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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 6
July 14, 2014

Magic Middles/Mini Middles
Stella D'Oro Breakfast Treats
McVitties Digestives, dark/plain chocolate
LU Petit Ecolier, milk chocolate
Girl Scout Thin Mints
President's Choice Reverse Decadent White Chocolate Chip
Little Debbie Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Oreos, Golden
Archway Dutch Cocoa
Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip
Ikea Pepparkakor
Bahlsen Waffeletten
Newtons, blueberry
Walker's Shortbread
Trader Joe's Ginger Thins
Pepperidge Farm Nantucket Soft-Baked
Graham Crackers, chocolate-covered
Stella D'Oro Margherites
Nutter Butters
Pepperidge Farm Shortbread Chessmen

No surprises in our final first-round flight, I don't imagine: Thin Mints, Golden Oreos, Nutters, and Chessmen should proceed to the next round without incident, joined most likely by Keebler Soft Batches or perhaps Walker's.

As usual, though, my grandparently taste in sweets means my vote diverges from what I see as our winners. Thin Mints, sure -- but after that, it's all about Archway's lovely, cakey Dutch Cocoas; the Stella D'Oro Margherites, which go stale seconds after you crack the package but go perfectly with afternoon coffee; the Bloob Noots, which should be vile but are actually the most "realistic" product in the Newton line in this commentator's opinion; and old reliable Nutter Butters.

A part of me hopes that my fellow olds from the tri-state area rally around the Breakfast Treats strictly for reasons of ad nostalgia -- and that classic slurry Noo Yawk enunciation that turned the cookies into "breckfustreetssh." Love it. The treats themselves are almost inedible sans a hot dunking wingman but everyone else who remembers "George, don't talk. Eat." as a window into a certain regional '70s marriage might vote for them anyway.

Or for Chessmen, which my brother and I once tried to play actual chess with using, like, five bags. I wouldn't get mad at that. -- Sarah D. Bunting


As torn up as I have been by so many of the others, I really don't have a dog in this flight. Well, except for McVitties Plain Chocolate Digestives, which I do love. Of course, Walker's are awfully nice, too, and they always remind me of the time Dr. Mathra and I walked into a woolen goods gift shop in Scotland and were offered whisky by a little old lady in a lace blouse and plaid skirt at 9 o'clock in the morning. "Have a little nip," she said, "to take the chill off." It was a cold foggy morning. After that little sample shot of Highland whisky, we landed on a tray of shortbread samples and then went back for another sample shot. The Scottish are good good people.

Oh, but this is where I finally get to express my unpopular opinion that soft-baked/soft-batch/half-baked cookies are incredibly gross and wrong. I like my cookies fully-baked, crisp, and hard (yes, yes: "that's what she said!"). Getting soft-baked to remain soft-baked at shelf-stable temperatures weirds me out and ultimately puts me in mind of something permanently residing in an embryonic or larva state of arrested development. Essentially, soft-baked cookies are that writhing, red, Voldemort-y thing sliming around at the base of the chair in King's Cross Heaven.

I've never had them, but Magic Middles/Mini Middles remind me unpleasantly of that gum that oozed when you bit into it; Tidal Wave was one brand and Freshen Up was the other.

Predictions: clearly Thin Mints are taking this one, and I have a feeling that one or both soft-batch/soft-baked entrants might also go forward. I honestly don't know how to call the rest -- maybe Golden Oreos? Maybe Walkers? --Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic


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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic