(More) Natural Packaged Cookies?

One of my many Lent resolutions was eat fewer processed baked goods, e.g., those giant frosted cookies from Randall's. Valero cupcakes are lighter on the wallet and really do hit the spot sometimes, but my body could use the break from HFCS and artificial colors.

Living in close proximity to a number of terrific bakeries has made it fairly easy for me to ignore the siren's call of processed goodies; however, one recent afternoon at the grocery store I was feeling lazy and cheap and unwilling to make a separate trip to Whole Foods.

So I compromised and bought a package of "Simply...Chocolate Chip Cookies," Pillsbury's refrigerated cookie dough that contains only "wholesome" ingredients, i.e., no trans fat, corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors, etc. Now, I'm not such a fool as to believe this product is completely "wholesome," but it's better than your average break-and-bake cookies. At least, that's what I told myself at the time.

The dough came divided into 12 wedges, which I combined to make six larger cookies. I baked them according to the instructions and opened the oven to find...pancakes.

Note, though, that my ancient, erratic oven, not Pillsbury, is to blame for the deflated, albeit decent, cookies. Chewy and fairly moist, the "Simply..." cookies had a strong taste of vanilla and ample amounts of chips. They also were less greasy and salty than the "regular" Pillsbury break-and-bake cookies. I ate three (technically, six cookies) and am contemplating using the rest to make giant ice cream sandwiches. I will just have to remember to use Häagen-Daz "all-natural" five-ingredient ice cream.

P.S. That ellipsis in "Simply..." is part of the registered trademark, so try the dough yourself and let me know in the comments what word you think was intentionally omitted.

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Joanna O'Leary