Saturday, April 4, 2020

Benton's Soft Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies (Aldi)

Wonderfully, woefully average.

Fearing that their delectable “Original” Australian cookies were on their way out of permanent inventory (a fear that seems to be unfounded, as they appear to have gotten in another shipment since my previous trip), I actually picked up a pack of these hoping to find a somewhat viable cookie replacement should my preferred option dry up. Hey, as we're learning now, it never hurts to be prepared for any situation!

Excited at the prospect of potential deliciousness, I let my wife try one first immediately after getting home, and was more than a little annoyed when she contorted her face in slight—but genuine—disgust , and declared that they basically tasted like every other pre-made triple chocolate cookie. She’s a self-admitted bakery snob, though, and frequently turns her nose to everything that’s not fresh-baked. “What did she know?” I thought to myself, well aware that she actually knows a lot about making foodstuffs and has a much more refined palate than I could ever hope to achieve.

So I did what I frequently do: completely blocked out her opinion. Instead, I prepped myself for a flavor sensation that my close-minded wife was certainly missing out on...a sensation that never came because, unfortunately, she was right (at least this time). I was initially won over by the soft and chewy texture, which is almost too perfect...it's like the person who's overly sweet because they're up to no good; it's proof alone that these clearly weren't made by the loving, imperfect touch of a human being, but rather a mechanical cyborg programmed to construct the perfect cookie, every time, and the results are honestly rather off-putting.

Beyond that, my wife hit the flavor profile on the head: there’s nothing special here. She did go too far when she said she’d rather have a crunchy name brand cookie (ahoy there, maties!) as opposed to these (I wouldn’t)), but these are otherwise pedestrian cookies in every regard; a special shame given the inclusion of white chocolate chunks, which don’t seem to get featured in cookies near enough for me. Here, I figured they would provide a perfect sweet counterpoint to the strong cocoa combination of the cookie and milk chocolate chips, but instead, they just seem to get lost in the neverending sea of brown chocolates, offering little more than a pleasant aesthetical counterpoint by being the only light thing in the entire cookie. (Which sounds like a metaphorical allegory of racism, but is genuinely simply describing my preference for white chocolate to dark, or even milk, even though I'm fully aware it's technically not even “real” chocolate. Like a white woman with a large booty. Which now has brought race into it.)

Value is pretty much a wash, in my opinion: they're not too expensive, but they're also not a great deal, with each 7.4 oz. package retailing for $1.99, and consisting of eight cookies. While that might sound like a bargain, they are not full-sized cookies; they are maybe a little larger than the aforementioned “crunchy name-brand cookies”, making them around half the size of one that I would consider to be “full-size”. In other words, this has the attempted look and feel of a premium cookie, but with the pedestrian flavor and eerily-perfect “Stepford Wives”-style consistency of one that's mass-produced. No thanks.

Overall: 5/10. The price tag is decent ($1.99 per 7.4 oz. package), but these are just standard, mass-produced cookies masquerading themselves as something more noteworthy. The triple chocolate flavor is rather pedestrian through-and-through, while simultaneously coming in at about half the size of “real” ones, no less. The white chocolate chips (which is the reason I pulled the trigger on these in the first place) get lost amidst all the abundance of genuine cocoa, and provides little addition to the flavor, while the cookies themselves are almost too perfectly chewy, a sobering reminder that you're eating a mass-produced product made by robotic, automated hands, and not the loving touch of a caring human being. It's almost a perfect example of a wonderfully average product, through and through, but at a cost that insinuates you should be getting more.

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