All Convenience, No Flavor

Ultimates Filled Cookie Dough

Ultimates Filled Cookie Dough

I Paid: $3.59 for 1 pound of dough (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 1 stars

Marketing: 3 stars

With the introduction of its new Ultimates line of filled, refrigerated chocolate-chip cookie dough, Nestlé enters the church of American folk gastronomy and solemnly takes a jumbo-size dump right in the baptismal font. These almost flavorless, somewhat-sandy-in-texture cookies are one-dimensionally sweet and filled with a sorrowful nougat-esque substance that is only discernible as chocolate or caramel by its color. These make the cookies of Otis Spunkmeyer seem, by comparison, to be the handcrafted offering of some kind of French culinary demigod.

It’s hard not to get physically angry at these cookies. True, the wretched little refrigerated circles save you the 15-minute effort of making your own dough—and offer the novel experience of a ready-made filling inside your cookies—something that, as far as I can tell, is relatively new ground being broken. But are those advantages worth the complete lack of pleasure the product ultimately provides? When I gave one of these cakey cookies to my wife, she was initially excited. After she bit into the cookie, she made a sad face. “Tastes like cardboard,” she said, thrusting the mostly uneaten cookie back at me. Later, she decided that they reminded her of Soft Batch Chips Ahoy.

Expectations should be kept in check when you buy premade, industrially produced dough. But no matter how low those expectations are, these cookies will do the impossible and limbo right under them.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.