Gingerbread! One of the lone holiday flavors with any staying power in junk food land.
Here’s a brief history of gingerbread cookies: Santa eats them. That’s all you need to know.
Year after year we get spoiled with products like Gingerbread Pop Tarts and Gingerbread Oreos, and tortured with products like Gingerbread Peeps. But how often do you stop and take the time to enjoy a regular ole’ gingerbread cookie?
Take my mother, for instance. Do you know how often she eats gingerbread cookies? Never! And I don’t mean just currently. My mother has never (not once) eaten a gingerbread cookie in her entire life! How is that even possible?
Upon learning this news, I headed to the nearest Trader Joe’s, determined to end this dry spell with authority.
I conducted a brief interview with my Mom before serving her three different variety’s of Trader Joe’s gingerbread cookies.
Junk Banter: Hey Ma, what the hell is wrong with you?
Mom: Excuse me?
Junk Banter: How have you NEVER eaten a gingerbread cookie?
Mom: I don’t know. My Mom never bought them for me.
Junk Banter: What a sad story.
I began with the most traditional style: Trader Joe’s Mini Gingerbread Men Cookies from the bakery department. These cookies feature no bells or whistle – just a little smiley face made of white icing and some cute red buttons.
Here’s what my Mom had to say: “Very flavorful. Tastes like ginger. Kind of tastes like you went to the dentist. Like novacaine, but I like it.”
Here’s what I thought: Like the DENTIST?! These cookies are a little dull on the spices. They have a dense chew, and the cookie is floury and biscuity. Not the best gingerbread cookie I’ve ever had. They’re okay.
Mom’s Rating: 6 out of 10
My Rating: 6 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
Next, we moved onto the Trader Joe’s Mini Gingerbread Men Cookies that are laced with a layer of white fudge icing – the ones sold in boxes like dog treats.
Here’s what my Mom had to say: “Mmm! I like these a lot. Not overpowering.“
Here’s what I thought: Mom’s reviews are short on detail. These ones have a pleasant crunch that I prefer, and a sharp gingerbread spice that builds rapidly. The ginger is aggressive, but tempered well by the sweet white icing. There’s something of a shortbread element to the cookie itself. Enjoyable.
Mom’s Rating: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 7 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Finally, we close with something a little more fancy: Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cookie Sticks also from the bakery section. These are studded with sprinkled sugar because calories are just the best.
Here’s what my Mom had to say: “Soft and gingerbready. These would be good with coffee. What a mess, you can’t walk around with these.”
Here’s what I thought: My mom spent the next 40 seconds arranging the crumbs into a neat little piles. I think this affected her review because these cookies are phenomenal. They’re the chewiest and sweetest of the bunch; the raised sugar makes all of the flavors shine bright. Agree with Mom that they would be great with morning coffee.
Mom’s Rating: 7 out of 10
My Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
Welp, there you have it. My Mom is now a better person having finally tried gingerbread cookies. And while I think the Gingerbread Cookie Sticks are best, she liked the Iced Mini Gingerbread Men the most. Moms always know best, so I guess the dog treat ones are the winner.
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