While we can all agree that baked from scratch is best, sometimes you just don’t have the time or patience. And that’s where store-bought cookie dough steps into the picture.
I grabbed a mix of old classics (Toll House, Pillsbury), new favorites (Trader Joe’s), plus a few wild cards (Cappello’s and Eat Pastry, both of which are gluten-free and vegan.) All were break-and-bake, as opposed to dry mixes.
Prebake thoughts: The Trader Joe’s cookies were much darker in color than the rest of the doughs. The packaging calls them chunky chocolate chip cookies, and indeed they were filled with plentiful chunks. At $3.49 for 16 cookies, these were the best bargain of all the cookies I tested.
Prebake thoughts: Cappello’s is best known for their frozen, grain-free pizzas, but lately, I’ve been seeing this cookie dough everywhere. It’s made with almond flour so it’s gluten-free, and it happens to be vegan as well. It has the most compact texture of all the cookies I tried. When you slice the dough, it stays together in perfect form.
Prebake thoughts: My mother is an amazing cook, but she doesn’t do much baking. As a result, I basically grew up on Toll House chocolate chip cookies. Once sliced, the Toll House dough is a bit moist and sticky. It has lots of noticeable chocolate chips. And despite the fact I’ve been told not to eat cookie dough raw, I have to say…this is some quality stuff.
Prebake thoughts: Visually, Pillsbury looks like the quintessential, perfect dough. It slices cleanly, keeps its form, it’s light in color, and it’s packed generously with chocolate chunks. Luckily for me, this dough even says it’s safe to eat raw, so don’t mind if I do. (Personally, I prefer the Toll House raw dough, but this was a close second.)
Prebake thoughts: I’m going to be honest. I was skeptical about these from the get-go. The EatPastry dough is both gluten-free and vegan, so I knew it was probably going to be an uphill climb for it to compete against the classics. It comes in a tub, so you have to scoop the dough into little balls — and it’s kind of tricky because the dough easily falls apart.
I placed the cookie dough slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and popped it into the oven.
Don’t worry, we didn’t give Hudson any chocolate chips, but he did get to try a little nibble of each cookie because he’s a very good boy.
Final thoughts: While not quite as satisfying as a homemade cookie, the Toll House chocolate chip cookie is the next best thing. Personally, I’m team chewy over crispy, and this Tollhouse cookie is chewy and moist on the inside. There’s plenty of cookie to sink your teeth into and it’s the perfect cookie-to-chocolate ratio. There’s enough chocolate that you know it’s there, but it doesn’t overpower.
Final thoughts: If you like a crispy chocolate chip cookie, you’ll probably prefer the Pillsbury version. Like the Tollhouse, the Pillsbury cookie is generously stuffed with chocolate but it’s still pretty balanced. The cookie is crispy and thin, but it definitely melts in your mouth. Overall, it’s a very solid cookie.
Final thoughts: As a Trader Joe’s fanatic, I was kind of hoping that Trader Joe’s cookie would be the winner. But unfortunately it fell short. I’d say it tied for second with the Pillsbury version, but for a chewy cookie lover like me, the texture just doesn’t compare to the Tollhouse. That being said, the Trader Joe’s cookie dough was by far the most chocolaty. So if that’s the criteria by which you judge a cookie, this one might just be your favorite. It was the most decadent of the cookies I tried because there was lots of gooey chocolate in every single bite.
Final thoughts: The Cappello’s cookie was an interesting specimen, and it actually pleasantly surprised me. Unlike the EatPastry cookie, which lacked flavor and texture, the Cappello’s cookie was pretty tasty. In terms of flavor, it was the least sweet of all the cookies. I would describe it as a hybrid between a shortbread cookie and a chocolate chip cookie, with a hint of buttery savoriness. It was also the thickest, most dense of the cookies. Ultimately, though, the Toll House and Pillsbury taste much more “homemade.” But if you’re gluten-free or vegan, keep Cappello’s on your radar.
Final thoughts: Have you ever had a really bad cookie that you couldn’t even eat? Of course not. The EatPastry cookie was my least favorite of the cookies I tried, but if I were stuck on a desert island and EatPastry was my only chocolate chip option, yeah…I’d happily take it. My biggest qualm with the EatPastry cookie was the texture. It was pretty dry and it easily crumbled when I picked it up to take a bite. If you’re craving chocolate chip cookies and this is the only dough left on your grocery store shelves, by all means, go for it.
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