Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hannahmax Baking presents: Cookie Chips!

I've never heard of Hannahmax baking before.

If you asked me what "hannah max" was, I'd guess either a disney cartoon superhero or a porn star. Well, it is the name of a facebook bot, so I was close. But no, apparently it's either a newer company who is starting out by selling "cookie chips," or they've existed forever (the bag says "since 1993") and they're really going for it with these. There's a link on their site to wholesale desserts that look amazing (that only restaurants can buy), but either the site is broken or they haven't gotten to that point yet, since no matter what I click, I was sent to cookie chips, cookie chips, cookie chips. Either way, I got ahold of the entire cookie chips line, and Hannahmax has certainly gotten off to a good start (or taken a step in the right direction after 21 years). 

Cinnamon Sugar, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, Original, and Sea Salted Peanut Butter. Time to eat some cookies. That are kind of like chips.

I started out with what I figured would be the worst one, Original. 

Opening up the bag, I realized that this company wasn't messing around. Dem some thin ass cookies!

I mean, they're so thin, they don't even look like cookies. They almost look like... I don't know, maybe.. chips?

actually, they look like round wheat thins, but "round cookie wheat thins" doesn't sound as good

I'm not a fan of crunchy cookies. Well, that's not true- Oreos. But other than that, I'd say 2 of my all time favorite cookies are Mrs. Field's white chocolate macadamia nut with frosting added to it (yes, you can do that- make sure they give you the light blue), or Au Bon Pain's oatmeal raison cookie. Both are soft and chewy. They're REAL cookies, cooked perfectly, not burnt into some weird cracker chip.

I mean, look at this thing held up to the light! It's practically see-through!

Well, I bit in and my first thought was that man, these were crunchy, and man these were thin. But then I got over myself and actually thought about what they tasted like, and sweet holy heavens, this stupid cracker/chip made of cookie tasted like a truly incredible cookie. 

Opening up the bag, I smelled a pretty strong smell that I could only describe as burnt butter, which actually, when you think about it, is exactly what you should smell when dealing with a product such as this. It's hard to describe the flavor of these. They're buttery and sweet but in a way that's different from most store bought cookies. I read the back of the packaging, and here's how it reads: "Pure brown sugar goodness fills every delicious bite.... we only use whole ingredients, just like you would if you baked them at home." "No trans fats, no preservatives, no GMOs, no artificial flavors or colors." "Ingredients such as milled cane sugar, creamery butter, whole eggs, & real vanilla."

And suddenly the odd taste made sense- these are what cookies taste like when you bake them from scratch. I've been buying pre-packaged cookies or the store bought kind that you just cut and put on a pan forever. There's nothing particularly special about these cookie chips- they just taste like what your mom would make if she had a really great recipe for cookies and actually made them from scratch. And then made them really thin and cooked them longer than normal.

I wonder what they'd taste like in chewy form, but these work really nicely as cookie chips. They're small, crunchy and are great as just a few or a handful of 10. They're not gimmicky, they're just really nice tasting cookies that I wanted to eat a whole bag of instantly. I have to give them an A.

Next up were chocolate chip, a flavor I assumed would only improve upon the already high mark of Original. 

Sadly, they didn't. I don't know what it was. I don't know if it's the chocolate chips being just dark or bittersweet enough that they make just enough of the sweet brown sugary flavor go away a little bit, or if these were actually made with a different mix. They're good, and they still manage to have a surprising amount of chocolate chips in them, especially for such a thin cookie. But they aren't on the same level as Original. There's just something not quite perfect about them. 

Next up was Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip. 

These were definitely better than regular chocolate chip, but they were a little too dark chocolatey for my taste. If you're a dark chocolate fan though, these will probably be your favorite. Crunchy, just bitter enough dark chocolate with just enough chips. This flavor worked really well as a crunchy cookie too, maybe the best of the bunch.

Next up was one I was really excited about- Sea Salted Peanut Butter.

You never see sea salt in peanut butter stuff- it's always mixed with caramel. I was curious as to how this would work. 

There are big chunks of nuts in these. Well, as big as there could be.

But, sadly, no salt. 

