We Tried Trader Joe's Latest Internet Sensation: The Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you, like us, shared more than a few anti-January sentiments, then you're probably also pretty thrilled that the month filled with dark days (74, to be exact) and bomb cyclones (we still can't feel our toes) came to a close. Seemingly to celebrate January's demise alongside us, Trader Joe's launched a new product that immediately lifted the internet's spirits: a deep dish chocolate chip cookie. Based on an Instagram posted by the grocery chain, the product appeared to be a frozen, pre-baked, restaurant-style skillet cookie — intended to be reheated within minutes for a fast fresh-baked feel. (No oven necessary.) The most enticing part of all? The new dessert is meant to serve not one, but ten people. And all for $3.99.
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When the news broke, we were elated to say the least. The whimsy alone was enough to warm up our cold souls; it was like a beloved deep dish pizza in sweet, chocolatey form. And with TJ's description of the product as a "dessert revelation" and a pledge for it to be "exactly as delicious as you hope and pray it will," we were sold before even setting foot in a store and tasting it ourselves. But taste it we did — and our dessert dreams were shattered faster than a scoop of ice cream melts on a hot skillet cookie.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
At First Look
First, let's define deep dish — because after pulling the cookie out of the suspiciously small packaging, its container definitely looked on the shallower side. We were anticipating a large pie-sized box, and instead were met with what looked like an oversized chocolate chip cookie on a plastic plate with slightly raised edges. Nevertheless, we pushed on to microwaving it with hopes that one warm bite would clear up any confusion.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Microwave Issues
We popped it into the microwave according to the package's instructions. Six minutes seemed like a long time to microwave an already-baked cookie (even though it was frozen), but we forged ahead, anyway. For a moment our fears were assuaged: a warming fresh-baked aroma filled the air and the hot cookie slices came cleanly out of the packaging. That's when I took my first bite. Have you ever microwaved a bagel? A piece of pizza? Or even just a cookie, for that matter? If you haven't, this is probably a reminder to avoid doing that at all costs. Reheating already baked goods in the microwave results in a texture that can only be described as warm rubber for the first few minutes, until it becomes extremely hard in texture. Seriously, about 10 minutes later, I wasn't able to bite into a slice anymore because the pieces had become rock solid.
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In terms of flavor, it generally tasted like a normal chocolate chip cookie, but there were definitely some notes of burnt plastic involved. Maybe the the deep-dish cookie would have been better cooked and served via the alternative conventional oven method instructions? But part of the genius behind this frozen product was that it could be easily and quickly heated up via microwave.
The Final Verdict
Trader Joe's no doubt gets an A+ for its whimsical concept, but the execution needs work. We're always grateful when the supermarket makes some of our favorite desserts available in easy-to-execute frozen packages, but in this case it probably would have made more sense to buy a log of cookie dough and take the time to bake it. And above all, a sharable oversized cookie should be a whole lot bigger.

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