How lucky are we to exist in the same world as cookies?
National Cookie Day is here to remind us just how blessed we are, and in honor of the holiday, we’ve gone ahead and created a totally arbitrary list of some of the best mass-produced cookies in the US.
The only criteria: Cookies must be sold at most grocery stores nationwide (sorry, Girl Scouts) and strictly considered a cookie (frosted animal crackers and Cookie Crisp cereal — you’re out).
You may disagree with the rankings. That’s fair. Whatever your favorite cookie may be, eat it today. Dunk it in milk. Heat it up. Have it for breakfast.
It’s the cookie’s day, after all.
10. Nilla Wafers
These are fine: Bite-sized, brittle, just sweet enough but also chalky. Leave these in an open sleeve in the box for too long and they’ll soften and become inedible. They’re best as a textural surprise at the bottom of a banana pudding.
These crumbly biscuits double as coffee stirrers (and are therefore acceptable to eat in the early morning) that, when ground up into cookie butter, make an excellent spread. They’re more satisfying when enjoyed some 31,000 feet up in the air (they’ve been a Delta Air Lines staple since the 1980s).
8. Famous Amos
The old reliable of vending machines everywhere, Famous Amos cookies have an enviable chocolate-to-dough ratio for their diminutive size. They’re a bit sandy, but they’ve hooked generations of kids who’ve misused their lunch money.
One of the few cookies on this list that comes in a gluten-free variety, Tate’s chocolate chippers are thin and crispy, but you can bite into them without fear of chipping a tooth. They’re salty, and you feel like somewhat of an epicurean when you choose these over, say, the far inferior Chips Ahoy (purposely absent from this list).
6. Pillsbury Ready to Bake sugar cookies
These don’t taste as great as you remember, but they’re the only cookies on this list that tell a story. The peel-off dough balls bloom in the oven to reveal a misshapen Snoopy, a jolly pumpkin and a lopsided Christmas tree. Many of them will burn; that’s a given. But doesn’t nostalgia taste even better?
5. Keebler Chips Deluxe Rainbow
Substituting measly chocolate chips for the far more powerful M&Ms is masterful. These little rainbow joys are reminiscent of the candy-dotted cookies you could only find in mall food courts, and far more chocolatey than, hmm, the rock-like Chips Ahoy (again, you won’t find those here).
The cookie itself is a bit chalky like Famous Amos, but those bulging globes of rainbow chocolate elevate these far beyond the competition.
4. Pepperidge Farm Milano
Nothing said maturity to a school-aged kid more than showing up at lunchtime with these vaguely European wafers. Are these cookies meant to be Italian? Kids could care less, when there’s that luxurious fudge that glues the two biscuits together. Whenever these melted in lunchboxes, the results were catastrophic — and tragic, for the waste of an excellent cookie.
3. Keebler Fudge Stripes
Whatever the Keebler Elf is doing in that little treehouse bakery of his is absolutely working, because these are a DELIGHT! The ribbons of fudge that blanket the donut-shaped shortbread reveal a back that is coated in more fudge. Your mouth and hands will also be coated in fudge by the time you’re done snacking.
2. Lofthouse frosted sugar cookies
These cookies are drama. You spot them out of the corner of your eye at a holiday party, and suddenly they’re all you can think about — the frosting laid on so thick it sticks to the roof of your mouth and dyes your tongue. These cookies inspire division among coworkers, who dislike the pillowy soft sugar cookie and the stingingly sweet frosting. But that division means nothing to people like you, who swore fealty to this cookie long ago. These cookies feign modesty, but they know by the end of the party, they’ll be gone.
Is this a surprise to anyone? It shouldn’t be. Oreos are perfect. They’re dunkable, stackable and completely bingeable. Whether you peel off the vanilla cream patty (sacrilegious, in this writer’s opinion) or eat the cookie in its entirety as Nabisco intended, their sublimity cannot be denied.
Every iteration of Oreo reveals its multitudes. Whether you prefer yours in miniature, golden, dunked in fudge, thin, Double Stuf, you’d be hard-pressed to find an Oreo done wrong (unless it’s, like, the Swedish Fish Oreo, which is unacceptable).