My third Toll House cookie review was originally going to be the Pumpkin Spice cookies, with white chocolate chips and pumpkin puree. But…I just can’t. I cannot physically consume anything else that is spiced of the pumpkin variety. It would automatically get a 0 out of 10.
I gave those cookies away to a friend instead. (She said they were “okay.” Boom. There’s your review.) In return, she gave me one of her extra baking trays, which is great since I threw mine away after my last cookie review went slightly awry. It also meant that I could now review a cookie that I was actually SUPER excited about: Nestle Toll House COOKIE OF THE YEAR (Salted Caramel)!
Though I am confused as to how a brand-new cookie has earned this impressive title, I’m totally on board. Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year (Salted Caramel) is labeled as “chocolate cookie dough with semi-sweet morsels, caramel, and salt.” Salted caramel is a flavor combination that I will never get sick of. It’s too perfect not to love. I opened up the package and the deep cocoa smell hit me, very similar to the Toll House Hot Cocoa cookies. There was an exciting blob of caramel oozing out from the middle. No visible salt on top, which makes me nervous, but hopefully it’s already incorporated into the filling.
Quick side note before we move on: check out these bizarre instructions.
I’ve baked a fair amount of cookies in my life, both homemade and store-bought, and I have never seen such a specific baking time in my life. What do you think was the thought process here? What cookie scientist determined this precise time, and what cookie lawyer lobbied against rounding down to 11 minutes or up to 12 minutes? This attention to detail intrigued me, and since no normal oven timer operates in half minutes, I had to ask Siri to do it for me. She replied, “Done!”, but I could tell from the tone of her voice that she really meant, “Why can’t you just round up or down, jackass?”
Once I took these cookies out of the oven, I had a better idea about why the baking time was so obnoxious. These cookies are reeeeally thin. Almost all of them broke apart as I transferred them to a cooling rack. The caramel is pretty much the only binding agent here, and I’m assuming that any extra baking time could make that caramel turn to cement if you’re not careful.
The taste is just fine. The chocolate cookie is arguably identical to the base used in Hot Cocoa, but the salted caramel takes it to another level. The salt definitely comes through here, but almost a little too strongly. There isn’t a lot of caramel flavor because the chocolate is really rich and intense, so the overall experience tastes like 70% chocolate, 20% salt, and maybe 5% caramel-y. I mostly enjoyed it, but it’s not as well-executed as I’d hoped. The thinness of the cookie is a real bummer, too. It’s just not very fun to eat, which might sound silly, but when a couple of these are your whole dessert for the night then you kind of want the whole experience to feel worth it.
I’m a little torn on where the Nestle Toll House Cookie of the Year (Salted Caramel) cookies land in the overall Toll House Ultimate Cookie Rankings that I just made up. Harvest Apple was far and away the winner for me, and if you’re going to pick up any of these break-and-bakes, definitely go with that one. But these are so similar to Hot Cocoa that they might deserve an identical rating. I mean, Hot Cocoa destroyed my baking tray, but Cookie of the Year had such a pretentious baking time. I think I also want to knock them down a peg for their arrogant name. After all, everyone knows the real Cookie of the Year is Trader Joe’s Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips.
Siri’s Passive-Aggressive Bitchiness Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Those Trader Joe’s Chips Rating: 9 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10