Einhorn’s Epic Cookies
I encountered Einhorn’s line of cookies at a trade show (okay it was New York Comic Con). I bought the chocolate chip/potato chip flavor after having enjoyed a free sample the prior year (yes, I’m an annual comic con attendee) and lamenting my failure to buy some to take home for review. As a journalist (okay food podcaster), I felt compelled to chat with Einhorn’s, Heather Einhorn about their unique flavor lineup. I picked up the other three flavors so I could give a full Einhorn’s review.
Just by looking at the flavors you can tell what intrigued me about Einhorn’s Epic Cookies – their distinctive flavor combinations – two of which offer a sweet/salty crossover. As I’ve expressed before, it is monumentally important to get the right ratio of sweet and salty (check out the Lays Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips review or the live podcast review of Combos Sweet and Salty to see how sweet/salty can go awry).
So how did Einhorn’s Epic Cookies do with Peanut Butter, Bacon, and Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip and Potato Chip, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Maple, Birthday Cake with Sprinkles and Crisped Rice?
Peanut Butter, Bacon, and Chocolate Chip – Bacon is no flash-in-the-frying-pan. It has maintained a fanatical following in popular food culture for years now. This sustained bacon-craze, I would guess, is a counter-response to the vegan/health food culture. I try to stay moderate on such polarizing matters. I enjoy bacon, but I do not insist that everything is better with bacon.
There is, nonetheless, something fitting about bacon and peanut butter (Elvis Presley’s influence?) and Einhorn’s did a nice job melding the two in a cookie, hitting an appropriate sweet/salty ratio. It’s not gourmet level – and it’s not meant to be. The bacon is delivered in the form of bacon bits – almost like the ones you would put on a salad. If you are already turning up your nose, then move on to the next one. This isn’t the Einhorn’s for you. The distribution of bacon bits within the cookie provides a satisfying series of little crunches as you chew. Each crunch releases a bit o’ bacon to meld in with the peanut butter cookie. It may sound weird, but if you are in a mildly adventurous mood, give them a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Chocolate Chip and Potato Chip – This was the most intriguing flavor and the one I was most excited about. I think potato chips are an overdue and welcome mixer with sweet foods such as cookies. If Einhorn’s bacon cookie scared you off, let this potato chip cookie be your daring snack experiment for the week. The potato/chocolate mixture is unique, but it’s not nearly as thrilling or crazy as the bacon cookie in concept or in execution. If anything, the potato chips are too understated. As a self-proclaimed bold and seasoned snacker, I could have used even more potato chip crunch. But it’s there. You can taste it. You can see it. And it’s yummy.
Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Maple – If I had to guess, Einhorn’s doesn’t move as many Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Maple cookies as they do the others. The flavor combo is not as intriguing and if the internet is to be believed, oatmeal cookies are America’s least favorite. Oatmeal cookies are underrated. They aren’t health food, people. They are packed with sugar and butter and all of those great things that we love in a cookie. And oatmeal gives a special, soft texture that is tough to replicate. As an oatmeal cookie enthusiast, I endorse Einhorn’s Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Maple cookies. They are tasty. But I am an oatmeal cookie purist, so I must balk at the inclusion of chocolate chips instead of raisins. I know I am in the minority here so I won’t harp on it. Perhaps Einhorns can indulge me with a fifth flavor – oatmeal, raisin, cinnamon and butter – like a bowl of Quaker Oats you can eat on the go.
Birthday Cake with Sprinkles and Crisped Rice – This cookie didn’t toy with my sweet/salty taste buds like the first two. It instead capitalizes on the “one food that tastes like another food” idea that we’ve been seeing a lot with snacks in recent years. I wish I had a time machine so I could buy stock in whatever company invented birthday cake flavoring – because in the last several years, birthday cake flavor has transcended cake itself and is giving pumpkin spice a run for its money. It moved into ice cream, which makes some sense. Now it seems to have moved on to cookies, candy, and coffee. Before long tacos will get the birthday cake treatment too, I imagine.
This was my favorite cookie of them all, in part because I like a sugar-type cookies over chocolate chip. But Einhorn’s did a particularly good job with texture here. The rice cereal inclusion provided a simultaneous chewiness and subtle crunch that I’d not experienced before in a cookie. My only hesitation on this cookie is that it was pretty darn sweet – pour a glass of milk with it to smooth out the sugar rush and you are in business.
I would be remiss if I didn’t note Einhorn’s Epic Cookies’ other gimmick – the free comic book inside. This feels like a nice throwback to the good old Cracker Jack/Bazooka Joe days. If I were a kid (which I am, kind of) the free comic would definitely break the tie between this and another snack on the shelf. I didn’t share the cookies – I am a professional food reviewer and needed every morsel in order to properly assess the taste. I did share the comics and it was a lot of fun. My two year old loved pointing at all of the “horsies” (they are unicorns, but he’s close enough). My four year old kept making me read the same one over and over because she thought it was cool. So I’m not ready to review the continuing story because she won’t let me move onto the next chapter. All in all, quality time with the kids.