Serious Eats: Sweets
Have You Tried Tim Tams?
Hyperbole or not, when I found out that Australia had a "favorite cookie", I had to give them a try. Plus, with a name like Tim Tam, I was pretty much already sold.
(Of course the more I read about Tim Tams, the more excited I became. They were named after a Kentucky Derby Horse! People in Australia preform the "Tim Tam Slam" in which a hot beverage is sucked up through a Tim Tam biscuit*!)
*having now eaten a Tim Tam, I still don't understand how this works
Still, when I finally procured me some Tams, I was excited in a curious way, rather than excited in an expectant, "this is going to blow my mind!" kind of way. Packaged cookies are packaged cookies, right?
Yes, but these packaged cookies are pretty good. They taste and feel almost like a candy-cookie hybrid. The Caramel Tim Tam consists of two layers of crispy biscuits filled with a layer of chocolate creme and a caramel center, then coated in chocolate fudge. The caramel tastes Twix-like and even has a little gooey pull—much more than I can say for most caramel cookies. The wafterish body of the cookie is extra crunchy and prone to shattering into shards. The background flavor isn't plain vanilla or butter, it's graham crackery. After a few minutes of deliberation and a few carefully savored cookies, I decided they bear a strong resemblance to Keebler Fudge cookies.
Chocolate (ie Original) Tim Tams have the same formula as the caramel, just sans caramel and with extra chocolate creme. The chocolate creme center tastes more like sugar than chocolate, but has that certain Keeblerish cocoa flavor that part of me likes.
Of course to my grownup palate, the cookies taste kind of artificial, and yes, I unwittingly thought, hmm, this cookie needs a hair pinch of salt. (Hear that Pepperidge Farm?) But as my co-taster pointed out, if I had never had an Oreo before (a cookie I like, for reasons of both taste and nostalgia), I'd definitely think the Oreo tasted artificial too. And again, these are boxed cookies we're talking about. I guess they could have read "Australia's favorite medium priced boxed cookies!" but no one in Australia needs you to specify that's what they mean. So while Marmite may never find its cultural bearing, I think these would easily be welcomed on American shores.
Have you tried Tim Tams? What did you think? And what would be "America's favorite cookie"?