Thursday, June 25, 2015

David's Cookies

Just to mix it up a bit, I'm going to stretch my "bakery" review day theme a bit to include ... mail order baked goods.  Hey, they still count as baked goods, and these are ones accessible to you anywhere in the US.  Expanding my review horizons!

David's is a large commercial "gourmet" baked goods manufacturer.  Given the name, you can guess what the signature product is: cookies.  They also make other baked goods such as brownies, scones, crumb cakes, and ruggalach.  Plus layer cakes, cheesecakes, chocolate truffle cakes, a slew of French tarts, and, randomly, chocolate covered strawberries.

I believe online is their largest market, although they seem to also have a large fundraising business, and have been around since 1979, so obviously their distribution channels have changed over time.  Corporate gifts and gift baskets seem to be the target market.
Cookie Brownie Party Tin, 5 lbs. $59.95.
When I was visiting my family, my mother received a lovely gift of a huge 5 pound party tin full of cookies and brownies from David's Cookies.  Ever curious, I had to try them.  All of them.  Even though you know I don't really like cookies.  I'd say it was for the benefit of the blog, but really, who am I kidding?  I can't resist trying a dessert, even if the chances of me liking it are low, as seemed the case with not even fresh cookies and brownies.

The tin had a selection of 6 types each of cookies and brownies.  The cookies were fine, but the brownies were far better.  Maybe next time someone will send her the decadent sounding cheesecakes ...

Cookies 

Cookies are obviously David's specialty, specifically chocolate chip cookies, although they make about 20 varieties.  Cookies come in tins, ranging from 1 to 5 pounds, or mixed with brownies or other items in gift baskets.  You can also buy the chocolate chip in mini form, or as frozen dough to bake off yourself.

Our tin had six varieties in it, and I obvious tried them all.  Sadly, our tin contained just the basics, not any of the fun ones like Butterscotch Pecan, Coconut Pecan, Red Velvet, Mint Chip or Smores, that David's also makes.
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin.
"They are made with cinnamon, thick molasses, sweet brown sugar, and vanilla for a taste that will bring you back to the good ol days."

The oatmeal raisin was the first cookie I tried.  A fairly standard oatmeal raisin cookie.  Decent heartiness from the oats.  Good distribution of not-too-hard raisins.  Soft enough style.

A classic cookie, and Ojan liked it too.  My second favorite of our batch.  I am curious what was "old fashioned" about it though ... what do new age oatmeal raisin cookies look like?

They also make a orange oatmeal cranberry, which sounds like a fun seasonal selection around the holidays.
Macadamia White Chunk.
"What do you get when you combine delicious white chocolate with succulent macadamia nuts into one cookie?"

Next I moved on to the macadamia white chunk.

It was another softish cookie, although a bit overcooked and crispy.  However, there was only one macadamia in the entire cookie.  The distribution of raisins in the oatmeal raisin was totally acceptable, but this was not.  There were also a few fairly boring white chocolate chunks.  I did at least appreciate the use of chunks rather than chips, as they provided more sweetness.

Overall, there was nothing interesting here, it was just inoffensive.  My 4th pick overall.
Cherry with White Chips.
"Silky smooth butter, sweet sugar, creamy milk, and powdery flour are paired with the perfect balance of tart dried cherries and sweet white chocolate for the ideal cookie flavor."

Next, cherry white chip.  It was very similar to the macadamia white chip, just with dried cherries replacing the macadamias.

It also was a bit overcooked and crispy.  The base cookie was pretty boring.  The white chocolate chips were generic.  The cherries were large, but rock solid.

My sister, Ojan, and I all did not care for this, and we ended up throwing out the extras.  Our least favorite, by far.
Chocolate Chunk.
"David’s has perfected the art of the chocolate chip cookie by using only the best ingredients. Our recipe calls for fresh eggs, milk, velvety butter, and loads of big Hershey’s Chocolate chunks to create the most irresistible cookies on this planet. "

Next, the one Ojan was most looking forward to: chocolate chunk.

It had another slightly sweet standard cookie base.  It was a nice soft style, not overcooked like the white chip varieties.  Although I doubted them for using Hershey, since I don't exactly endorse the the quality of Hershey chocolate, the milk chocolate really wasn't bad.  And chocolate chunks are obviously better than little chips.

Like the oatmeal raisin, this was a pretty standard chocolate chunk cookie, no more, no less.  My 3rd pick.
Double Chocolate Chunk.

"They have gigantic chunks of Hershey's chocolate mixed into smooth and sweet chocolate cookie dough. It's a soft chocolatey cookie stuffed with delicious chunks of milk chocolate."

Like with the chocolate chunk, I appreciated the large chocolate chunks, and again I didn't actually mind the Hershey chocolate.  But the base cookie wasn't very chocolatey, so flavor-wise, it didn't offer much over the standard chocolate chip.  This was Ojan's favorite flavor, since he does love chocolate the most, but my second to last pick.

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Peanut Butter with Peanut Butter Chips

"Our original cookie dough made with fresh butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and milk is swirled with peanut butter and Peanut Butter Chips for one of our most divine cookies ever."

This was, hands down, the winner of the bunch, and I didn't get a photo of it.

The base was the winning component, full of peanut butter flavor.  It was accented with further peanut butter in the chips throughout.  The style was more like the macadamia and cherry cookies however, crispier than I would prefer.

My favorite, but still, not something I needed more of.

Brownies

David's also makes 6 varieties of brownies: Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Swirl, Cheesecake, Pecan, Rocky Road, and Macaroon, plus a Blondie.   Brownies are available alone, or mixed with cookies or crumbcakes in tins or boxes.

The chocolate varieties all use a chocolate chip base, "made with pure melted chocolate and loaded with sweet chocolate chips", Hershey again.   Each brownie is a large 4 ounce "slice".

Unlike the cookies that were loose in the tin, the brownie slices were individually packaged.  Our tin contained all 6 varieties of brownie, but no blondies.  The peanut butter swirl and cheesecake were my first picks based on descriptions, but both looked rather dried out, so I skipped them. 
Pecan.
"A luscious blend of our fudgy chocolate chip brownie with gently toasted buttery pecans."

The pecan brownie was indeed fudgy, fairly rich, and not dried out or stale, which surprised me a bit.  I did enjoy the addition of the chips for an extra chocolate burst, and the nuts for crunch.  For a packaged brownie, it was not bad.
Rocky Road.
"Indulgent black walnuts, rich peanut butter chips and a chocolate swirl on top make this brownie the one to cure any craving."

Next, the fun sounding Rocky Road.

There was a lot of goodness in this one.  Again, a very rich, fudgy chocolate chip base.  I liked the addition of the peanut butter chips and the nuts.  A good mix of textures and flavors.

Again, for a not fresh brownie, it was fairly tasty.
Macaroon.
"Our newest brownie starts with our classic brownie and covers it deep in toasted coconut with a drizzle of chocolate."

This was a very dry brownie.

The base brownie was mild chocolate, fairly dried out.  It had a shredded coconut layer on top of that which was very dry.  Artistically drizzled with chocolate which looked nice, but didn't really add much flavorwise.

Definitely the losing brownie, way too dried out, and with no real flavor.
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