Sunday, August 23, 2015

Great Friends and Good Desserts: The Cookie Dough Cafe Edible Cookie Dough

There's some old adage that infers that true friend are the gardeners of our soul. Time to time, when I am struck by the sheer delight of sincere friendship, I understand what that actually means. When you're out and things are good and it's all fun, it's always impressive to see how many people want to be around you. Through some of the trials in my coming of age, I have learned that I have some of the best and truest friends. 

Facing a new work week, with the weekend winding down, I've always thought Sunday to be something of a bummer. Usually I'm alone with a pile of laundry, avoiding exercise but with excess time on my hands. Idle time leads to too much thinking and I'm certain most people understand a case of the Sundays even if they won't go ahead and admit it.

Starting a few years ago, a couple of times a month, this idle Sunday time began to be filled with two of the most amazing people who share my love for dessert, being mellow, talking about Catfish and really anything else that comes up. They never get on my case about trans fats, saturated fats, processed foods, or anything else nutrition related. It's always positive and I'm always thankful.

Last Sunday was no exception to this. After heading out for ice cream at the Blue Pig, we were sitting outside and I was lamenting about my mistake of only ordering two scoops. My mind raced to a dessert my friend Graig had mentioned last month that he has tried, to be described only as a "gourmet edible cookie dough dessert", which is produced by a company who goes by The Cookie Dough Cafe for resale. As I bring this up Barbara interjects and looks at her husband Graig knowingly.

For some background, I was alerted the month prior of this cookie dough dessert that was highly recommended and located only at this market that had hours that made it largely inaccessible to me. As it turns out, last Sunday they had bought it for me to try and had forgotten to mention it. In the most understanding and non-judgmental way, we left the ice cream scoop shop and went back to their place so I could try this long awaited albeit second dessert.

Before starting in, Barbara had mentioned to me that the best part about this cookie dough was that for your caloric buck, you were able to have a few spoonfuls and feel quiet satisfied; this point will become pertinent after I further explain. They reluctantly posed for the photo below, but this is the kind of happily surprising moment you want to be able to remember the next time you're battling a true case of the Sundays.

To be fair, after a delicious dinner and a trip out for ice cream my tummy was already a bit full. The container of this chocolate chip cookie dough seemed to indicate that this was single serve because there was no way to reseal. In delight, I noted that no nutritional information was available on my packaging and as a woman eating her second dessert of the evening I was smart enough not to ask about it.

Being that I'm not a parent and have no better judgement, it really never even dawned on me the real threat of eating the raw egg in cookie dough. It's just never a thought I've had. That being said, the only readers of this blog are people who know me and you can probably recognize that I wouldn't be able to help myself even if I had known. It's a nice thought to sell the cookie dough with the intent of safe eating. For kids or people with autoimmune diseases, this is probably really a big food safety win.

Texture wise, this dessert was very enjoyable. The dough had the crystal texture that you find in the traditional dough as you encounter the sugar in the bites of dough. Chocolate chips were aplenty too, enhancing the already rich cookie flavor. I'd be curious myself what would happen if you were to try to bake the stuff. Goopy is not a word in English, but I did note in my bites that without the egg, this dough was less of that - not quite adhering together like the traditional dough.

To get back to Barbara's point, as I nibbled onward, the flavor began to intensify and my tummy filled quickly. Next time I would add vanilla ice cream or maybe a brownie to cut the flavor, as this is quite rich and a little does in fact go a long way. Towards the end of the cup, I nearly had to leave some dough behind for no other reason than a lack of space. It's not the type of defeat I like to face.

Graig mentioned there are more flavors of this stuff available and I am going to make it a point to purchase and try them. The flavor was good and the concept is a nice change from your traditional desserts. It's good to know that certain food companies are in business to try to save me from myself.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: Dunkin' Maple Glazed Bacon Donut

Some days you are just lost. You stare into the face of monotony and say, “You win.” You buck up and accept your fate of commuting to life inside of a cubicle and you pause to wonder why nobody told you that this would be how adult life is. Every day is Ground Hog’s day. This realization comes to me about once a week, usually on Tuesdays and then I forget this feeling at some point on Fridays in the afternoon; rinse, repeat.

Sure there are events that happen that add spice and levity to the everyday and these are like meteorites sent down to you through the atmosphere. This is what happened to me on my nearly daily trip to CVS to buy something else that I can’t remember and surely didn’t need. Usually once I’m done making my superfluous purchase, I swing by the local Dunkin’ Donuts for an afternoon iced coffee. The saddest part is that sometimes this is actually the highlight of my day.

On this day, walking into the Dunkin’, I would be hit with said meteorite. Opening the door, I was confronted with a large poster encouraging me to try a maple bacon square donut. How hadn’t I heard of this? I’m in the store daily, I’m a loyalty card member who receives weekly product emails and I spend the majority of my free time researching newly introduced junk foods? Feeling pretty hungry, I was apprehensive that I might just be seeing a water mirage in the desert of starvation, but there would be only one way to find out.

Salivating, I proceeded onward. My normal order was supplemented with this Godsend and the only thing left to do was to eat it. At first glance, I was surprised and happy to see the substantial amount of bacon placed on top. Not only was Dunkin’ generous in distribution, but the bacon itself was quite thick cut. I didn’t have one bite that wasn’t supplemented with the stiff bacon. Obviously, the bacon wasn’t hot so it was a bit on the milder side and surprisingly not at all salty but I would argue that this is exactly what this donut needed.

Even better than the bacon was the donut. It reminded me of a marble frosted donut, perhaps because of the maple component and it was extra heavily glazed. There is a maple frosting drizzled on top of the bacony square which is pleasing both aesthetically and to the palette. This worked in the donut’s flavor as the bacon alone would have been on the drier side. Imagine bacon on top of your buttery syrupy pancakes. This isn’t an exaggeration, the donut itself was amazing. It struck me as quite fresh and I loved that it had square corners. Maybe all in my head, but it was fun to bite the corners of the thing on the first bite.

Overall, I really enjoyed this donut and would eat it again at any opportunity. Maybe my pleasure resulting from eating this has something to do with me not having any expectations as I had no idea that Dunkin’ was even coming out with this? Either way, it took my weekday from good enough to great.

The moral of the story is to look tedium in the face and just know that you may walk straight into a bacon maple donut meteorite so don’t let daily life get you too glum.