St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

A brand new cookie favorite

Published February 7, 2007


Brand names ruled my generation. If we wanted soda, we asked for a Coke. And all chocolate sandwich cookies were, of course, called Oreos.

Taster's Choice panelists were more discriminating about their cookies. In the future, they will be going to Sweetbay, passing up the Nabisco Oreos and picking up the store's Hannaford brand.

When comparing the Sweetbay cookies $1.99 for an 18-ounce bag to nine other brands, panelists gave the Hannaford cookies 74 out of a possible 100 points. All four judges said they would buy them.

"They have a great deep-brown color, a pretty white filling and, best of all, a snappy crunch," said one judge.

Another panelist liked the Hannaford brand because they weren't too sweet, and they had an appetizing matte finish.

If the Sweetbay cookies are sold out, our panelists plan to buy Paul Newman's Own, Newman's O's chocolate sandwich cookies ($4.19 for a 16-ounce bag). Normally, I would stay clear of cookies on the health food aisles of the supermarket. But Taster's Choice already selected the best vanilla cream-filled cookie from that section.

Newman's cookies received 71 points from the panel. Newman was a bit stingy on the filling, but judges said the taste was satisfying.

"These are a lot like the actor - very muted and understated," said one panelist, who said he had purchased the brand in the past.

"I love them," he said.

Another judge said she thought the filling tasted like frosting. Three of the four said they will buy Newman O's on their next grocery run.

They also liked the organic sibling of the vanilla cream cookies chosen a few weeks ago: Country Choice Organic ($3.99 for 12 ounces). These chocolate sandwich cookies received 69 points from panelists and praise for their deep-brown color and full-bodied filling.

One judge ate the Country Choice sample so quickly that he couldn't remember what it looked like. Three of the four said they will buy these too.

"These are really crunchy, and the filling has a slight aftertaste," said one judge. "But it's a taste I want to have after I eat a cookie!"

Also sampled were cookies from: Publix ($2.29 for 18 ounces); Murray ($1.69 for 13 ounces); Murray Sugar Free ($2 for 6.5 ounces); Famous Amos ($2.59 for 17.5 ounces); Nabisco Oreo ($3.39 for 14 ounces); Back to Nature ($2.99 for 12 ounces;) and Albertsons ($1.99 for 18 ounces).

Panelists were: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Cooperative Extension; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620 personal chef and mother of four, Julie Overton; and Gary Kawalec, chef/owner of the Tampa Bay Supper Club in Safety Harbor. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product tasting to Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to


Cream-filled cookies

1. Hannaford

2. Newman's O

3. Country Choice

[Last modified February 6, 2007, 12:39:29]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters