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Tough cookies

With national Cookie Week upon us, the Mancon team decided to scour the city for the best cookies around. Which unfortunately meant us having to eat a lot of cookies.

Published on September 13th 2006.


Tough cookies

The way I see it, you can’t really go wrong with national Cookie Week. Unlike national no smoking week, or national Be Nice to Nettles week (yes, that really does exist!) It doesn’t demand anything of you, other than to eat cookies. Lots of cookies.

The week, which has been launched by Millies to celebrate their 21st birthday, takes place from the 14th to the 21st September and hopes to raise lots of money for charity through encouraging people to eat every kind of cookie.

‘But isn’t cookie just an American word for biscuit?’ No. Go away right now whoever asked that. Cookies are in an absolute league of their own, a league of magical gooiness and melted chocolate.

Millies are going all out for Cookie Week, with creative stunts all week, and special edition cookie pops being sold in their stores to raise money for Childline and The Variety Club. What’s more, anyone who is celebrating a 21st anniversary during cookie week will be treated to a free box of 21 freshly baked cookies. Just take proof of your anniversary (birth or wedding certificate) to your local store.

That may all be well and good for Millies, but we thought it was a little unfair to have cookie week as a one horse race. So, we decided to take on the difficult challenge of comparing some of Manchester’s best cookies.

Only, there was a slight problem. We couldn’t really find many cookies. There seems to be a cookie monopoly in Manchester, with Millies having hotels on Mayfair and Park Lane, and the supermarket chains holding the reds, greens and yellows between them. Not an independent bakers providing home made cookies in sight. Or is there? Please let us know if you know something we don’t.

Be that as it may, we still had a super time tasting cookies. We tried cookies from Millies, Marks and Spencers, Sainsburys, Tesco, Eat and Three Cooks. And here is what we found:

Marks and Spencers was the outright favourite, far and away above any others. Freshly baked, gooey and not too stodgy. The chocolate chunks stayed all melted after the cookies had cooled. A resounding 10/10 from everyone in the office.

Battling it out for second place are cookie week founder Millies, and Sainsburys. This one’s all a matter of grease. If you like to feel as naughty as possible, go for Millies. They’re sickly sweet, sticky and greasy, all in a very positive way as far as I’m concerned. If you prefer to go the non greasy route, then Sainsburys is the one for you. Chunky, chewy and soft, but a little stodgy. These two cookies divided our office, with some in the Millies camp and some waving the Sainsburys flag.

Tesco Finest cookies came out a surprising fourth place. Tesco is a safe option, for those of you who aren’t quite sure yet how you like your cookies. Smooth, consistent, and with big chocolate chunks in all the right places, this was a textbook cookie - but with none of the va va voom of the first three.

And now, for the losers. The cookies stuck on the Old Kent Road of the Manchester cookie monopoly. Competing for the coveted place of worst cookie in Manchester are Eat, and Three Cooks. To be fair, neither of these was freshly baked and they were up against some tasty competition. But they were both equally terrible. Dry, too crumbly and with a faint cardboard flavour. Unless you’re starving in the Sudan, don’t bother.

So, there you go. It was hard work but someone had to do it. If anybody knows of any better cookies in Manchester, please let us know. And in the mean time, enjoy cookie week and eat responsibly.

Jayne Robinson
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