The Minnesota State Fair may have been canceled this year and the alternate Food Parade behind us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar cookies all year round.
While we know that nothing can take the place of being at the fair and getting a heaping bucket of warm chocolate cookies fresh out of the oven, it’s nice that you can get Sweet Martha’s in frozen cookie dough form at area markets. And did you know the cookies are sold in five varieties?
Beyond the Original Chocolate Chip, introduced in 1995, the Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk, Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk and Gourmet Chocolate Chunk were rolled out between 1996 and 1999. Then in 2008, came Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chunk.
According to Sweet Martha herself, as Sweet Martha’s gained traction at the Minnesota State Fair, more and more customers started asking for the cookies year-round.
“We wanted to offer something that was as close to the State Fair experience as possible. And frozen dough was the answer. It didn’t (and still doesn’t) contain preservatives and offered oven-hot, baked-on-the-spot cookies right at home,” said Martha Rossini Olson. “The other flavors followed and were inspired by a combination of customer requests and the owners’ personal preferences.”
And if you feel sugar cookies were once part of the line up, you’re not imagining things. “We launched sugar cookies in November 2014 but decided to discontinue it in December 2018 since it became more of a seasonal product.”
Curious to see what each tasted like, we nabbed all five varieties currently available at local markets. And to see what were crowd favorites, a socially distanced, backyard taste test was held.
When it was time to make the cookies, it was nice to find that all of the varieties had the same temperature and bake times, 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes, so you could put any combination in the oven at the same time.
When it was time to taste, eight tasters were given one of each cookie without knowing anything about what kind they were trying.
It became clear that not all cookies are created equal. There’s a reason why the classic chocolate chip is State Fair food royalty. Any cookie that was chewy and gooey also reigned supreme with tasters, while opinions on whether sweet was a good or bad thing varied widely. Here are the results, listed in order of how the cookies ranked, along with tasters’ comments.
As far as whether we’ll see some of these varieties at the State Fair beyond the Original Chocolate Chip, Sweet Martha had this to say, “We don’t have plans to offer other varieties at the State Fair. We’ll stick with what we do best!”
1. Original Chocolate Chip “Reminds me of Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips. Gooey and delicious.” “Tastes good, like classic Sweet Martha’s cookies.” “Soft. Semi-sweet. Classic chocolate chip cookie.” “Num. Original?” “Buttery, light vanilla, sweet chocolate… sweet, but not too sweet. Excellent chocolate to cookie ratio. Chewy.” “Soft and delish…yum chocolate chip.” “Classic cookie. Soft.”
2. (tie) Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk “Oatmeal? Like!” “Reminds me of Grandma and Grandpa’s gingersnaps.” “A softer cookie like the original chocolate chip.” “Yum! Nice balance of oat to chocolate. Least sweet of all of them.” “Soft.” “Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg. Chocolate pairs well with the fruitiness…chewy, sweet, milk chocolate. Really chewy.” “Ehhh…has oatmeal.” “Too sweet — I want more oatmeal than the chocolate part of it.” “Chewy. Kind of mushy. Good. Not my favorite though.”
2. (tie) Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chunk “Excellent blend of salty, sweet, plenty of nuts in each cookie, warm butter taste…crispy and chewy texture. Sweetness lingers for quite a bit. Intense butter flavor.” “Hint of sugar cookie.” “Sweet. Soft.” “Very sweet.” “Sweet and salty.” “Too much for me. Overwhelmingly sweet.” “Super sweet. Super soft. Sugar bomb after trying all five cookies.”
4. Gourmet Chocolate Chunk “Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies.” “Tastes good. Not as soft as the first chocolate chip (original) one I tried earlier.” “Sweeter than the first chocolate chip, but similar.” “Slightly bitter.” “Bigger chocolate chunks than the first.” “Salty, more cookie (than the other)…crispy texture, slightly bitter chocolate.” “Basic chocolate chip.” “Extra chocolate-y, crispier than the other chocolate chip one…tastes more homebaked between the two.”
5. Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk “Lutheran potluck peanut butter cookie.” “Guessing peanut butter and butterscotch chips?” “Very chewy.” “Lots of peanut butter flavor.” “I’m not a big fan of peanut butter cookies — but it has a good balance for this type of cookie.”
SWEET MARTHA’S COOKIE DOUGH
What: Available in frozen cookie dough form pre-cut, preservative-free and ready to bake. Available in five varieties: Original Chocolate Chip, Gourmet Chocolate Chunk, Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk, Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chunk.
Where: vailable in freezer sections at markets including Cub Foods, Lunds & Byerlys, Kowalski’s, Target, Hy-Vee, Festival Foods, Von Hanson’s, Jerry’s Foods and Knowlan’s.
Good to know: Some stores carry one or a few, some carry all five varieties. Customers can visit the website to find a store near them — and what cookie varieties are carried at those stores — at sweetmarthas.com/frozen-dough
Cost: Varies by store, average cost $6. The Original Chocolate Chip makes about 24 cookies and the other varieties make about 15 cookies.
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