Pizza and Cookies Join Forces

DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies

DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies

I Paid: $8.29 for a large pizza and 12 cookies (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 3 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

The DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies combo pack is the one-two punch that has American critics (and critics of America) calling out, "Too much! Too much!" (And with good reason.) For about $8 you get a frozen pepperoni pizza and 12 blocks of frozen Nestlé cookie dough, the idea being that you can cook up some oven-fresh chocolate chip cookies for dessert after your nice, balanced dinner of bread, preserved meat, and cheese.

It seemed likely to me that the average dude wouldn't bother putting the cookies in after eating the pizza; he'd get the pizza going for 10 minutes, and then stick the cookies in for the last 11 minutes of the pizza's cook-time, so as to produce both products at the same time for optimum snacking and ease of cooking. So I tried the cookies three ways:

1. Baked after the pizza, as per the box instructions.

2. Baked along with the pizza, as most people probably will do it.

3. Baked on top of the pizza, so that the chocolate chip cookies actually fused with the cheesy top of the pie, as nobody will probably do it, except for drunk college students and/or food bloggers.

Results for (1) and (2) were identical; to everyone's relief, the baking pizza did not, in fact, create pizza-flavored cookies. And the cookies were fine: a reasonably good balance of chewy and cakey, with big bites of chocolate chips.

Option (3) was, as you'd expect, not a brilliant idea, but was surprisingly good, all things considered. Since the cookies and the pizza are basically big piles of grain and dairy, they melded together reasonably well and made for a sort of tomato-cheese-chocolate bread pudding. Do it on a dare and earn some money. It's not too bad.

The pizza itself was also not bad; the crust could've used more chew to it, the sauce was a bit sweet, but the pepperoni had some bite and the overall cheese-crust-sauce ratio was good. DiGiorno's Pizza & Cookies isn't going to remake the food landscape, but it's not the calamity it looks like when it peers out at you from the freezer aisle. And if challenged, these really are two OK tastes that taste OK together.

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.