Panera, Insomnia top list of tastiest cookie in Valley

There’s nothing quite like the perfect chocolate chip cookie: an unparalleled experience of chewy, chocolatey bliss. However, finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie takes a whole lot of trial and error. I decided to take a cookie tour of Cedar Falls and find the best viable store-bought cookie option. I visited four different places: Insomnia Cookies, Panera, Caribou Coffee and Starbucks. After trying the four different chocolate chip cookies, I can really tell how wide the range of baked goods is in Cedar Falls. Panera has definitely perfected a recipe that you can’t go wrong with, but if you’re looking for delivery with a wide range of flavors, Insomnia is the way to go. Overall, I would just steer clear of Starbucks and Caribou, I can really tell that they put more effort into their coffee than their baked goods. Next time you’re craving that perfect chocolate chip cookie, drive on over to Panera or Insomnia for a cookie that you won’t regret splurging on. 

1. Panera

When I was handed the cookie, it wasn’t warm and gooey like I was hoping, but still managed to come through with strong flavors. The sweetness of the chocolate is a perfect balance to the saltiness of the cookie. I also really loved how they used milk chocolate chips rather than semi-sweet. It really brought out the vanilla in the dough, adding an extra hint of sweetness. Another thing that I liked about this cookie was how chewy it was. That perfect texture is really hard to achieve, and I was very impressed with how it turned out.

2. Insomnia Cookies

Insomnia Cookies is known for their late night delivery, but I wanted to test to see if they’ve perfected the most basic cookie of all. The cookie was warm and perfectly gooey on the inside, with a slightly chewier outside. While it was a perfectly fine, normal cookie, I really had higher expectations. It was a little bit bland and didn’t really provide a balance of saltiness and sweetness like I was hoping. Because Insomnia’s main selling point is their cookies, I really feel like they should’ve stepped their most simple cookie up a notch. Overall, it was OK, but it was not something I would go out of my way to buy. 

3. Starbucks

The one thing I really like about Starbucks is how they give you the option to have the cookie warmed up. This added a very much needed element of warmth to the cookie itself. What really brought the cookie down was the texture. Instead of gooey and chewy on the inside, I was met with a dry cookie that made me want to grab a glass of water. It really needed something to give it more moisture. I did like the flavor and could tell that they used more brown sugar due to the richer taste. In the end, it’s not the worst cookie in the world, but it’s not something I’ll be wanting to remember. 

4. Caribou Coffee

I didn’t go into Caribou Coffee with the highest expectations, but any hopes I had were instantly shattered when I was handed this small, pathetic excuse for a chocolate chip cookie. Now, granted, it was technically an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie but did not change the fact that it was just not good. For some reason, I got the flavor of maple syrup, which just did not go well with the bitter chocolate chips. The cookie itself was very cold and hard, with absolutely no hint of moisture on the inside. I was hoping to find some redeeming quality, but, honestly, I would not waste a penny on this cookie. 

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