SPECIALLY SELECTED MILK CHOCOLATE BUTTER COOKIES
|Not as good as Godiva's, but palatable for far, far cheaper.|
I had never heard of anything like these until I stumbled on them at, of all places, a Godiva shop inside a mall. For whatever reason, I bought them (they certainly weren‘t cheap, and thus would normally be off my radar), and instantly fell in love with the creamy chocolate and perfectly buttery biscuit. Imagine my surprise when a couple weeks later, I saw a similar product at Aldi!
That was two years ago. A lot of things have changed since then, most notably the aforementioned Godiva shop closing down, taking with it my memories of their delicious (if ridiculously overpriced) dark chocolate shakes and these very biscuits. Thankfully, however, Aldi has not shut down, and my wife suggested that we pick these up during a shopping trip. Not usually one to argue against chocolate, I happily ceded, eager to try them for the first time in a rather long time.
While the taste is nowhere near the level of decadence reached by the boutique chocolatier‘s version (and how could it be?), this is still a pretty delicious little cookie. The chocolate is made of Utz-certified cocoa; I have no idea what that means, but it’s promoted on the packaging, so it must be a big deal and make sense to a lot of other people. My biggest gripe has to do with the chocolate, though: There’s something not quite smooth about the taste; it strikes me as being slightly bitter. I could understand that if these were dark chocolate, but the fact that it’s supposedly the generally sweeter “milk” variety kind of baffles me. On the texture front, it gets high marks: it’s a very soft chocolate, and starts melting in your mouth almost instantly. The butter cookie is also very good on its own; it’s not very crunchy, but it’s not too soft, either, and has a flavor typical of what you would expect of a butter cookie.
I don’t find these to be as addicting as some chocolate products can be, but that ended up being a good thing for me: After eating one, or two at the most (which is the actual serving size), I was satisfied and had no problems putting them down, at least until the next day. Of course, that won’t be the case with everyone, but for me, it’s a good little snack when I just want a little bit of chocolate, and don’t want to get carried away.
Overall: 6.5/10. They’re rather large, and fairly inexpensive, though you only get eight in a package, which is kind of a bummer. I thought the chocolate, which had a great consistency and texture, and starts melting in your mouth right away, was a little too bitter for me; maybe it’s the interplay between the chocolate and the cookie, but it just tasted a little “cheap”. Not nearly the best of the chocolate butter cookies I’ve had, but passable for the price, and serviceable as an occasional treat. It should be noted that these are constantly available as part of Aldi's permanent inventory, so they'll be there whenever you fancy them.
I’ve actually never had the ice cream bars that these are knocking off (a hint if you’re truly lost: they share the same name as a brand of condom), and the only person I know that tried them thought they were overpriced for what they were, and said they would never buy them again. Even at Aldi, where they were available for $2.49, I thought they were a little steep, so even though the very sight of them made my mouth water, I postponed buying them.
Well, after Aldi pulled the trigger and marked these down a mere fifty cents, from the regular price of $2.49, down to $1.99, I caved in. Not that the fifty-cent reduction really made much of a difference in terms of value, but it gave me the nudge I needed to “get off the fence”, so to speak.
It wasn’t until we took the box home that I noticed our $2 investment only contained three ice cream bars. Who in the hell offers products that can’t be evenly split these days? Especially when said product is an ice cream bar? Did focus groups really draw the line at, “I’d pay $2.50 for three, but $3.29 for four is exorbitant.”? It just seems like an odd thing to do, especially since desserts tend to be shared. Anyway, still eager to dig in, we opened the box and each took one out, taking us immediately to Disappointment #2: These things are not the “enlarged to show texture” monster-size as depicted on the front cover box. I say that mainly in jest, because the picture displayed on the outside is bigger than the box itself, so they wouldn't be able to fit one inside, let alone three. But what is a problem, at least initially, is that the picture, while clearly and obviously exaggerated, does hint that each bar will be pretty large--but they are not. "Teeny" would be quite an understatement, but they are smaller than the average fudge bar, and with those you get tons in a package, and still for under $2. They do manage to make up for some of that by being thicker than the average ice cream bar, but I expected bars that cost 83 cents apiece (at full retail price) and are made up largely of ice cream, to be a lot larger than they are. Whatever. Though there were some red flags going off, we still weren’t completely deterred, so we dove right in.
Wow…it doesn’t take but a bite for the decadent flavors to sink into your mouth; the sweet, supposedly Belgian chocolate (not saying it ain’t, just saying there are enough lies and half-truths on packaging to fill an encyclopedia-sized volume) strikes a perfect chord with the semi-bittersweet ice cream to create a blissful harmony of deliciousness. But if you read the name of the product, and chances are good that you have, you know there has to be more. After all, this is a triple chocolate bar, and I’ve only named two kinds of chocolate. Well, you would be correct, because inside the ice cream are irresistible morsels of milk chocolate chips. Altogether, these bars are ridiculously good, and definitely a notch or two above the average fudgecicle, whose price I just compared them to in an earlier paragraph.
About halfway through eating this tasty treat, at least one of my concerns disappeared: The size of the bar was no longer relevant, because these things are really rich; I had a problem downing all of it, especially with no milk to help wash it down (though this was my fault; I was simply too lazy to get up and take the ten steps required to reach the fridge). Thanks to a Herculean effort on my part, though, I managed to eat it all…and then another one a couple of nights later. If they were any larger, I'd be completely overwhelmed with chocolate by the time I got to the end. For the record, though, I'm no chocoholic, so for those of you that enjoy chocolate more than I do, these might still leave you wanting more.
I still have a small gripe with the price…I know, it’s at least a dollar cheaper than the name brand is, and it’s really, really good, but I’m accustomed to getting a lot more than three of an ice cream product at this price. It is a special buy, and therefore only available occasionally at Aldi stores, but even if they were available year-’round, I would only pick them up a couple of times per year, as sort of a special treat. That, and they’re simply too rich for constant consumption, at least as far as I'm concerned. But they are very good, and should be considered a required buy for even casual fans of chocolate.
Overall: 7.5/10. Only three bars per box? For $2.49? Those were my initial thoughts, but trying them at least eased some of the pain (so, too, did the markdown they took, lowering the price to a slightly-better $1.99): Rich, Belgian chocolate on the outside, met with a semi-bittersweet chocolate ice cream, and some deliciously rich chocolate chips. They also allayed my thoughts that the bars were too small; all the chocolate makes them incredibly rich and almost hard to finish without some milk to wash them down. I'm not always a fan of these "chocolate overload" products, because they either seem to be too sweet, or too bitter, but these strike a solid balance between both sides of the spectrum, making these a delicious little treat, and the perfect example of why a product should be relegated to Special Buy cycles.