Grocery Guide

Is Houston's Next Great Chocolate Chip Cookie At H-E-B?

The short answer: I think so.

I've spent a lot of time researching Houston's chocolate chip cookies, especially, my personal favorite, the chewy variety. Tiny Boxwood's vends some damn good chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven and Zoe's Kitchen , believe it or not, sells some incredible buttery, moist over-sized chocolate chip cookies in individual packages.

Generally I don't look large chain grocery stores for exceptional chocolate chip cookies. Not to say that these establishments aren't capable of producing terrific baked goods, but on the chocolate chip cookie front, the majority offer versions that are bland, dry, and have a low chip-to-batter ratio.

Thus when I was shopping at H-E-B a few days ago, I did not expect to get my chocolate chip cookie fix in the bakery department. In fact, I was trying to cajole myself into buying some brown sugar and chocolate chunks so that I could make my own cookies. Then a basket of little overstuffed bags near the kaiser rolls caught my eye.

Given the weight of each tightly wrapped bag, I assumed there were two or even three cookies inside. No, just one: HEB's "Sensational Belgian Chocolate Chip Cookie." A dense mound of dough baked golden brown, the cookie was certainly impressive in girth and appearance. I had doubts, however, about its texture, for the cookie seemed too thick to be moist and chewy. And the taste, perhaps, marred by the addition of walnuts.

The first bite was not sensational. Nor was the next. The cookie boasted great flavors, thanks to some quality chocolate, salted butter, and ample brown sugar, but as I suspected, was a bit dry. I put it back in my cookie jar (yes, I actually have one all to myself at home), where it rested atop an abandoned English muffin.

Then something magical happened.The next day I found the cookie soft and supple and the muffin sad and desiccated. I took another bite and was rewarded with a chewy, cakey luxurious mouthful of chocolate chip goodness. Hurrah for vampiric cookie!

Now, this was a sensational cookie. So, in conclusion to this long answer to my original question, I say, "Yes. But the cookie needs a little help from a friend. A bread friend who will give up his moisture to revive the cookie." The sweetest sacrifice of all.

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Joanna O'Leary