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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Trader Joe's Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie


In addition to fraternity hazing deaths, sports victory-inspired riots, and a few other things too heinous to even mention on this blog, my alma mater, Penn State, was well-known at least regionally, if not internationally, for a number of less controversial things—at least while I attended. There was the famous Berkey Creamery, mentioned previously several times on this blog. There was THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in existence. And then there were colorful—although some might use the term "legendary"—long-time residents like Mike the MailmanZam Man the zamboni driver, and Gary the Willard Preacher

And in between painful morning gen ed classes and those mandatory phys ed credits that manifested themselves in the form of underwater basket weaving or, in my case, squash, we'd duck in to the cafeteria at West Halls for some grub. Everybody knew they had the best food of any of the half-dozen or so dining commons on campus, and it was close to many of the larger classroom buildings. The food was always warm and fresh and somehow tasted less "institutional" than the other cafeterias. You'd meet your friends outside Waring Commons and then head in out of the cold for an hour or so to recover your strength and inhale a chicken cosmo or two...and it was all building up to one grand moment:  when the lunch ladies put a tray of piping hot, fresh-baked, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies out on the dessert window.


Eighty percent of the room would hop out of their seats and rush to claim their cookies. In most cases, students would have prepared a glass of milk beforehand to have on stand-by. In other cases, they'd rush to the soft-serve machine to top their cookies with some vanilla ice cream. For a few minutes, we'd all commune in a moment of pure bliss greater than that following a win at Beaver Stadium, an aced mid-term, or finding out that your favorite band just booked a show at The Crowbar. Chocolate Chip Cookie Nirvana.

This offering from Trader Joe's is the closest thing to that particular brand of ecstasy since those days at Dear Old State. It's got the perfect amount of smooth chocolate chips and soft, chewy sweet cookie goodness. Like the West Halls cookies, this one is best served fresh out of the oven, accompanied by generous quantities of milk and/or vanilla ice cream. The "deep dish" breading is much thicker than any traditional chocolate chip cookie I've ever had, but that's just another reason this confection rocks. The box includes microwave directions...but I'm going to go out on a limb and tell you to just go ahead and fire up the oven for this one.


It comes with an oven-safe tray, and it's very easy to heat, slice, and prepare. Despite its extreme softness, the cookie still maintained enough structural integrity that I was able to pull most of the slices out fully intact. The product melts in your mouth, goes down nice and easy, and would pass for restaurant-quality with flying colors.

The cookie sells for $3.99—a fair price, considering you're paying for quality ingredients and unadulterated scrumptiousness...but good luck getting 10 servings out of it. It's probably more like four.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

34 comments:

  1. That sound so good! Love warm gooey chocolate chip cookies. Definitely buying this!��Thanks for the review!��

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  2. I literally bought this yesterday and told my mother it was 4 servings, not 10! and then i looked at the saturated fat. I'm just going to pretend percents are out of 500 now.

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  3. This reminds me a lot of the Papa John's cookie dessert.

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    1. Sadly, we don't live within the delivery radius of a Papa John's now, so I haven't had them in quite a while. Have to check that out...

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  4. I somehow don't remember the West Halls cookies even though I lived there freshman year AND even worked at the Commons there for a few months. The cookies at my work though? My kids will threaten to set me on fire if I try to eat theirs when they come in for a lunch visit, lol.

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    1. Whaaat? Those cookies are famous, dude.

      http://news.psu.edu/story/356236/2015/05/05/campus-life/penn-state-debuts-look-west-halls-beloved-cookie

      https://www.pinterest.se/pin/197314027402174977/

      And they have their own facebook fan page:

      https://www.facebook.com/Penn-State-West-Halls-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-279482271639/

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    2. Yet another regret from the college years. Fannnnntastic :(

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    3. 1. Send one of your girls to PSU
      2. Show up for Parents Weekend
      3. Eat West Halls Cookies

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  5. Gettysburg College had the same thing. The dining hall was lovingly called Servo and the Servo cookies were legendary -- especially when hot.

