Grocery Guide

Pillsbury Special Edition "MegaChip" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Damn you, Doughboy. You pop that hip and giggle and pose with giant cookie, and suddenly I'm $3.39 poorer. I didn't even notice until I was at the checkout that you were proffering "special edition" baked goods, which in my mind is dangerously close to that siren call phrase, "limited edition."

While most packages of break-and-bake cookie dough are divided into 24 squares, the MegaChip inflates the cookie's overall size in addition to its component parts, and thus provides only 12 pre-cut cookies. But to my gluttonous eyes, even these "mega-size" cookies seemed "normal," which gives you some indication of the degree to which the American conception of portion size is distorted.

The package indicated ten to 13 minutes in the oven, but the vagaries of kitchen appliances have taught me to use the sight and touch method when it comes to cookies. That is to say, I wait to remove them until I see they're golden brown on the edges and there's some spring when I touch the middle of cookie. The dough is usually still partially raw, but that's the point. The cookie will bake a bit more on the sheet even after it's removed from the oven, but not all the way, so that it remains chewy.

My technique sort of worked with the Pillsbury MegaChip. They were indeed chewy but rather deflated, like chocolate chip pancakes. I was further dismayed to find that Pillsbury had diminished the frequency of chips in favor of their increased size. The MegaChip cookies consisted of bites of sugary vanilla dough interspersed with the occasional large chunk of chocolate. A pleasant, but ultimately uneven, consumption experience. I would have preferred more chips regularly distributed.

The fix for this dough is simple: Double the number of "mega chips," and you'll have a cocoa explosion of a cookie. But I suspect Pillsbury isn't rushing to perfect the ratio, as that might bump the price over $4, and that's a heck of a lot to pay for refrigerated dough.

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Joanna O'Leary