, ask, or nom it just in case-ies and we’ll nix it later.
  • Nominees should be universally understood as a cookie. If you can find a rum ball at your local grocery, that’s great (…sincerely, it is; also please to provide a map), but cake-poppy hybrids are probably not going to get through.
  • Do your best to read the whole comment thread before posting your nominees. It’s fine to repeat/”nth” previous mentions, of course, but “I CAN’T BELIEVE NOBODY SAID THIN MINTS”…you see what I’m saying. Hee.
  • Nominate as many cookies as you’d like, within reason (i.e., 15 is fine, but maybe not 50). You can always comment again if you go shopping later in the day and realize you forgot Stella d’Oro Breakfast Treats or something.
  • This is neither exact nor science. The actual voting/selection will probably work a lot like Cinemarch Madness did — all bajillion nominees randomized, followed by “flights” of voting, and if all the Milani end up in one draw, so be it — but we won’t know until we have a better grasp of the nominees, and…
  • …as of this writing, the nominations will close on June 2.

We welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, offers of help writing the match-ups so we aren’t all sifting (so to speak) through these cookies until the CHELSEA Clinton presidency, etc. Tell a friend, foe, or snacky child, and let’s get listing!




  • KB says:

    Oreos – original, classic, plain Oreos
    Berger cookies (not national, I think, but just in case…)
    Dare Maple Leaf Cream Cookies (similar to, if not the same as, the Trader Joes variety)

  • Maru says:

    Well, I’ll kick off with my two (possibly obscure) favorites: Dare Lemon Cremes and Jules Destrooper Ginger Thins. I also nominate Mallomars, even though I haven’t seen them in local stores in years, but I hope they are still out there.

  • Dave P. says:

    Some of these are 1 seeds, some deserve to be in a play-in game. I’ll let you decide which are which.

    Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Dunkers
    Trader Joe’s Ginger Cats
    Those gingerbready airplane cookies
    Girl Scout Samoans
    Double Stuf Oreos
    Famous Amos mini chocolate chip pecan cookes
    Otis Spunkmeyers
    graham crackers

  • OneoftheJanes says:

    Speaking of Milanos, what’s the policy on subtypes and varieties? Do we have to specify *which* Milano?

    I nominate:

    The Little Schoolboy/Le Petit Ecolier

    (I go for milk chocolate on both, but I know that’s a losing proposition, so I’m hoping the cookie name is enough.)

  • Donna says:

    Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps. I could eat a whole container in one sitting.

  • attica says:

    Girl Scout Tagalongs
    Peek Freans gingersnaps (I haven’t seen them in a while, but wiki says they still exist)
    Sugar wafers –there are a bunch of off-brands which are interchangeable.

  • MelPo says:

    By gingerbready airplane cookies, do you mean Biscoff cookies? If so, I SECOND THAT ONE!!

    If not, then BISCOFF COOKIES. (and if we had a bracket for cookies that have been made into other delicious things, I would nominate the biscoff spread as well. but that will have to wait ’till a different game)

    Oh, and Girl Scouts Tagalongs

  • RJ says:

    I’ll go the more pedestrian route: Girl Scout Tagalongs, Nutter Butters, and E.L.Fudge sandwich cookies.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Yes, please nominate individual Milanos.

  • Sue says:

    Trader Joe’s triple ginger cookies
    Mint Milanos
    Girl Scout Thin Mints

  • Cassie says:

    Oh, man.
    Girl Scout Samoas
    3rd’d on Girl Scout Tagalongs
    Girl Scout Do-Si-Dos
    Archway Frosted Lemon cookies
    Tate’s Chipless Wonders (seriously, if you haven’t, they are the BEST)

  • Cat says:

    Nilla Wafers
    +1 Oreos (regular stuffing amount)
    Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies
    Do Little Debbie Oatmeal sandwich cookies count? I hope so.

    I think this doesn’t count but just in case I’m wrong, those cookies moms make with an entire Hershey’s kiss jammed on top. Ditto the ones with an entire Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup jammed on top.

    Trader Joe’s chocolate-toffee lace cookies (not the exact name but I no longer live near a TJ’s…they look just like this:

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Generally, “those cookies moms make” is an automatic DQ. We’re sorry!

    And again, we need brands or we can’t count the nominee (sugar wafers upthread is a good exception, which we’ll consider).

    Not sure we can send graham crackers back out (didn’t we count it as a cracker in the N Cracker AA?) but that’s another one we’ll mull over.

    Keep nominating!

