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Taste Test: oatmeal raisin cookies

Tasting cookies is always tricky — not because of taste —but because of texture. Some panelists prefer soft cookies and others want some snap to their biscuits. That said, our judges have been pretty consistent with their favorite brands. Ten years ago, they picked Archway cookies among their top three favorites. This summer, judges gave them top billing. Of the six brands tasted, judges were impressed mostly with the cookies having the deepest flavor.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


(out of 100)
Archway 75Quaker 70Pepperidge Farm 69

The softness of these large cookies was a huge plus for our panelists. They loved the chewy texture and the homemade look of Archway's offering. The cookies had a nice blend of spices, too. "These melt in your mouth," one judge said. "They are delicious!" Another really liked the generous amount of raisins in each cookie, combined with the potent oatmeal flavor.Quaker's cookies had a big, bakery shop look. "They are very moist and really appealing," one panelist said. "These are huge with a homemade flavor — just like mom used to make," another said. Plenty of raisins gave these cookies a nice sweetness that balanced the oatmeal and cinnamon flavors. "They are hefty and sumptuous," said a taster who asked for seconds. One judge detected a hint of banana in the taste.Judges liked the Pepperidge Farm cookies but suggested a few seconds in the microwave would give them more moisture and draw out the flavors. "They are a little too crumbly," one panelist said. A couple said they liked the look of the cookies and appreciated the abundance of raisins, but needed more boldness in taste.

they buy?
All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.19 for a 9.5-ounce box from Publix.$2.79 for an 8.8-ounce box from Winn-Dixie.$2.84 for an 8.6-ounce package from Target.

Also Sampled: Publix ($2.59 for a 13-ounce package, 52 points); Keebler ($3.45 for a 10.1-ounce package from Publix, 33 points); and Voortman ($3.09 for a 12.3-ounce package from Publix, 33 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; Kay Hodnett, personal chef; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving sizeOne cookieOne cookieOne cookie
Fat/Fiber4.5g / 0g6g / 4g4.5g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium12g / 85mg11g / 150mg13g / 90mg
Carbs/Protein23g / 1g28g / 2g23g / 2g

Taste Test: oatmeal raisin cookies 08/11/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2014 3:49pm]
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