By Johara and Sara Al Mogbel
Ah, the ubiquitous cookie. How we love it. How we cherish it. How we exalt it. It is the constant that transcends all trends. It is the sweet that beats all other sweets.
We’d wax poetically a little more, but it’s a wee bit obvious we’re related to the Cookie Monster so… Let’s just leave it at that, shall we?
And frankly, we’ve decided cupcakes have had enough time in the limelight. Down with dry mini-not-muffin-cakes doused in super sweet frosting! Down with macaroons! Down with dessert tables that look pretty but taste tasteless! Yes to warm chocolate-filled dough disks baked to perfection! With milk! And to aid you in supporting our cause, because we’re just thoughtful like that, we trooped around Riyadh testing the most talked about cookies to find the very best of the bunch. It was tough deciding on a winner from all the gems we found, but we did it. We’ll tell you who we think it is, but firstly, meet the Cookies of Riyadh:
A famous American food transplant, Mrs. Fields has been working hard the past two years, opening new branches in Riyadh, perfecting their white chocolate macadamia mini-cookies and introducing soft serve ice cream in their shops. Unfortunately, they seem to have neglected their traditional chocolate chip cookie, as we found it more cookie dough than nice chewy cookie. Great with a glass of milk, but on its own the sweetness was slightly cloying.
Price: SR 7
Rating: 3 cookies
A Saudi business, Cookies’n’Cream made a huge splash on the cookie scene (yes, there’s a cookie scene) with their candy bar line of cookies. Reese’s cups baked in cookie dough? Yes please. Their chocolate chip cookie is just as good as we remember. The chewiness is perfect, and the chocolate is good if slightly sweet. We wouldn’t go out of our way to eat it but as an option it’s pretty decent. We left it overnight and tasted it the next day and it was still pretty good, too!
Price: SR 7
Rating: 4 cookies
Another Saudi business based in Jeddah. Known more for their cakes than their cookies, we were pleasantly surprised at how delicious theirs was! It was chewy enough, slightly doughy, with positively a ton of chocolate. Probably the most chocolate we’ve ever come across out of our own homemade cookies. And they’d used semisweet chocolate so the end result was perfect harmony of dough and chip. We’d most definitely go back for some more.
Price: SR 6
Rating: 4.5 cookies
This newly opened shop is from our neighbors in Kuwait! After torturing us during Ramadan morning with pictures of their molten cookie cups and Oreo cookies, we picked up the phone and demanded they deliver some goods. The convenience of home delivery aside, their standard chocolate chip cookie was good but did not wow. The texture of the dough was odd and more suitable for date-based cookies, and there was practically no chocolate in it at all.
Sidenote: Their molten cookie was great, though, and the packaging was adorable.
Price: SR 16 for 3 cookies.
Rating: 2.5 cookies
Yes, you read that right. The fried goateed giant of the western world serves cookies! Rumor has it this comes from the same company that supplies Hardee’s and vending machines, so of we braved the oily air of KFC to try one. It had a good texture and the chewiness was decent, but it tasted bland. There wasn’t that much chocolate either. But for SR 3, it’s the cheapest on the list, so that counts for a plus on its scoreboard. And it might taste better heated?
Price: SR 3
Rating: 2 cookies
Another Jeddawi business! (Please keep making great desserts, Jeddah. We send much gratitude your way.) And woo boy is this one beautiful giant cookie. It’s about as thick as a finger, and it comes close to Munch’s generosity in chocolate. Not quite, but pretty close. It’s a little too sweet for one of us, and we couldn’t decide on whether the chewiness was perfect or not, but overall it was an excellent specimen that hits the spot if you have a cookie craving.
Price: SR 7
Rating: 4.5 cookies
Last but not least, and another Saudi business (we’re quite proud), we have the ever so popular Anoosh cookie! And we must say, we understand why it’s this popular. A bite in and you get a great chewy yet crunchy yet soft texture, and the chocolate is a decent ratio to the dough. It’s delicious, it’s not that expensive, and you can find them fresh out of the oven almost round the clock whenever you pop into the store. Recently, the company raised the price from 3 riyals to 5,. Even with the price raise though, the cookie is still a perfect balance of price vs value all round, and we’ve crowned it as our winner! Yay!
Price: SR 5
Rating: 5 cookies