New year, new me.
That seemed exactly the fate of the red velvet cookie at Cookie Munchers, which recently disrupted their standard menu with its drastic change. Once two smaller cookies sandwiched with the glue of cream cheese frosting, it’s now one cookie that is Cookie Muncher’s signature warm and “big as your face,” but with the same recipe. The cream cheese frosting is now in a mini cup in the box, allowing for another branding tagline: “Are you a dipper or a dunker?”
It could be argued that this cookie was always “the Pluto” of their lineup of classic cookie flavors like chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodle, double-chocolate chip and M&M. It’s not about the flavor itself, but rather the fact that the cookie was cold and small, contrasting with the big and warm brand of Cookie Munchers.
But this change doesn’t only effect the red velvet cookie; it also changed the features of the menu.
Since the cookie size itself increased, the price of the red velvet cookie increased the price of the others to $2.99, which includes one cream cheese frosting cup. The frosting cups are also available on the menu for $0.50, similar to the toppings. Among the cookie deals, the previous deal of two red velvet cookies and two other cookies was for $9.95, while currently its been changed to two red velvet cookies (with the cream cheese frosting cups) and a milk for $8.95.
Personally, I was a big fan of the previous red velvet cookie. It may have been smaller (the price reflected that), but I value quality over quantity. It didn’t need to be warm, because it was chewy and soft. I enjoyed having the frosting, which was fluffy and airy, in between the cookies as a way to add more flavor and texture. Like most cookies at Cookie Munchers, it can get overbearingly sweet and heavy towards the end of eating it. In the sandwich, I did feel that the icing was spread too thick in the center and pushed out when biting into it, making it a bit messy.
The biggest change that stood out to me in the new red velvet cookie was the warmth, and I was disappointed that I did not enjoy this factor. For me, the warmness made the cookie precipitate oil even more profusely than when it was room temperature. This caused the cookie to become mushy and stick to the sides of my mouth a lot, which I did not appreciate. The outsides of the cookie were nice and crunchy, while the inside of the cookie was soft and dense with oil. But since there is so much cookie in the middle, it was disproportionate. This caused the cookie to not be sturdy at all, which was unlike what the promo video on their social media platforms displayed.
The video included the store’s co-owner dunking and drizzling the cream cheese frosting with ease and no cookie breakage, and also holding up the cookie. That red velvet cookie in the video was not the same one I saw in the store. Along with the lack of sturdiness, the cream cheese frosting was not smooth and thin enough to easily dunk or drizzle. The cookie kept breaking into the frosting cup when dunking, unless it was the outer crispy edge of the cookie and I struggled with drizzling it. In the cream cheese frosting (it’s claimed to have the same formula as the previous red velvet), I could barely taste the cream cheese, since it mostly tasted like sugary frosting.
However, when I did eat the cookie later on, when it was a bit cooled and at room temperature, I found I could taste the cookie texture more and not the dense cake-like taste. I was also able to taste the red velvet cake better.
The new red velvet cookie is almost a deconstruction of the original cookie sandwich, separating all the elements, inviting the eater to decide how they go together. In my opinion, I think this was an advantage over the previous design of the cookie, which had a little too much frosting that usually fell out of the cookie sandwich when biting into it. I think this element is a fun opportunity of freedom to decide how to eat your cookie, rather than the straightforward eat and leave.
Overall, I think that with improvement in some of their cream cheese frosting, this was the best possible shakeup to the menu and their old outcast cookie. The fun sense of creativity and freedom involved in deciding how to eat the frosting and cookie is an added plus.
Although I will miss the sandwich cookie, I will continue to be proud of the diversity, uniqueness and change the red velvet cookie has brought to the Cookie Munchers menu.
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