It’s back! The #DSSCBlindTasteTest earlier revealed the city’s best pizza to you, and this time we return to track down the cookie that’ll make your world go round. With a one-point agenda – to find the top of the pops cookie in the capital – we embarked upon an afternoon of cookie tasting, dunking, and sinful sinking of teeth into this best-use-of-dough.
In our quest for the cookie that should always, always be stocked in your pantry, we made the trumpet call for bakers to send in their masterpieces and enter the cookie war. With eight entries in by the dawn of the day of the war, we were ready to lay the battleground. Eight cookies, eight empty bellies, eight differing palates, eight glass of milk, eight blindfolds, and we were open for business. Back in action with the #DSSCBlindTasteTest Edition II, the scoring spreadsheet was mapping parameters such as texture, chocolate meter, crunch, can’t-stop-at-one levels, overall taste, and of course, drool caused in the first 30 seconds. With cookie masks on and scores entered into a secret ballot, all bias & discrimination was evacuated from the DSSC cookie test.
Rules for #DSSCBlindTasteTest:
- None of the gobblers were informed about the eight cookie brands. The deliveries were received by one team member (not on the tasting jury) and taken to a secret corner of the DSSC HQ, to ensure no one acknowledges the packaging / cookie / brand / anything.
- The bakers were given only one brief: give us the best chocolate cookie you have up your sleeve. Dough no bar, size no bar, pairing ingredients no bar.
- Gobblers were asked to restrain all forms of communication with the participants from the time of tasting till the announcement of winner.
Cookie 01 – Addicted Freshly Baked
We were thrilled to receive classic sablés in the mix – it’s a brave & unique choice! The Double Chocolate sablés by Addicted Freshly Baked ranked high on taste, but tripped itself over on the technical composition of this classic recipe. Originating from the Normandy region in France, a sablé is crumbly and sandy, owing to a high proportion of butter in the recipe. Excited to try a delicate shortbread, the jury found it to disintegrate too quick into the bite. Whilst the dose of chocolate charms, the ratio of butter:egg could be a notch lower. Don’t get us wrong, it was a delicious cookie. But was it a delicious sablé? Maybe not, thereby hitting the midpoint on the score-scale.
Tasting Jury’s Score: 5.5/10
Cookie 02 – Sugarama
This beautiful cookie caught everyone’s fancy in an instant. Dark Chocolate Fudge with White Chocolate Chips and Milk Chocolate Drizzle – it looked like a cookie dream come true. As we let the cookie sink into our palates, there was a sudden plot twist – while the overall taste leaned towards feel-good chocolate-y, the flavours and texture mirrored that of a nut cake rather than the expected cookie flavour. The white chocolate chips lent an interesting crunch, yet it became tricky to identify the hero ingredient of flavour that maketh this cookie. While the three-chocolate cookie brought back memories of good-ol’ homemade cakes, we wished for a stronger dose of the quintessential Sugarama magic.
Tasting Jury’s Score: 5.5/10
Cookie 03 – Whisk A Wish
With looks to enchant, this Wholewheat Chocolate Cookie was ‘grammed the most to send to the respective fitness trainers (as if they fell for it). With a gooey centre, this Wholewheat Chocolate cookie was the healthiest on the tasting table. However, the chew-per-bite was more than optimal, making us wish it had stayed in the oven 90 seconds lesser. If you’re looking for a cookie that’s low on guilt and high on crunch, this may be the one for you.
Tasting Jury’s Score: 6/10
Cookie 04 – The Dessert Lab
The Dessert Lab presented the trending flavour combination of the year: chocolate offset with sea salt. This chunky and generously-sized cookie was baked beautifully – gentle crunch on the outside with gooey chocolate chunks on the inside. The feedback for this circle of heaven indicated that it was a tad too sweet, thereby overpowering the cutting contrast of the sea salt. If the sugar could be dialled down half a notch, you have found your new fans in the city!
Tasting Jury’s Score: 6/10
Cookie 05 – Ananya Gupta
Brown-ie points for a cookie (pun after pun, maybe it’s the sugar rush)? Yes sir, the new kid on the bloc, Ananya Gupta, just pulled that off with her Brown Butter Chocolate Chip cookie. One look at this bigger-than-your-palm cookie and our cookie tentacles (hands) couldn’t stop gravitating towards the platter. The refreshing choice of brown butter was paired with less sugar – a facet the panel particularly liked (don’t worry, we never face sugar-fatigue). While there could be more of chocolate, the cookie was fluffy as a cloud to touch and eat, the texture taking away the cake here. Add to that the “perfect amount of gooey” being a common remark, and this cookie got bumped up on the score sheet.
Tasting Jury’s Score: 6.5/10
Cookie 06 – Baked Love by Vatsala
Red wine and chocolate? Hello homie! This experimental concoction on the tasting table, Vatsala’s Red Wine & Chocolate cookie, topped with cherries, made our innovation meter go ka-ching. With a zero-crumble and glacier-smooth construction, the texture only added to that. The wine and cherry flavours shone abundantly, keeping the chocolate muted – but does the latter work for an ace chocolate cookie? Probably not. However, if you’re one to not seek chocolate nirvana with every bite, this may be your cookie of choice.
Tasting Jury’s Score: 7/10
Cookie 07 – The Mellow Yellow Co.
We’re going to start with a full & honest disclosure. We are fans of everything that comes out of Sana Nair’s kitchen. Hence, when her package of cookies walked up the stairs to the DSSC HQ, everyone called dibs on the batch. The Double Chocolate Nutella cookie is decadence defined. The bite starts with a tart crunch, leading to a centre that is softer than muslin, and ending with a gush of chocolate. If you’re the kind who counts every calorie entering the temple you call your body, please note this cookie is not for you (just pass it on to us). It’s rich, it’s a textural-delight, it’s indulgent. The best part? The clever use of salt to offer the perfect dash of contrast to a (good kind of) chocolate overload.
Tasting Jury’s Score: 8/10
Cookie 08 – Bombaykery
What trumps chocolate? Gin, avocado, room-full of puppies, 12 hours of uninterrupted & dreamless sleep….oh wait, we’re really trailing off. Nutella trumps chocolate. Bombaykery pulled out their winning rabbit from their chefs’ hats and sent over a freshly-baked batch of Nutella Sea Salt cookie. Yes, duh, all entries were freshly baked. But this batch was still warm when it hit the HQ, so much so that you could smell that familiar and fuzzy baking aroma. Apologies for the #TMI, but you need to understand what just happened at this tasting. Cookies the size of our face, fatter than a baby’s tushie, fuller-bodied than a vintage Malbec, more lush than the Amazon rainforest. Eyes were gleaming, hands were trembling, drool was dripping as the jury went for this cookie. This cookie was three things a chocolate cookie should do – evoke a memory, create a new one and make you want to fight the others for the last bite. With a generous centre of rich Nutella, interjected by Sea Salt, this cookie was the only one that was eaten 4 ways: as-is, heated, dunked, snatched out of the hands from the person next to you.
Just in case, we haven’t made it clear already. Say hello to the winners of #DSSCBlindTasteTest : Cookie Edition. We strongly urge you to go order a batch of these beauts (we already have, duh) from The Bombaykery.
Tasting Jury’s Score: 9/10
Please note that all opinions are relative and belong to the judging jury. We encourage you to order cookies from all the participants and form your own opinion, because no one should tell you what to eat or not, without you even trying it. More importantly, specially for the sceptics, no inch of this feature is sponsored or bought.
If you’d like to apply for a seat on the #DSSCBlindTasteTest jury, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Image Courtesy: zoella.co.uk