Go back and look at the picture of the bag. I thought I'd be breaking my teeth over huge salt lick-level salt chunks. Nope! None to be found!
But that's ok- we still have peanut butter. Kind of. 
Yea, these were really disappointing. They kind of just taste like very slightly peanut butter flavored cookies with nuts, and that's not what anyone wants. You'll note there aren't any new peanut butters out there boasting "More nuts! Less flavor!" They have a slight saltiness to them, but I really honestly only noticed when I tried to taste it. I may have made it up.
I really wanted to like these, but they were the worst of the batch by far. In fact, I don't even care about eating more of them. To the free shelf they go.

Alright, so this review started out pretty glowingly positive, then sadly went downhill with some surprisingly subpar cookies. Could the last kind save it? These were the other ones I was most excited to try: Cinnamon Sugar. 2 things I love.

These did not disappoint. 

Look at that sugar!

These were exactly what I wanted them to be. They have a solid cinnamon taste that isn't too strong, and they are COVERED in cinnamon sugar, giving you that perfect mix of sting, sweet, and buttery cookie chip goodness. These were the first to go in our house, and I'm still sad about it.

So there's not much more to say about cookie chips. You could just say they're really thin cookies, but that'd be selling them short. The just ok ones were still neat because of their snackability (putting them in a bag helps too), and the good ones were so good that they could come in any form and I'd want them. The Cinnamon Sugar cookies made me think of my Grandmother's Christmas cookies I'd get excited for every year. And really, all of these remind me a bit of those cookies. Hannahmax has managed to make me demolish cookies and at the same time, miss my Grandma. Well done.

They look great as a platter too, even if you feel that you've eaten too many and decide to take the picture with halves. 

I think I ate 3 more after taking this pic

These are in some stores, (Whole Foods is the only one I've even heard of, so we may be out of luck in the northeast if they aren't there), but you can buy them online too. The minimum you can buy is a 4 pack of 6 oz bags for $23.96, and you can only buy 4 of the same or a mixed pack of 4 or 5 (the 4 pack excludes chocolate- racist much?), so options are pretty limited, but hopefully they'll expand and let you buy single packs soon. If you're curious about these, your best bet is the 5 pack of every bag for $29.95 (all of these prices include shipping), or, if you want to take my word for it, just buy a 4 pack of Original or Cinnamon Sugar. I thought these would be pretty plain and would get old after I got tired of making jokes about how these are cookies, but like, cookies in chip form- but I was wrong. I already wish I had more Cinnamon Sugar and I think I may just finish off the Original when I get home. And I will absolutely be buying more of these.


Original: A
Chocolate Chip: C
Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip: B-
Sea Salted Peanut Butter: D-
Cinnamon Sugar: A

-review by Mike


  1. I'm curious about those cookies you've just bit into.

  2. I found these at rite aid today for $4.89

    1. For real? That rules! I hope you got them and enjoyed them

  3. I found these at my local RiteAid for $3.49 per bag. Two bags of original and one bag of chocolate chip were on the shelf--and I bought all three.

    1. damn, I need to start scouring rite aids! Hope you enjoyed them!

  4. Raley's sent me a coupon for $2 off one of these(making it $1.99) and now that I've read your blog, I'm pretty sure I want to try the regular first. So this blog post was very helpful! Thanks!

    1. There you go! that's a hell of a deal. You're welcome. I hope you like them.

  5. Actually, I disagree with your assessment of the chocolate chip cookie chips. I think they are superb, and would give them an A! I have tasted zillions of chocolate chip cookies from the soft Freihofers to David's, to Mrs. Fields, Pepperidge Farms, Tate's, Newman's Own (also an A), the original version of Famous Amos, and other store bought brands like Keebler and such. Hannah and Max tops them all, in my opinion! Crisp, deep butter-brown sugar flavor, and perfect balance of all flavors with no aftertaste...definitely an A, in my book!

  6. None of your reviews say a THING about MY personal pet peeve: the cookies come all broken into crumbs and pieces!!!! Nary a whole cookie in the bag!!

  7. I found them at Giant and Target too. I want to try the oatmeal raisin. Had the ginger last fall. They had a distinct ginger hit. A bit strong for me. Maybe a B. But I agree with you. The Original and Cinnamon Sugar are the best!