Alisa Fleming ~ Without a doubt, I’m a chewy cookie fan. I’d never actually purchased a simple crunchy cookie (that is, not without icing sandwiched in the middle) in my entire life. But my world was just turned upside down by one fantastic food company. Will I be forsaking my beloved dense and tender cookies? Not on your life. Nonetheless, I’m ready to introduce the crunchy-side of dessert into my world now that I have discovered Enjoy Life’s Crunchy Handcrafted Cookies. Yes, handcrafted, as in real people making them just like mom (only with much bigger appliances!). How cool is that?
I trialed these new cookies at a recent conference, and proclaimed them one of my top finds. But that was just a taste, one of each cookie flavor that I split with a friend (she adored them, too). This week, I received entire boxes of these gems from Enjoy Life, and with the help of my husband and a few friends, they were polished off in no time.
I noticed that everyone in our group had a different favorite, as all flavors of these cookies are just so darn good. But here was my take on each:
You might be thinking, “Like Chips Ahoy, right?” But no, these are much better. Bigger and filled with allergen-free mini-chips, the Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies hit a wonderful balance between sweet (from the cookie part) and rich (from the chocolate). Though they are called “crunchy” (implying a thick, heavy and dry cookie in my mind) these are relatively thin and light, with a perfectly crisp bite.
Delightful sums up our feelings about these sugar cookies. They are perfectly sweet, have delicate vanilla notes, are generously decorated with sugar crystals, and again, they have a wonderful light and crisp texture. I like these not only for eating out of hand, but also for making other desserts. They could be crushed to make a topping or pie crust, used to sandwich some leftover icing, or placed in a bowl of ice cream for an edible garnish.
Vanilla Honey Graham
My husband, the graham-hater, wouldn’t go near these, but I seriously thought I had died and gone to heaven when I tasted these cookies. Vanilla, honey grahams, and crispy cookies harmoniously intertwined – the name really does describe them to a T. These weren’t as crispy or crunchy as the others, with a more forgiving graham-like bite … but in a crispy cookie. Am I confusing you yet? Just try them; you will taste what I mean. Again, these are great for recipes, if you can stop yourself from eating the whole box, which I couldn’t. These were definitely my favorite.
When I sampled these cookies at the conference, I labeled the chocolate chip variety as my second favorite, but the Double Chocolate has just bumped them. The rich, but light chocolate crispy cookie is paired indulgently with a generous amount of Enjoy Life mini chips. I caught my husband eating these for breakfast … they were obviously his favorite.
What else I loved about these cookies:
Packaging – I’ve received many cookies and snacks from natural food companies that are pulverized into crumbs by the time they arrive. However, Enjoy Life got the packaging right on these. Four entire boxes and not a broken or chipped cookie in the entire lot!
Free-from Ingredients – Enjoy Life runs a nut-free and gluten-free facility (It’s my understanding that it is dairy-free also, but check with them on processes if concerned), and all of their products are free of the top eight allergens, along with potato, sesame, and sulfites.
Quick note: Please do not let the Enjoy Life labels confuse your understanding of dairy! They put that their products are free of dairy, and then say “also made without casein …” Casein is milk protein, so if a product is dairy-free it should be casein-free (and lactose-free, and whey-free, and etc.) too! I think they are trying to cover all of the common wording with these labels, but I know first-hand that it confuses many people.
Enjoy Life Cookies (both the chewy and new crispy) are sold throughout the U.S. in stores, and they are also available online. For ingredients, information, and where to purchase, got to www.enjoylifefoods.com.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.