We used to love to watch Sesame Street, especially when Cookie Monster would sing “C is for Cookie,” followed by raucous cookie consumption complete with munching noises and flying crumbs. At the time we agreed with Cookie Monster: C was for Cookie, and if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for us.
Times change. Now we want more than a telegenic cookie. We want one that tastes great, is made with top ingredients, and isn’t loaded with the preservatives and artificial flavors we accepted in our youth. In Brent & Sam’s, we have found that cookie—in a number of delicious, crispy flavors that are making us rethink how we feel about packaged cookies. They are very, very good.
As the label says, these cookies are made from scratch, and have no added preservatives. The cookies are most definitely “crunchy” style as opposed to “chewy,” and they are baked at a relatively low heat to develop their flavors. We sampled four flavors:
Chocolate Chip Pecan
Chocolate Chip is your straightforward, diminutive crunchy-style chocolate chip cookie. The relatively small size packs high-density flavor, and they tasted almost fresh-baked. The cookie itself is slightly sweet with a lot of brown sugar flavor. According to the manufacturer, a high molasses-brown sugar content is what provides the distinctive flavor.
Raspberry Chocolate is a cookie in the same style as Chocolate Chip, but the chocolate itself has a raspberry flavoring that is quite good. Like other Brent and Sam’s cookies, the large pieces of chunky chocolate take up a lot of room in the cookie, and it is reassuring to find that they are the first ingredient listed. It was tough to keep our hands out of this bag. The Raspberry Chocolate cookies arrived in a 21-ounce tin that is suitable for gifting, a packaging option that is available for most of the flavors.
Chocolate Chip Pecan is a great cookie. It is wonderful because not only it is full of nuts, but it actually tastes like pecans. This might not seem out of the ordinary given the ingredients, but here the pecans are not an afterthought: they are the main event. These cookies have as many pecans as a generous home baker would would add, and we felt it showed how much Brent and Sam’s values taste. If you love pecans, your dessert has arrived.
Caribbean Crunch was, simply, our favorite. This is a cookie loaded with great things: more of those milk chocolate chunks, coconut, almonds, and even oats. When we stuck our shnozz in the bag we got a powerful hit of coconut right off the bat; when we bit into them the almond and the coconut predominated. The oats seem to make these cookies just a tiny bit chewier than the others, but they were still pretty crunchy and the almonds more than made up for any diminished crunch factor. We were definitely sad to get to the bottom of this bag.
If your local retailer doesn’t carry Brent & Sam’s, there are plenty of cookies available online in a variety of sizes and packaging options, including 7-ounce bags, the aforementioned gift tins, and whopping five-pound bulk boxes, which are a great gift in their own right for a large family, a hungry college student, or an office full of friends.
In addition to the varieties we sampled, five more types of cookies are available online (and even more flavors at retail):
Butter Pecan with Cinnamon, Oats and Raisins
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
Extra Chocolate Chip No Nuts
Key Lime White Chocolate
Lemon White Chocolate
The cookies are all natural and have no preservatives. To accommodate customers who prefer unprocessed foods, Brent & Sam’s has duplicated the recipes in an All Natural Cookies line, which uses evaporated cane juice instead of refined sugar, butter instead of margarine, and all-natural chocolate. These are not sold online but can be found in health food stores and through the phone order number.
Addendum from the Editorial Director:
Having tasted the Brent & Sam’s line several times, we agree that it is a very high quality packaged cookie. For me, the Key Lime White Chocolate is not only the star of the show, but one of the better key lime cookies around. Be sure to order some!