Taste test: Iced oatmeal cookies

On a field trip to a local playground, a preschool teacher was the first person to give my son an iced oatmeal cookie. At the time, I figured my picky eater would turn his nose up at a new food choice. But he loved it. So did the teachers whom we asked to try eight brands of cookies from local grocery stores. They also decided the oatmeal in the treats made them more acceptable in their students' lunches than some cookie and candy desserts.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)




Mercer/71




Publix/66




Smart Option/62
How'd it look? Large with lots of icing.Tiny, bite-sized and golden brown.Flat with smooth edges and shiny frosting.
Judges' comments These were among the sweetest of the batch, with heavy frosting. Judges liked the sugar-to-oatmeal balance and described the texture as hearty and chewy. "These are easy to sink your teeth into," one panelist said.Judges raved about the ginger flavor in the Publix cookies. They liked the sugary-spicy balance and the light texture of the little cookies. "These have just enough crunch that you wouldn't need to dunk them in a hot drink to enjoy the whole flavor," said one teacher.The Smart Option cookies were more golden yellow than the other brands, and they had the strongest oatmeal flavor. Judges loved the look of the cookies a bit more than the flavor. They preferred a heavier, sweeter cookie but devoured their samples, nevertheless.
Would they buy? Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information99 cents for a 16-ounce package from Aldi.$1.99 for a 16-ounce bag.$1.49 for a 12-ounce bag from Sweetbay.
Also sampled: Nabisco ($2.49 for a 12-ounce bag from Publix, 58 points); Great Value ($1.08 for a 16-ounce package from Wal-Mart, 57 points); Always Save ($2.19 for an 18-ounce package from Albertsons, 54 points); Murray Southern Kitchen ($1.59 for a 12-ounce package from Sweetbay, 54 points); and Archway ($3.49 for a 14-ounce package from Publix, 43 points).

Panelists: Kim Thomson and Tami Gower, fifth-grade teachers at Pasadena Fundamental Elementary School in St. Petersburg; Rosella Sunnucks, media specialist at Pasadena Fundamental; and Steve Sims, theology teacher at Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to jkeeler@sptimes.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.com.

Taste test: Iced oatmeal cookies 08/25/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 5:30am]

    

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