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  6. We have a restaurant out here in California called BJ's and they do a dessert that they call a pizookie. They bake it in a cast iron skillet and it's about a days worth of calories but it's so gooey and delicous!

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    1. Yes I lived in Cali for 7 years and I saw BJ's everywhere and I heard people talk about pizookies, but I never had one! Maybe on my next visit...

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  7. My store had this at the tasting counter!! I’m sure they set a new record for customers taking multiple samples that day...and yeah, crazy amazing delicious!! Thankfully it has enough dairy I can’t have more than a bite or two so I didn’t purchase it but there’s no way that contains ten servings. Definitely more like four as long as there’s some ice cream or whipped cream involved.
    Ttrockwood

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    1. Exactly!

      So we'll cross our fingers for a dairy-free version next year..?

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    2. My Mom took one look at the picture "the problem is that with one big cookie you just want to eat all of it." That's the truth lol!
      Hope they do come out with a Dairy and gluten free variety--my mom has celiac and my brother is dairy free.

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    3. If they came out with a vegan or gluten free version that tasted nearly as good there would be legit riots in the aisle like that fiasco in france when the nutella was on clearance.
      And yes i would totally get there at 3am to be first in line to stockpile some!!
      Ttrockwood

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    4. wait, so is the issue dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, or just a collection of trendy "healthy" labels? *confused*

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    5. For me it would be the dairy free/gluten free issue because of allergies in my family...for most it would be the "trendy health label" as most automatically assume df/gf foods are healthier--they aren't.

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  8. I never lived on campus during my PSU days, but I had friends who would share those cookies with me :) A few of those and some grilled stickies and I could study all night - no caffeine required lol! Oh, how I miss the plethora of delicious sweet treats we had at our disposal. FTG!

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    1. Totally! Ye Olde Diner Grilled Stickies! Another State College legend.

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  9. I desperately want to try this! Despite having lots of sugar...This really does not have bad ingredients, it is fairly natural and doesn't even contain canola oil which is a plus. Wonder if Trader Joe's would come up with a chickpea deep dish cookie...🤔

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    1. I made a recipe for chickpea cookie dough. Not to bake, just to eat raw and it is surprisingly good!

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    2. Hey, looks like this was the recipe I referred to if anyone's interested. I noted that it's much better raw - tastes like the real thing. Baking makes it weird.

      http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2013/04/flourless-chocolate-chip-chickpea-blondies-with-sea-salt-vegan-gluten-free-healthy/

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  10. This is excellent idea for a swap for birthday cake! Just slap some chocolate drizzle and put candles on it. I can see so many different ways it can topped off

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  11. I wonder if it could be sliced and baked one serving at a time? I know I would have a hard time restraining myself from eating a whole lot of it. My "that's enough" with desserts isn't very good!

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    1. We didn't eat ours in one sitting. We put the uneaten part in the fridge and then back in the oven a second time, but it was significantly drier after heating again.

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  12. Does TJs deliver? I would like this to just show up at my house while I continue lying on the couch.

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  13. Many people in NYC pay more than this for a single donut or muffin of sometimes-questionable quality, so this is also a great deal. I would make 2 of them and sandwich them around a 2" thick layer of ice cream. Would? I will!

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  14. oh man do i wish i never heard about this

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  15. Penn Stater here, too! lol I ran out and purchased one of these cookies as soon as I saw it on the TJ's instagram feed. Even though I'm currently doing keto, I'm worried that they'll stop selling it before I'm back to eating normally. It currently lives in my freezer.

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  16. With using this as a potential birthday cake I had written on a different blog that you should buy 2. In between the two baked cookies put some chocolate mousse and then top the whole cookie-cake with chocolate ganache and some chocolate curls. Then throw some candles on it. Happy Birthday to me! Sugar coma city but oh so worth it.

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  17. Man I knew I loved this blog for a reason.

    I never lived in west halls but freshman year my brothers best friend always made me treat him to west halls or i made a stop by with some lion cash after classes

    Man those were the days.

    Lets Go State !

    Class of 2012

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