What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more. In the immortal words of Haddaway comes a difficult question. Love, for me, comes in the forms of decadent, simplistic expression. Give me sentiment dripping with subtleties and exoticism all you want, but you’ll claim my heart with something simple. Do it and do it right is how I like my foods to be done, and in my quest for perfection, I came across this mix from Vosges. I’m pretty picky when it comes to cookies- I was practically weaned on my mother’s soft chocolate chippers, so needless to say, I was very curious. At a little under twenty dollars, it’s not your casual impulse buy for making cookies with friends. So how would an $18 mix stand up?
These chocolate chip cookies, held up by a metal humanoid fork, are supposedly some of the best, according to Vosges and NOTCOT, with high quality ingredients, Vosges’ own dark chocolate chips, and a special blend of flavors to make the ultimate cookie experience in a variety of sizes and shapes.The bulk of the negativity in other reviews of Vosges products was the difficulty in preparation for a “box” mix. This wasn’t so much the case here- I didn’t have to break out the measuring spoons or cups, but I did have to wash a few pots and pans as well as an electric mixer. While this doesn’t qualify as obscenely arduous, I was hoping it would result in a superior product. My own main complaint was having to melt two sticks of butter for one batch of cookies. How decadent is too decadent? And is it two sticks of butter’s worth?
After mixing the batter, I could sense the anxiety creeping upon me. The chocolate chips, cutely illustrated as tiny morsels in the instructions, are actually chocolate slabs, huge chunks of chocolate commonly shaped that way in couverture, or melting chocolate. Despite the heavy handed mixing that later ensued, I was looking forward to the creation stage. The cookie instructions offered me two options for constructing my confections- one that included one tablespoon sized balls, and the other a mammoth four tablespoons smushed together.Unfortunately, both sets of instructions yielded similar results. Yes, Virginia, there is such a concept as “too much of a good thing.” You might be saying to yourself, “Slanderous lies! I could eat an entire pizza and feel happy. I could have a Tristan Taormino reading marathon in low light with tiny print and be happy to die of a sex-related migrane. I could masturbate my brains out and have a heart attack and I’d DIE HAPPY.” In actuality, none of this is true. What Vosges wanted us to interpret as “crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle” in a zen-like balance of textures was brittle on the outside and dense on the inside with an utter overload of chocolate.
The cookies themselves were hard to shape as they forced us to work around the chocolate chips, blocky obstructions in an otherwise smooth dough, which later took the form of one of three categories: melted puddles inside the cookie, molten oceans on top of the cookie, or burnt crisps on the bottom of the cookie. No matter how few chips we used, there was always a poor ratio of chocolate to dough. The flavor was inconsistent, each bite taking the form of either an overly buttery, bland dough or a rush of sugary dark chocolate, lava thick (and hot!) on the tongue. The “juxtaposition of gooey chocolate in a moist interior” proved to be overkill in its final product. Even with sea salt on some of the cookies, it did little to help the singular sensation of chocolate domination.Always optimists, we decided to give the second application, the Cookiezilla, a go before we completely denounced them. Following the instructions to the letter, we made four balls of cookies and stacked them high……Only to smush them down into a misshapen blob of dough. Frankencookie may be more appropriate. Following the same directions, I incubated my cookie, wondering if my first approach was too conservative. Once again, I was proven correct, though. From the burnt remnants of chocolate chip on the bottom to the grainily undercooked center (this coming from someone who loves undercooked baked goods) it was starting to taste more and more like a cookie I’d tried to microwave rather one I’d lavished love and attention on as though it were a child.While I don’t hate these cookies, I just can’t justifiably give them a high rating based on quality of ingredients alone. You might like the pools of chocolate and crispiness, but it just didn’t induce an orgasmic reaction on our end. Cooking is part care and part chemistry, and while the care is clearly present in all aspects of this mix, the science is off and the ratios really need to be tinkered with. This was far from the perfect cookie and even far from being a cookie I wanted to eat more of, and I’m never one to turn down delicious baked goods. With so many easier and less expensive homemade cookie remedies on the internet, there’s no reason to splurge on these unless you’re easy to please and have a large disposable income.