  • nsfinch says:

    Yes, you’re correct that Biscoff cookies are the ones from the airplans. They even say “the ones from the airplanes” on the package now when you see them at the store. Run out and get some, Dave P!

    I nominate CVS brand Divine cookies. They come in lemon creme and raspberry creme, which are both good, so I guess pick raspberry.

  • Amy says:

    Because I had forgotten about these until they were served to me at dessert yesterday, sugar wafers!!!! Their tissue-thin, papery, cardboardey wafers separated by gritty-smooth sugar paste …. DEEEEELicious. (In googling, I found the Elves apparently make them too. Not those. The blue-plastic-wrapped package featuring vanilla, chocolate and “never-seen-a-natural-strawberry-that-color-but-sure-whatever”.)

  • Cat says:

    Oops, Nilla Wafers are Nabisco.

  • KB says:

    Oh yes, another vote for Biscoff (aka Speculoos) cookies.

  • Jenn says:

    I was just thinking the other day, “Wasn’t there going to be a tournament coming up?”

    Keebler Soft Batch cookies
    Vienna Fingers

  • C is cookie says:

    +1 on regular oreos
    Double chocolate milanos
    Pepperidge farm ginger man
    Pepperidge farm brussles
    Yoku Moku Double chocolat Au Lait (technically a japanese brand) but available in the US at fancy department stores

  • Jane says:

    Fig Newtons
    Nutter Butter
    Vanilla Wafers

    I think this is all an exercise in futility though because everyone knows the Oreo is the best cookie ever made, a legend in its own time, often copied, never duplicated and worth the black teeth.

  • Nicki says:

    McVities Hob Nobs and McVities Digestives (Milk Digestives, if I have to pick a variety).

    Girl Scout Samoas

    Pecan Sandies!

  • Keckler says:

    Trader Joe’s Peppermint Joe Joe’s Sandwich Cookies
    Trader Joe’s Vanilla Sandwich Cookies
    Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Butter Cookies
    Nabisco Marshmallow Pinwheels
    Keebler Pecan Sandies
    Milk Chocolate Hobnobs

  • Cora says:

    Voortman coconut cookies. I think those are available all over the U.S., right?

  • Ben says:

    Lofthouse Frosted
    Archway Dutch Cocoa
    Pepperidge Farms Soft Baked Captiva Dark Chocolate Brownie (seriously with this name)

    After all of the new crackers I found out about during the Cracker
    crackoffs (snapoffs?) I’m a bit worried what kind of readily available sugary goods I’m about to discover. /Thanks/ Nation.

  • Kristin says:

    These are most reliably found in import stores, but I am noticing them crop up occasionally at the local grocery, so…
    Chocolate Hob Nobs
    McVitie’s Rich Tea Biscuits
    TimTams (chocolate creme)

    Royal Dansk Norwegian Butter Cookies
    Walkers Shortbread Cookies
    Lu Cinnamon Sugar Spice
    +1 Double Stuf Oreos
    +1 Little Schoolboy (Milk Chocolate)
    Anna’s Ginger Thins

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    OMG TimTams. So evil.

  • Andrea says:

    Oooooh, Royal Dansk Butter Cookies! Yum!

    Also, thin mints, mint milanos, Keebler soft batch chocolate chip, oreos, Archway Molasses, and Pepperidge Farm shortbread Chessmen.

  • Sarah says:

    –PF Brussels (anything where I kill the bag if left to my own devices…)
    –PF Mint Milano Melts (unpopular choice, but see above rationale. I actually had to have a coworker lock them in his desk drawer.)
    –Archway Rocky Road cookies (have repeatedly used these to break Passover. Clearly the leavened food I value above all others.)
    –Mint Oreos
    –Rainbow Chips Deluxe
    –Entenmann’s chocolate chip

  • Still Another Kate says:

    Golden Oreos – I can eat and entire package of those in like 45 minutes.
    Nilla Wafers

  • OneoftheJanes says:

    Oh, God, I forgot about Entenmann’s–the one place in town that used to carry the cookies no longer does. So unfair!

    I want to add an outlier–Biscotti Brothers’ Chocolate Almond Biscotti. Chocolate biscotti that taste like chocolate and that don’t goo all over your hands like the chocolate iced ones, and that are *ambrosial* dunked in good black tea.

