Chips Ahoy!, Chips Delight, Cream-O, and Fibisco: We Try Store-Bought Chocolate Chip CookiesJune 2, 2018
Chocolate chip cookies rank high on the list of go-to snacks for kids and adults alike. Enticing as freshly–baked versions may be, store-bought cookies offer convenience and a no-frills flavor profile of butterscotch-y cookie studded with chocolate that you can count on for comfort—glass of milk optional. Of the ones made or marketed locally, which cookie brand is your best bet?
Chips Ahoy! (Southeast Asian edition)
Note that we tasted the Southeast Asian-marketed version of Chips Ahoy, which differs from the original American version from the ingredient list alone.
Taste: Chips Ahoy flaunts ample toffee-like brown sugar notes, a good amount of (imitation) vanilla for roundness, and a dash of salt in its cookie base. Its chocolate chips (which are of the compound sort unlike in the original American version, and which don’t taste the darkest but are well brought out by the vanilla) are well distributed throughout the cross section of the cookie, giving you chocolate in every bite. Despite the absence of actual buttery flavor (instead you’ll find a mild coconut oil-y aftertaste, like you’d find on oil-based quickbreads), all flavors come together in a singular, coherent manner as you take a bite, with no one note competing over another.
Texture: This cookie is the heartiest of the lot; it’s easy to bite into, but it gives a relatively firm, satisfying crunch. There’s enough fattiness from the chocolate chips that keeps it from feeling dry; and even with the firmness, it leaves messy (but welcome) crumbles on your lap.
Taste: Chips Delight’s cookie base exhibits a similar creamy fake-vanilla note as Chips Ahoy; it isn’t as deeply toffee-like as Chips Ahoy, but it does have depth in the sense of having a toasty taste to it. They’re very generous on the (compound) chocolate, with theirs seeming to be the darkest-tasting of the lot, and it comes as distinct chips poking through (than being blitzed and assimilated into) the dough. The use of a lighter-tasting cookie base surprisingly works to Chips Delight’s advantage, allowing the said chocolate to come through with no interruptions—and in each resulting bite you get a good, (relatively) dark chocolatey hit.
Texture: Chips Delight feels much lighter than Chips Ahoy—still crunchy, but veering more toward being airy and crisp. Easy to snap and even easier to eat, the lightness lets you stuff yourself with more cookies before the sickness sinks in.
Taste: This relative newcomer to the chocolate chip cookie game also brings a deep butterscotch-esque profile, as with Chips Ahoy, though with a more wheat-y, graham cracker-esque flavor to it. In the background is the kind of fake vanilla that tastes less creamy and more chemical (like what you’ll find on Ferna brand vanilla powder), but which does not overpower. There are much less chocolate chips on each cookie, and their chocolate seems to be of the lower end of the compound stuff with its coconut-y taste and greasy feel.
Texture: Flavor-wise it might not be our favorite, but Cream-O is ideal for snacking as far as texture goes. It exhibits a firmness in between that of Chips Ahoy and Chips Delight, making it a great choice whether you’re eating it straight up or dunking it into milk.
Taste: The classic Filipino brand’s cookie base isn’t too sweet, but it lacks the caramelized notes present in the other brands (and thus tends to taste flat). In its place are an odd amalgamation of flavors, starting with a slightly burnt, chemical taste and a peanut butter-y note before ending with a smoky aftertaste that feels out of place. Though they tout the use of real chocolate with actual cocoa butter, there are too few chips per cookie for it to stand out, especially when combined with the off-tasting cookie base.
Texture: Fibisco is second to Chips Delight in lightness, coming just a touch crisper but still feeling light overall. It crumbles the easiest of all brands, giving it the feel of a biscuit for nibbling on slowly with tea than chomping down with milk.
The Verdict: Chips Delight
Chips Delight is more crisp than crunchy, and its cookie base might feel lacking in caramelized depth. But it makes up for it with its great dose of deep, relatively dark chocolate that satisfies both the inner child and present adult selves. Chips Ahoy! is also worth commending for the way it melds flavors into a singular sensation, though; as is Cream-O, for its great balance of delicate crispness and crunch.