Taste Test: Chips Ahoy's New Flavors (Reese's, Heath Bar, and 'Chewy Gooey')
Of all the mass-market cookies out there, Chips Ahoy aren't quite my favorites. Oreos, I go crazy for. (More on that soon.) Nilla Wafers, I'll put back a box. Chips Ahoy... well, if they're in front of me, I'll happily munch one, but they never quite had a hold on me.
But the other week, I noticed a few new varieties in the cookie aisle. Chips Ahoy with Reese's? Okay, those I could get behind. Chips Ahoy with Heath Bar crumbles? Ditto. And—what were these—meltable Chips Ahoy? I'm a sucker for anything called "chewy gooey." * Okay, Ahoy, let's give these a try.
*In my early days of freelancing, a friend once remarked that I relied far, far too heavily on the word "gooey." This was absolutely true.
Great Idea, But Not Quite
The gooey versions seemed the most promising. I mean, if there's one thing mass-market products can deliver on, it's those sort of lowbrow pleasures; melty chocolate chips, no matter the quality of the chocolate, are inherently satisfying things.
Both versions—the "Chewy Gooey Megafudge," a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips, and the "Chewy Gooey Chocofudge," a more standard chocolate chip—have a thin layer of somewhat soft chocolate right in the center, in addition to the chocolate chips. It's this layer that's supposed to melt and provide the all-important goo factor. The cookie itself also has a much softer, almost cake-like texture that's presumably intended to soften in the heat more than a normal, crisp Chips Ahoy cookie would.
But here's the problem. The package recommends microwaving them for 6 to 8 seconds. We did, and got a reasonably warm, squishy cookie as a result. A few of the tiny chocolate chips melted, but the inner core—the source of the real choco-melt factor—remained solid.
So was the package just incorrect? We upped the microwave time to 20 seconds. This time, we had an almost fully melted core: jackpot. But the cookie was too hot to hold and the soft cookie fell apart immediately. It was basically impossible to eat the cookie and appreciate the chocolate melt. A few more experiments yielded the same result: we couldn't find a time that was long enough to melt the chocolate, but not long enough to turn the cookie into a soggy, steamy mush.
Huge points for the concept, and the things taste fine, too, in the Chips Ahoy way. But they didn't quite deliver on the "chewy gooey" promise.
The Better News
I couldn't quite recommend the melty guys, but the Reese's and Heath Bar? Huge successes. Both cookies are a little thicker and a little richer in taste than a standard Chips Ahoy; they crumble apart as you bite into them, in a really appealing way. The chocolate chips are interspersed with either the peanut butter cups or the Heath Bar toffee bits. Both of are of ample size, so you do taste a good bit of the candy as you munch through. But really, I like these for the super-crumbly consistency of the cookie (particularly in the Reese's) even more than the candy interruption.
Have You Tried Them?
Anyone tried either of these? What were your thoughts? Do you like them more than regular Chips Ahoy?