  • Alan Swann says:

    Trader Joe’s Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Soft Baked Chunk Dark Chocolate soooo good nomnomnom excuse me…

  • JOE says:

    keebler’s fudge stripe
    chips ahoy (original)

  • KJ says:

    Carr’s Lemon Ginger Cremes
    Mother’s Circus Animals (the pink and white frosted ones. so terrible, so wonderful)
    Chocolate Creme Oreos
    Keebler Fudge Stripes

  • Barb says:

    original chocolate

  • Jenny says:

    Would chocolate covered graham crackers count?

    a new offering, but pretty good Birthday Cake flavored Oreos.

    Chewy Chips Ahoy

  • Mary Ann says:

    Mother’s Iced Oatmeal (the brand name Mother, owned by Kellogg’s) – those go with milk almost as well as an Oreo
    Knott’s Berry Farm Raspberry Shortbread cookies – my favorite from a vending machine

    +1 for mallowmars and regular Oreos

  • Kizz says:

    Kind of can’t believe that Chips Ahoy aren’t getting more mentions so I’ll mention ’em.

    McVities Dark Chocolate Digestives are my choice if we’re narrowing down that category.

    I would nom the McVities Dark Chocolate Ginger Nut but THEY DO NOT SEEM TO MAKE IT ANY MORE AND THIS IS A TRAGEDY. Which is to say, if the McVities people for some reason get in touch with you please pass them my email because I have concerns I would like to address.

  • Sharon says:

    Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano
    Pepperidge Farm Geneva
    Pepperidge Farm Tahiti
    Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies
    Girl Scout Thin Mints
    Girl Scout Tagalongs
    Archway Dutch Cocoa
    Chips Ahoy

    That is all

  • Laura says:

    Lorna Doones
    Girl Scout Samoas
    Mother’s Circus Animals

  • Molly says:

    I’d put money on TimTams being the come-from-behind dark horse contender that will take it all.

    But to make this actually a relevant post, how about those skinny ginger cookies at Ikea. Which are apparently called PEPPARKAKOR. Pepper parkour? Whatever. These guys.

  • Jinxie says:

    3rding the McVitties standard Digestives and Dark Chocolate Digestives, and while I’m dreaming about British biscuits, I’ll add:
    HobNobs (delicious cookie, even better name)

  • Tarn says:

    Oh my God I want ALL THA COOKIES now.

    Yes to Oreos, Thin Mints, Samoas, PF Nantuckets, PF Mint Milanos, Tim Tams, frosted animal crackers and Little Debbies Oatmeal Creme Pies (they taste like my childhood!).

    Where do animal crackers fall? They say they’re crackers, but…c’mon. We know the deal.

    Does Costco count as a brand? Costco chocolate chip cookies are my shiiiiit.

  • Cara says:

    Nth-ing the Girl Scout Samoas and Le Petit Escolier.

    I’d like to add Loacker Hazelnut Quadratini, Matt’s Chocolate Chip (not sure if it’s just a regional brand, though?), and Daelman’s Caramel Bites/mini stroopwafels.

  • ferretrick says:

    Does it have to be a cookie you can get today? Because…McDonalds character cookies. No trip to McDonalds in the 80s was complete without gnoshing on Grimace. He tasted the best.

  • Kristin 2 the Kristin Boogaloo says:

    I love this category!

    Girl Scouts’ Do-Si-Dos (the thinking person’s Nutter Butter)
    Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies
    Barnum’s Animals Crackers (high five, Great-Grandpa!)

    Adding my vote for Mallomars, PF Chessmen and the TJ’s Maple Leaf cookies.

  • Melissa says:

    Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies
    Pepperidge Farm Sausalito
    Pepperidge Farm Nantucket
    +1 for Chips Ahoy

  • Daisy says:

    Lorna Doones
    Pepperidge Farm Chesapeakes
    Anna’s Ginger Thins

    … so hungry.

  • Angharad says:

    Keebler Danish Wedding Cookies (not great, still irrationally addictive)
    Solen Biscolata Starz (just showed up around here and rapidly becoming my new favorite)

  • Beth says:

    +1 for Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers
    +1 for regular Oreos
    Girl Scout Trefoils

  • GracieGirl says:


    GS Thin Mints
    GS Peanut Butter Patties (a.k.a. Tagalongs)
    Keebler Chips Deluxe Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
    LU Petit Ecolier in either Dark or Extra Dark Chocolate*
    Pepperidge Farm Nantuckets
    Keebler Deluxe Grahams

    I don’t know if overseas brands count, but Marks & Spencer makes a delightful Raspberry Cream Viennese Biscuit.

    *If you are between GS cookie seasons and craving a PBP/Tagalong, top a LU’s Petit Ecolier with a smear of peanut butter. Voila!