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Taste test: pecan shortbread cookies

When researching foods believed to bring good luck in the new year, we were excited to learn that residents in Scotland used to bring baked goods, including shortbread cookies, to the homes of friends they visited on New Year's Day. That was all the inspiration we needed to start eating cookies. We found six brands of pecan shortbread cookies at local grocery stores and picked our top three favorites. Judges said they would eat these cookies even if they weren't rumored to bring good luck.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Keebler 67Murray Sugar Free 66Great Value 62
Judges'

comments
Judges said Keebler's pecan shortbread cookie was the most "classic" of those sampled. "It's a great tasting cookie with a hint of butter flavor and just a touch of pecan," said one panelist. Another liked the very pale, almost uncooked looking appearance of the cookie. "They just seem light," she said, adding, "I like the slight hint of salt in them too." Tasters appreciated the thickness of the cookies and the good balance of sugar. "They are not too sugary," said one judge."This is definitely a winner in the pecan cookie race," said one judge. "It's light with a good nut mixture." Another liked the smaller size of the cookie, saying he especially enjoyed the strong pecan chunks. "This has a perfect, tender crumb and a good, solid crunch," said another. None of the judges realized these were sugar-free.These cookies were a bit firmer than the others, but judges said they packed plenty of flavor. "They are buttery with a nice crunch and body and a nice bit of pecan flavor," said one judge. "They are snappy," said another. One said she would love these cookies with a hot cup of coffee. Another said, "Overall, this is a good cookie, but I would need a glass of milk to soften it up."
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.65 for an 11.3-ounce package from Publix.$2.93 for a 5.5-ounce package from Walmart.$1.98 for an 11.3-ounce package from Walmart.


Also Sampled: Pamela's (3.99 for a 7.25-ounce box from Publix, 56 points); Winn-Dixie ($2 for a 13-ounce bag, 47 points);

and Publix ($2.50 for a 13-ounce pack, 32 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; and Liz Mergenthaler, dietetic intern. 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 mstark@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.



Serving sizeTwo cookiesThree cookiesTwo cookies
Calories170170160
Fat/Fiber10g / 0g11g /1g9g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium7g / 110mg0g / 115mg3g / 95mg
Carbs/Protein18g / 2g18g / 2g19g / 2g

Taste test: pecan shortbread cookies 01/25/16 [Last modified: Monday, January 25, 2016 5:07pm]
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