Fortunately, we ascribe to the practice that on Sundays you can take a break from your Lenten fast. Count the days up from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday and subtract the Sundays - it equals 40 days. That's why on Sunday, Sandy and I had peanut butter Oreos not once but twice before lunch, plotted a late night Rita's Italian Ice trip, and in between, when we stopped at Trader Joe's for our weekly grocery haul, we just knew we had to get these Journey to the Center of the Cookie(s) to get our chocolate fix in while we could.
Yeah, we're bad, but these cookies certainly aren't. In fact, they're pretty fantastic despite being such a basic product in the freezer section. All it takes is about 10 minutes in the oven to turn these tundrafied cookie pucks into warm, soft, chewy, gooey, oozey chocolate chip cookies with a lake of milk chocolate in the middle spilling all over the cookie and into your mouth. Oh goodness - so good. If you're familiar with the Nestle Tollhouse recipe for chocolate chip cookies (the best in my opinion), the cookie portion is a dead ringer for them. Sandy and I ate at least the first few bites of ours with a fork (calling to mind a classic Seinfeld episode) since they were so gooey and melty. These would be perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice ream, which we unfortunately didn't have. These cookies are large, soft, delicious, and after a week of being self-deprive of chocolate, simply hit the spot.
"I really can't think of any way these could be any better," Sandy said. I agree. The only negative I can think of are the nutritional facts (avert your eyes! - sorry it's so blurry, that's not intentional), which let's face it, these are certainly not an everyday kinda treat anyways. If you're gonna spoil yourself for a day, you gotta go whole hog. Also, at $2.99 a pair, they're not exactly overpriced, but not cheap either. With a little ice cream, though, just one of these cookies makes a good shareable dessert for two, I'd think. unless you and your dessert buddy are chocaholics. That may become an issue. Perhaps it's because of the lack of sweets from much of the week, but Sandy went ahead and gave these bad boys a perfect five? Me? I'm tempted but objectively, to me, they're not quite pantheon level. That doesn't mean I can't put these journey cookies on the doorstep of greatness.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Journey to the Center of the Cookie: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons